Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Program: Kenyan Spring Protection

Impact: 480 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2014

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 01/11/2023

Project Features

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Community Profile

This project is being implemented by our partner Western Water And Sanitation Forum, and includes the construction of a spring protection system and sanitation platforms for latrines.


This unprotected spring is located in Timbito village, Chebwayo sub location, Chekulo location,North Kabras division in Malava constituency. The spring is serving a total number of 480 people from 60 households of which 225 are male, 240 female, and 5 disabled.

The spring also serves Timbito primary school that has no access to safe water with a population of 602 pupils and 13 teachers. This water is used for cooking, drinking, cleaning and watering animals.

Since this  spring is unprotected, it’s open to contamination from surface run off during rains, people stepping in while drawing the water and watering animals. Resulting to outbreaks of water borne diseases and most common cases are typhoid, amoeba and stomach aches.

Women and children wastes a lot of economical time waiting for the water to clear before they can fetch again and in the event of waiting there results gossips amongst the women that later leads to conflicts.

Due to lack of knowledge on proper handling of the water, it’s normally contaminated further, especially children who drink direct from the source with dirty hands while the same water is falling back in the source. This results in greater rates of diarrhea amongst children for drinking water using dirty hands and drinking water that has not been treated.

The sanitation situation amongst the community members is wanting. Most of the community members do not have latrines. The few that have are in poor state without privacy as shown above. This results in too many people using bushes in the surrounding areas. During rain seasons the wastes in bushes are washed into the unprotected water source contaminating it further. Many of these latrines are poorly situared on an up-slope from the water spring thus contaminating it.This has resulted to recurrent out breaks of water borne diseases.

Alice, one of the community members, stated that typhoid, stomach aches and diarrhea are the norm in her household. This has cost her up to Ksh 12,800 (roughly 146$ USD) treating the diseases in her family. This, she stated, had depleted the family resources and brought down her only source of income which is vegetable selling. Lack of knowledge on water handling and good hygiene practices like hand washing at critical times has also contributed to spread of water borne diseases.

The community members took their plight to the Participatory Rural appraisal resource Chair person for Malava constituency who in turn approached WEWASAFO for assistance. There is need to intervene in these community by protecting the water source that is serving many people and school children from Timbito primarily to have increased health in the community.

The mobilization process of the community

The community sensitization, mobilization and organization activities targeted both the local leaders in the communities. This begun by sensitization of the Deputy county Commissioner who was also acting county commissioner in Kakamega county and assistant county commissioner of Malava. They were briefed on the project intervention in their areas.

This was followed up by sensitization of the local administration and village. This was aimed at creating awareness on the projects intervention in the area and also selection of the key resource persons to be trained as PRAs.

The Participatory Rural Appraisal Process

The PRA process was conducted with an objective of equipping participants with relevant skills of appraising the projects in the community and training on good leadership, management, monitoring and evaluation.

Representation was drawn from opinion leaders, community members, village administrators and other development partners working in the same area.

Mapping of the community resources was done to assist the community members identify the locally available resources within their community and contribute the same towards the project this ensures ownership and sustainability of the project. The community calendar was also done in order to identify key events in the community like market days, holidays, public meeting days and markets days. This assisted in planning for trainings and other project activities

The implementation of the Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WaSH) trainings 

The Water and Sanitation management committee training was conducted to the committee members for Timbito spring. They were equipped with relevant skills on management and maintenance of their water spring, good governance, funds collection and record keeping.

A total number of 18 people were trained out of which 8 were males and 10 were females.

After training the participants were encouraged to establish structures of management and maintenance of the water points by fencing the water points, making cut off drainages and planting indigenous trees to conserve the water.

The committee was also urged to register with the Ministry of Social services so they can access devolved funds which will enable them to engage in income generating activities and improve their livelihoods.

The Community Health workers were also selected around the springs and equipped with skills on health and hygiene promotion in villages in order to reduce incidences of water borne diseases.

A total number of 20 people attended the training of which 6 were males and 14 were females.

After trainings they were charged with responsibility of making home visits, public meeting and educate the community on practicing good hygiene practices, family planning and safe water handling in order to prevent water borne diseases.

The implementation of the hardware for that project (tanks, SP, latrines etc)

The protected spring is serving a total number of 480 people from 60 households of which 225 are male, 240 female, and 5 disabled.

The spring also serves Timbito primary school that has no access to safe water with a population of 602 pupils and 13 teachers. This water is used for cooking, drinking, cleaning and watering of animals.

In order to prevent contamination of the water sources by faeces resulting from open defecation, five vulnerable members of the community that lack toilets received sanitation platforms.

From Timbito spring, the following members of the community received the sanitation platforms:

  • Christine Mateba serving total number of 16 people of which 7 are males and 9 are females
  • Rosemary Mbalasi serving total number of 12 people of which 8 are males and 4 are females
  • Marko Ikobia serving total number of 17 people of which 8 are males and 9 are females
  • Boniface Chilakwa serving total number of 8 people of which 3 are males and 5 are females
  • Meshack Murula serving total number of 12 people of which 7 are males and 5 are females

Project Updates

05/29/2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Timbito Community, Timbito 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.

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 Timbito, Kenya.

We trained more than 51 people on the symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention of COVID-19. Before there were any reported cases in the area, we worked with trusted community leaders and the Water User Committee to gather community members for the 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

Benedict Oruma-Skilled Mason

September, 2014

The Water Project and WEWASAFO changed my life

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Timbito Community, Timbito 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!

Benedict Oruma is one of the skilled masonry artisans working with WEWASAFO. He undertakes water and sanitation construction works in the communities and schools under the Water and Sanitation (WASH) project funded by The Water Project.

He was born in 1978 and is married to Eunice Lumiti for the last 12 years. They have three healthy boys namely Lukas 12, Barrack 8, and Leonard who is 5 years old.

Benedict Oruma is a form four-school graduate who after completing his high school did not have sufficient funds to proceed to college. He therefore started doing menial jobs in the area of unskilled labor to the masons who were undertaking construction works in his rural home area in Budalangi. “I did not know that one day my unskilled labor would become a stepping stone to changing my life,” remarked Benedict.

The water and sanitation projects that WEWASAFO manages and The Water Project funds, stipulate criteria of community contribution of 25% of the locally available materials namely, sand, ballast, hard core, bricks, poles for fencing, food and accommodation for skilled fundis (laborers) and unskilled fundis while WEWASAFO provides 75% hard ware materials and skilled laborers.

These unskilled fundis assist the skilled artisans and are simultaneously being trained, so that the masonry skills can remains within the community for future repairs and replication of the projects when the organization phases out. Benedict Oruma was selected as one of the unskilled laborers. He had some passion inside him that pushed him to keenly learn the masonry work unlike his fellow friends who were only interested in getting their daily bread.

Because of his dedication and desire, he keenly followed up the skilled fundis to various sites for 6 months till he grasped the masonry skills. WEWASAFO selected aggressive artisans to train them on the job and he was lucky to be among them and was trained for 1 week and awarded a certificate of masonry. Since he was not able to join the college due to lack of money, with the little money that he earned he enrolled at Busia Polytechnic and successfully passed the examinations of masonry.

“I want to appreciate WEWASAFO for this great opportunity they have accorded me. I am paid as a skilled contractor now. This has enabled me to purchase a piece of land in Busia and build a home for my family. I am also paying school fees for my children with a lot of ease. I have 3 sons and 2 orphaned nephews that were left by my brother when he died.”

Apart from sustaining his family he also engages in farming as a business that is also fetching him very good income.

He proudly states that he has also mentored and trained five other unskilled fundis on the job who have also graduated to skilled masonry artisans and are now undertaking construction works. This indeed is job creation at the community level that also contributes to poverty reduction that stands at 60% in Kakamega.

“I am very grateful to WEWASAFO and The Wwater Project for what they have done in my life, and I pray to God to give you good health and more funds so that you can continue supporting other projects that will improve our communities and prevent water borne diseases and also provide job opportunities to other youths like me who had no opportunity to join colleges. Long live The Water Project and WEWASAFO.”


The visit was timely and very important for the project. There was mutual benefit to the discussions and observations drawn by both teams i.e. TWP and WEWASAFO that would help improving future interventions. We, the WEWASAFO fraternity propose to have more of these monitoring visits by TWP so that we can bond more and learn from each other. Crissie was very supportive and encouraging as we visited the sites. We are humbled by her great way of doing work. 

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 Timbito Community, Timbito 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 Timbito Community, Timbito 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!


The First Church of the Brethren
The Ricks Center for Gifted Children
Romig Middle School
Pugwash District High School
Julie McLaurine
Karen E. Black/Caleb Muller
Suburban Houston - FT. Bend Alumnae Chapter
7 individual donor(s)