Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 200 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/06/2023

Project Features

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Shihingo Village is a rural area away from town. It gets a lot of rainfall throughout the year, making the area look lush and green. Community members engage in small-scale farming growing crops like maize, beans, cassava and sugarcane. The area is so peaceful as the quiet is only interrupted by cows mooing. Most buildings are made of mud walls and iron roofs.

The leading cause of death in this community is malaria and waterborne diseases. Malaria is from all of the mosquitos here, and the waterborne diseases are from the dirty water people drink on a daily basis.

This dirty water is from Mang'weli Spring, which provides water for 200 people in this part of Shihingo. The water has pooled to the surface and is completely open to contamination. Green algae is always growing on the surface, and people have to clear it away before filling their containers. Dunking the container under the water normally fills it ¾ of the way, so a smaller cup is used to fill the larger container the rest of the way.

"Insufficiency of clean drinking water will make one spend a lot of money on purchasing clean water from water vendors, and it is tiresome and time-wasting traveling long distances to get this water," said Mr. Benard Munase.

What we can do:


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

"The community members have tried to own pits latrines within their compounds. But most of this pits are in bad conditions simply because of the nature of materials they used in constructing this pit latrines. Wooden logs placed at the base of the pit latrine are prone to termites thus making it risk to the users," said Mr. Benard Munase.

On the final day of training, participants will select five families that should benefit from new concrete 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

May, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Shihingo Community, Mangweli 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.

All eyes on the trainer in the mask

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 Shihingo, Kenya.

We trained more than 10 people 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.

Trainer Christine leads handwashing demonstration

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.

Handwashing demonstration

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.

Handwashing demonstration

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.

Trainers review the prevention reminders chart

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.

Chart installed at the spring

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.

An elder reads the informational pamphlet on COVID-19

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.

June, 2019: Shihingo Community, Mangweli Spring Project Complete!

Shihingo Community now has clean water! Mangweli 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.

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.

Community member tosses a brick to the artisan.

The Process

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 plastic, wire mesh and concrete. After the base had been set, both wing walls and the headwall were set in place using brickwork. The discharge pipes were fixed low in place through the headwall to direct the water from the reservoir to the drawing area.

Community member helps shovel fill onto the base.

As the wing walls and headwall were curing, the stairs were set and ceramic tiles were fixed directly below the discharge pipes. 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 pipes.

Artisan finishes the stone wall.

Artisan completes the concrete walls.

The source area was filled up with clean stones and sand and covered with a plastic 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. We met them there to celebrate this momentous occasion.

Violet Ivasha, a farmer in Shihingo, was happy to share her excitement about the newly protected spring.

"The new water source looks so nice. Drawing water from this source now is so easy as you only place [your] container under the discharging pipe and within no time, the container is full, unlike before where we used to scoop water using smaller container[s], which was so tiresome and time-consuming," she said.

Water flows freely and easily from the protected spring.

For the sustainability of Mangweli spring, the community members under the leadership of chairperson Mr. Benard Munase have made plans to fence in the reservoir once the rains begin. They will then also plant grass around it to prevent soil erosion.

Big smile for fresh water!

Twice the pipes, twice the ease of filling buckets.

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 ready for walls and a roof.

Another new sanitation platform.

New Knowledge

Mr. Munase was tasked with organizing the training. 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.

After scheduling the training, however, the timing turned out to be in competition with several other community events and as a result, had a low turnout of 15 people. After discussing this with Mr. Munase, we found this was because a majority of the community members were busy preparing their lands before the onset of rain. The other factor was that it was a market day at Lubao and many community members had to go to purchase or sell what they produce. Additionally, some of those who came had to excuse themselves midday to go make lunch for their kids.

Training begins

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.

Handwashing training

Despite the low attendance, the training went well and those who came were very engaged and the training had positive results in the community. All through the session, attendees showed active participation by raising questions as well as answering some of the questions posed by the facilitator. During a conversation about keeping fingernails cut short to improve personal hygiene, one of the community members rose his hand up and wanted to check the facilitators' fingernails, saying a teacher should act as an example.

This created a lot of laughter!

Community member practices handwashing

Having previously been trained on sanitation and hygiene at different levels, the community will be able to prevent diseases by applying their new knowledge and practice good hygiene. The water committee and the management formed during the training will be responsible for ensuring that the water point is kept clean and maintained for posterity. They were trained and urged to come up with rules and regulations to govern their water source.

Training is complete!

Joan Sitawa, another farmer, was glad she could make the training.

"Thank you so much for today's training, it has been said that learning is a continuous process and indeed it is so. I attended this training [earlier] today but am still saying thank you," she said.

What we have learned, especially on water treatment using [the] sun, really impressed me and I will adopt the method immediately because it is so economical."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

May, 2019: Shihingo Community, Mangweli Spring Project Underway

Dirty water from Mangweli Spring is making people in Shihingo Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to solve this issue by building 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 again with news of success!

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.

Giving Update: Shihingo Community, Mangweli Spring

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Shihingo Community 2.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Shihingo Community 2 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!

"It was very hard to draw water from this spring before implementation. The pool of water was very risky for young kids."

"The place was very slippery and because the wood offcuts placed for stepping when drawing at times became rotten and could easily make one fall into the water pool without one's consent."

"It is easy to get water because even babies can get water without any risky of drowning."

"It has made our lives to be free from waterborne and water-related diseases."

"We use very limited time in drawing water from this water point currently. This has saved my time to engage in other activities like reading or completing my assignments on time."

"We do save time when fetching water here unlike before. The water point has helped me greatly because I rarely miss classes as I do access and drink safe water."

Faith and Field Officer Jonathan at the spring, pre-pandemic.

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 Shihingo Community 2 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 Shihingo Community 2 – 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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