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In many communities, natural springs exist as water flows from cracks in rocky ground or the side of a hill. Springs provide reliable water but that doesn’t mean safe. When left open they become contaminated by surface contamination, animal and human waste and rain runoff. The solution is to protect the source. First, you excavate around the exact source area of the spring. Then, you build a protective reservoir for water flow, which leads to a concrete spring box and collection area. Safe water typically flows year-round and there is very limited ongoing maintenance needed.
Facts & Stats
“On behalf of the community members, I take this opportunity to air out how not having enough clean drinking water has affected our lives. We have been undergoing many challenges like spending a lot of money in the hospital for medication and this has dragged us behind in terms of investing in business and farming. This has made us live in a world of poverty,” said Mrs. Khalai, community member.
Shitoto is in a rural, quiet area with no nearby industry. The area is vegetated due to good rainfall. There are diverse standards of living here manifested in the different types of homes ranging from mud to cement.
Most people here practice farming. They grow maize and bananas that help them in terms of food, and then they sell an excess in the market. It was harvest time when we were visiting and these community members had just harvested maize. They had even put some in the sun for drying so that they can pack it for future use. Most of the men in the community also ride motorbikes to taxi others for a small fee.
A normal day in the community starts at 6:30 am when men head straight out to make a living. Mothers prepare their children for school and undertake chores like washing utensils, sweeping the house, and going to fetch water from the spring. Mothers finish up at home and go to the farm. They must break again to prepare lunch though since students return home from school to eat.
The main water source for the 120 people living in this part of Shitoto is Simon Spring. It was surprising to see how close Simon Spring is to the main road. That allows bikers and other travelers to stop off and get a drink. But this water is dirty for many different reasons. Animals come and drink directly from the water, while community members dirty the water as they dunk their containers to fill them. Even more dangerous contaminants are washed into the water when it rains.
Protecting the spring will help keep the water is safe, adequate and secure. Construction will keep surface runoff and other contaminants out of the water. With the community’s high involvement in the process, there should be a good sense of responsibility and ownership for the new clean water source.
Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least two days. This training will ensure participants have the knowledge they need about healthy practices and their importance.
Training will also inform the community and selected families on what they need to contribute to make this project a success. They must mobilize locally available materials, such as bricks, clean sand, hardcore, and ballast. The five families chosen for sanitation platforms must prepare by sinking a pit for the sanitation platforms to be placed over. All community members must work together to make sure that accommodations and food are always provided for the work teams.
The information regarding this project was provided to Avana® by The Water Project. While the information contained within this website is periodically updated, no guarantee is given that the information provided in this website is correct, complete, and up-to-date.