Entering a new community can be a challenge. We always use water projects to enter a new community. Ordinarily women and children would be the ones to fetch water from springs.
These springs would be difficult to access, and the water would not be potable either. With the generous support of WHO Kenya country office, we started to protect the springs with men’s involvement and also involving or the would- be users of the spring to instill a sense of ownership. WHO funding came way back in 1995.
Later with the generous support of Ms Brigitte Frey of Switzerland, ROA embarked on a spring-protection program in 2007 in Eshinamwenyuli, Buchenya, Ebukoko, Bumamu, Eshitari, Shianda and Vihiga
This initiative enabled thousands of households to access clean and safe potable water. Should ROA secure an additional funding to support this cause, it intends to reach as many households as possible in years to come. Ultimately, the prevalence of waterborne diseases, distance traveled and time spent fetching water by women is expected to be drastically reduced in Kakamega and Vihiga Counties.
Accompanying spring protection was always aggressive teaching on personal health and sanitation.
A very good outcome related to gender here was that for the first time men appreciated where the women and children were getting water from, as they were involved in the excavation work during spring protection.