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Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 133 Served

Project Phase:  Installed

Functionality Status:  Functional

Community Profile & Stories

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 Emmachembe Village, Shikoti location in East Butsotso sub-location within Lurambi Constituency of Kakamega County. The spring is serving a total number of 19 households, totaling 133 community members.

Saul Shivogo Spring is named after its landowner. Mr. Shivogo is friendly and allows his neighbors to benefit from the spring that bubbles up from his land. Take a look at the pictures under “See Photos & Video” tab to find Mr. Saul Shivogo and his wife.

The people using this water are small scale farmers that specialize in growing sugarcane. If not a farmer, the men of the family learn how to make bricks. Whether a farmer or brick maker, everyone wakes up early here; starting with domestic chores around the house and then leaving to earn a living.

Saul Shivogo’s community heard about the project implemented at Peter Spring, and immediately paid them a visit to see the work in person. They were impressed with the knowledge of people around Peter Spring, and were impressed with the construction itself. After this visit, they called our staff to invite them to assess their own community’s need. Below are the details of our visit.

Water Situation

Saying a spring is unprotected means its water is open to contamination. When we visited the spring in person, we observed proximate latrines, proximate farming, and open defecation. Waste and farming chemicals are washed into the water when it rains! Besides this, animals roam freely and also drink from the water. Community members don’t know how to fetch, transport or store their water properly. A container for scooping water floats in the spring when nobody is using it, which also contributes to contamination.

Due to the great number of people drawing water from the spring for domestic use, the water is most often contaminated by human activity. The process of fetching water often wastes a lot of time for women and children who must wait for the water to clear before fetching again. This wasted time could otherwise be used for more profitable economical activities on the farm.

Women and children are primarily responsible for fetching water. Children use lighter containers such as 10-liter jerrycans, and women graduate to 20 liters. Most of these are not covered, so water is open to more contamination on the trip home. Once home, water is kept in these jerrycans until another trip is needed. Before water is consumed, it is boiled. However, cases of typhoid and dysentery are rampant. Community members must then spend their hard-earned money on medical treatment instead of putting it towards education and improved living.

Sanitation Situation

Under 25% of households that use Saul Shivogo Spring have pit latrines. These few latrines are made of mud and are roofed with iron sheets and grass. Few of these have doors, and all are in poor condition. We observed that since so few families have latrines, open defecation is a huge problem here. Eliminating open defecation will be a strong focus during hygiene and sanitation training.

We couldn’t find any hand-washing stations, nor did we see many clotheslines or dish racks. Garbage is taken to the edge of the plantation and is piled for either burning or composting.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training and Sanitation Platforms

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 that have sanitation platforms (concrete pit latrine floors).

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.

Plans: Spring Protection

When Saul Shivogo Spring is protected, community members will be able to spend valuable time that was previously wasted on more constructive activities. Water-related diseases and other infectious diseases that plague the community have resulted in members spending a lot of money on medication; sickness also contributes to a high rate of absenteeism in the local school, resulting in poor academic performance.

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.

Recent Project Updates

12/15/2017: A Year Later: Shivogo Spring

A year ago, generous donors helped build a spring protection and sanitation platforms with the community near Saul Shivogo Spring in Western Kenya. Because of these gifts and contributions from 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 from our partner, Betty Muhongo Majani, with you.

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10/12/2016: Saul Shivogo Spring Protection Project Complete

We are excited to report that the project to protect Saul Shivogo Spring in Kenya is now complete. The spring is protected from contamination, five sanitation platforms have been provided for the community, and training has been given in sanitation and hygiene. Imagine the changes that all of these resources are going to bring for these residents! You made it happen, now help keep the water flowing! Join our team of monthly donors and help us maintain this well and many other projects.

We just updated the project page with the latest pictures, so make sure to open the “See Photos & Video” tab to enjoy!

Project Result: New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was held on October 4th at Saul Shivogo’s home. Mr. Shivogo is obviously the community member who lives closest to the spring, making his home the most convenient for training. We were able to conduct onsite lessons at the spring about management and maintenance.

A total of 11 community members attended training, six of which were female and five male. Training lasted for three days, all of which participants arrived on time and were actively involved.

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The first day’s participants were equipped with tools needed to form an effective water user committee. This committee will be responsible for managing and maintaining the spring. Their first sessions were on leadership and governance so that they can effectively manage affairs at the protected spring. The committee unanimously agreed that for this project to be successful and sustainable will take hard work, teamwork, and pragmatism on their part. They also listed action items they plan to undertake such as fencing in the spring, digging drainage, planting indigenous trees to prevent erosion, and enforcing rules for behavior. There will be no farming near the spring, and the catchment area will be cleaned on a regular basis.

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We also trained community members to become community health workers, equipping them to teach family members and neighbors about effective practices that improve health. These participants agreed to visit ten different homes each, regularly visit the spring, and visit churches and health centers in their area. They will educate community members on the importance of building dish racks, clotheslines, latrines, bathing rooms, and keeping those facilities clean.

The elected water user committee chairperson, Nathen Were, was very grateful for what he learned. “We have learnt a lot and realized that water-related diseases are caused by common practices that people ignore,” he said. We consider hygiene and sanitation training a success because of the impact we’ve already seen. Families who didn’t have latrines have now built them. Others have built dish racks, clotheslines, and other facilities that help maintain a clean environment.

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Project Result: Sanitation Platforms

A total of five sanitation platforms (concrete floors for pit latrines) were constructed and installed for beneficiaries around Saul Shivogo Spring. Each beneficiary of a sanitation platform dug a latrine pit and also provided sand and bricks needed for the casting and installing of the slab. These five families are happy about this milestone and are optimistic that there will be much less open defecation. People without proper latrines would opt to use the bushes and privacy of farm crops, but now have a private place of their own. It is expected that proper use of latrine facilities provided by the sanitation platforms will go a long way in reducing pollution of the environment.

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Project Result: Spring Protection

Construction to protect Saul Shivogo Spring began on September 9th.

The rocky site was excavated to create a level space for setting the foundation using concrete and wire mesh. Waterproof cement was applied on top of the foundation. After the base cured, both wing walls and the head wall were set in place using bricks. The discharge pipe was fixed low through the head wall to direct water from the interception reservoir to the drawing area. As the wing walls and head wall cured, the staircases were built, the entire thing plastered, and then tiles were installed below the discharge pipe. Tiles were included to reduce the erosive force of the falling water, to beautify the spring and to make the cleaning process fast and efficient. The collection box was then cleaned and waters from all the spring eyes channeled into it. The drainage area was filled up with clean hard core and covered with a polythene membrane to eliminate any potential sources of contamination. Finally, cut-off drains were made to direct surface water away from the spring box, marking the end of our spring protection process.

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These community members spent no coin in buying sand, ballast or hard core. Instead, men hammered down the rocks in their vicinity to make ballast, and preserved the rest as hard core. The same men harvested sand in the nearby Isasala River while women helped transport the harvested sand to the spring site. Also, a few different people volunteered to provide unskilled labor such as excavation work and mixing concrete. Food and accommodation for the artisans was provided by the spring chairperson and other spring users.

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The biggest challenge during the project was a very unfortunate turn of events. When we were in the first stages of collecting materials, one of the family members of a worker passed away. As partners and friends to this community, we respected their wishes for a mourning period of two weeks. After the funeral, we were able to conduct the hygiene and sanitation training and then continue construction.

Saul Shivogo’s dream for his spring has now come true; it is protected from contamination and thus yields safe drinking water for Saul, his family, and everyone else in the community!

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08/29/2016: Saul Shivogo Spring Protection Project Underway

We are excited to share that work around Saul Shivogo Spring has begun. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from this spring, and often suffer physical illnesses after doing so. Our partner conducted a survey of the area and deemed it necessary to protect the spring, build new sanitation platforms (safe, easy-to-clean concrete floors for latrines), and conduct sanitation and hygiene training. Thanks to your generosity, waterborne disease will no longer be a challenge for the families drinking the spring’s water. We look forward to sharing more details with you as they come! But for now, please take some time to check out the report tabs above that contain community information, pictures, and GPS coordinates.

The Water Project and the community of Saul Shivogo Spring Thank You for giving the hope of clean water and good health.

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Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Protected Spring
Location:  Kakamega, Emmachembe
ProjectID: 4576
Install Date:  10/12/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 08/24/2017

Visit History:
11/07/2016 — Functional
12/13/2016 — Functional
04/04/2017 — Functional
05/26/2017 — Functional
08/24/2017 — Functional

A Year Later: Saul Shivogo Spring

November, 2017

There has been no report on water borne diseases which has contributed to members doing other development activities instead of spending a lot of money on medication. Truth be told, protection of this spring has united many families because they meet on monthly basis to discuss issues to do with spring and their families too.

A year ago, generous donors helped build a spring protection and sanitation platforms with the community near Saul Shivogo Spring in Western Kenya. Because of these gifts and contributions from 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 from our partner, Betty Muhongo Majani, with you.

The spring protection is already making a huge difference in the lives of those living nearby. In fact, the number of households drawing water from it has increased from 19 to 22 because of the facilities and training.

“Sanitation has generally improved,” says Saul Shivogo, chairperson and land owner of whom the spring is named after. “When we pass homes, we are able to see a number of sanitation facilities like dish rack, clothesline, and children washing their hands after using the toilet. This clearly indicates they took seriously what they learned during the Water Sanitation Management Committee and Community Health Workers training.

“Before the spring was protected, the women and children wasted time while waiting for the queue to clear before fetching again,” explains 12-year-old Christopher Were. “But, at the moment, members take the shortest time possible and we now have time to do our homework.”

Mr. Saul also stated that since the spring was protected, there has been no report on water borne diseases which has contributed to members doing other development activities instead of spending a lot of money on medication. Truth be told, protection of this spring has united many families because they meet on monthly basis to discuss issues to do with spring and their families too.

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.

Country Details


Population: 39.8 Million
Lacking clean water: 43%
Below poverty line: 50%

Partner Profile

Western Water and Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO) works together with less privileged and marginalized members of communities in Western Kenya to reduce poverty through harnessing and utilization of local resources for sustainable development.