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Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 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

“The routine schedule of most of Givunji Village is doing household chores, fetching water, attending to farms and looking for any other means of getting income. Most of the people here are unemployed, so one has to work extra hard to get a living,” said local woman Faith Imali.

Community member Mr. Thomas Iraya was the one who heard about the opportunity to get his spring protected. His two friends, Mr. Mwachi and Mr. Moses benefited from Mido Spring and Hedwe Spring respectively. These men invited Mr. Iraya to see the work that was done in their communities, and he was very impressed. He immediately approached our staff and asked that we visit his spring too.

Givunji Village is home to 822 people from 100 different households. (Editor’s Note: While this many people may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only support a population of 350-500 people.  This community would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)

Water Situation

Givunji Spring is Givunji Village’s only source of water, besides the rainwater collected in containers kept outside each home. Givunji Spring is on Mr. Thomas Iraya’s land. “We lack clean and safe sources of water. This spring is a blessing to many, but its unprotected state is also our cause of worry,” he shared.

Givunji Spring is also shared with the neighboring villages of Vukuvera and Minyika. Mr. Iraya said that “the area is highly populated, and thus the spring is serving the needs of at least 100 households with approximately 822 people.” Not only is the spring’s water contaminated, but the area is always busy. The more activity at Givunji Spring, the muddier the water gets.

We know that Givunji Spring is contaminated because of the numerous reports of waterborne disease. Our visit to the spring confirmed this fact; the water is out in the open with no barriers to protect it from erosion, surface runoff, and human and animal activities.

Each person brings a small cup that they dip in the spring to bail water and fill their water container. These containers are as big as a woman or child can bear to carry! The water is then brought home and used for drinking, cooking, bathing, and watering animals.

When home, water is separated into different containers by use. Drinking water is kept in covered pots either in the kitchen or living room. The rest of the water is dumped in larger plastic barrels and saved for cleaning and watering animals.

Mrs. Imali added, “We drink dirty water! That has predisposed many of us to a lot of ill health conditions. There has been a lot of stomach distress cases, more so among children who sometimes drink raw water at the spring point.”

Sanitation Situation

Under half of the homes in Givunji Village have their own pit latrine. The few latrines we saw are unsafe for children to use; the floors are unstable, doors are missing, and there are holes in the walls. The people who do not have their own latrine either share with their neighbors or seek the privacy of bushes.

There are no hand-washing stations and very few sanitation tools like dish racks and clotheslines. Garbage from the kitchen is given to poultry, and animal waste is used on the farms.

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.

Training will also result in the formation of a committee that will oversee operations and maintenance at the spring. They will enforce proper behavior around the spring and delegate tasks that will help preserve the site, such as building a fence and digging proper drainage.

Plans: Sanitation Platforms

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.

Mrs. Imali has already approached us asking to benefit from one of the sanitation platforms. She is one of many. “Please consider my request for a latrine slab. When I saw the slab that your artisans casted at my friend’s home, I went ahead to dig my pit by faith. Now I thank God you have come to our village,” she exclaimed.

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 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. Mrs. Faith Imali is ready to do whatever it takes to see her spring protected so that her children can drink water from a safe source.

Recent Project Updates

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

A year ago, generous donors helped build a spring protection with the community surrounding Givunji 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, Samuel Simidi, with you.

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03/29/2017: Givunji Community Project Complete

Givunji Spring in Givunji, Kenya is now a protected, clean source of water thanks to your donation. 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 spring protection 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! And please enjoy the rest of the report from our partner in Kenya:

Project Result: New Knowledge

To inform everyone about the opportunity to learn, the village elder blew a whistle in the center of the village. Hygiene and sanitation training was held at the spring because community members felt it was an ideal, central place for all of the participants. We set a table on its side to support a flip chart for the trainer, and the men and women sat on the forest ground as they listened. Besides lecturing, the trainer also used focused group discussions, presentations and demonstrations to share on various health topics. All 28 participants actively listened and asked questions.

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Training topics included but were not limited to leadership and governance; operation and maintenance of the spring; healthcare; family planning; immunizations; the spread of disease and prevention. We also covered water treatment methods, environmental hygiene, and hygiene promotion. We also took a session to emphasize proper maintenance of the spring protection project. The community should refrain from washing clothes, water animals, farming with fertilizers, and open defecation in the vicinity. We encouraged positive activities such as building a fence and digging proper drainage, which will prevent water pollution.

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Hand-washing was both discussed and demonstrated. It is one of the most important barriers in preventing disease. Hands should be washed after visiting the latrine, before cooking, before and after eating, after shaking hands, and after handling garbage. We also taught locals how to build a hand-washing station out of sticks, rope, and plastic containers.

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By the end of the three days, participants formed a water and sanitation committee to oversee and maintain the spring protection. Other participants were equipped with the knowledge to become community health workers. These workers will be responsible for sharing what they learned with the rest of their community by making door-to-door visits. They will continue to keep their neighbors accountable so that the overall community can experience improved health. Before participants were dismissed from their final session, they set a date they would return to the spring to dig drainage channels and build a fence to protect their source.

On behalf of the entire group, farmer Thomas Butiti said, “We are so humbled for the great opportunity to be trained on various health issues not to mention spring maintenance and management principles, hygiene promotion skills and various ways to keep our drinking water safe for human consumption.”

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Project Result: Sanitation Platforms

All five sanitation platforms have been installed and are ready for use. These five families are happy about this milestone and are optimistic that there will be much less open defecation. People without proper latrines would often use the privacy of bushes, 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 environmental pollution here. We will continue to encourage these five families to build walls and roofs to protect their new platforms. Mrs. Faith Imali was one of the many faces with a shining smile; before, she didn’t even have a latrine. Now, she has a new sanitation platform and clean water at the spring!

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Project Result: Spring Protection

Construction to protect Givunji Spring began on October 9, 2016.

Before any construction can really start, though, the community must gather materials such as stones and sand. Community members even gathered enough to build a second staircase down to the spring!

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After a spring is earmarked for protection, our artisan arrives to clear the construction site. All bushes and trees are felled with machetes. This is followed by excavating up the slope from the spring output. Ballast is then mixed with cement and sand to make concrete. A wire mesh is lain on the excavated space before the concrete is added in order to create a strong foundation. This foundation is left to cure overnight.

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On the second day, the walls are raised with brick. The artisan then installs a pipe low in the collection wall to direct water from the reservoir to a concrete or plastic spring box. He then backfills the spring source with hardcore until water is flowing from the discharge pipe. The area around the spring is then landscaped, fenced, and drainage is dug.

Village Elder Jotham Darani said, “The spring has revived our spirits, it has quenched our thirst and given us identity we are now so proud of. To God be the glory for sending aid to us so timely and so appropriate according to our need.”

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02/22/2017: Givunji Community Project Underway

We are excited to share that work in Givunji Community has begun. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from Givunji 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 containing community information, pictures, and GPS coordinates. Check out the tabs above to read more about this project!

The Water Project and Givunji Community 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:  Kenya, Vihiga, Givunji
ProjectID: 4592
Install Date:  03/29/2017

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 01/31/2018

Visit History:
01/30/2017 — Functional
03/01/2017 — Functional
06/27/2017 — Functional
08/31/2017 — Functional
01/31/2018 — Functional

A Year Later: Givunji Spring

November, 2017

We have been able to get clean, safe drinking water for our household chores compared to the days when our water was contaminated which was a risk to us.

A year ago, generous donors helped build a spring protection with the community surrounding Givunji 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, Samuel Simidi, with you.

There has been a tremendous improvement in the life of the members of the community that include: (i) Members have been able to save on time at the spring as it is accessible and convenient for them, (ii) Cases of water related diseases is now a thing of the past – attributed to the clean, safe water available for them, (iii) Members have been able to observe personal hygiene – attributed to the training they underwent on health and hygiene and also (iv) the members lives have improved since the formation of the group from where members are able to get loans to improve their businesses.

Community member Sarah Eraya shared her experiences since the spring was protected last year. “We have been able to get clean, safe drinking water for our household chores compared to the days when our water was contaminated which was a risk to us. Time wasted at the spring has now been a thing of the past, the spring is convenient and accessible to all members at their time of need.”

“I have been able to create sufficient time in my studies,” shares 16-year-old Francis Lihanda, “this has been attributed to the convenience of the spring as you find that children are the majority who normally go to fetch water at the spring. Open defecation is now a thing of the past since the installation of the sanitation platform. In our home, we never had a toilet but thanks to our donors we were able to come up with one.”

The members are a happy group, grateful for the water project carried out in their village. Members of the community still need more training on spring protection and maintenance. From our visit at the spring, we did find the spring dirty and also the members were stepping on the water catchment area which is prohibited. We took the initiative to encourage the members to clean the spring and to fence the catchment area which they agreed to do so.

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.