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The Water Project: Upper Visiru Community -  Walking To Collect Water
The Water Project: Upper Visiru Community -  Young Boy With Jerrycan
The Water Project: Upper Visiru Community -  Woman And Dish Drying Rack
The Water Project: Upper Visiru Community -  Water Source
The Water Project: Upper Visiru Community -  Sample Dishrack
The Water Project: Upper Visiru Community -  Mzee
The Water Project: Upper Visiru Community -  Mrs Obanda Beside Her Latrine
The Water Project: Upper Visiru Community -  Maize Drying
The Water Project: Upper Visiru Community -  Latrine With Metal Walls And Roof
The Water Project: Upper Visiru Community -  Latrine Floor
The Water Project: Upper Visiru Community -  Cow House
The Water Project: Upper Visiru Community -  Community Landscape
The Water Project: Upper Visiru Community -  Children Bringing Water Home
The Water Project: Upper Visiru Community -  Birds
The Water Project: Upper Visiru Community -  Bathroom
The Water Project: Upper Visiru Community -  Bathroom Floor
The Water Project: Upper Visiru Community -  Animal Waste Dumpsite In The Community
The Water Project: Upper Visiru Community -  A Common Household

Project Status



Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Project Phase:  Donate to this Project
Estimated Install Date (?):  02/28/2019

Project Features


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Community Profile

Wembosani Spring is unprotected water point that is found in Upper Visiru village in Vihiga County.

A normal day’s work begins at 6 in the morning. The adults prepare to go to their farms while the children prepare to go to their respective schools. Most of the community members are casual laborers in the nearby towns of Majengo and Mbale.
Due to lack of sufficient land for farming, members of the village practice subsistence farming.

Water

The spring serves more than 60 households not to mention the nearby Magui Primary School, especially during droughts.

Despite the spring serving a large number of people, it has never been protected.

“On so many occasions, we tried to come up with ways to protect this spring but all has never been positive,” Mr. Ezekiel Ageso said.

We were referred by a member of Wanzuma spring, a beneficiary of our project, to go view the spring. The background of the spring was delved into and it turned out to be a permanent source that serves a large number of community members.

Water from the spring is gathered using a jug or a plastic container which is immersed in the pool of water then poured in the jerrycans.

Water sourced at the spring is used almost immediately – most of the members have no storage containers in their homes. A majority of the members can’t afford to buy the storage containers.

As we could see, the spring was contaminated. The catchment area is exposed to contaminants.

“We have had cases of typhoid in our village, this could be attributed to our water source being exposed to contaminants especially from human activities,” Seth Kiribwa, a farmer from the community, said.

Sanitation

When conducting our survey we realized that at least each home had one or two sanitation facilities – an indicator that the community attitude towards hygiene and sanitation is positive.

We estimate more than half of all households have a latrine. However, some members still share latrines because they are not able to put up their own due to the fact that they are expensive to construct.

A majority of the members told us that they have a kitchen garden where most of the garbage is disposed of and later on used as manure once it has decomposed.

Here’s what we’re going to do about it:

Training

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.

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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!



Contributors