Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 245 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 01/11/2024

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).

Welcome to the Community

In Itukhula, women and children wake up very early to go fetch water before they do anything else. This is used for breakfast and morning chores. Then, adults go to the farm while others go to the market to sell their goods. Children carry some of the leftover water with them to school.

Women must take a break from the farm to have lunch ready by 12pm. Schools don't provide lunch, so students walk back home to join their mothers. After lunch, some adults go back to the farm while others end their days early. Days come to a close fairly quickly after dinner, for everyone has worked hard and needs rest.

Water Situation

Women and children are those responsible for finding enough water for cooking, drinking, and cleaning. They walk a path to Lipala Spring, jerrycan and cup in hand. They dunk their jerrycans under the pool of water to get it as full as possible, and then fill the remainder with the smaller cups. A closer look, and you can see leaves and other things floating in the water. When the water just doesn't look clear enough for drinking, women will make the walk of over two kilometers to get water from protected springs.

This spring is ideal for protection because of the high population living around it - it has hundreds of beneficiaries, including students from nearby Madivini Primary School.

Sanitation Situation

A majority of the residents neighboring Lipala Spring do not have standard latrines. Only a few of them have improvised, simple pit latrines, and they're poorly managed. Some people practice open defection, while others share sanitation facilities because it's more convenient for them. It will be effective to address this issue by explaining how feces are spread around the community many different ways. It is important to dispose of waste properly!

Bathing shelters, dish racks and compost pits were hard to come by. Homes that have no kitchens have resorted to cooking outside, exposing their food to contaminants.

There are no hand-washing stations.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least two days. This training will ensure participants have the knowledge they need 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. One of the most important topics we plan to cover is open defecation and its dangers, as well as having and using a pit latrine.

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. The fence will keep out destructive animals, and the drainage will keep the area’s mosquito population at a minimum.

Plans: Sanitation Platforms

On the final day of training, participants will select five families that should benefit from new latrine floors.

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 chosen for sanitation platforms 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.

Plans: Spring Protection

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. With the community's high involvement in the process, there should be a good sense of responsibility and ownership for the new clean water source.

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.

Project Updates

May, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Itukhula Community, Lipala 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.

Emphasizing the importance of a designated handwashing station

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 Itukhula, Kenya.

We trained more than 18 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 demonstration

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.

Mask making tutorial

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 community member following along with the mask tutorial

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.

Prevention reminder chart installed at the spring

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.

Everyone practices handwashing

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.

Team Leader Catherine address the community

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.

July, 2019: Giving Update: Itukhula Community, Lipala Spring

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to protect Lipala Spring for Itukhula Community in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories. Read more…

May, 2018: Itukhula Community Project Complete

Itukhula Community now has clean water! Lipala Spring has been transformed into a flowing source of clean water thanks to your donation. The spring is protected from contamination, five sanitation platforms have been provided for the community, and training has been done on sanitation and hygiene.

Knowledge is Power

During our supervision of ongoing work at nearby Madivini Primary School, we swung by Itukhula Community to see if the local materials like sand and stones had been gathered by community members and delivered to the spring site. We found many community members already at Lipala Spring. We discussed our plans to offer a hygiene and sanitation training, and they responded with great interest. We agreed on the dates together so that it wouldn't interfere with anything else going on in their village. We met together at a household close to the spring, and attendance was as expected.

The field officer clearly communicated the areas of needed improvement for Itukhula, which included the following topics and more:

– Handwashing and personal hygiene

– Handling water and food hygienically

– Safe waste disposal

– Water treatment

By the end of training, a water user committee and a community health volunteer group were formed. The training was a success because the formed committees chose their respective leaders and promised to start work as soon as possible. They'll be encouraging good water, hygiene, and sanitation practices within their community.


Mrs. Jane Oseta is a business-minded woman who sells the extra vegetables she picks from her garden. She is now part of the water user committee that oversees and cares for their new clean water point.

"Indeed knowledge is power," she said. "If we had the information you have passed to us today, we would not have wasted our resources on treating waterborne diseases, which are preventable!"

Sanitation Platforms

All five sanitation platforms have been installed. These five families are happy about this milestone of having a private latrine of their own and are optimistic that people will no longer leave waste outdoors. We are continuing to encourage families to finish building walls and roofs over their new latrine floors.

Spring Protection

Note: There was an issue with an SD card in the field, and we are not able to provide pictures of the construction process. If you wish to see pictures that of what is happening in the steps outlined below, check out the protections in Shikoti Community or Shilakaya Community.

Community members provided all locally available construction materials, e.g bricks, wheelbarrows of clean sand, wheelbarrows of ballast, fencing poles and gravel. Accommodations and meals were provided for the artisan, too. Men and women lent their strength to the artisan to help him with manual labor.

The spring area was excavated to create space for setting the foundation of polyethylene, wire mesh and concrete. After the base had been set, both wing walls and the headwall were set in place using brickwork. The discharge pipe was fixed low in place through the headwall to direct the water from the reservoir to the drawing area.

As the wing walls and headwall were curing, the stairs were set and the tiles were fixed directly below the discharge pipe. This reduces the erosive force of the falling water and beautifies the spring. The process of plastering the headwall and wing walls on both sides reinforces the brickwork and prevents water from the reservoir from seeping through the walls and allows pressure to build in the collection box to push water up through the discharge pipe.

The source area was filled up with clean hardcore and covered with a polyethylene membrane to eliminate any potential sources of contamination. The community had to wait for two weeks before using the spring so that the concrete could thoroughly dry. We scheduled a day when we would return to hand this water source over for the community to use.

The spring had to cure, which means someone had to visit every day to moisten the concrete. This ensured that it dried at a pace that wouldn't result in cracks.

"The source is now discharging very clean and safe drinking water that can be consumed at any time without the need of boiling or treating it. It's not the same, as we used to consider water fetched early in the morning only safe for drinking since later in the day there was open defecation that exposed the water to all kinds of contamination. We are grateful for you considering our spring for protection," Mr. Raphael Shitukhu said.

February, 2018: Itukhula Community Project Underway

Itukhula Community will soon have a clean, safe source of water thanks to your donation! Community members have been drinking contaminated water from Lipala Spring, and contend with the consequences on a daily basis. 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 here. Please take some time to get to know your community through the narrative and pictures posted to this page. We look forward to reaching out again with good news!

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!

Giving Update: Itukhula Community, Lipala Spring

July, 2019

A year ago, you funded a spring protection at Itukhula Community in Kenya – creating a life-changing moment for Kevin Amiani. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

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

Life for Itukhula community members who use Lipala Spring has improved over the last year, evidenced most significantly by the decrease in the number of waterborne diseases among villagers. Lipala Spring has created job opportunities through the use of its water, and community members are practicing good hygiene by being very careful to wash their hands at very critical points.

These critical points, such as after using the latrine, before and after eating, are times when villagers would otherwise have a highly elevated chance of getting sick from the bacteria on their own hands. When you enter community members' compounds, they are clean and tidy.

Chair of Lipala Spring's water user committee, Jane Amaitsa has been pleased to see these changes take place in her village over the last year.

"Since the project last year, the community members have been accessing clean and safe water for drinking compared to previous times before it was protected. The community members are using the same water [for work] and [in turn are] supporting their families to pay fees, buy food, and clothing."

Fetching water

Many families are also now able to send their children to school thanks to the income their parents are earning from their new jobs. We heard how this is changing their lives for the better.

Kevin Amiani shared with us how his community's health has changed drastically since the protection of the spring.

"Since the project was completed in our community, my life has changed health-wise," he said.

"Most of us were affected by waterborne diseases and our parents spent a lot of money on treatment. Typhoid was worse [then], but after the protection of the spring, this has reduced and now we are a happy community enjoying clean water for drinking. Thank you for your support!"

Smiles for running water

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 Itukhula Community, Lipala 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 Itukhula Community, Lipala 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.


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