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
Namushiya Community is home to farming families; the men work all day on the land, and the women work in the home and at the markets. The majority of crops grown here are maize, bean, and potato.
If a young person can get their hands on a motorbike, they often choose to employ themselves with taxiing locals to and fro for money. This job tends to draw them away from school. When a child here stays in school, they will attend Namushiya Primary and then Namushiya Secondary School.
The school and community had always relied on the same water well. This well served the people for a long time, from the year 1987 when it was installed until 2007 when the pump was vandalized. Kenya Finland Company dug the shallow well in the school compound to give students and locals the chance to improve health, hygiene and sanitation. The area became so reliant on the source that when the pump was vandalized and removed, they constructed a hatch cover and started accessing water with a bucket and rope. The school and its neighbors still access the well's water on a daily basis, but consequently suffer from waterborne diseases such as typhoid and dysentery.
With a pump and a proper well pad, the water inside the well used to be safe for consumption. Since the pump was removed and the well pad degraded, water is now open to contamination from garbage and runoff that flows through the cracks during the rains. The bucket and rope contraption that is lowered inside the well also introduces dangerous contaminants from human hands and other sources. Community members also use another hand-dug well that is in the same state as this school well.
Because of the high rate of waterborne disease after using this well, mothers and children often walk long distances in search of safer sources.
A little over half of households in Namushiya have some type of latrine. Most of these are pits surrounded by a superstructure made of wood, mud, cow dung and grass. Not many families have bathing rooms, hand-washing stations, dish racks or clotheslines. We took pictures of what we could find and included them in the "See Photos & Video" section.
Even if there's a little knowledge about hygiene and sanitation practices here, it's being ignored because of the common belief that it's a hassle to take these steps.
Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training and Hand-Washing Stations
We met Isaac Lunani during our visit. He's noticed that "a large percentage of people in this community are diagnosed with typhoid and diarrhea. This is a result of poor hygiene practices like drinking untreated water and eating dirty food."
Our hygiene and sanitation training will address the above topics and many more. We will treat how to properly fetch, treat, and store water. We will train on proper food preparation and storage. Training will emphasize the importance of having and using a latrine, as well as having a place to wash hands and how to do so. We believe that hand-washing is one of the most important factors in preventing sickness, so the two hand-washing stations will be delivered by the project's completion.
Training will last for two days. Those who attend will form a water user committee that takes responsibility for overseeing and maintaining the rehabilitated well.
Plans: Well Rehabilitation
The schools and their neighbors claim that the well within the school compound has never dried. With a proper AfriDev pump and a new well pad, this source will become not only more sustainable, but safe. Out of the two wells in this area, this is the better choice for rehabilitation.
We measured a total depth of 8.4 meters and a static water level of 5.2 meters. The inside has a brick lining of a one meter diameter.
Rehabilitation will include reconstruction of the well pad, flashing, test pumping, treatment, and pump installation.
Once this project is complete, we and the community believe that waterborne disease will drastically decrease. Academic performance will increase in the local schools, and more time will be spent on economic activities in the community!