Ematende is one of nine villages that make up Ingotse sub-location in Western Province, Kenya. The patriarchal community has the common profession of farming sugar cane, maize, and millet that acts as the main source of income for families.
Ematende’s Village Health Committee (VHC) was formed in 2003 to address the growing concern of community health with the rise of cases of malaria and HIV/AIDS infection. The 17 men and women who comprise the VHC work closely with local Community Health Workers (CHWs) that operate under Kenya’s Ministry of Public Health. The objective of both groups is to educate and give advice on preventable diseases to improve local health starting at the home-based level.
There exists a high level of malarial cases and other water-borne illnesses like bilharzia, typhoid and dysentery. These frequent diseases create a continuing challenge of missed work, student absenteeism, health care costs, and overall mortality.
The Ministry of Health declares that an estimated 20% of all death in children under the age of 5 years is due to malaria (2006) and Nets for Life Africa reports that 170 million work days are lost annually.
Malaria is the leading disease in Ematende, affecting an average of 85 people every month. There is a 10% increase in the number of cases during the country’s rainy season from early March to September. Elevated malaria transmission occurs at this time because temperatures are high and create more water pools that provide breeding sites for the malaria vectors.
This project is to build a protected water spring in a central location of the community.
The project will mitigate waterborne diseases by providing a resource to keep drinking water contamination to a minimum and help decrease the potential of malaria cases.
The local Village Health Committee has identified an existing natural spring that will be dug out and encased in waterproof concrete. An elevated metal outlet pipe provides easy access for community members, who will place their jerry-cans underneath the pipe to collect water that has not yet hit the ground, and thus has not been contaminated by standing groundwater.
The new infrastructure will be accessible to 43 households that will use it as their primary source of water. A clean water initiative will promote healthier living and sanitation to a wide audience.
Water Charity funds will be used to purchase the materials to build the protected spring. The project will require 400 bricks, waterproof cement, a metal pipe, a trailer of sand, wire mesh, and the transportation of materials.
The Village Health Committee will facilitate the process by excavating the site before construction and by donating their own money to purchase the bricks needed for the foundation. In addition, they will provide their labor along with the services of a local engineer who has previous experience in building protected water springs.
About 250 people will benefit from the project.
Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
The protected water spring will provide ready access to clean water, resulting in a decrease in the average number of malaria cases.
Latham previously completed the Bushiri Rural Health Demonstration Center Water Project – Kenya.
Dollar Amount of Project
Donations Collected to Date
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Donations of any amount will be appreciated. The full amount will give you “naming rights”, if that is something you would like.
Any contributions in excess of the Dollar Amount of Project will be allocated to other projects directed by this PCV and/or projects of other PCVs in this country.
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This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.