The Mang'uliro Community consists of people from the middle class, with most of them working as peasant farmers who grow sugarcane. Sugarcane is this area's main source of income, but farmers also plant short-seasoned crops like maize, beans, sweet potatoes and other vegetables. They also tend beehives. People of this community are God-fearing, worshiping in different churches such as Catholic, Seventh Day Adventist, PEFA and Friends Church Quakers. The people in this community have a certain set of beliefs used as a tool to guide them into harmonious and peaceful living. For instance, some of the beliefs include: Men are primarily responsible for their families. Men should look after livestock and do farm work. Women are responsible for doing household chores and looking after the children. Most of the women in this community have merry-go-rounds and table banking that helps them unite and support each other. The children in this community help their parents at home with chores like fetching water and wood when they're not in school.
The assistant chief of Mang'uliro saw the great need of his community and submitted a water project application to SAWASHI. The well in his community broke down, and he doesn't know any other way to repair it.
The Current Source
Community members are still using the well that broke down. Information about who installed this well and when it was installed is a mystery, but it's obvious that locals did not know how to repair the pump or find the parts to do so. Because of a broken pump, the well pad was broken in to so a rope and bucket could be lowered to fetch the water inside. Having the cover of this well removed opens it to contamination. Dirty rainwater washes back in and garbage is not kept out.
Locals use jerrycans to transport the water back home. Once home, they separate the water into clay pots for drinking and plastic containers for cooking and cleaning. After drinking water from the unprotected well, community members often report illnesses such as typhoid and diarrhea.
Over 75% of households have pit latrines. No open defecation was observed doing the initial visit to Mang'uliro. Almost half of the households have hand-washing stations near their latrines and bathing rooms, but none of these have soap or ash.
Some families dispose of their garbage in compost pits, while others throw it away in surrounding gardens and brush. The community is willing and ready to participate in upcoming hygiene and sanitation training to learn about how they can improve the health of their people. Housewife Margret Musanga says that, "Most of our homes are trying to observe hygiene and sanitation, but due to lack of proper knowledge, the hygiene is not maintained."
Proposed Solution: Training
Community members are required to fully participate in hygiene and sanitation training. Training will last for three days, and will teach about how to properly fetch, store and treat water, use latrines, wash hands, and prepare and store food.
Two hand-washing stations will be delivered so that the facilitator can demonstrate their use. These stations will then be given to the community for their personal use. The facilitator will use the PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Training) method to teach the above topics and more.
The well has sufficient water to carry the community through all four seasons. The well currently has no well pad and no pump, so a new well pad and Afridev pump will be installed.
Before the community can benefit from this well, they will be required to form a water user committee that will oversee operation and maintenance.
The training was held in the home of one of the the community members. The training was planned based on the specific training needs identified during the baseline study in the community. The participants were selected from each beneficiary household where at least one member from each household was to attend.
The meeting was attended by both men and women from the community. The attendance was average where most households set to benefit had a representative. There were more women than men in the training sessions. The community members actively participated in the training exercise by asking and answering questions.
Topics covered in the training sessions included:
- Relationship between the community and the development organization
- Identify the common diseases in the community, the seasons in which they occur and their causes
- Analyze the problem
- Differentiate between good and bad hygiene practices
- Disease transmission routes
- Identification of solutions
Training methods included group discussions, demonstrations, and opportunities for questions and answers.
From the training, the community members set targets that they will be working to achieve. These include opening of a bank account by the management committee, ensuring every home will have sanitation facilities, and ensuring that the water point is secure. The training was a success since the community members present all agreed to behavior change.
"Ignorance and attitude is the disease in this community. With the training will put the knowledge in practice to avoid treatment cost of typhoid," said Timina Museche, a female farmer in the community.
The existing well had a worn out well pad. The construction work begun by scrabbling of the old surface of the existing well pad leaving exposed bricks that were used previously. The cover of the shallow well was then removed giving room for leveling of the broken top- edges of the culvert lining that allowed runoff water to flow into the well. This was followed by plastering 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.
The well development (flushing) 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 a period of time.
Pump installation was done by fitting an Afridev pump base. This was followed by installing the riser main PVC pipes fitted with a cylinder at the bottom end. These were then fitted with anchor ropes and lowered into the well to the desired depth and later tied onto the steel plate on the pump head. Rods were fitted with a plunger at the bottom end and lowered, handle placed and cover fitted onto the pump head.
The community contributed sand used during the pad construction. They provided tools used in the process, such as a wheelbarrow. The community also contributed by preparing meals for the construction team during the construction process. A major challenge during this project was the weather as it impacted logistics and construction.
Benjamin Molenje, a local farmer said, "We appreciate for the implementation of the project. We will put in practice the knowledge of proper hygiene and sanitation so that we can improve our hygiene status to avoid waterborne diseases such diarrhea, cholera and typhoid. The management committee will be in charge of the maintenance and operation of our water project."
The community elected their leaders (Water User Committee) who are in charge of ensuring the operation and maintenance of the project. The community agreed among themselves to be contributing towards the sustainability of the project. SAWASHI will be directly involved in the monitoring, repair of the project through our Operations and Maintenance team.
The community came together on the handing over day. SAWASHI joined as an organization and commissioned the project officially and handed it over to the management committee of the project 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 this well is of great importance to the community. A majority of the community members were suffering from typhoid because of the poor hygiene practices. The pump will reduce time of fetching water and risk of contracting waterborne disease caused by the method drawing and handling water.
Thank you to all who made this project possible. Thank you for unlocking potential!