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The Water Project: Bungonye Community, Shilangu Spring -  Clothes Drying On A Fence
The Water Project: Bungonye Community, Shilangu Spring -  Latrine Sample
The Water Project: Bungonye Community, Shilangu Spring -  Drinking Water Storage
The Water Project: Bungonye Community, Shilangu Spring -  Water Containers By Bathing Shelter
The Water Project: Bungonye Community, Shilangu Spring -  Wilson Shilangu
The Water Project: Bungonye Community, Shilangu Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Bungonye Community, Shilangu Spring -  Current Water Source
The Water Project: Bungonye Community, Shilangu Spring -  Cow Grazing At Household
The Water Project: Bungonye Community, Shilangu Spring -  Sugarcane Farm
The Water Project: Bungonye Community, Shilangu Spring -  Maize Drying
The Water Project: Bungonye Community, Shilangu Spring -  Household
The Water Project: Bungonye Community, Shilangu Spring -  Household

Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Project Phase:  Donate to this Project
Estimated Install Date (?):  10/31/2019

Project Features

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Bung’onye is a rural part of Kakamega County where farming is the backbone of the community. It is a peaceful area bordering Kakamega Forest. The entire area is very green and there’s always a good breeze from the forest. Buildings here differ, for each household has included a personal touch. The majority are made of mud walls and iron sheet roofs.

Community members wake up early in the morning at 6 am. After breakfast, they prepare children for school and then do household chores before going to the farm. Chores include gathering firewood, picking up trash around the home, sweeping, and fetching water.

Fetching water is a big task. 315 people in Bung’onye rely on Shilangu Spring, using its water to meet all of their needs. It’s used for drinking, cooking, and cleaning to name a few. The issue is that though there’s plenty of water here, the water is dirty.

Community membered fixed a pipe in the ground where they found water coming out, which helps them siphon water into their containers. Yet there are opportunities for the water to get contaminated on the way to the discharge pipe. When it rains, farming fertilizers, animal waste, and extra dirt wash into the spring.

The water is poured into different barrels and pots depending on intended use. Clay pots are used for drinking water because community members say it keeps the water cooler. But after drinking this dirty water from the spring, people suffer from waterborne illnesses that keep adults away from making a living on the farm and children away from school.

According to Mr. Shilangu, waterborne and water-related diseases are the major cause of death in the community and it has arrested development in the area. Community members waste their resources on seeking medication rather than doing development. Protection of Shilangu Spring will bring a new dawn as people will not only get access to safe water but their living standards will also change.

What we can do:

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.


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.

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 sanitation and hygiene situation here is terrible,” said Mr. Shilangu.

“As you have seen, we normally clean them once, even after two weeks because the floors are of wooden logs and therefore cleaning is only with ashes to avoid weakening these wooded logs. We will be grateful for your support on sanitation platforms.”

On the final day of training, participants will select five families that should most 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.

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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!