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The Water Project: Shiru Community -  Water Flowing
The Water Project: Shiru Community -  Thumbs Up For Clean Water
The Water Project: Shiru Community -  New Latrine Platform
The Water Project: Shiru Community -  Cleaning New Latrine Platform
The Water Project: Shiru Community -  Spring Nearing Protection
The Water Project: Shiru Community -  Lining Spring Protection
The Water Project: Shiru Community -  Lining Lower Part Of Spring
The Water Project: Shiru Community -  Digging At New Spring
The Water Project: Shiru Community -  Group Discussions At Training
The Water Project: Shiru Community -  Training Demonstration
The Water Project: Shiru Community -  Training Discussion
The Water Project: Shiru Community -  Mosquito Nets Not Being Used Properly
The Water Project: Shiru Community -  Mosquito Nets Not Being Used Properly
The Water Project: Shiru Community -  Clothes Drying
The Water Project: Shiru Community -  Mr Sammy Alumola
The Water Project: Shiru Community -  Household
The Water Project: Shiru Community -  Water Containers
The Water Project: Shiru Community -  Carrying Water And Some Guavas
The Water Project: Shiru Community -  Children Eating Guavas
The Water Project: Shiru Community -  Mrs Alumola
The Water Project: Shiru Community -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Shiru Community -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Shiru Community -  Current Water Source

Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 280 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2018

Functionality Status:  Water Flowing - Needs Attention

Last Checkup: 09/22/2019

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Community Profile

Shiru Village is just a little dot on the map in Hamisi. People stir oh-so-early to start their daily chores; the women prepare breakfast while the children prepare for school. Men head out right away to milk the cows. As children rush to school, the women get water from the spring before they head out to join their husbands at their farms.

Everybody reconvenes at home for lunch, including the children who are sent home for an hour break. Men might go back to raising their animals while women take any extra produce to sell at the market. The children expected to stop by the spring to get more water for home when they are finished with school. And then go back for more at least twice.


Sammy Alumola Spring is named after its landowner. This water source forms a large puddle that users dunk their containers in, to fetch water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and all their other needs. This so-called puddle is filthy, with dirt floating on its murky surface. All sorts of contaminants wash into the water when it rains, not to mention the dirty containers that are constantly dunked into the water.

“This community has suffered a lot due to contaminated water, yet we are blessed to have a spring that doesn’t dry up,” Mr. Sammy Alumola said. “If something could be done to save us from this predicament, we would appreciate it.”

Waterborne disease is the norm for those who have to drink this water, and community members admit that it’s probably the cause of constant diarrhea – especially among children.


Not every household has its own pit latrine, but a few share with their neighbors. The latrines we visited are not in good condition, though. They’re made of wooden floors that are near impossible to clean. Furthermore, there’s no good place to wash hands after using these latrines. It’s also rare to see other helpful sanitation tools like dish racks and clotheslines to safely dry belongings up off the dirty ground.

“We are so glad you’ve come at this time and we pray you come back to help us protect this water and train us on good methods water, sanitation, and hygiene,” Mr. Alumola said.

Here’s what we’re going 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 the handling, storage, and treatment of water. Having a clean water source will be extremely helpful, but it is useless if water gets contaminated by the time it’s consumed. Hand-washing will also be a big topic.

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 female community members by giving them more time and energy to engage 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 (formatted and edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates

07/24/2018: Shiru Community Spring Protection Complete

Shiru Community now has clean water! Sammy Alumola 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.

New Knowledge

Sammy Alumola, the chairperson of the water user committee and owner of the land where the spring is located, was our contact person as we planned for hygiene and sanitation training in Shiru. The village chief called for a ‘barazza’ (meeting) where she requested every family to send at least one person to the training. Being a school day, children would not be in that meeting but parents promised to teach their children what was taught. The area chief has also done great work by ensuring that every child in this village goes to school and only stays at home during weekends and during school holidays.

It was very sunny during the training, but the area chief provided her administration veranda to be used as the venue. She also provided chairs and benches where participants sat during the workshop.

We covered several topics including 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, personal care like handwashing, environmental hygiene, hygiene promotion, and many other things.

“I’m happy that you came to teach us very important health messages. I may be old, but I say better later than never. Let us do what is required of us for our spring to serve us and our generations. The teachings on health will help us stay away from diseases because I’m sure that none of us loves falling sick,” Mr. Patrick Musomi said.

Sanitation Platforms

Cleaning new latrine platform

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 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 was protected during the heavy rain season in the area. The rains disrupted the construction works. For instance, during construction, part of the embankment washed away. The work had to be redone thus extending the overall construction period.

Digging at the spring… again!

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 ceramic tiles were fixed directly below the discharge pipe. This protects the concrete from 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 stones and sand and covered with a polyethylene membrane to eliminate any potential sources of contamination. It took about two weeks of patience for the concrete to dry.

Spring nearing protection

The people of Shiru are now so happy that they will no longer suffer from diarrheal diseases because they have access to clean and adequate water. Women say that everything in their homes that need cleaning will be spotlessly clean as they have enough water to use for cleaning. The area chief is so proud of this achievement as she was very vital in the realization of this wonderful dream.

“It is now easier to draw water from this source,” Mrs. Berisi Kwazima said.

“The new spring is also beautiful to the eyes as everyone wants to be associated with beautiful things. Therefore we are proud of having the newest constructed spring in this location.”

The Water Project : kenya18101-thumbs-up-for-clean-water

04/21/2018: Shiru Community Project Underway

Dirty water from Sammy Alumola Spring is making people in Shiru Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more. Since actual construction is starting a little later than planned, we’ve moved the expected completion date back to 8/31.

Get to know your community through the narrative and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!

The Water Project : 2-kenya18101-fetching-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!