May 27, 2020

Sondu Water Enterprise Final Report

Introduction

Safe Water & AIDS Project (SWAP) uses an integrated entrepreneurial approach addressing a number of public health issues by working with already existing community structures. SWAP has been operating in Western Kenya since 2005 with public health programs and research contributing towards the achievement of sustainable development goals. SWAP’s mission is to provide innovative solutions where everyone enjoys high quality of life.

Achievements

The water kiosk committee members have undergone several trainings to prepare them for the management of the Sondu Water Enterprise and in January 2020 they were put on probation selling water without much external support. They had opened a bank account and so far have been able to sustain themselves, paying the water operators and other operational costs from the revenue from the water sales and public toilet sales. SWAP was still visiting them for monitoring and mentorship.

The water kiosk committee members recruited a male kiosk operator in addition to the already two female kiosk operators to assist in cleaning of the kiosk tanks, cleaning the compound, water pumping at the river site and other technical duties.

In April 2020 the water kiosks members cleaned the two storage tanks and re-enforced the cover of the 5000-liter tanks which was not stable.

Since January 2020 Sondu Water Enterprise managed the sales of water and sanitation services to the community without any technical interruptions. They received very good cooperation from the community where there is increased awareness about the importance of safe water and general hygiene.

Currently the revenue at Sondu Water Enterprise is at average 7000 Kenya Shillings per month. At the end of May 2020, their bank account had accumulated 21,000 Kenya shillings, which they started operating in January 2020 at the start of their probation period.

The sales data show a peak in February 2020, this was when it was relatively dry season and greater demand for water. In March 2020 there was excessive and erratic rain, which triggered communities to harvest rain water for household use.

COVID 19

In March 2020 the first COVID 19 case was reported in Kenya. SWAP joined the Ministry of Health as member of the COVID 19 response team to support with distribution of hand washing stations, soaps, personal protective equipment to public health facilities, hot spots and capacity building on COVID 19 prevention and hygiene promotion.

The Sondu Water Enterprise became a center where hygiene promotion and demonstration of hand washing was done to costumers collecting water as well as the general public. Additional hand washing stations and soap were provided by SWAP to facilitate the same.

In April 2020 SWAP facilitated a water kiosk committee meeting that was attended by all members to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and how they can prevent themselves and help the community. Other deliberations were to discuss strategies on how to continue generate income. The committee members agreed apart from water sales and sanitation services to sell other health and hygiene products such as chlorine solution, soaps and jerry-cans.

In the month of May 2020, the kiosk committee received a donation of supplies to contribute to the COVID 19 response from one of the stakeholders, the Kenya Water for Health Organization (KWAHO). They received hand washing soap and hand sanitizers which was distributed to the community members.

Challenges

During the period of reporting there was excessive rain and as a result rivers burst its bank and several houses were destroyed after being submerged by water affecting many of the neighboring communities around Sondu. Crops were destroyed affecting their food supply and livelihood of already vulnerable communities. Many families had to vacate their houses and seek accommodation in temporary established evacuation camps set up at schools and churches. SWAP supported with stakeholders from the humanitarian hub, the flood response to prevent outbreaks and mitigate the impact by issuing supplies such as water treatment, hand washing stations, soaps, sanitary pads, diapers, solar lamps and food items. Some of the supplies included the jerry cans and soaps which were sold at the Sondu Water Enterprise.

Another challenge is the economic losses and increased poverty in the area due to COVID 19 and flood. This has also seen an increase in insecurity and crime. Many of the workforce lost their employment and businesses failed to thrive due to restricted movements and Government regulations. Schools closed and school children were regular costumers at Sondu Water Enterprise. With more families going hungry, some fail to pay for water sold at Sondu Water Enterprise and revert back to collecting water from the river which is highly contaminated and unfit for human consumption.

Way forward

From its establishment in 2016 to date, the Sondu Water Enterprise has become sustainable and is now managed by the local water committee who have been well prepared and trained to take over. The committee members have diversified skills and expertise and have all been given roles and responsibilities. Their responsibilities include enhancing security, service and maintenance, supervision of the water operators, monitoring of the record keeping and revenue collection, reconciling bank statements, deposits in the bank. Water quality, marketing among others.

We agreed on an initial probation period, which has now ended. The ceremonial handing over had to be postponed due to the restrictions during COVID 19. SWAP will be still occasionally pass by for mentorship and water testing, but we have confidence that this can now be community owned and managed in a sustainable way.

We therefore will no longer report moving forward, but want to take this opportunity to thank all well- wishers and donors, who have contributed to this journey to self-reliance, turning a water enterprise into a sustainable local managed enterprise. Any donations will still be channeled to Sondu Water Enterprise and will go towards support to help them prevent COVID 19 spread.

 

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT !!

 

 


Attachments:
Jan 31, 2020

SONDU WATER ENTERPRISE NOV 2019 - JANUARY 2020

Introduction

Safe Water & AIDS Project (SWAP) uses an integrated entrepreneurial approach addressing a number of public health issues by working with already existing community structures. SWAP has been operating in Western Kenya since 2005 with public health programs and research contributing towards the achievement of sustainable development goals.

SWAP’s vision is to see a healthy and empowered community where everyone enjoys high quality of life.

SWAP’s mission is to provide innovative solutions for improved health and economic status of our communities

Background Information

Sondu Water Enterprise is located at Sondu in Kisumu County, bordering Kericho, Nyamira and Homabay Counties in Western Kenya. The population residing in Sondu largely depend on the river source water for domestic use, which is highly turbid and contaminated. The river traverses three counties thus increasing contamination along its channel before emptying into Lake Victoria. Laboratory tests on microbiological quality have revealed that the source has high coliform count and fecal contamination.

Sondu Water Enterprise

The Safe Water Enterprise was launched in July 2016. This was a collaborative initiative between Skyjuice Foundation (Australia) and Siemens Stiftung (Germany) in partnership with SWAP. Through this intervention the surrounding community members now have access to safe water, which has significantly reduced waterborne diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, typhoid and amoeba and as such reduced morbidity and mortality especially in children under five. Besides the access to safe water, the community members are also offered health education on hygiene and safe water systems and services of a public toilet with a hand washing station which has been established for public use at the site.

Activities

During the period of reporting there was excessive rain and as a result several houses submerged under water affecting many of the neighboring communities around Sondu. Crops were destroyed affecting their food supply and livelihood of already vulnerable communities. Many families had to vacate their houses and seek accommodation in temporary established evacuation camps set up at schools and churches. SWAP supported with other stakeholders the flood response to prevent outbreaks and mitigate the impact by issuing supplies such as water treatment, hand washing stations, soaps, sanitary pads, diapers, solar lamps and food items. Some of the supplies included the jerry cans which were sold at the Sondu Water Enterprise.

The rain and flooding made communities more at risk for diarrheal illness and required affirmative action to sensitize communities on the need for safe drinking water and proper sanitation. Sales continued to increase every month as more awareness was created in the community.

KIWASH, Kenya Water Sanitation and Hygiene Project, supported the regular monitoring of the business, mainly focusing on proper record keeping and mentorship towards ownership and sustainability.

SWAP ensured that water was fit for human consumption by testing for E coli and Coliform. In all the tests the water was found free of pathogens.

Siemens supported the technical training on the usage of a pump and safety measures after a new pump was donated by Siemens and installed at the site. A training of the water operators and 9 members of the local water committee took place on the 5th of December 2020.

The training further focused on the purpose for maintaining the Sondu Water Enterprise and turning it into a sustainable community owned enterprise. Refresher training was done on how to do the Social Marketing, which Marketing tools to use and record keeping. There was group work done for the local committee to come up with a sustainability plan.

A Professor from the University of Illinois together with SWAP visited the site to learn lessons and explore the scaling up of similar activities at other sites.

The local committee supported the cleaning of the environment and removed the dumping site of garbage which was located next to the Sondu Water Enterprise and which was a health hazard.

The public latrine was recognized as a good source of revenue, since no public toilets were found in the market place. Hand washing was promoted and encouraged after use of the latrine. Jerry cans were also sold at the enterprise to increase revenue.

Calendars were given out in January 2020 to reward loyal and good costumers as incentive to continue use the Sondu Water Enterprise. The calendar further displayed photo’s and hygiene messages and were used as marketing tool.

The local water committee was in January 2020 put on a probation period with minimal external support to see if they can manage and own the Sondu Water Enterprise and if they are able to meet all the costs to ensure ongoing water sales. The plan is to monitor this for three months and review monthly to deliberate on any challenges they meet or any support they feel is still essential for them to operate independently.

Way Forward

  • SWAP will support the renewal of the business permit which is paid once per year.
  • Review of sales versus expenses to monitor sustainability
  • Employment of one additional part time operator to help pumping the water at the river.
  • Invest in some more jerry cans which are sold at the enterprise
  • Create place for seedlings and a tree nursery projects as additional business.
  • Awareness creation at hotels, schools, churches, weddings and funerals
  • The local water committee members plan to invest in savings and loans to boost their income and invest in other individual business plans.
  • Plans to procure a cooler box to store cold water for drinking especially during the hot season.
  • Local Water Committee to ensure transparency and report track revenue and expenses and share this with the other members on weekly basis
  • Following review and evaluation of first quarter, handing over ceremony to local water committee with the presence of community leaders and WASH partners

Attachments:
Nov 4, 2019

Sondu Water Enterprise - November 2019

Introduction

Safe Water & AIDS Project (SWAP) uses an integrated entrepreneurial approach addressing a number of public health issues by working with already existing community structures. SWAP has been operating in Western Kenya since 2005 with public health programs and research contributing towards the achievement of sustainable development goals.

SWAP’s vision is to see a healthy and empowered community where everyone enjoys high quality of life.

SWAP’s mission is to provide innovative solutions for improved health and economic status of our communities

Background Information

Sondu Water Enterprise is located at Sondu in Kisumu County, bordering Kericho, Nyamira and Homabay Counties in Western Kenya. The population residing in Sondu largely depend on the river source water for domestic use, which is highly turbid and contaminated. The river traverses three counties thus increasing contamination along its channel before emptying into Lake Victoria. Laboratory tests on microbiological quality have revealed that the source has high coliform count and fecal contamination.

Sondu Water Enterprise

The Safe Water Enterprise was launched in July 2016. This was a collaborative initiative between Skyjuice Foundation (Australia) and Siemens Stiftung (Germany) in partnership with SWAP. Through this intervention the surrounding community members now have access to safe water, which has significantly reduced waterborne diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, typhoid and amoeba and as such reduced morbidity and mortality especially in children under five. Besides the access to safe water, the community members are also offered health education on hygiene and safe water systems and services of a public toilet with a hand washing station which has been established for public use at the site.

Activities

During this period the communities were sensitized on the importance of the use of safe water following a cholera outbreak in the region. SWAP worked in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and other partners to intervene and prevent the spread of the epidemic. This increased demand for services at Sondu Water Enterprises for clean water and safe storage.

SWAP supported the Ministry of Health with surveillance by testing water to check for contamination and the community health volunteers in the region referred families at household level to buy water from the enterprise. Hygiene promotion was done at the site and in the community.

The two female water operators rotate at the site to do sales and promotion of the services. They target potential costumers from the market place, schools, health care facilities and other institution as well as individuals at the households.

The Maji Safi Community Based organization took the initiative to organize a clean-up of the environment of the Sondu Water Enterprise. There had been crude dumping of waste which was a health hazard. The place has now been cleaned by the community members.

Monitoring

Continued support through frequent visits to the water kiosk has ensured sustained quality of work and operations through offering feedback to the Maji Safi Community- Based Organization. Also, water quality monitoring was done led by SWAP’s lab Manager Jared Oremo. For this period bacterial tests showed zero presence of E.coli and coliforms, which means the water is suitable for human consumption.

Partnerships and networking

SWAP received ongoing support from Siemens Stiftung in Germany and Kenya. A team came from Germany with the Kenyan team to SWAP to discuss achievement, challenges and the way forward. The electrical pump which is used for pumping water from the river was giving some problems and was replaced by the Siemens team. Discussion was focused on how to further build the capacity of the Maji Safi Committee, the local community based organization who are prepared to take over the Sondu Water Enterprise. Agreed was that more training was needed up to December and the plan is that they would take over the management on probation from January to March 2020 with close monitoring from SWAP and Siemens. If the probation is successful the handing over would take place by the end of March 2020. The Siemens team also visited the site to have discussions with the Maji Safi Committee members and the water operators.

 

KIWASH, the Kenya Integrated Water, Sanitation and Hygiene project has been supporting with business trainings to the Maji Safi Committee and Water Operators in the past and have continued to visit the Sondu Water Enterprise on regular basis to do on the job training on record keeping and data collection. The data collected is on income generated and sales from Water, Safe Storage Vessels, Public toilet and hire of a push cart which can carry several water vessels. Income is recorded and send daily to SWAP’s Paybill Number. This supports the payment of the water operators, cleaning materials and other expenses.

 

Way Forward

Training

A training will be done in December 2019 by Siemens with the objective of preparing the Maji Safi Community Based Organization for management of the Sondu Water Enterprise. The groups will be prepared on roles and responsibilities. Business management, financial management and technical maintenance of the Skyhydrant filtration unit and the water pump.

KWAHO, Kenya Water and Hygiene Organization will with support from Siemens train the teachers and student community surrounding the Sondu Water Enterprise on hygiene promotion and sanitation and mobilize them to utilize the site for collection of safe water.

Promotion of Water sales and Use of Public Toilet Services

To ensure sustainability of the water kiosk, members of the CBO continue selling branded water jericans to promote use of clean and safe water within the community. The public toilet is the only one at the market, so is another way of generating income. The push cart is rented out to vendors who want to sell multiple vessels of water to hotels and institutions.

Handing over to the community based organization, Maji Safi.

There are plans to fully hand over management of the water kiosk to the CBO by March 2020. But the group will manage the site on probation between January to March 2020, with close monitoring of SWAP.

 


Attachments:
 
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