Water is a finite natural resource that sustains life and fuels many industries that contribute to economic growth. Budapest Water Summit (Budapest, Hungary 9th October 2013) declared access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene as fundamental to health, well-being, and poverty eradication. Consequently, on 24th September 2010, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a binding resolution recognizing that the human right to water and sanitation are a part of the right to an adequate standard of living. In areas where there is poor water, sanitation and health activities, diseases such as diarrhoea, arsenicosis, cholera, fluorosis, guinea worm disease, intestinal worms, malaria, schistosomiasis, typhoid, trachoma and opportunistic infections related to HIV and AIDS infections are common. In CINCO, we therefore endeavor to contribute to the realization of safe water and sanitation through an integrated approach currently involving the following main activities;
CINCO recognizes that a community empowered with information can make informed decisions towards good health. Through our trained CHWs drawn from the Community Health Units (CUs) we reach over 30,000 people with health talks on Water, Sanitation and Health. These are normally organized to target youths in schools and the family members in general at households.
Promotion Latrine use at the House hold level
With poor some of our areas of work, we promote the use of new techniques in latrine construction. This mainly involves use of locally available material to reinforce pit latrines to prevent them from collapsing. The Community Health Workers (CHVs) conduct regular house hold visits to sensitize community members on the importance of use of pit latrines and with the help of the Provincial Administration and Village Health Committees (VHCs) enforces latrine construction and use at the house hold level. In addition, The Community Health Units organizes for dialogue days at the community level where a health problem like low latrine coverage, when identified as a key problem, the community designs an appropriate action plan implementable by the community members themselves to mitigate the problem.
Promotion of hand washing
Hand washing with soap and water has been proved as a sure way of preventing diarrheal diseases and trachoma. CINCO through the trained Community Health Volunteers promotes hand washing through health education both in school and at the house hold level. Locally made hand washing facilities such as leaky tins/tippy taps mainly constructed by the Community Health Volunteers for the households under their care are strategically put so that every person can easily access them after visiting a latrine.
Proper Water treatment and storage
Water may not be wholesome until properly treated. However, the contemporary water treatment methods are way above the affordable rates for most Kenyans. For a greater percentage of those who may be able to afford it, there is still lack of enough information as regards to the need for proper water treatment hence a greater majority do not treat water at the house hold level. This eventually accounts for a greater percentage of the water born diseases. CINCO therefore endeavors to sensitize its target beneficiaries on the proper water treatment and storage methods at the house hold level. This is done through capacity building the community structures including the grass root Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and Community Health Units. In collaboration with the Ministry Of Health, CINCO through the CBOs and the Community Health Volunteers receive and distribute water treatment commodities such as Chlorine containing PUR and Water guard for household distribution. With the main challenge being availability of the commodities, CINCO aspires to acquire and avail the commodities to the CBOs and Community Health Units.
While efforts are put on the water treatment component the organization realizes that availability of safe water is still a major public health problem. This is in contrary to the fact that the main target area of the organization is well furnished with a large fresh water body, the Lake Victoria and has relatively high water table. The organization thus aspires to extend its mandate to include provision of communal boreholes and or protected wells to enhance availability of safe water. This in turn will further reduce the incidences of water washed infection such as scabies and ringworms which are quite common among the targeted population. Other option such as roof catchment as a method of water harvesting is also explored.