Rehabilitation of Kharakha Community Water Point
Safe Water & sustainable Hygiene Initiative (SAWASHI) mission is to enhance access to safe, convenient and reliable drinking water through drilling & equipping of boreholes, rehabilitation of boreholes and shallow wells, spring protections and offering long-term operation and maintenance support. Since its inception in 2016, the organization in partnership with development partners has drilled and equipped over 20 boreholes, rehabilitated over 30 boreholes and supported long-term functionality monitoring and operation and maintenance of over 150 existing village hand-pumps, as a result providing reliable water service to over 30,000 people in Western Kenya.
Despite being a signatory to the ambitious United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 6, Kenya remains a water-scarce country accounting for 3% of the proportion of people without safe drinking water globally. Communities in Western Kenya recorded a rapid increase in the coverage of people accessing clean water (from 9% to 64%) during the period 1981–2000 through the (Kenya Finland Cooperation) KEFINCO program. By 2008, coverage had fallen to 46% partly because of the rapid population growth in Western Kenya and the poor supply chain for some of the hand-pump technologies.
Although spring protection and installation of hand-pumps on shallow hand-dug wells and boreholes remains the most appropriate technologies for rural Western Kenya, many communities have been cut off their precious water points due to the failure of their hand-pumps. The Nira-85 hand-pump, which had been utilized as a shallow well hand-pump was not widely used elsewhere in Kenya. Unlike the Afridev hand-pumps, the NIRA-85 hand-pump was not supported in Kenya with an effective system of spare parts and technical back-up. This has impacted negatively the sustainability of these communal water points.
Recently, SAWASHI in partnership with The Fernandes Barasa Foundation rehabilitated a KEFINCO well that was constructed in 1985 and fitted it with an Afridev hand-pump in Kharakha village, in Malava Sub-county. According to the community members, their NIRA-85 hand-pump was vandalized in 1999 but due to lack of a supporting operation and maintenance mechanism, they resorted to drawing water from the well-using containers tied with ropes. The community members have previously reached out to well-wishers to have their water point rehabilitated, all in vain. The rehabilitated well now serves approximately 45 households and a neighbouring Seventh Day Adventist church.
Community members expressed their optimism throughout the rehabilitation period. Their active participation was evident enough to the undying hope of restoring their water point into an improved functional state. SAWASHI has enrolled the water point into their operation and maintenance program, to ensure the community continues to receive a reliable service over time. This is just one of the many communal water points that SAWASHI has rehabilitated in western Kenya impacting target communities positively. Many communities in Western Kenya remain un-served and continue to access water from unprotected sources yet they have viable boreholes, shallow wells and springs, that if rehabilitated, will not only improve the proportion of people accessing clean water but will help safeguard precious development support into rural water infrastructure as we work towards SGD No. 6 targets by the year 2030.
SAWASHI’s mission is to enhance access to drinking to all communities in dire need in western Kenya. Join us in this noble mission.