The very first community that Happy Villages is happy to be working with is called Lieta, situated in Kenya, East Africa. Browse through lots of interesting information and find out more about the Lieta locals! View images, read stories, learn about the community and their specifc needs and what needs to be done to help them.
Gloria talking to the participants on the first day of the Permaculture Workshop
A research project was undertaken to allow objective selection of the first community for Happy Villages development programs. A number of criteria were articulated before the project commenced and eventually Lieta Location was selected.
At the start of the research project, all locations within the four districts that Happy Villages is registered to work in were in the pool. A shortlist was created using World Bank poverty data and local population data. The shortlist contained ten locations and sub-locations with more than 70% of the population earning less than the Kenya National Poverty Line for rural areas.
Further research revealed that the nearest medical facility is 12 km from Lieta and that there is less food produced in Lieta than most of the other locations on the shortlist. Even among the poorest communities in Nyanza Province, Lieta stood out as one of the worst.
Heavy weight was given to the relatively high number of community groups in Lieta. That the people have come together in a diverse range of groups in an attempt to help themselves bodes well for a productive relationship with Happy Villages. It indicates an attitude of hopefulness and a proactive attitude that is not always easy for impoverished communities to maintain.
Lieta is a Sub-Location of South Uyoma Location, Madiany Division, Bondo District, Nyanza Province, in Kenya. It is about one hour drive from Kisumu and is on the shore of Lake Victoria.
Lieta sub-location an approximate population of 5,200 people; the sub-location covers nine smaller villages: Kaboung A and B, Malanga A and B, Lweya, Mumbo, Mburu, Agok and Kudho.
See below a hand drawn map kindly made up by one of our Lieta locals.
The population density is 351 persons per square km and the average farm size is approximately 2ha per farming family. The annual rainfall is 1100mm and is received in a bimodal pattern. The long rains occur March-May and the short rains in October-November. Uncultivated areas are covered with natural vegetation of grasses, scattered shrubs and acacias. Black cotton soils dominate, with some alluvial sediment along the lakeshore. Altitude range is about 1140-1200m above sea level.
Foods from the farm include maize, sorghum, finger millet, groundnuts, soybeans, green grams, fish, bananas and mangoes. Foods commonly bought from the market are sugar, bread, cooking oil, fish, some vegetables and milk.
The produce obtained from the farm to be used for food is stored in traditional stores or modern stores within the family homesteads. There are no processing facilities / factories. The dominant activities are livestock keeping, crop farming and fishing with small scale business also being practiced.
|Village Elders||Church Leaders|
|Clan Representatives||Beach Leaders|
|Assistant Chiefs||Group / Organization Leaders|
Table 1. Age and Sex Distribution
The net intake rate in primary education is 71.6%, while the net primary attendance ratio is 1:5.
That is for every one child admitted to primary there are 5 of primary age not attending school.
Is the ratio of the female to male; which currently stands at 4:5 2
Percentage of trained teachers
is the number of teachers who have received the minimum organized teacher-training (pre-service or in service), required for teaching at the relevant level of education, expressed as a percentage of the total number of teachers at the given level of education. 7 out of 10 teachers were approved and sent by the current teachers governing body (TSC)
Pupil / teacher ratio
Most of the head teachers, though they had a stated belief in physically punishing an indisciplined child, said they took privileges away from the child and explained why they did so.
It was also observed that the boys would run away from school and go fishing if or when they were punished.
Reasons for school dropout
Challenges facing the schools
Level of Education
Sixty three percent of the children below five had no books at all, 35% had more than one book, overall 50.2% of children had some kind of toy.
Table 8 : Under five activity Engagement
|Activity||Total %||Mother Participation||Father participation|
|Read books to or looked at a picture||83%||80 %||9.6%|
|Sang songs to or lullabies||84.2%||84%||11.2%|
|Took outside the yard compound||85.0%||85%||9.5%|
|Named, counted or drew things||85.0%||85%||11%|
Pre-School Attendance and School Readiness
Twenty four percent of children between 3 yrs and 5 yrs were attending some form of early childhood education, 4.8% were already attending primary, 24% were not attending any form of school.
A further 36% of carers did not respond to this question.
Table 10: Literacy Level
|Age Distribution||Cannot read at all||Able to read only part of sentence||Able to read whole sentence||Visually /speech impaired|
There is one major district hospital 15 km away serving more than 30,000 people, St. Mary’s Medical Clinic attends to more than 3,000 people and Uzima and Kaswenga are community based chemists.
The common diseases in the community reported by medical staff during the baseline study were malaria, diarrhoea, respiratory tract infections, skin infections and worm infestations.
See Figure 10 below.
Figure 13: Common Reported diseases/Ailments
Community Utilization of Heath services
General Appearance of the Health Facilities
From a general outlook of most of the centres, the buildings were quite old but acceptable, only the district had a kitchen and staff quarters the rest didn’t have either one.
All of the facilities had latrines that were kept relatively clean for the patients, considering the number of patients the district had 8 and the smaller ones had an average of two each.
The common method of garbage disposal in all the medical facilities was incineration.
Piped water and rainwater storage were common to all the medical facilities. The piped water supply was irregular in all but the district hospital.
The district hospital had 22 attending personnel, that is doctors, nurses, pharmacists and clinical officers. The Catholic clinic had a doctor and pharmacist, the other two each had one personnel who was to attend to all cases in the facility.
Some of the challenges that the health facilities were facing in order of priority:
In Kenya a child should be given 9 essential vaccines by the time they are 5 years of age.
52.2% of the women interviewed produced their children’s vaccination cards, 41.5% had them but did not produce them and only 6.3% had no card.
Incidence of diarrhoea
16.7% of the children were reported to have had diarrhoea two weeks prior to the survey, of these 48.9% and 46.7% were given some home prepared fluid and a pre-packed ORS fluid respectively. 23% were not given anything.
Figure 4: Incidence of diarrhoea
Incidence of Pneumonia
32.8% of the children were reported to have had symptoms of pneumonia in the two weeks prior to the survey. 85% of them were given antibiotics for treatment of the suspected pneumonia at the government hospital.
Figure 5: Incidence of pnemonia
Incidence of Malaria
30% of the children had a fever within the two weeks immediately prior to the survey (which is a standard proxy for incidence of malaria in Kenya). Of the children with fever, 69% of them were taken to a health facility for treatment, 22% were tested for the malaria parasite, 53% were given SP/Fansider and 7% were given Chloroquine.
Figure 6: Incidence of malaria
Anthropometric results: children (based on NCHS reference 1977)
Acute malnutrition is defined as <-2 z scores weight-for-height and/or oedema, severe acute malnutrition is defined as <-3z scores weight-for-height and/or oedema
4.7% of the children weighed were severely wasted, 6.1% moderately wasted and 89.2% were normal. The term wasting means that the child’s weight was too little for his her age.
Table 3: Prevalence of acute malnutrition by age based on weight-for-height z-scores
(>= -3 and <-2 z-score )
(> = -2 z score)
Figure 7: Incidence of malnutrition
Vitamin A Supplements
44.8% of children had been given vitamin A and this was observed in the children’s cards.
Low Birth Weight
26.1 percent of the babies born were weighed at birth, 1.2% had a low birth weight (less than 2500gms). The average recorded was 2.98kg.
All the children who were born at the health centres were weighed.
The most common contraceptive used was the injection by 36.9%, the second most popular was the pill 20.4%, there were no reported incidences of sterilization either male or female, the rest of the women surveyed (45.7%) did not respond to the question.
All the women who reported wanting to prevent pregnancy had access to a family planning method and therefore there was no unmet need for contraception.
Figure 10: No of women accessing ante-natal care
Assistance at Delivery
41.6% of children were delivered in hospital or a health centre. 37.6% in a home not specified (but it is assumed at a traditional birth attendant’s home) and 18.7% within their own homes.
In Lieta only 37% of the births were registered. The caregivers were asked if they knew how to register a birth.
Table 11 : Women in Polygamous Marriages
|Age Range||Question: Are you in a Polygamous marriage?|
The women were asked what they would consider domestic violence.
45% of the women believed a husband is justified in hitting the wife in all three mentioned occasions:
More than seventy percent of the women could correctly identify two ways of preventing HIV that was either having knowledge that a healthy person could have HIV and have sound knowledge that one reduces his or her chances of getting HIV by using a condom every time one has sex. (Figure 11)
40% of the women correctly identified the misconception about HIV. Only 58% had comprehensive knowledge on HIV.
To measure this indicator women aged 15-49 were asked to correctly identify all three means of mother to child transmission (MTCT) of HIV, 56.7% correctly identified transmission during pregnancy, during breastfeeding and during delivery as the common means of MTCT.
Acceptance of people living with HIV was low as only 17% had an accepting attitude towards those who are living with the virus.
Though a majority would not mind purchasing or interacting socially with those living with the virus, the same people would not let it be known publicly that they are living with a person with HIV.
70% of the women aged 15-49 who gave birth 2 years preceding the survey and received antenatal care reported that they received counselling on HIV.
The frequency of sexual behaviours that increase the risk of HIV infection among women is presented in the Table 12 Below:
Table 12: Risky sexual behaviors
|Percentage of young women (15-24) who have never had sex||25%|
|Age at first sex among young women||4.9%|
|Higher risk with multiple partners||13.4%|
|Condom use during higher risk with multiple partner||44%|
|Higher risk sex with non-regular partners||19.6%|
Overall 35% of the households used an improved excreta disposal method (flush or pour flush to a latrine; ventilated improved pit latrine, pit latrine with slab, or composting toilet),
20% used an open pit or pit latrine without a slab, while 45 % had no defined place for excreta disposal.
30% of the homes practiced safe fecal disposal for children. That is disposing of the stool using a toilet or by rinsing the stool into a toilet or latrine. Disposal of faeces of children 0-2 years of age is presented in the table below.
Table 5: Safe Disposal of Childs Faeces
|Child used toilet/Latrine||9||7.7|
|Put/Rinsed into toilet or latrine||33||28.2|
|Put/rinsed into drain or ditch||5||4.3|
|Thrown into garbage/solid waste||34||29.1|
|Left in the open||2||1.7|
Generally the schools had access to hygienic facilities and safe drinking water, that is, using piped water or rain water collection and pit latrines.
The main source of drinking water was piped water (5 schools) and rain water (3 schools) collection. One used surface water.
Two schools added bleach or chlorine to tap water to make it safe.
It was observed that all schools had a place and water available for washing hands.
Out of the 9 schools only 2 had soap and detergent.
Piped water and rainwater storage were common to all the medical facilities.
The piped water supply was irregular in all but the district hospital.
At time of study – 96.8 % of the households used solid fuel (wood) as the primary source of domestic energy to cook.
3.8% of the total responses had no formal documentation for their residence as the houses they lived in were rented. The majority 95% lived in their own property and had security of tenure.
|Natural roofing thatch/palm leaf||114||33.2|
|Natural roofing SOD||2||0.6|
|Rudimentary rustic mat||6||1.7|
|Rudimentary card board||1||0.3|
|Finished Metal sheet||212||61.8|
From the table were at least 62.4% of respondents lived under a roof made of finished sheets or wood and 37.2% lived under non-durable roofing material
Table 7: Main wall material
|Natural cane /palm/trunks||2||0.6|
|Rudimentary bamboo with mud||11||3.2|
|Rudimentary stone with mud||182||53.1|
|Stone with lime /cement||4||1.2|
|Finished cement blocks||8||2.3|
Non-durable wall sheeting is a house either with no wall , natural cane, natural dirt, rudimentary bamboo and or stone.
30th November 2010
My name is Dorothy Adenga. I am a board member and regular volunteer for Happy Villages Organization in Kenya.
After we signed a contract with Annemarie, the consultant we have employed to help us initiate the community participatory planning process, she started working immediately.
I gave her an orientation of our organization and took her to Lieta. With me and the Chairman she came up with a work plan and budget for the three month process.
We then had a joint planning meeting for participatory rural appraisal with the rest of board members. In this meeting we decided that the board members were going to assist Annemarie in some of her meetings with the community members.
She also explained to us what she was going to do for the three months and further impressed upon us the importance of doing the action plan.
I assisted Annemarie to distribute the letters of introduction and invitation to the Lieta community action planning process.
We distributed letters to government departments, local NGOs, women groups, youth groups, self help groups, churches, beach management*, clan elders and the primary and secondary schools.
A number of us joined Annemarie in the field for participatory community spatial mapping and transect work. This was our first meeting with community members.
We met with five community members who came up with the map of Lieta (below). They drew it first on the ground and then transferred it to paper.
After that we conducted a transect walk. We walked in pairs, one Happy Villages board member with each of five community members. We took notes about what we could see in the community.
We later had a meeting with community members who are older to document seasonal diagramming trends and timeline.
Also an important part of the process, the stakeholder analysis was a series of meetings where we met with different groups in the community who are involved in different activities such as farming and fishing.
We also invited 6 people for a stakeholder meeting specifically about gender issues. In gender analysis we meet with men and women who told us about the different roles and duties they do daily.
Child analysis we met with children from the seven primary schools around Lieta. They drew a picture of the Lieta they would like in future.
We also met youths out of school and in school. The school students wrote a composition describing the Lieta they would like in future.
We had a meeting with community members whom we selected from the other meetings which we had. In this meeting we did the economic ranking access and control profiles problem identification and ranking issues and option.
This is the meeting where the community prioritized their problems. The problems were; clean and safe water and sanitation, food insecurity, poor education, inadequate health facilities, poor road and infrastructure, lack of electricity, poor telecommunication, poor housing, climate change, high lake pollution, inadequate income, animal disease outbreak and wildlife.
After they identified the problems in a large group, Annemarie put them into two groups – men and women – to come up with only five problems they think should be addressed.
The groups came up with the same issues to be addressed. These were clean and safe water sanitation, food insecurity, poor education, inadequate health facilities, poor housing and inadequate income.
The last meeting was for action planning. In this meeting we had different stakeholders from the community and even the government. In this meeting the community members were coming up with what should be done to solve the problem, the resources, when the project should be addressed, the organization responsible for assisting the community and the expected outcome.
This was a very good project to be part of and we, here in Kenya, look forward to updating you further in the new year.
Happy Villages Organization
* as Lieta is on the shores of Lake Victoria (on the western side of Kenya), it has a lake beach, rather than a yellow sand beach as you may have seen photos of from somewhere like Mombasa or Lamu (on the eastern coast of Kenya). Beach management is an informal leadership group from the shore of the lake.
• This information is from a review report and baseline survey carried out by the district agriculture team in the former Bondo District in the year 2006/2007. It is not specific to Lieta Community, but rather relates to South Uyoma Location as a whole.
• This information is from the Lieta Community Baseline Study conducted by Happy Villages Organization in 2009