Karibu! Welcome!

Since 2004, EWB@ MSU's professional and student volunteers have worked with community members in Khwisero, Kenya to provide water and sanitation infrastructure at the district's 58 primary schools, making it easier for Khwisero's children to avoid waterborne disease and get an education.

In that time, the group has grown from a small club to one of MSU's premier student organizations, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund seven borehole wells, six composting latrines and a biogas latrine that serve thousands of community members.

Thank you for joining us as we continue to work hand-in-hand with local partners to make a difference in one small part of our world. As Western Kenya's limited internet access allows, we will update this blog while in-country with the successes, stories and lessons provided by our work.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Drilling Begins at Ikomero Primary School

On Monday, the drillers started drilling at the first school, Ikomero Primary. Progress with the drilling is slow but steady. After that, they will be drilling at Emwaniro Primary, then moving on to Ebuhonga Primary.
In the mean time, we have all been traveling and working frantically - visiting peoples homes, talking with local leaders, facilitating community meetings, revising designs, and learning, learning, learning. I think I learn more in a week in Khwisero than I do in a month back at school. ; )

Laura, Katy, Jaime, Jackson, and I have been finishing the preliminary mapping for the household surveys, and organizing a training session for local teachers and community members to teach them how to conduct the upcoming survey. The surveying will hopefully begin sometime in the next two weeks, and afterwards we hope to be able to survey a total of 750-800 households around the 5 schools where we are working this summer. The purpose of this survey will be to collect information to allow us to scientifically assess the impact of our work here, and also to pinpoint ways to improve our project's effectiveness. In the last two days alone, we have visited around 150 households, and almost everyone we talk to is very excited about and appreciative of the work we are doing. Maurice has been doing an excellent job finishing the Kiluhya translation of the survey (It will be conducted in Kiluhya because that is the first language of the people of Khwisero). We're hoping to pilot it during the training session, and have a final version ready a few days later.
Jordan and Laura have also been working on the revised design for the possible biogas latrine. Negotiations are underway with the school board and community at Shirali to determine whether we will build a latrine this summer or wait until the next trip. Our primary concern, and the major point of discussion with them is of course the long term maintenance of the latrine, and whether they are prepared to sustain it.
Jaime has also been conducting interviews and collecting hours of great material for her radio documentary.
Katy has also been working closely with Maurice, Jackson, and Francis on the people mapping - seeking out leaders in the community and local government to try to get them more involved in our project. There have been some great finds so far, and a lot of good advice and support.

All in all, things are going very well, and we are very busy and right on schedule... which is just how we like it. In one week, I'll be travelling to Kisumu to meet Team 3 and return with them to Khwisero.

Check back again soon!

1 comment:

Christina said...

Wow. Sounds great! Good job... glad to hear everything is going well. :)