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).
Kuvasali Health Centre is located in Kuvasali Village, Chesero Location, East Kabras Division, Malava Sub-County of Kakamega County.
Kuvasali Health Centre started in the year 1978 through efforts of the community members in response to problems accessing health services. In the year 1986, the Kenyan government took over the Health Centre operations and constructed permanent buildings at the site. This enabled the facility to start offering maternity health services, along with in and outpatient services to treat other endemic diseases in the community.
The facility provides a range of preventative and curative services, including immunizations and community outreach programs. The facility's maternity wing has an 8-bed capacity.
The facility has a drilled borehole (C7078). The borehole was drilled by Kenya Finland Company to a depth of 50 m and an Afridev pump was installed. The well stopped working in the year 2012 after unsuccessful attempts to repair. This interrupted the reliable and affordable water supply the Health Centre enjoyed.
A woman who wishes to deliver her baby at the facility must provide a 20 liter jerrican of water that is normally fetched from an unprotected spring.
Current Water Source
The facility currently has access to an unprotected stream that is 2 km away. The stream is highly contaminated from day-to-day various human activities.
Approximately 1000-1500 patients visit the facility at any given month. The facility has the following staff: 1 clinical officer, 1 nurse, 6 lab technicians, 1 community health extension officer, 1 peer educator, 3 community health workers, and 9 volunteers. According to facility records, at least 1500 different people were served by the well.
(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
The facility has seven ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines distributed among patients and staff, five and two consecutively. The facilities are washed only once a day due to a shortage of water. Hand-washing sinks were installed 10 paces away from the latrines, though there was no water in them or any soap when assessed.
The facility also has one bathing room, where patients bathe themselves using water from a bucket. The facility stores solid waste in a secure compost pit. The facility has a kitchen where food for both patients and staff are cooked. The kitchen was in good sanitary condition and well-ventilated. The facility engaged in health promotion by training patients about proper hygiene. But a brief survey of the neighboring homesteads revealed poor hygiene and sanitation practices. Most households had no hand-washing stations, and only a few had constructed a dish rack. The hospital reports that they treat a great number of diarrhea and typhoid cases.
Assessing the Need
Limited access to reliable and affordable clean water has negatively impacted the hygiene and sanitation conditions of the facility. The facility accommodates a high number of people at any given time who need access to more reliable water. The quality of maternal health services has been limited. Prevalence of diarrhea and typhoid diseases in the community places a heavy burden on the facility, and its capacity is often overwhelmed. Rehabilitating the well will provide patients and staff with the water they need. Bridge Water Project will also provide them with beneficial hygiene and sanitation training.
If Kuvasali Health Centre has a working well, both patients and staff will benefit, as well as community households around the facility.
The Kuvasali Health Centre Management Committee is organized and ready to take responsibility operating, managing, and maintaining the water supply.
Hygiene and Sanitation Training
Kuvasali Health Centre is a facility that serves a huge population of people from the immediate community and other neighboring communities. In order to reach the target population, a contact person from the area was used to mobilize both male and female community members.
More than 25 women and 15 men were present for the training. The partner took advantage of the fact that they were working at a health facility, using both health workers and their own staff to facilitate training. Since its first days in the community, the Kuvasali Health Centre has had a great impact in the areas of hygiene and sanitation. The health workers have extended outreach services meant to train the communities on good hygiene and sanitation practices.
During the training, the community members learned about the following areas:
1. Consumption of clean and safe water:
- Treat all water used for drinking and cooking by chlorination, filtration or boiling to reduce pathogens.
- Always cover water storage containers or use narrow neck containers.
- Extract water from a tap or with a clean utensil such as a dipper.
- Place containers where young children cannot get into them.
- Always use different (clean) vessel to transfer water for drinking.
- Prevent anyone from putting his/her hands into the drinking water vessel, especially children.
- Clean the water storage container twice a week with soap.
2. Always safely dispose of feces and other wastes:
- Have young children always use a potty, washable diapers or disposable diapers.
- Always dispose of feces in a latrine or toilet.
- Always wash the potty or washable diapers with soap and ensure that the dirty water from washing ends up in a latrines.
- Consistently put disposable diapers in covered garbage containers that are part of a solid waste disposal system.
3. Wash hands with soap or ash at critical times:
- Always use correct hand-washing techniques .i.e. Rub at least three times, especially fingers; use a cleansing agent; use dripping or running water if possible; air dry.
- Always wash at critical moments, i.e. After going to the bathroom, before eating, feeding, or cooking.
4. Prepare and store food safely:
- Always peel or wash fresh food before eating.
- Always heat or reheat cooked foods at a high temperature shortly before eating.
- Wash food preparation surface with soap and water.
- Never consume animal products that have been improperly prepared.
- Keep flies off of food by covering it.
The Sawashi construction team mobilized to Kuvasali Health Centre for the construction of the well pad. The community members together with the assistant chief were present and helped in mobilizing the local materials as women helped in fetching of water for construction. Despite the fact that it was a rainy season making the work a bit challenging, the workers had to ensure that the work was well done and completed.
The community members also prepared food for the team.
The work was well done and the pad was left to cure for four days.
Pump Installation And Handing Over
Once the pad was cured, the service team mobilized for pump installation. The process was well done without any problems. During this process, a good number of community members were present eagerly waiting to receive their rehabilitated water system and enjoy its services.
The well was then handed over to the beneficiaries.
During handing over ceremony, the medical officer in charge of the facility said that the presence of the rehabilitated well will have a great impact on the health centre and the community at large.
He further said that there will be no more problems of disease outbreaks and deliveries since there is enough water.
Thank you for partnering with this community to make safe water a reality! This is not possible without you.