Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 320 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/04/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

There's a lot of activity in Jivovoli before the sun's up.

Women rise early to prepare breakfast before the children have to run to school. After the children are off, women go to the spring to fetch water, wash the breakfast utensils, and then go to their farms or smaller gardens. They return home to prepare lunch, since most students are sent back home anywhere from noon to 1pm for an hour's break. Women take what they've gotten from their gardens to sell in the local market once the children are back to school for afternoon classes.

Meanwhile, men either help their wives on the farm or sit around waiting to hear about work. There's a high unemployment rate here.


Gideon Asonga Spring serves 30 different families living in the area, who use its water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. The spring pools to the surface where it's entirely open to contamination. It's especially bad after rainwater washes all of the nearby garbage, dirt, and waste into the water. We even saw a girl getting water from the spring's drainage, where it's even muddier.

People bring their containers and dunk them under the surface until full. Whenever these 20-liter or smaller containers are emptied another trip is due because most families are unable to afford any larger storage containers at home.

After drinking this water, people suffer from typhoid and other waterborne illnesses.


Sanitation is a big issue in this community. The local church has even taken time to teach about good sanitation practices, but it hasn't been successful.

There aren't enough latrines for the number of families here; each household doesn't have their own. Without a latrine, people are going in the privacy of bushes. The latrines we observed are in poor condition - the pits are almost full, and maggots are seen crawling along the floor.

Few people have a dedicated place for personal hygiene, and instead bathe in the bushes nearby the spring. What they don't realize is that their wastewater flows right back down the hill into their drinking water.

As Mr. Absalom Asonga showed us around his community.

"This community has suffered a lot due to the unprotected spring that is contaminated and exposes them to dirty water-related diseases. They also lack enough knowledge about how to stay in a clean environment," he 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 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 (formatted and edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates

May, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Jivovoli Community, Gideon Asonga 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 Jivovoli, Kenya.

We trained more than 22 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.

September, 2019: Giving Update: Jivovoli Community, Gideon Asonga Spring

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

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

July, 2018: Clean Water for Jivovoli Community!

Jivovoli Community now has clean water! Gideon Asonga 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. These new things unlock the opportunity for people to live healthier lives.

New Knowledge

Mr. Absolom Asonga, the owner of the land where the spring is located, was our contact person as we planned for hygiene and sanitation training in Jivovoli. He kept in constant communication with us and his neighbors, with the help of a village elder. The two leaders also walked door-to-door asking people to take time out of their busy schedules to attend training so that they could be empowered on how to manage the spring and learn about health matters.

Nearly every home in the community was represented at the training, with more than 30 adults. It was also well-attended by an even balance of men and women, as well as a wide range of ages. It took place near the water source since it was not too hot that day.

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.

The participants were so active and asked so many questions concerning sanitation and hygiene. They also posed questions on personal hygiene, wanting to know why girls are most at risk of contracting hygiene-related diseases. Every participant looked so captivated by the demonstrations that were carried out during the training.

Establishing a water user committee got everyone super active, and when it came time to choose committee leaders the participants were lost for choice. It took some time before they settled on the three leaders who were chosen. The community enjoyed learning what the committee should do about the spring, and this process raised a lot of concerns that were cleared up. By the end of the session,  everyone saw that the committee was a great idea worth backing. When all the questions were answered, participants were more than willing to work with the committee to ensure that the spring is maintained.

"Today, we count ourselves a very lucky lot since we have learned a lot of things that we would have never come to know of freely. This kind of information is very rare, and I wish I got it earlier," Mrs. Mable Inziani said.

"If only it came earlier, we wouldn't have suffered from the waterborne diseases that have constantly been a big issue in this community. However, we will start practicing all that we have been taught here and we will be one healthy village."

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 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 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.

James Mbimwa

"Getting water from this spring is now very easy, we do not have to sit and wait for dirt in the water to settle down before we start fetching the water but rather place our containers under the pipe and water goes in," Mr. James Mbimwa said.

April, 2018: Jivovoli Community Project Underway

Dirty water from Gideon Asonga Spring is making people in Jivovoli 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!

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: Jivovoli Community, Gideon Asonga Spring

September, 2019

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Jivovoli Community 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!

Gideon Asonga spring users in Jivovoli have seen a decrease in the number of sick people since last year when the spring was protected since drinking dirty water has become a thing of the past. This change has been seen across all users of Gideon Asonga Spring. The availability of clean water has changed the way the community members perceive this water source in a positive light, instead of one of need yet dissatisfaction.

Samuel Wangwa and his wife, Gladys Wangwa, are among those in Jivovoli who depend on Gideon Asonga spring for their daily water needs. Samuel remarked how their family has felt these impacts directly.

"The biggest change would be the reduced visits to the hospital due to the availability of clean water in the area. The number has really dropped, and [sometimes] you would hear people comment how about a year ago this water source was the source of their illness."

"Most of the challenges we experienced were solved by the protection of the spring and the availability of the chlorine dispenser. Clean water was what we needed, and here it is."

Mrs. Gladys Wangwa fetches water

Even 8-year-old Natasha Lung'aso knows the difference in her water from this year to last.

"There are no more insects in the water. [The] water is clean and it does not make us sick anymore," she said.

Field Officer Ian Nakitare with Samuel and Natasha

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 Jivovoli Community 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 Jivovoli Community – 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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