Our goals this past week were to gain the support of the Water and Sanitation of Vihiga, the county, the village elders, and most importantly the community. We also wanted to hire a mason, also known as a contractor, who will be building the fence, the repairs to the pipe of the water springs and building the stairs.
This past week we decided to add one more spring into the pilot project. We want to ensure we are able to monitor and evaluate the success of the pilot project. From speaking to officials and village elders we realize to obtain quantitative data of the entire catchment population of Wasundi village, we need to include all three springs. The third spring is called Iskira. Iskira water spring is in quite good condition compared to the other two springs, which was initially why we thought we would only include the two springs.
Iskira water springs:
We began on Monday with a meeting in Sabatia with the Water and Sanitation official. The gentleman we met gave his approval for the pilot water springs project. He let us know he was very pleased we had come to gain his support and advice. The Water and Sanitation representative agreed to give us proper sketches of each of the water springs. We will share these sketches with the mason to ensure the springs are not altered in any way when he repairs the pipe. Also, the sketches and village elder will help the mason know the perimeter for the fence of each spring without building on anyone’s private property. The Water and Sanitation official also agreed to attend and speak at the barazza.
Secondly this week the local Alison and I are working with helped us find a mason (contractor) who had done similar work with water springs. We met with the mason on Thursday to view the springs, discuss labor costs and sign a contract. The team and the mason walked to the view each spring so that he would be able to get a better visual of the work to be completed and whether or not he feel confident taking on the job. After viewing the springs we sat down and discussed the needed supplies, cost of labor and a work plan/timeline. On Friday the mason sign his contract. This Monday the mason and his team will begin working on the first spring- Wakidamane. We are estimating that Wakidamane spring will take about three weeks to complete, and then we will move onto Keneswa spring.
On Friday we held the community barazza to let the community know about the project and gain their support. We also wanted to provide an opportunity for them to voice any concerns. The barazza was held outside, in an area that was central to all three springs in Wasundi village. We had representatives from the Water and Sanitation, the Ministry of Health (MOH), a village elder from each of the springs, and the chief of the area. Each representative introduced him or herself and gave a small speech about the water springs project. Many community individuals came up after the barazza to communicate how happy they are for the work to be completed on the three springs, which was very reassuring.
Some pictures from the barazza:
The mason and village elders:
The chief and village elder