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The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Hedwe Spring Protection Project -

Project Status



Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 350 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2016

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 08/23/2019

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



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).

Welcome to the Community

This unprotected spring is located in Minyika Village, Kivagala sub-location, North Maragoli location, Sabatia Constituency of Vihiga County. It serves 35 households with a total population of 350 people, out of which 167 are male and 183 are female.

Most who live around Hedwe Spring wake up very early to start working on their farms. These farmers had been growing coffee beans for over a decade, but recently encountered a huge drop in demand. They started suffering financial loss, and decided to swap crops. They uprooted their coffee and started growing tea. If not farming, a community member will most likely rely on brick-making for income. Lately the brick market has also been a challenge, and masons are selling their bricks at a throwaway price.

The community that uses Hedwe Spring witnessed the water project recently completed at Mido Spring, and asked us to protect their water source as well. After our first visit to Givunji Village and Hedwe Spring, we accepted their application, deciding that this group will greatly benefit from a project.

Water Situation

The spring is a permanent water source. Even though the spring is not yet protected, people are looking to it for their physical and domestic needs. And since the spring is unprotected, it is open to contamination from surface runoff, erosion, animals, and waste. Locals know that the water is dirty, and thus choose to boil it before drinking. But this is the only portion they can afford to boil! “Getting firewood for boiling water is so expensive, and most of us cannot afford water guard to treat drinking water enough for everyone all year round,” shared a woman. Spring users often complain of stomachaches and diarrhea.

Beneficiaries use jars to draw water from the spring and fill larger buckets and jerrycans. They tote these containers home and dump water into large plastic containers which are often marked for different uses such as drinking and cooking. Containers were observed to be rather dirty during the time of our visit, though.

Sanitation Situation

Sanitation and hygiene is also a challenge in this community. Only a few homes have latrines, with the rest of the families using the privacy of bushes or shade of trees for relief. The latrines observed were old, filthy, and smelly. This attracts a lot of flies, and flies carry disease. Since these latrines are old, their floors are also beginning to be compromised with cracks. Many homes use mosquito nets to fence in their kitchen gardens, and most homes have dirty compounds with waste thrown in their nearby banana plantations. Only a few hand-washing stations were seen. The community is unaware of how many health issues are avoidable. The spring’s landowner admits, “I believe that some of the health-related challenges we face are as a result of our lack of understanding, and if you enlighten us on water, sanitation and hygiene we shall evade many diseases.” In fact, locals are asking that hygiene and sanitation training be conducted as soon as possible!

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least three 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. On the final day of training, participants will select five families that should benefit from new latrines.

  • Based on the initial visit, the facilitator decided to focus on the following training topics:
  • Proper handling and treatment of water and food
  • Dangers of open defecation
  • Protecting, preserving, and managing community water sources
  • Practicing personal and environmental hygiene

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

Local farmer Solomon Wandai says, “We thank for the project initiatives in our community. This will help us gain much knowledge on water preservation, treatment, and personal and environmental health.”

Plans: Sanitation Platforms

Community members will decide on the five families most in need of a new latrine. These families will receive a sanitation platform, which is a concrete floor that makes a great foundation for a safe and clean latrine. These families will prepare by sinking a pit that the concrete slab can be placed over. These five new latrines will go a long way in reducing the level of open defecation in this community!

Plans: Spring Protection

Fetching water is predominantly a female role, done by both women and young girls. Protecting the spring and offering training and support will therefore help empower the female members of the community by giving them more time and efforts to engage with and invest in income-generating activities.

In addition, protecting the spring will ensure that the water is safe, adequate and secure. Construction will keep surface runoff and other contaminants out of the water. The sanitation facilities and trainings will also enable, enlighten and build the capacity of the community so that they can take matters into their own hands.

Project Updates


12/19/2017: A Year Later: Hedwe Spring

A year ago, generous donors helped build a spring protection and sanitation platforms with the community surrounding Hedwe Spring in Western Kenya. Because of these gifts and contributions from our monthly donors, partners can 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 from our partner, Jacqueline Shigali, with you.


The Water Project : 4572_yar_2


Project Photos


Project Type

Protected Spring

In many communities, natural springs exist as water flows from cracks in rocky ground or the side of a hill.  Springs provide reliable water but that doesn’t mean safe. When left open they become contaminated by surface contamination, animal and human waste and rain runoff. The solution is to protect the source. First, you excavate around the exact source area of the spring. Then, you build a protective reservoir for water flow, which pours through a reinforced pipe in a concrete headwall to a paved collection area. Safe water typically flows year-round and there is very limited ongoing maintenance needed!


A Year Later: Hedwe Spring

November, 2017

The spring is providing water to many families from across three villages. A good number of kids come to the spring because it has very long staircases and spacious water drawing point that make children prefer it to others. Protecting this spring has really provided relief, peace and comfort to its users.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Hedwe Spring Protection Project 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!

Give Monthly

A year ago, generous donors helped build a spring protection and sanitation platforms with the community surrounding Hedwe Spring in Western Kenya. Because of these gifts and contributions from our monthly donors, partners can 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 from our partner, Jacqueline Shigali, with you.

Since the spring protection and the WASH training, the community members have really improved on their health and the aesthetic value of the environmental. The village is very tidy and the spring area is very clean. Before, most homes were a mess and one could find rubbish everywhere. Compost pits where were hard to come-by and some people had resorted to throw garbage anywhere. They also embraced upgrading of sanitation facilities such that even those who did not have one tried hard and built them. There are no longer people using bushes as bathrooms.

Community member Linet Isweka shares the many benefits of the now protected spring: “We are very grateful and enjoying fresh, clean and safe drinking water. The new sanitation platforms have provided new hope to people who initially shared latrines with their neighbors or practiced open defecation. I even improved my latrine to a permanent facility. We now proudly have clean water and there are no cases of reported diarrhea to worry about anymore.”

“Since the completion of the project, we are now drinking clean water and we are all healthy now,” shares 12-year-old Roy Gerald. “We no longer waste a lot of time while going for water since the spring has high discharge and serves many people within a short time. There is also no school absenteeism since there are no cases of diarrhea among school going children. Available water is also helpful in washing of utensils and doing laundry work.”

The spring is providing water to many families from across three villages. A good number of kids come to the spring because it has very long staircases and spacious water drawing point that make children prefer it to others. Protecting this spring has really provided relief, peace and comfort to its users. Children used to get scolded by parents when they took long before gathering water from Hedwe spring. However, after its protection, they not only love going to the spring but they also take minimal time as well. Parents can now use the available time, provided by having a high discharging spring, to do household chores and farm activities.

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 4 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 Spring Protection Project 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 Spring Protection Project – 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!

Give Monthly


Contributors

Project Sponsor - Todd and Vicki Kacalek