This project is a part of our shared program with Safe Water and Sustainable Hygiene Initiative (SAWASHI). Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).
This area has an approximate population of 300 people from 30 different families.
Kakoyi Corner Community is inhabited by people who are mostly peasant farmers growing sugarcane as their main cash crop. They also grow maize and beans among other short-seasoned crops. The men are the main breadwinners in the family unit. Women, on the other hand, do several activities such as running small businesses where they sell vegetables and fruits and other commodities.
Most children in this community access their education from the neighboring public school which offers free primary education.
Kakoyi Corner Community members are primarily Christians who fellowship in different denominations like Catholic, Pentecostal Assembles of God (P.A.G), Friends Quaker Church and Pentecostal Evangelical Fellowship of Africa (P.E.F.A).
The Current Source
An outgoing old man very much concerned with his community’s welfare and development, Mr. Moses Kona Wemayasia was born in 1945. He worked as a community health worker until 1990, when he decided to retire and become a farmer.
As an influential person in this community, Mr. Wemayasia was elected by the community members to act as the chairperson in charge of water and other related development projects. Through his guidance, a well was dug by the Kenya Finland Company in the year 1980. It was in operation until now, when the pump system has reached its last moments of service: It now takes 15‐20 minutes for water to flow. Looking at the pump, every kind of repair has been done to try to keep it working. The well pad is also cracked and allows dirty water and general surface runoff inside again.
"Few efforts were done by the Kenya Finland company to sensitize the community on how to maintain the water project. This in turn has seen some of the community members not supportive in maintaining the water source," said Mr. Wemayasia. "We can no longer access the spare parts for the Nira pump in the local market. We are therefore excited to have friends who are coming in to save the situation so as the livelihood of our people can continue to flourish," he added.
20-liter containers are brought to the well to fetch its water. These containers do not have covers and were observed to be in dirty condition. Once home, the water is poured into call pots. After drinking this unprotected well's water, community members report typhoid and diarrhea. Mr. Kona has expressed the need for community sensitization and capacity building of the water user committee so as to keep the anticipated rehabilitation project useful to the community and generations to come.
Over 75% of households have pit latrines. Most of these latrines are semi-permanent structures with doors, but the pit holes are not covered. This allows bad odor and flies to leave the facility and contaminate the surrounding environment. No hand-washing stations or tippy taps were seen in the area. The majority of families dispose of their garbage in large, open spaces behind their compounds.
After the initial visit, it was obvious that community members have mixed attitudes about hygiene and sanitation. It seems half of them have knowledge about good health practices, while the other half lives ignorant to them.
Two more hand-washing stations will be installed in the form of "tippy taps." Tippy taps are containers tied to ropes, which tip to pour water for hand-washing. Community members will learn how and when to use these stations during hygiene and sanitation training.
Community members will be trained for three days on hygiene and sanitation topics. Some of these topics are:
- Proper water storage and effective treatment
- Food preparation, handling, and storage
- Forming an effective water user committee
The water user committee will fund repairs, maintain, and keep the well site secure.
The training facilitator plans to use the PHAST (Participatory Health and Sanitation Training) method to teach the above topics and more, and will return in July to hold a refresher training, check the new well, and assess if the community has made any progress.
The training was held at the shopping center of Kakoi Corner. The training needs were identified based on what the team learned during the baseline study. A training program was developed from these needs. This being a market center, most users are market dwellers, business owners and passers by. The participants were drawn from the surrounding households, the various beneficiaries at the market center, and business owners. The congregation comprised of both men and women. The participants participated actively during the training by asking and answering question. The training was also attended by Local leadership in the area represented by the area chief and village elder.
Topics covered during the training included:
- Relationship between the community and the development organization
- Identify the common diseases in the community and the seasons in which they occur and there causes
- Analyze the problem
- Differentiate between good and bad hygiene practices
- Disease transmission routes
- Identification of solutions
- Health problems in the community
- Good and bad hygiene behaviors
- Investigating community practices
- How disease spread
- Blocking the spread of diseases
- Taking time for questions
As a result of the training, concerns were raised by the community members to their local village elders and leaders to ensure that every house hold and hotel has sanitation facilities like a compost pit, dish rack, clothe line, and pit latrines. Community members acknowledged the importance of securing their water point and resolved to install a chain to lock and regulate pumping.
Peris Mwatia, a local resident, said, "The well has sufficient water that will serve the community and the market population. This project will benefit our future generation. This water helps us at the market center in our daily duties as business men and women."
The construction work started by scabbing of the old surface of the existing well pad, leaving a rough surface. The cover of the shallow well was removed and leveling was done on the broken top edges of the lining that allowed runoff water to flow into the well. This was followed by the plastering of the pad by applying a mixture of cement and sand. The finishing of the well pad was done by lining the plastered well pad with a coat cement mixed with waterproof cement. This was then left to dry for several days.
Well development was done through airlifting by a compressor on site to clean the well. Test pumping of this well was conducted using a submersible pump. Constant rate test was used where pumping was done at a constant discharge over the period of time. Pump installation followed where an Afridev pump base was installed. Riser main PVC pipes were fitted with a cylinder at the bottom end and then anchor ropes tied to it. The pump cylinder was lowered into the well to the desired depth and later tied onto the steel plate on the pump head. Rods were inserted into the well, the handle attached, and the cover fitted onto the pump head.
The community contributed sand used during the pad construction. They provided tools used in the process such as wheelbarrows. The residents engaged actively during all stages of construction by teaming up with the implementation team and helping with the activities. They also contributed by preparing meals for the implementation team during the construction process.
The weather was a challenge because the constructed pad was damaged due to heavy rains on the construction day. There was also a delay in the installation of the pump due to the supplier of pumps failing to deliver all parts on time.
The community formed a Water User committee whose role is to oversee the operation and maintenance of the water project. The members resolved to contribute towards the sustaining of the project. Our partner will provide constant monitoring of the project and provide repair services in times of need through their Operation and Maintenance team.
The day the project was handed over to the community, the beneficiaries gathered around the well. We joined as an organization and commissioned the project officially and handed it over to the management committee to oversee its operation and maintenance. Leaders from our organization gave a brief talk to the members gathered around. Representatives from the community gave a vote of thanks and expressed the community members' joy.
The rehabilitation of Kakoyi Corner community well is of great help to the business people and the community around. Clean and safe water, basic latrines, and good hygiene practices are essential for the survival and development of businesses in the center and the entire community around.
Thank you to all who made this project possible. Thank you for unlocking potential!