Upon completion of the project, our partner in the field reports...
When the team arrived, 63 families including a local Deliverance Church were dependent on various forms of surface water to sustain their immediate and growing water needs. Because of this and the community’s practice of open defecation, families were suffering from diarrhea and severe dehydration among other preventable water related illnesses. The community has access to shared communal facilities, pit latrines and a newly constructed pit latrine with a slab. The continued use of these facilities coupled with sustained hygiene promotion and an improved water source will help reduce the spread of disease in the area. The sole use of these facilities will also promote the adoption of good hygiene behaviors and practices. There are community health workers serving in the community who are working to better community health outcomes. Most residents are of Catholic or Muslim faith and the local church will help continue to cultivate believers by using the provision of safe drinking water to share the good news. During the team’s stay, community members assembled a water committee who assisted the team with the water project whenever possible, supplied any materials they had available and guarded the team’s equipment. Water committees are typically comprised of 5 to 7 members who are trained in various aspects of well and water management. The established water committee will help maintain the well after the team leaves the area.
Upon arrival in Kenshunga Community, the Living Water team conducted a baseline survey to better determine lessons to teach and to better monitor hygiene lessons learned. Following a community baseline survey, a feedback meeting was held with community members, triggering drawing up of a sanitation improvement action plan. Joint home improvement verification visits were done with local leaders. During the hygiene education, and using a Community Led Total Sanitation approach the following principle hygiene issues were addressed: Hand washing, how to properly transport and store water, disease transmission and prevention, how to maintain proper care of the pump, as well as signs and symptoms of dehydration and how to make Oral Rehydration Solution. All of these lessons are taught in a participatory method to help community members discover ways to improve their hygiene and sanitation choices, and implement community driven solutions. After they hygiene education the community constructed tippy taps for single household use and a pit latrine with a slab.
Community Member Interview
The team had an opportunity to meet with 37-year-old community member and former civil servant, Leonard, who stated, "As a medical practitioner, I have treated many members of this village suffering from water and sanitation related diseases. I, and the entire village have waited for such a long time to witness a safe clean drinking water source in our village. Thank you living water for finally making our dreams come true."