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The Water Project: Timbito Community C -  Latrines
The Water Project: Timbito Community C -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Timbito Community C -  Household
The Water Project: Timbito Community C -  Household
The Water Project: Timbito Community C -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Timbito Community C -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Timbito Community C -  Current Water Source
The Water Project: Timbito Community C -  Current Water Source

Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  Under Construction
Estimated Install Date (?):  11/30/2018

Project Features

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Community Profile

It’s 5 in the morning and the women in Timbito Community are already awake. They begin the day by praying for their children and then proceed to prepare breakfast. As the sun rises they take their water containers and head for Katamba Spring as quickly as possible.

At the spring, the line is very long and it seems like people had slept at the spring overnight just to fetch water. The women there told us that they spend up to three hours each day just searching for water. These women waste a lot of precious time seeking water!

The families here rely on sugarcane farming, selling their harvest to local sugar factories.


Children don’t like to help their mothers fetch water because they fear slipping and falling into the spring. The women themselves have to step into the water to fill their jerrycans, trying to dunk them in the deepest parts of the water.

Katamba Spring is located at the bottom of a slope, collecting all sorts of dirt and waste, but community members still have to use its water to meet all of their needs – including drinking. The water itself is muddy, so some mothers make at least one long trip to find clean water at Timbito Spring.

People suffer from so many complications because there’s no clean drinking water nearby. Just at the end of last year, they lost a young child from cholera. Mrs. Betty John said that she’s very excited about the protection of the spring.

“We often struggle to gain access to water, as we have to walk two kilometers away to the nearest protected spring. This time we waste is never recovered,” she said.


Pit latrines around the village are made of mud walls that are crumbling. The dirt floors are smeared with cow dung to keep them free of dust, but the grass-thatched roofs let water in.

At least one-quarter of households don’t have one of these facilities. Bushes are often an alternative if a neighbor isn’t willing to share. A few of these latrines have a water container just outside for the user to wash their hands, but there’s no soap.

Other households have dish racks and clotheslines nearby the kitchen building, where they dry their belongings off the ground. But unfortunately, the majority just spread their things out on the grass.

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.

The most important topic during training will be about latrines. Every family needs a latrine so that human waste is kept far away from food and water sources!

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 women and 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 clarity) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates

08/15/2018: Scheduling for Timbito Community Spring Protection

Everyone in Timbito Community is excited about their new spring protection. Timing is very important as we ensure that everyone is ready for these big changes. The field officers and local leaders have agreed that the right time for construction and training will be over these next few months. We had previously scheduled this project for August but have modified that date to reflect the planning change made by the team. Thank you for standing with us as we continue work in Timbito.

We’re always open to conversation about our process and are happy to answer your questions. And, if you get a notice like this – it’s actually further proof your gifts are being carefully used towards a water project that lasts.

The Water Project : 4-kenya18126-fetching-water

05/31/2018: Work Starting in Timbito Community

Dirty water from Katamba Spring is making people in Timbito Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

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-kenya18126-current-water-source

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 leads to a concrete spring box and collection area. Safe water typically flows year-round and there is very limited ongoing maintenance needed!