Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 240 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/06/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

A day starts at 6am when the women get up and go out to milk the cows. After some cleaning chores, they prepare breakfast and get their children out for school. The men leave for the nearest shopping center, most of them being motorbike operators who taxi people for extra income. The women spend the bigger part of their days on the farm.

Sugarcane is planted on a large scale, but it's still not enough for supporting an average family. Both women and men have to take odd jobs throughout the year.


Khamala Spring is the only water source in this part of Shibuli. Women and children go their with their jerrycans to fetch drinking, cooking, and cleaning water for their families. They also have to bring along a smaller container to bail water, since the jerrycan can't dunk all the way around the surface.

This water is so contaminated, with debris visibly floating on the surface. The spring is located in a grassy area, and anything that falls in the water has to be sieved out.

Mr. Danial Khamala said, "The current health situation is very bad. Since it is the rainy season, mosquitoes breed in any pool of stagnant water and we get sick. The spring we have is like a deposit for all sorts of dirt due to surface runoff, though the water is now in plenty, it's safety for use is the main problem - we do not know how to manage."


Over half of households around Khamala Spring have a pit latrine made of mud. These don't have doors for privacy, and some are falling apart. Open defecation is an issue; sometimes the oldest and youngest of people prefer the privacy behind bushes when contrasted with the smell and danger found when using a pit latrine.

Here's what we plan to do about it:


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.

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.

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.

This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water And Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO). Our team is pleased to provide the reports for this project (edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates

June, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Shibuli Community, Khamala 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 Shibuli, Kenya.

How to make a leaky tin demonstration

We trained more than 11 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.

Trainer Jacky demonstrates handwashing

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.

Little Esther gave her complete attention at training

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.

Homemade mask tutorial

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.

The group practicing handwashing

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.

October, 2019: Giving Update: Shibuli Community, Khamala Spring

A year ago, your generous donation helped Shibuli Community in Kenya access clean water.

There’s an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water at Khamala Spring in Shibuli. Month after month, their giving supports ongoing sustainability programs that help this community maintain access to safe, reliable water. Read more…

May, 2018: Shibuli Community Project Complete

Shibuli Community now has clean water! Khamala 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 given in sanitation and hygiene.

New Knowledge

We conducted hygiene and sanitation training at the homestead of Mr. Dan Khamala, on whose farm the spring was constructed. The attendance was fair, though only the women were patient enough to sit and listen until the end of all our sessions. The men dropped by for a few minutes and then excused themselves to get to other tasks that enable them earn a living for their families.

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

– Hand-washing and personal hygiene

– Handling water and food hygienically

– Safe waste disposal

– Water treatment

Construction at the spring had just finished, and so the women walked over for hands-on demonstrations. They learned how to properly use, manage, and maintain Khamala Spring. More importantly, they learned how to fetch, handle, and store clean water so as to ensure it’s still clean at the time of consumption.

"As a young lady, I am so glad I got time to attend this training. Although at the beginning I was a bit pessimistic about coming, but now I am glad I got the knowledge some of my peers have not gotten yet," 19-year-old Lavendar Khasiani Khamala told us.

"Insights from elderly women and even the facilitators will improve my life greatly, especially since I am looking forward to being a mother in the near future. So thank you so much for creating such a platform."

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

Community members provided all locally available construction materials, e.g bricks, wheelbarrows of clean sand, wheelbarrows of ballast, fencing poles and hard core (crushed rock and gravel). Accommodations and meals were provided for the artisan, too.

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 head wall to direct the water from the reservoir to the drawing area.

Excavation to prepare level ground.

As the wing walls and head wall 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 head wall 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.

Since the concrete around the spring needed time to dry, we set a day to meet community members there and celebrate. This wasn’t only a chance to celebrate the concrete drying, but clean water, too!

People brought their containers to fetch clean water for the first time.

"The water we have now received will serve many generations to come. We have been struggling to get clean water at our homes, and our only hope has been the source that is now protected!" Mrs. Edith Kisinja said.

"We cannot express our joy in any other way other than through our words. We are sure we will now be using and drinking clean and safe water. The diseases previously acquired will now be minimal, as the rest of the hygiene practices are ours to practice at home to ensure all is well."

February, 2018: Shibuli Community Project Underway

Shibuli Community will soon have a clean, safe source of water thanks to your donation! Community members have been drinking contaminated water from Khamala 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 Videos

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: Shibuli Community, Khamala Spring

October, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Shibuli Community in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Dan Khamala. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

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

As a community [around] Khamala Spring we are greatly benefitting from this project because there is plenty of water which saves the entire area...Secondly, we no longer suffer from waterborne diseases which affected us financially because we were used to buying drugs and seeking treatment," noted one community member from Shibuli. We heard this on a recent visit to Khamala Spring to hear how it has impacted community members' lives in its first year since completion.

The community has shown their support and gratefulness for the project by ensuring that the spring area is kept clean, re-digging and clearing the drainage trenches as necessary and clearing the bushes around the spring.

"Cleanliness has improved so much because there is enough water in the spring that community members use in cleaning [and] cooking...thus improving on their health," said Dan Khamala, landowner of the spring.

"We are so happy that now we can access clean, safe water free from germs which we use in cleaning utensils, clothes, drinking, [and] cooking," said 19-year-old Sharon Ivayo.

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 Shibuli Community, Khamala 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 Shibuli Community, Khamala 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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