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Sustainable Water Harvesting & Wetland Utilization in Butere Sub-County

Water, Sanitation & Health

Sustainable Water Harvesting & Wetland Utilization in Butere Sub-County

Project Objectives

This project was initiated in 1998 with the generous support from the Headley Trust, UK ( one of the Lord Sainsbury’s Trusts) and it envisaged to ensure that: community members from Butere/ Mumias district access clean potable water, better health and sanitation, clean environment, and better protected and utilized riverbeds. These objectives were realized through the following activities:

  • Protection of identified and naturally occurring water springs and construction of hand-dug wells fitted with hand pumps
  • Construction of VIP toilets for family members in the community and institutions (churches, schools, hospitals and administration centres)
  • Conducting training and awareness campaigns on personal hygiene, environmental hygiene and protection as well as sanitation.

Project Activities

To achieve these objectives, ROA adopted three strategies.

First it trained artisans to provide the much needed skilled labour in the protection of springs, digging of wells and construction of VIP toilets as well as their maintenance.

Secondly, it trained the Springs Management Committee members consisting of the chairperson, secretary, treasurer, cleanliness and hygiene in-charge (Mama Safi in Swahili language) and the land owner.

Finally, the committee was tasked with overseeing the daily use of the water points and toilets, general maintenance and repairs of these facilities.

Project Results

At the end of the project in 2004, it had yielded the following results:

SUB COUNTY SPRINGS HAND-DUG WELLS VIP TOILETS
Butere 29 5 30 twin door units
Lurambi 39 5 9 twin door units
Khwisero; 19 2 twin door units
TOTAL 87 8 41

The project had a significant impact on the community. The prevalence of morbidity associated with waterborne diseases in the project area reduced drastically. Schools that had insufficient or deplorable toilet facilities witnessed an improved performance of their students. The availability of clean and safe water enabled the community members to undertake other income generating activities using the commodity as a resource.

Further, the level of community awareness on hygiene and sanitation issues increased. With public health lessons and water now available in schools water related skin conditions, childhood diarrhea and worm infestation went down, according to available data.

Research Partner:

The Headley Trust, UK

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