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The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Allan Conducts The Interview With An Audience
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Alice At The Water Point
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Alice Fetching Water
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Alice Mwenyesi
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Alice Washes Her Hands Outside Her House
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Alice With Her Family
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Alice With Her Husband Outside Their House
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Alices Son Baraka Washes His Hands
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Social Distancing At The Spring
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  We Met Alice At Her Farm Checking On Her Arrowroots
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Mixing Cement
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Diverting Water
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Digging Drainage Channel
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Laying Foundation While Diverting Water
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Many Hands To Divery Water
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Brickwork On Spring Foundation
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Stairs Take Shape
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Rub Wall Construction
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Pipe Is Set Rub Wall Gets Cement
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Plaster Work
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Inscription
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Tile Setting
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Fencing Around Backfilled Spring Box
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Working Together
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Clean Water Starts To Flow
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Training At The Spring Construction Site
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Training
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Oliver Makotsi
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Proud New Sanitation Platform Owners
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Community Celebrates The New Spring
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Thumbs Up For Clean Water
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Happy Day
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Carrying Clean Water Home
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Completed Khalembi Spring
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Clean Water Flows
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Latrines
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Latrines
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Latrines
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Current Water Source
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Woman Carrying Firewood Home
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Doing Laundry Nearby Spring
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Water Containers On Ground
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Household
The Water Project: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring -  Household

Project Status



Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 175 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Nov 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/23/2020

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



The 147 people in Hirumbi Community who use Khalembi Spring to meet their water needs are drinking contaminated water. The spring is open to all sorts of contamination from the elements, animals, and human activities like doing laundry and nearby farming.

More so, they waste a lot of their resources in seeking medication to treat these waterborne and water-related diseases; resources that could have been used for development. Also, hygiene and sanitation in the area is so wanting, as most of the community members are using filthy, full pit latrines.

Most of the latrine floors are made of mud or wood, making them near impossible to clean. In most cases, they are never cleaned. Those who try, do it once a week. There are no leaky tins near the latrines which suggests that the community members don’t wash their hands after going to the bathroom.

The spring is located in a rural area that’s vegetated with a lot of trees. This community is peaceful with little noise pollution and no factories around. It’s surrounded by both permanent and traditional houses. There are also a number of semi-permanent houses within this environment.

Most families are nuclear, but they also apportion land for their extended family members. Both genders contribute to family affairs and income-generating activities. Both men and women focus on earning an income.

In this community, farming is the main source of income. When the crop is harvested, it’s taken to the market to be traded or sold. Apart from farming, many men are motorbike riders who charge a small fee to shuttle others to and fro.

Protection of Khalembi Spring will curb the rampant waterborne diseases in the area, and hence the living standards in the community will improve.

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.

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.

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 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.

Project Updates


08/07/2020: Through Their Eyes: COVID-19 Chronicles with Alice Mwanyasi

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.

Alice Mwanyasi is busy. A resident of Hirumbi Village who relies on Khalembi Spring for all of her daily water needs, Alice finds there is always something to be done. She works as a businessperson, a mother, and as chair of the spring’s water user committee. And of course, there is her farming. On the day we most recently visited Alice, we found her checking on her arrowroot farm.

Alice checks her arrowroot farm for weeds and anything ready to harvest.

Our team recently visited Hirumbi to conduct a COVID-19 prevention training (read more about it below!) and monitor their water point. 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 Alice shared her story of how the coronavirus has impacted her his life.

Video Part 1: Water – Alice reflects on how her community has changed since they began accessing clean water from protected Khalembi Spring.

Field Officer Rose Amulavu Serete met Alice outside her home to conduct the interview. Both Rose and Alice observed social distancing and other precautions throughout the visit to ensure their health and safety. Their questions and answers have been edited for clarity and length.

Video Part 2: Training & Prevention – Alice shares how her community is putting into practice what they learned from our team’s COVID-19 sensitization training and how they are using clean water from Khalembi Spring to help prevent the virus.

What is one thing that has changed in your community since the protection of Khalembi Spring?

“My community has really improved in cleanliness; at least every home in the community has a handwashing facility. Community members are also free from waterborne diseases. As a community, we appreciate the supporters of this project since now we have access to clean and safe water for household use.”

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

“The clean water point has helped us because we have access to clean and enough water for washing hands at all times, drinking, and other household use.”

Video Part 3: Handwashing – Alice uses soap and clean water from Khalembi Spring to wash her hands using the homemade leaky tin handwashing station she set up outside her home. She demonstrates each of the 10 steps of handwashing our team emphasizes at every training.

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?

“Yes, because community members no longer crowd at the spring. This is because community members follow the 1-meter rule of spacing. This has affected the socialization of people since they no longer engage in long conversations at the spring like they did before COVID-19.”

Alice and other community members practice social distancing at the spring.

How has COVID-19 impacted your family?

“My children have been affected educationally because there is no going to school and they find it hard to follow up with the classes provided by television programs and radio stations. We don’t have enough money to purchase good food and clothing since the economy has changed and money is not coming in like before.”

Alice with her husband and children at home.

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

“I’m struggling with my business. Life is so expensive currently, making it hard on my side to support my family and worse is that I’m the family’s breadwinner.”

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

“My community members are now putting on the face masks. Second, every home has managed to install a handwashing facility. Lastly, community members are maintaining a social distance of 1-meter apart. Most community members are not attending social events and ceremonies as before.”

Alice’s son Baraka washes his hands with soap and clean water from Khalembi Spring using the leaky tin handwashing station Alice installed outside their house.

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 disease.

Camera operator Allan Amadaro films Alice’s interview with a small audience in tow.

What restriction were you most excited to see lifted already?

“The lockdown in counties has been lifted. We can now move from one place to another looking for greener pastures.”

What restriction are you still looking forward to being lifted?

“So far, none. The restrictions are helping us stay safe from the virus. We trust that the government is watching out for us while we do the same for ourselves.”

Alice fetches water from Khalembi Spring.

When asked where she receives information about COVID-19, Alice listed the radio and our team’s sensitization training.

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

“The most helpful part was the proper handwashing steps since our hands are to be clean always. We also learned how to make and wear masks the right way through demonstrations.”


The Water Project : covid19-kenya19133-alice-mwenyesi


07/21/2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Hitumbi Community, Khalembi 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 Hitumbi, Kenya.

We trained more than 23 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.

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.


The Water Project : covid19-kenya19133-assembling-the-handwashing-station


11/27/2019: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring Project Complete!

Hirumbi Community now has access to clean water! Khalembi Spring has been transformed into a flowing source of water thanks to your donation. We protected the spring, provided 5 sanitation platforms to different households in the community, and we trained the community on improved sanitation and hygiene practices.

“Many have come and promised [to] us that this spring will be protected but none of them fulfilled this for us until God brought you to help us. Thank you and God be with you,” rejoiced Mr. Oliver Makotsi, a resident of the area.

Community members celebrate the new spring

Spring Protection

Community members provided all locally available construction materials, including bricks, wheelbarrows of clean sand, stones, and fencing poles. Accommodations and meals were provided for the artisan, too. Before the construction started, community members fetched water from the unprotected spring just to ensure that they had enough water for use in their various homes throughout the early stages of work.

The Process

Women and men 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 thick plastic tarp, 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.

Community members help divert water during construction of the spring’s foundation

As the wing walls and headwall were curing, 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.

Working on cement and plaster

The source area was filled up with clean stones and sand and covered with a thick plastic tarp to prevent potential sources of contamination. No delays or challenges were experienced throughout the entire construction process. It took about 2 weeks of patience for the concrete to dry.

Building a fence around the spring box planted with grass

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.

“I thank God for sending The Water Project…for considering the community members’ spring for protection…At long last, the spring has been protected and we are assured of clean and safe water for our use,” said Beverlyn Busieka, a farmer and resident of the area.

“I take this opportunity to thank [your team] for the great work you have done,” said Mr. Lumumba, our main contact person for this community.

“We don’t have anything to give you but God who sees in secret will reward you. No wastage of time at the spring compared to other years; this time is now used to do other activities. We also have safe water for drinking and have said goodbye to waterborne diseases,” he said.

Sanitation Platforms

All 5 sanitation platforms have been installed. These 5 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.

“This community has 5 members who have a smiling face after benefiting from the 5 sanitation slabs,” Mr. Lumumba said.

Proud new sanitation platform owners

New Knowledge

Mr. Oliver Makotsi, a community member and local businessperson, 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.

Som 22 people attended training, which was a satisfactory attendance given that the training was conducted during the rainy season when many people are busy planting and selling their crops. We held training at the spring, though it was a bit wet and cold with the day’s rainy forecast.

This did not affect the attendees, however, as they were so active and happy the whole day. The women were more actively involved than the men, asking more questions and listening keenly to the facilitator. This made the training even more interactive.

We covered several topics including leadership and governance; operation and maintenance of the spring; healthcare; family planning; immunizations; and the prevention and spread of disease. We also covered water treatment methods, personal care like handwashing, environmental hygiene, hygiene promotion, and many other things.

Site management training at the spring

Handwashing was an interesting topic. When the facilitator urged the participants to incorporate the concept of leaky tins at home to enhance their levels of hygiene, one man said that it was a woman’s task to ensure that the leaky tins were refilled with water.

In response, the facilitator urged the men to help their wives with this task as it is everyone’s responsibility to help uphold the family’s health and hygiene at home, and that this teamwork and improved hygiene level would help them live a happy life.

Site management was also a very important and special topic because it was during this session that the new sanitation platform owners were identified. The 5 families were selected by their own neighbors based on need, and it was a very exciting and humbling moment to reveal the names. Though everyone wanted their own sanitation platform, it was understood that these first 5 are meant to serve as examples for further replication across the village.

Thank you for making all of this possible!


The Water Project : 20-kenya19133-community-celebrates-the-new-spring


10/29/2019: Hirumbi Community, Khalembi Spring Project Underway!

Dirty water from Khalembi Spring is making people in Hirumbi sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install 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 news of success!


The Water Project : 10-kenya19133-fetching-water


Project Videos




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 pours through a reinforced pipe in a concrete headwall to a paved collection area. Safe water typically flows year-round and there is very limited ongoing maintenance needed!


Contributors

Imago Dei Community
Bounce Treatment Services, LLC
Frontstream
4 individual donor(s)