Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 200 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2016

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/04/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water And Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO). Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).

Background Information

Wakidima Spring is found in Hedwe Village, Chambiti sub-location, Wamaluma location, Vihiga sub-county of Vihiga County. The spring serves a population of 200 people from 30 different households: 130 female and 70 male. During the dry seasons, Wakidima Spring also draws residents of the Mbale police line and employees that work at nearby car wash agencies.

The Current Source

The spring area is not fenced and is therefore open to contamination by both people and animals. It was also observed that the spring is prone to surface runoff and storm water. The ground surrounding the spring is filthy and slippery, causing women and children to slide and fall when they fetch water. "We have had it rough to draw water from here more so during the rainy season. Women and children do slide but we have to keep coming for water," says a mother waiting at the spring. The area around the spring is not only slippery, but is overgrown with grasses and brush. "We battle with the challenge of trying to keep away snakes coming from the nearby bushy to drink this same water," said a father whose son was a snakebite victim. "The nearest alternative spring is about three kilometers away, which makes us to make long lines to get water," commented another woman found drawing water from the spring. Protecting Wakidima Spring will save the local people's time and health.

Sanitation Situation

Less than 50% of households have even the simplest of latrines. Some of the floors are old and cause children and elderly to fear using the latrine. Open defecation seems to be an issue for this area, so contamination routes will be highlighted during training. There will also be a session that proves it is cheaper to build a sanitation facility than to treat the repercussions of open defecation!

A majority of the spring's users live in overgrown, bushy homesteads full of litter. Many people also ignore the proper use of insecticide-treated nets to prevent malaria, and instead use them to fence in gardens. When asked to comment on personal hygiene practices, one of the respondents said, "I don’t mind taking untreated water. In most instances I have eaten with dirty hands, used the bush to defecate and gone many days without taking a bath." This was a clear indication that some of the people in this community have lost all hope for quality water, health and hygiene.

Some of the common complications listed include cases of waterborne diseases like bilharzia, malaria, typhoid, diarrhea and jiggers infection. The community members agree to partner with WEWASAFO to protect this spring and hold training on good hygiene practices so as to eradicate these diseases and improve living standards.

Training Sessions

Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least two days. This training will ensure participants are no longer ignorant about healthy practices and their importance. The facilitator plans to use PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation), CLTS (Community-Led Total Sanitation), ABCD (Asset-Based Community Development), group discussions, handouts, and demonstrations at the spring, and a transect walk. On the final day of training, participants will select five families that should benefit from new latrines.

Training will also inform the community and selected families on what they need to contribute to make this project a success. They must mobilize locally available materials, such as bricks, clean sand, hardcore, and ballast. The five families must prepare by sinking a pit for the sanitation platforms to be placed over. All community members must work together to make sure that accommodations and food are always provided for the work teams.

Project Results


The training sessions were held at the home of the assistant village chief in Chambiti sub-location.  Before the project began, the assistant chief and the land owner were asked to select between 10 and 15 people from households that were fetching water from that spring to attend the training. They were reminded to ensure gender balance and pick participants from all age brackets.

The team that attended the water user training was lively. The participants asked questions and responded to facilitators' questions promptly. They made the group discussions and presentations so enjoyable by using live examples of what used to happen in that community. For instance, one man washed his hands, wiped them on his trousers which were so dirty then went on to ask for food.

Topics covered in the training sessions included:

  • The role of the community in the project
  • water pollution and how to prevent it
  • waterborne diseases
  • local diseases and their prevention
  • good leadership and governance
  • site management of sanitation facilities for health promotion
  • good and bad hygiene behaviors
  • role of hygiene promoters and local resources for hygiene promotion

Training methods included pictures, handwashing demonstrations, facilitation, and focus group discussions. The trainings left a great impact in that community because apart from the participants appreciating and promising to follow what they learned, they have gone ahead to do the following as they were taught in the trainings:

  • Fencing the water point
  • Digging a cut off drainage
  • Planting grass on the upper part of the spring
  • Constructing dish racks and improvising hand washing facilities

"You have enlightened us on so many things that we never knew were dangerous to our lives,'' said a community health volunteer Edith Vihenda. "We shall try our best to practice what we have learned from this workshop to reduce cases of diseases that can be easily prevented."

Spring Protection

Protecting the spring involves building a concrete structure around the water point to shield it from contamination. The process includes the following steps:

  • Undertake water quality test
  • Clear the site and excavate the foundation to the specified standards
  • Excavate the land up slope from the from the spring discharge until three feet of water is flowing
  • Create a firm foundation for the base slab, head wall and wing walls
  • Do the fitting of delivery pipes, inlets, draw off pipe and overflow inlet screen
  • Doing landscaping and drainage works to finishing
  • Fence the catchment area
  • Remove potential sources of contamination and direct surface water away from the spring box or collection area by making drainage cut off

The community participated in the project by providing locally available materials like bricks, sand, hardcore and poles for fencing, and also by providing unskilled labor and accommodations for the artisans.

Samson Kidima, the area assistant chief, expressed his gratitude saying, "I am sure my people are now drinking safe water. You have been a blessing to us."

Sanitation Platforms

Sanplats are concrete slabs used as safe floors for pit latrines. Five sanplats were cast and provided for families in the community. Providing safe, easily cleaned latrines is an important part of encouraging people not to use the bushes, which can lead to contamination.

"I used to share a pit latrine with my parents in-law, and since their house is a good distance from ours, we would sometimes urinate in our banana plantation at night," one sanplat beneficiary said. "Now that we have our own latrine, we shall no longer go to our banana plantations for short calls."

Thank You to all who contributed to this project and helped us unlock potential!

Project Updates

July, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Hedwe Community, Wakidima Spring

Our teams are working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Join us in our fight against the virus while maintaining access to clean, reliable water.

Setting up a new handwashing station near the spring

We are carrying out awareness and prevention trainings on the virus in every community we serve. Very often, our teams are the first (and only) to bring news and information of the virus to rural communities like Hedwe, Kenya.

We trained more than 5 people on the symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention of COVID-19. Due to public gathering concerns, we worked with trusted community leaders to gather a select group of community members who would then relay the information learned to the rest of their family and friends.

Handwashing training

We covered essential hygiene lessons:

- Demonstrations on how to build a simple handwashing station

- Proper handwashing technique

- The importance of using soap and clean water for handwashing

- Cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces including at the water point.

Handwashing session

We covered COVID-19-specific guidance in line with national and international standards:

- Information on the symptoms and transmission routes of COVID-19

- What social distancing is and how to practice it

- How to cough into an elbow

- Alternative ways to greet people without handshakes, fist bumps, etc.

- How to make and properly wear a facemask.

A boy shows the COVID-19 informational pamphlet received at training

During training, we installed a new handwashing station with soap near the community’s water point, along with a sign with reminders of what we covered.

Due to the rampant spread of misinformation about COVID-19, we also dedicated time to a question and answer session to help debunk rumors about the disease and provide extra information where needed.

Session on properly putting on and wearing a mask

Mr. Kidima, the area assistant chief, thanked our team staff for loving their community so much to the extent of going to enlighten his people on what they can do to avoid getting COVID-19 and stop it from passing to other people. He urged his people to exercise every detail on prevention of COVID-19 to ensure that the dangerous virus does not enter their village.

We continue to stay in touch with this community as the pandemic progresses. We want to ensure their water point remains functional and their community stays informed about the virus.

Social distancing check

Water access, sanitation, and hygiene are at the crux of disease prevention. You can directly support our work on the frontlines of COVID-19 prevention in all of the communities we serve while maintaining their access to safe, clean, and reliable water.

November, 2017: A Year Later: Wakidima Spring

A year ago, generous donors helped build a spring protection system and sanitation platforms for families living around Wakidima Spring. Because of these gifts and our monthly donors, partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one with you.

Project Photos

Project Type

Springs are water sources that come from deep underground, where the water is filtered through natural layers until it is clean enough to drink. Once the water pushes through the surface of the Earth, however, outside elements like waste and runoff can contaminate the water quickly. We protect spring sources from contamination with a simple waterproof cement structure surrounding layers of clay, stone, and soil. This construction channels the spring’s water through a discharge pipe, making water collection easier, faster, and cleaner. Each spring protection also includes a chlorine dispenser at the waterpoint so community members can be assured that the water they are drinking is entirely safe. Learn more here!

"I am sure my people are now drinking safe water. You have been a blessing to us."

Samson Kidima

A Year Later: Wakidima Spring

October, 2017

“I have been able to access water much faster, and this has helped me save on time for my studies.”

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Hedwe Community, Wakidima Spring.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Hedwe Community, Wakidima Spring maintain access to safe, reliable water. Together, they keep The Water Promise.

We’re confident you'll love joining this world-changing group committed to sustainability!

A year ago, generous donors helped build a spring protection system and sanitation platforms for families living around Wakidima Spring. Because of these gifts and our monthly donors, partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one with you.

After the protection of Wakidima Spring, people have been able to access clean and safe water for all of their needs. This access is convenient and has helped them save a lot of time. Waterborne disease is now a thing of the past.

Mr. Jacton Otsotsi told us that "Members of my community are able to access clean safe water for their personal which is as a result of the spring protection. Their has been fewer cases of infections in the community which generally shows a positive improvement. Time wastage at the spring has also been resolved as members are able to access water more faster."

We also met 14-year-old Valarie Kedogo at the spring, who added "I have been able to access water much faster, and this has helped me save on time for my studies. I can now clean my clothes at all times due to sufficient water at the spring - as compared to the days when the spring had not been protected. My personal hygiene has also greatly improved in the last one year!"

Both Mr. Jacton and Valarie assured us that their communities are still working on strengthening hygiene and sanitation - but the improvements were already obvious to us. Children were wearing clean clothes, home environments were clean, and the water point was well maintained - the only issue has been a blockage that keeps water from draining fast enough.

4557 YAR 3

Beyond the five new latrines built last year, there is still a need for more. Keeping Wakidima Spring flowing with clean water is a way to support this community in all of their endeavors, and we’re excited to stay in relationship with them as they continue their journey. We're sure that as people continue to support and encourage each other, even more change will follow.


The Water Project and our partners are committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by monthly donors, allows us to visit communities up to four times a year. Read more about our program and how you can help.

Navigating through intense dry spells, performing preventative maintenance, conducting quality repairs when needed and continuing to assist community leaders to manage water points are all normal parts of keeping projects sustainable. The Water Promise community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Hedwe Community, Wakidima Spring maintain access to safe, reliable water.

We’d love for you to join this world-changing group committed to sustainability.

The most impactful way to continue your support of Hedwe Community, Wakidima Spring – and hundreds of other places just like this – is by joining our community of monthly givers.

Your monthly giving will help provide clean water, every month... keeping The Water Promise.


St. Patrick School
Imater Academy Water Party
duluth montessori
Ms. Crowley's Class at Dallin Elementary School
17 individual donor(s)