Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2019

Functionality Status:  Water Flowing - Needs Attention

Last Checkup: 07/08/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Mashirobe Spring is an unprotected water point that is found in Shitoto Village in Kakamega County of Western Kenya.

A normal day begins early in the morning since a majority of the members of the village are motorcycle taxi (boda boda) riders and casual laborers in the nearby larger town of Kakamega.

"I normally wake up as early as 5am to start my boda boda business. I run the business the whole day until about 7pm in the evening then retire to my home," Mr. Boaz Anjia said.


The spring is a permanent water source that serves more than 60 households.

Mr. Anjia attended one of our trainings in another village, introduced himself, and then directed us to Mashirobe Spring in his own village of Shitoto.

"This water source has been here since I was born. This spring has been serving members of the village for more than 65 years," Mr. Lawrence Mashirobe said.

Members of the spring have improvised a pipe which directs water into their uncovered jerrycans. Water fetched at the spring is stored in drums and the remaining water is stored in the jerrycans.

"We have made efforts to reach our area member of the County assembly to assist us in protecting this spring. The response has not been positive," Mr. Caroli Indika said.

The lack of access to safe drinking water leads to the spread of waterborne related diseases such as cholera and typhoid.

"We have been experiencing waterborne related diseases. We are grateful to the Lord for [The Water Project] developing an interest to protect this spring," Mr. Mashirobe said.

"We are looking forward to seeing this spring protected."


Most of the households have at least one form of sanitation facility an indicator that the village has a positive attitude towards hygiene and sanitation. The most common examples found are clotheslines, pit latrines, dish racks, and bathrooms.

As we visited the various homes, we were able to see a common trend in the structures of the latrines. Quite a number had thatched structures with the floors made of timber.

Some community members share latrines because they are unable to put up their own due to the fact that they are expensive to construct. Garbage is of disposed of in their farms which is allowed to decompose and later on used as manure.

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. Handwashing 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.

Project Updates

October, 2019: Giving Update: Shitoto Community, Mashirobe Spring

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

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

February, 2019: Shitoto Community, Mashirobe Spring Project Complete

Shitoto Community is celebrating their new protected spring, so celebrate with them! Mashirobe Spring has been transformed into a flowing, safe source of 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.

Spring Protection

Construction at Mashirobe Spring was successful and water is now flowing from the discharge pipe.

"For a long time we had been drawing water from an unprotected spring and this had always put our health in danger," remembered Mrs. Opat.

"We thank God for today our village is able to access clean, safe water and also as you can see, the discharge rate has improved."

The Process:

Community members provided all locally available construction materials, e.g bricks, wheelbarrows of clean sand, wheelbarrows of ballast, and gravel. Community members also hosted our artisans for the duration of construction.

The spring area was excavated with jembes, hoes, and spades 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 cured, 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.

Plastering the headwall

The source area was filled up with clean stones and sand and covered with a polyethylene membrane to eliminate any potential sources of contamination.

The concrete dried over the course of five days, during which the community members built a fence to protect their new source of clean water. They do not want people or wild animals walking across the area leading up to the discharge pipe.

With this spring now handed over to the community, we will continue to follow up with the water committee to make sure everything runs smoothly.

The roads to Mashirobe are barely accessible, there's no electricity, and the majority is illiterate. Implementation of the project has finally brought hope to the community, with some people saying that it is Mashirobe's turn for blessings. The village had been promised roads, electricity, and even protection of the spring by area members of county assembly, but those things never materialized.

The people are so happy for this recent support that has introduced clean water to Mashirobe!

Sanitation Platforms

All five sanitation platforms have been installed and make wonderful, easy to clean latrine floors. These five families are happy about this milestone of having a latrine of their own. We are continuing to encourage families to finish building walls and roofs over their new latrine floors.

These latrine floors are so much safer for young children to use!

New Knowledge

The community has been trained to form a very strong management committee that will oversee all the activities carried out at the spring. Also, the group is being advised to always seek the advice of our organization when there is a major issue that may require our help.

Training was carried out at Esther Andala's homestead since she lives so close the spring. Weather conditions were favorable during each training session.

Several topics were covered during the training, such as personal and environmental hygiene, common local diseases and their prevention, and care of the water point. The ten steps of handwashing were demonstrated, along with demonstrations for dental hygiene and water treatment.

Handwashing demonstration - it's not just dipping your hands in running water

The session on dental hygiene was very interesting because we learned that the majority of people were not brushing their teeth. Those who could afford a toothbrush and toothpaste were not using them correctly. We taught others about substitutes for toothbrushes and toothpaste, such as a clean stick and salt.

Community members were very excited about learning that solar disinfection if done properly, can make water safe for drinking.

Training was overall very successful, though the trainer thought attendance was too low. We plan to carry out a review training to allow people who didn't attend another chance to learn.

"It has been good attending this wonderful training. I have learned new things touching on hygiene and sanitation and from today my life has changed for good," said Mr. Andala.

"For a long time now, I have not been brushing my teeth but thank God I have gotten firsthand information on dangers of not brushing our teeth."

Thank You for making all of this possible!

January, 2019: Shitoto Community, Mashirobe Spring Project Underway

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

Get to know this 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: Shitoto Community, Mashirobe Spring

October, 2019

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Shitoto 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!

Field Officer Allan Amadaro recently visited Mashirobe Spring in Shitoto to check up on the spring and interview community members about the project's impact in its first year since completion. Allan shared the following reflection from his visit:

"The community is generally clean. Community members have upheld high standards of hygiene and sanitation. The spring is also well maintained - a sign that the hygiene training conducted during the project implementation is being adhered to."

"No congestion at the spring was also an indication that the beneficiaries have more time to indulge in other activities. This is as a result of the protection of the spring fitted with a pipe for drawing water. This makes it easy to access and fetch water at the spring."

10-year-old Kelvin Opaka told Allan that "it's easier for us to fetch water at the spring. The water is clean and we are enjoying drinking from this spring."

Kelvin Opaka enjoying the spring water

Allan also interviewed Judith Kanga, who depends on Mashirobe Spring for her family's daily water needs. With her baby on her shoulder, Judith explained some of the changes she has seen in her community as a result of the spring protection last year.

Judith fetching water at the spring

"The protected spring has given our village something to be proud of. The reliability of the spring is counted on by us and members from neighboring communities for access to clean and safe water, even when other springs in the area run dry," she said.

"Congestion at the spring has also reduced and it's much easier fetching water at the spring. We can now comfortably send our children to fetch water and they bring back clean water."

Field Officer Allan Amadaro with Judith 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 Shitoto 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 Shitoto 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)