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).
Welcome to the Community
Lurambi Church of Light was started in 1992 with the purpose of being an educational and spiritual center for the surrounding community. Through the efforts of this church, an early education program was started, benefiting many young children. In the year 1998, the church also started an agricultural program to plant crops such as sweet potatoes, cassava, bananas, and many other different kinds of vegetables. This program trains community members on the importance of growing crops to decrease poverty. To boost this agricultural program, the church dug a well on its grounds, reducing the distance from the community to clean water.
The people around Lurambi Church of Light are peasant farmers who practice smallscale farming. Their crops of sugarcane, maize, beans, vegetables, bananas, sweet potatoes and cassava generate all of their income. Most women and children can be seen hawking at the nearby shopping center selling bananas, vegetables and sweet potatoes. Since most of the fields here are very small, income is low, and so are the living standards.
Though men are considered to be the heads of their families, both men and women work equally hard on and off the farms. Children are educated in the church program, and most locals are Christians.
This specific area is home to about 600 people from about 30 different households. Yes, it's normal for an average of 20 people to live in one household compound - Extended families live and work together! (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 that adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)
Since the hand-dug well was installed, community members have relied on it as their main water source. A bucket is tied to a rope and lowered inside to retrieve water, which can be taxing on small children. It’s also dangerous, since the hole is large enough for a toddler to fall into! And since the well is not covered, it is unprotected from outside contamination.
When women or children get their fetched water home, it is separated into containers by use. Drinking water is stored in covered clay pots, since the clay keeps water cooler than plastic. Water for domestic use is kept uncovered. Keeping drinking water covered doesn’t change the fact that the water is already unsafe for drinking. Surface runoff, dirt, and garbage washes into the well when it rains! Users don’t have any knowledge of water treatment, and often complain of stomachaches, diarrhea, and typhoid after drinking. Though the well that was dug by the church makes water more accessible for the church members and neighbors, they are still suffering from ill health.
Over half of homes in this area have some form of pit latrine. Most of these are made of mud and have cloth draped over the entrance for a little privacy. We couldn’t find and hand-washing stations, but we spotted a few other helpful tools like dish racks and clotheslines.
Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training
Community members will be trained for two days on applicable hygiene and sanitation practices. The facilitator will use the PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Training) method to teach about topics like: Importance of Using Latrines, Good and Bad Hygiene Behavior, Water Treatment, Water Storage, Food Preparation and Storage, Disease Transmission Routes, Blocking the Spread of Disease, and last but not least, Hand-Washing!
Training will result in the formation of a water user committee which will oversee, manage, and maintain the rehabilitated well.
Plans: Hand-Washing Stations
Two hand-washing stations are scheduled for delivery by the time well rehabilitation is complete. Training participants will be taught the steps to effective hand-washing, and of the importance of using a cleaning agent such as soap or ash. Water user committee members will also check that there is water inside the containers on a daily basis.
Plans: Well Rehabilitation
The community affirms that this well has sufficient water that will supply them throughout all seasons. It already has a brick lining, and a total depth of 10.2 meters. The static water level is 7.6 meters.
The rehabilitation process will include material collection, pad reconstruction, flushing, test pumping, water quality testing, water treatment, and then pump installation.
Thank You for noticing Lurambi Church of Light Community’s need for a water, sanitation and hygiene project that will unlock great potential!