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).
Chesero is located in Abasonje Mukhuyu Village, Chesero Location, Kabras East Division, Kakamega North Sub-County of Kakamega County.
Chesero community is like many others; homesteads have green vegetation in their compounds as well as on their farms. The roads leading to this community are muddy, especially during the ongoing rainy seasons. Farming is the livelihood of this community. Most people grow maize and small-scale sugarcane plantations. Besides crop production, the community members also raise indigenous farm animals like cattle, goats, and poultry.
Women and children play a big role fetching water in this community. They are also the ones responsible for maintaining good hygiene and sanitation. Men are busy earning their daily bread for the family. Most young people have gone to urban areas in search of employment.
A drilled well (registration number C8568) was provided by the Kenya Finland company in the year 1990 so as to provide this community with access to an adequate clean water supply. The well served the community until 1992 when it broke down. The locals tried to repair the well without success. The well's hand pump was deemed unrepairable and thrown away.
Current Water Source
The community has access to Isiukhu piped water, which is a private company that supplies water to various parts of Western Kenya. However, this service is not very reliable, as it flows mostly two days per week at best. Also, water pipes are not thoroughly maintained by the company. Hence, women and children are forced to walk long distances to neighboring communities in search of water. This has led to outbreaks of diarrheal and typhoid diseases, which put children under five at great risk.
The community has approximately 200 households, each containing a maximum of 10 people. A nearby primary school has a population of 750 pupils.
(Editor’s Note: While this many people may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only support a population of 350-500 people. This community would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)
Hygiene and Sanitation
At least every household has a usable latrine, though without a superstructure. All the latrines are uncovered, which exposes the community to greater water and food contamination.
The practice of hand-washing is seldom seen since most households have no hand-washing stations. At least every household has a dish rack and clothesline in place. A compost pit is also present for the dumping of litter. These facilities are a good step towards a safe environment.
However, the community still needs more knowledge on good hygiene and sanitation.
Assessing the Need
The community is in great need of enough water for drinking, cooking, washing, cleaning, and watering.
The project will be of great benefit to the community members and the nearby school.
With the help of the community's local leadership and school management, a strong water committee is to be formed. The water committee shall be in charge of all the operations and maintenance of this water project.
Hygiene and Sanitation Training
Both men and women from Chesero Community attended training at one of the community member's homes.
The trainer noticed that even though participants already knew a bit about sanitation and hygiene, they had not yet adopted those good habits. The training aimed to educate community members about good hygiene and sanitation practices. This was done through group discussions that encouraged community members to share about the hygiene and sanitation situations within their own homes.
With the help of the facilitator, participants learned more about hand-washing techniques. This highlighted the critical moments to wash hands in order to avoid diarrhea-related diseases and other water-related diseases like typhoid, cholera and malaria.
The training also included sessions on how to properly handle food and water, as well as how to properly prepare meals. This includes peeling and washing of fresh food before eating, heating or reheating of cooked foods at high temperature shortly before eating, washing of the food preparation surface with soap and water, keeping flies off of food, covering water storage containers or using narrow neck containers and placing those where young children cannot get into them.
Well Pad Construction And Pump Installation
The construction team mobilized to the site in preparation for the construction of the well pad. Community members were present and ready to help where possible.
Having materials availed on the ground, the men began to work by hacking out the well pad for new plastering while others helped in cement work, collecting water from the stream to be used for construction work.
After curing of the well pad, the well was installed an Affridev pump and later handed over to the community.
Clean water is now flowing. Thank You to all who made this project possible!