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The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Proud New Sanitation Platform Owner
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Posing With The New Spring
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Happy Fetching Water
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Happy Fetching Water
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Enjoying The Spring Water
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Fetching Fresh Water
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Clean Water Flows From Newly Completed Amkongo Spring
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  At The New Spring To Fetch Water
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Field Officer Jonathan Mutai Demonstrates Tippy Tap Construction
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Field Officer Joan Were Leads Dental Hygiene Session
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Using Training Materials In Group Plenary
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Group Work
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Group Work
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Group Discussion
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Handwashing Demonstration
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Angeline Nafula Washing Her Hands
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Handwashing Practice
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Training
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Site Management Training
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Sanitation Platform Construction
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Community Members Planting Grass
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Fencing Around Spring Box
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Community Members Bringing Grass To Plant At The Spring
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Backfilling With Soil
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Clean Water Begins To Flow
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Arranging Stones In Backfilling
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Inscribing The Spring
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Community Member Bringing Stones For Backfilling
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Adding Plaster
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Working On The Rub Walls And Stairs
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Pipe Setting
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Community Members Helping Out
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Brick Setting
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Excavation Begins
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Digging Drainage For Spring Water
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Digging Cut Off Drainage
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Community Member Carries Bricks To The Site
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Making Cement
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Latrine
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Cows Grazing
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Clothes Drying On The Ground
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Gladys Hanging Clothes To Dry
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Household
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Water Containers
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Water Containers
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Children With Water Containers
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring -  Gladys Amkongo

Project Status



Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 200 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Oct 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



There was a cloudless sky with bright sunshine on the day of our first visit to Ikonyero Community. Ikonyero is a rural area, and the environment is so peaceful that only the mooing of cows can be heard. The community members make a living by farming crops like maize, bananas, cassava, and sugarcane. All of the farms here make the environment so green, and it’s a beautiful place to live.

However, the 200 people living in this part of Ikonyero don’t have access to clean water. Their main water source is Amkongo Spring, where water has come up out of the ground and pooled in a grassy area. People bring a small jug along with their water container since the water is shallow here. They balance on a stone, dunking their jug continuously to bail water until they’ve gotten enough into their larger container.

This water is totally open to all types of contamination, and even animals are free to come and go when they’re thirsty. We also spotted frogs jumping in and out of the spring. This water is so dangerous for drinking that some women walk all the way to other villages to find a safer source of water. Finding clean water is tiresome and cuts into other important farming activities.

When a community member treat water from the spring when they have access to chlorine in the nearby dispenser or enough firewood to boil the dirty water. But that doesn’t always happen, and community members are suffering from complications after drinking this dirty water. A household’s savings are often exhausted when a family member needs treatment for typhoid or another waterborne illness. Whether the water comes from Amkongo Spring or another source in a neighboring community, fetching water is a long, tiring process for women and children.

What we can do:

Amkongo Spring is not far from Jesse Spring, which we already protected. During construction of Jesse Spring, a community member drawing water from Amkongo Spring swung by to see what was going on. There, he was impressed by the great work the artisan had done and requested the artisan to visit their spring to see if it qualifies for protection. Upon reaching the water source, the artisan found the spring to be viable and recommended we visit again for ourselves.

Spring Protection

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.

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. There will be stairs down to the collection point and a pipe that can easily fill water containers. 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.

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

Only a little over half of the households using Amkongo Spring have a private place to use the bathroom. A lot of the latrines we observed are in a bad state, though. The walls don’t look stable and many of the floors are made of wooden slats suspended over the pit. People avoid rinsing their latrine floors with water because they’re afraid that the water will rot away the wood, thus putting users in danger of falling into the pit.

“Hygiene and sanitation here are wanting. The available pit latrine we have are in poor conditions as cleanliness is not done on a regular basis because of the material used in setting the base of these pit latrines. Blessing us with five sanitation platforms will be of great improvement on hygiene and sanitation to us,” said Gladys.

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


10/24/2019: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring Complete!

Ikonyero Community now has access to clean water! Amkongo 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.

Excited community members and field officers line up at the newly completed Amkongo Spring to fetch clean water

Construction of Amkongo Spring was like a dream to the community members, our field officers reported. Mr. Edward Adriano Twiti is an old man who attested that since he was born, he has been consuming water from this water source but said that it has only been God’s will that he is alive today through challenges of waterborne and water-related diseases attached to the water point.

Initially, the water point was an open source and was exposed to agents of contamination from run-off rainwater. Besides that, the water point was full of green algae and water weeds that at the time could make it difficult to draw water from this water source. Not to mention the infestation of frogs which could dirty water while trying to hide under the water weeds. All these problems and challenges experienced before have been curbed through the protection of the spring. The community members are very happy and appreciative of the project!

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.

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.

Brickwork begins on top 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 the stairs and the rub wall

The source area was filled up with clean stones and sand and covered with a thick plastic tarp to prevent potential sources of contamination. The community members of this spring were so cooperative. This made the work run smoothly without any delays or challenges. It took about 2 weeks of patience for the concrete to dry.

Adding stones to the backfilled area of the spring; these will help filter the water

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.

“We were not imagining after all this time our water source would be constructed like this. We are so happy and thankful to you people for considering our spring for protection. May our almighty Father reward you abundantly. The water from this spring now looks so clean. We are very optimistic that there will no longer be waterborne diseases attached to this water point after all this good work and hygiene [training] done here,” said Abigeal Caspa, a farmer in Ikonyero who was also one of the champions behind organing her community’s training.

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.

Sanitation platform construction

Though the sanitation platforms were not enough to be given to every community member, the community was very happy saying that cleanliness of the pit latrines will be so easy, unlike those made of wooden logs. The idea of the mobile platform was very much welcomed by the community members, saying it is so economical because once the pit latrine is full, the slab can be shifted to another new pit latrine.

Proud new sanitation platform owner

New Knowledge

Gladys Munyalo Amkongo, Wycliffe Amkongo, and Abigael Caspa were tasked with organizing the training. They gave us the community’s preferred date for training, for they were very much aware of the community calendar when it comes to planting season and other big events.

Group work during training

Some 14 people attended training, which was lower than expected. This was because of a funeral that ended up being the same day, where most of the community members had gone to assist the bereaved family in sending off their beloved one.

We held training at Mr. Adriano Twiti’s homestead under the shade of trees. The participants were jovial and attentive throughout the training session. They gave their opinions, asked questions, and sought clarification on what they did not understand. They were so involved, especially when it came to demonstrations.

Handwashing demonstration

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.

During the training, the water committee was elected to oversee and future issues and management of the spring. They were to come up with rules and regulations to govern their spring. Besides that, they were to start income-generating activities to enable them to maintain their spring when minor repairs are needed to be done, understanding that our tea of field officers would be on call for any major problems that might come up.

While covering spring maintenance, we discussed ways to ensure the longevity of the site. This included things like not doing laundry directly at the site since some detergents can wear away the plaster. We also warned against planting certain tree species nearby like eucalyptus which can drastically affect the water table. The topic was made special in that though it is hard to convince community members to cut down those trees, after understanding the threat they posed to the water source they decided to fell 3 eucalyptus trees next to the spring.

Site management training

Hygiene at different levels, such as personal, homestead, and environmental, was another topic that was so interesting. The participants were most involved in this topic because it was full of hands-on demonstrations. These included the 10 steps of proper handwashing with soap, proper toothbrushing, and water treatment. The solar disinfectant method of water treatment – where you heat your water using the sun to a temperature that kills bacteria – was something new to the participants. They welcomed the method and promised to adopt it immediately because it is the most economical method for treatment.

Posing with the new spring

“Indeed, learning can’t end,” said 37-year-old teacher Mrs. Florence Mbwanga after completing the training with her community.

“I have been teaching for a long period of time, but it is [not until] this day that I learned the proper way of handwashing and toothbrushing. For me, I have been just washing my hands and brushing my teeth without any procedure. Today’s training will assist us to change our habit of doing things for good health [in the] long run.”

Thank you for making all of this possible!


The Water Project : 28-kenya19137-at-the-new-spring-to-fetch-water


09/24/2019: Ikonyero Community, Amkongo Spring Project Underway!

Dirty water from Amkongo Spring is making people in Ikonyero 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 : 3-kenya19137-fetching-water


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

Mountain View Community Church