Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 350 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/07/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Futsi Fuvili Community is covered with small households and farms. People plant cash crops such as maize and sugar to sell to local factories.

People get to work early in the morning, starting with household chores and moving to the farm before lunch. Women are seen back on the farm after lunch, while men head to the urban areas to earn money taxiing people around on their motorbikes.

Water Situation

Most of the farmers and their children get their water from Simeon Shimaka Spring. The water here pools at the surface, where people (primarily women and children) dunk their 20-liter jerrycans. This water is brought home and used for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. During the driest months, extra trips are made to the spring to get water for irrigating farms.

Simeon Shimaka Spring is especially polluted during the rainy season, when contaminants like farming fertilizers, feces, and dirt wash into the water. As a result, many drinkers of the water, especially children, suffer from diarrhea.

Sanitation Situation

Open defecation is a big issue here. People do not realize that this waste easily contaminates the water for the rest of the community. Less than half of households have a pit latrine. The ones we observed are made of mud walls with no doors, and wooden floors.

Jackline Mulefu admitted that "most of the people in this area do not wash their hands after using latrines and they go on to cook with the same dirty hands. Then later, their families start suffering from diarrhea."

Here’s what we plan to do about it

You can donate directly to this project to help us provide a reliable source of clean, safe water and equip families with important hygiene and sanitation information. We hope you’ll join us.

Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least three days. This training will ensure participants are no longer ignorant 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. Since open defecation was encountered here, this is at the top of our list of things to address. Waste always needs to be disposed of properly, or else it will be spread by flies or rainwater.

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.

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 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.

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 efforts to engage and invest in income-generating activities.

Project Updates

December, 2020: Through Their Eyes: COVID-19 Chronicles with John Shimaka

This post is part of a new series by The Water Project meant to highlight the perspectives and experiences of the people we serve and how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting them. We invite you to read more of their stories here.

Our team recently visited Futsi Fuvili to conduct a COVID-19 prevention training (read more about it below!) and monitor their water point, Simeon Shimaka Spring. Shortly after, we returned to check in on the community, offer a COVID-19 refresher training, and ask how the pandemic is affecting their lives.

It was during this most recent visit that John Shimaka shared his story of how the coronavirus is impacting his life and his community. John is a 52-year-old farmer and Chair to the spring's water user committee.

John Shimaka next to a tippy tap handwashing station outside his house

Field Officer Karen Maruti met John outside his home to conduct the interview. Both Karen and John observed physical distancing and other precautions throughout the visit to ensure their health and safety. The following is John's story, in his own words.

What is one thing that has changed in your community since the completion of the water project?

"The spring protection has given us fresh and clean water. Initially, before protection, the water was open to contamination, and health-wise we were affected. We struggled with coughing, stomachaches, and diarrhea, especially amongst the children."

How has having a clean water point helped you through the pandemic so far?

"Water has been a key requirement in fighting the pandemic of coronavirus. We use water from Simeon Shamaka Spring to wash our hands and for enhancing general hygiene. We are glad that water was available and thus we have had an easy time."

Physical distancing at the spring to fetch water

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Kenya, has fetching water changed for you because of restrictions, new rules, or your concerns about the virus?

"Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, we have been practicing social distance and thus we no longer crowd at the spring, unlike in the past when our women would meet at the spring to socialize as they fetched water. The number of trips made to the spring are more, unlike in the past, as we need more water for washing our hands and general hygiene."

John fetching water at the spring

How has COVID-19 impacted your family?

"This coronavirus virus came and got us hard. Apart from affecting our livelihoods, we as a family lost three close cousins that passed on due to coronavirus. On the other hand, keeping social distance with children is tricky as they are innocent beings that do not understand why we cannot hug them whenever we reach home and have to wait till we take a shower first."

John outside his home

What other challenges are you experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

"Social distance has affected our family social unit as we are used to eating together and meeting in social functions such as funerals, weddings, or celebrating the birth of a newborn child."

What hygiene and sanitation steps have you and your community taken to stop the spread of the virus?

"We have installed handwashing stations in each home, we are keeping social distance, and wearing masks as we go to public places."

Handwashing using the tippy tap filled with water from the spring

Like most governments around the world, the Kenyan government continues to set and adjust restrictions both nationally and regionally to help control the spread of the virus.

What restriction were you most excited to see lifted already?

"We are happy that we can now go to church, even if it's for few hours. And, as a family, we have a Class 8 candidate and we are happy they are back in school. Managing the children at home has not been easy, especially the candidates who forget that they need to keep reading as they await their final examinations."

John gives his sheep a fresh drink from the spring

What restriction are you still looking forward to being lifted?

"We look forward to all children going back to school."

What has been the most valuable part of the COVID-19 sensitization training you received from our team?

"The sensitization on COVID was very useful to us as the community, as we are now all aware on washing hands, social distancing, and we understand facts on Corona."

June, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Simeon Shimaka 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 Fusti Fuvili, Kenya.

We trained community members 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.

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.

July, 2019: Giving Update: Futsi Fuvili Community, Simeon Shimaka Spring

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to protect Simeon Shimaka Spring for Futsi Fuvili 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: Futsi Fuvili Community Project Complete

Futsi Fuvili Community now has clean water! Simeon Shimaka 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

We worked together with Mr. Shimaka, our main contact person in Futsi Fuvili. He gave us the community’s preferred date for training, for he was very much aware of the community calendar when it comes to planting season and other big events.

The community member's at first turned up in low numbers but as the training was going on, they continued to come. By the end, there were a lot of participants which was very encouraging. Attendees participated in asking questions, also in giving of answers to questions asked by the facilitator.

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.

Participants were particularly engaged in the session on handwashing.

Handwashing training

"Due to this training today, I have learned what I did not know such as, the way to wash my hand but now I know there are ten steps of washing hands," Mrs. Jackline Mulefu said.

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.

New sanitation platform

"I really appreciate The Water Project together with WEWASAFO for enabling my family and l get a sanitation platform, we had a bad toilet which my family and l feared to get into and step on it but now as we have dug a new pit we shall have no worries to use it and put up another superstructure which is a new beginning for my family," Mrs. Rose Sakaya said.

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.

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.

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.

As soon as it was ready, people got the okay from our field officers to begin fetching clean water.

"I am very delighted to see that our spring has been protected, initially as we went to fetch water at the spring, we used to fetch water that was very dirty and when one would look at it, it was not pleasing to the eyes, but now as the spring has been protected we now have clean and safe water for drinking," Mr. Enock Makokha said.

We met them there to celebrate this momentous occasion.

"I take this opportunity to thank The Water Project and WEWASAFO for enabling this community get access to clean and safe water for drinking, I know right now henceforth we shall have minimal cases of waterborne diseases. People at there homes will have no worries for they now know they have clean water since the spring has been protected," Mrs. Mulefu said.


March, 2018: Futsi Fuvili Community Project Underway

Dirty water from Simeon Shimaka Spring is making people in Futsi Fuvili 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!

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: Futsi Fuvili Community, Simeon Shimaka Spring

July, 2019

A year ago, you funded a spring protection at Futsi Fuvili Community in Kenya – creating a life-changing moment for Jacklyne Shimaka. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Futsi Fuvili Community 4.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Futsi Fuvili Community 4 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 Simeon Shimaka Spring users has transformed over the last year since the project's implementation.

These people no longer suffer from waterborne diseases, compared to before the spring protection. They are now enjoying good health and clean, safe drinking water. Water quality, water quantity, sanitation, and hygiene has also improved in the area since the spring was protected. Good hygiene habits such as washing hands often is being promoted among community members, by community members since our training on the topic a little over a year ago. The spring itself is in good condition with a steady discharge. It is kept clean and the surrounding environment is well taken care of.

Jacklyne Shimaka, a farmer in Futsi Fuvili, met us at the spring on a recent field visit to share with us how this project has impacted her own life and the life of her village.

"The community has improved in sanitation and hygiene. Since the provision of [sanitation platforms], the toilets are always clean and [are] enough for everyone. My children have not been sick [from] any waterborne diseases since we started drinking safe water, which was not the case before the protection. I am never worried about such sickness anymore," Jacklyne said.

Jacklyne Shimaka with Field Officer Georgina

Jacklyne also noted an interesting benefit to Simeon Shimaka Spring's good, steady yield.

"During the dry season, we meet new people from different communities who come to access this water. This creates networking and business transactions between the members, therefore improving people's livelihoods."

Simeon Otundu and Georgina

John Shimaka, Jacklyne's 8-year-old son, shared with us a simple yet powerful snapshot of how this project has impacted him personally.

Drink up!

"Before the spring protection, I was scared to go fetch water because I was afraid of falling into the water, but now I can fetch water anytime without adult supervision since it is safe and clean."

At the spring

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 Futsi Fuvili Community 4 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 Futsi Fuvili Community 4 – 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.


2 individual donor(s)