This project is a part of our shared program with Bridge Water Project. Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).
Sawawa community lies on a land covered with green vegetation, especially sugarcane plantations.
Most homesteads have tall green trees in the compound as well on their farms. The roads that lead to the community are not good especially during rainy seasons. The community has its set cultures that they believe. Most of the community members are Christians.
Farming is the main activity done in this community as a source of income. Most homes have maize and sugarcane plantations. Besides crop production, the community members raise indigenous farm animals like, cattle, goats and poultry.
Women and children play a big role in this community in times of fetching water and keeping good hygiene and sanitation. Men are held busy looking for the daily bread for the family.
A drilled well was provided in 1988 so as to help the community members have an access to clean and adequate water supply.
The well served the community until 1992 when repairs were done by the locals without success and it became unusable. The well was later vandalized since there was no strong water committee in place to protect the water system.
CURRENT WATER SOURCE
The community has an access to Sawawa stream which is seasonal hence not reliable. At times, women of this community are forced to walk distances searching for water in the neighboring communities. This has led to the outbreak of diarrhea and typhoid diseases.
The community has an approximated number of 45 households each containing a maximum of 10 people per household.
HYGIENE & SANITATION.
At least every house hold has a usable latrine in place though not a super structure. All the latrines are not covered and this exposes the community to the contamination of food and water.
The hand washing practice is less done in this community since most households have no hand washing stations in place.
Every house hold has a dish rack and cloth lines in place. A compost pit is also in place for dumping litter.
The community needs more knowledge on good hygiene and sanitation and BWP plans to train them on the proper practices using the PHAST methodology.
ASSESSING THE NEED.
The community is in great need for water which will be used for drinking, cooking, washing and watering of their domestic needs.
The project will be of great benefit to the community members.
With the help of the community’s local leadership, a strong water committee is to be formed. The water committee shall be in charge of all the operations and maintenance of the water project.
HYGIENE AND SANITATION TRAINING
The people of Sawawa community already had knowledge about proper hygiene and sanitation. Despite this knowledge, community members were driven by ignorance, tradition, and negative attitudes all running against good health. To counteract these attitudes, The Bridge Water Project carried out Hygiene and Sanitation training.
A good number of women and men attended training. The facilitator used different activities to inspire participants to action:
A) Community Mapping
Participants had to locate sanitation facilities in their community. They discovered water was being stored in unsafe locations, such as near dumping sites like toilets and compost pits. Furthermore, this water should not be stored at a lower grade than the toilet. It should be stored above in order to avoid contamination. Other households were storing water in lidless, dirty containers. These household also gathered water with the same container from which they drank. After these discoveries, participants learned about water storage and its treatment methods.
These posters showed two different activities: on person using a latrine and the other practicing open defecation near a river bank. The facilitator explained the negative effects of open defecation, the greatest being waterborne illness. Participants also learned from a set of posters that showed both good and bad hygiene practices. Through these activities, community members realized they had been practicing the bad.
C) Washing Hands
Community members were encouraged to practice proper hand-washing at all of the critical moments. They should wash after using the toilet, greeting people, touching dirt, and before eating. This should be done with both running water and soap or ash.
After training, participants promised to practice proper hygiene and sanitation in order to improve their health.
CONSTRUCTION AND COMPLETION
Once the Bridge Water Project team arrived, they gathered the community members chosen to help construction. With the close supervision of the masonry team, the community members mixed the sand and cement. The construction team hacked out the broken well pad, re-cemented, and then thoroughly plastered a new one. The well pad was then left to cure for several days.
After curing, the Afridev pump was installed. The pump completed the well, making it fit for the community's use. The community was overwhelmed with the joy of having working water again. The older people were even happier because this project's completion means no more walking to the hectic Sawawa River. You can find pictures of this joy below!