Loading images...
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Community Members Delivering Stones For Construction
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Community Members Delivers A Stone
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Community Members Bringing Construction Materials
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Community Members Deliver Local Materials
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Digging Cut Off Drainage
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Drainage Channel
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Opening Up Drainage Channel To Divert Water
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Spring Foundation
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Brick Setting Begins
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Taking Stock Of Construction Materials Artisan Works In Background
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Brickwork From Above
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Spring Construction
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Setting The Pipe
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Rub Wall Construction
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Spring Takes Shape
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Spring Takes Shape
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Stair Construction
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Drainage Channel
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  New Cement Covered With Banana Leaves To Prevent Washout
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Preparing To Backfill
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Stone Backfilling
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Adding Plastic Tarp Over Backfilled Layers
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Adding Plastic Tarp Over Backfilled Area
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Leveling Backfilled Area
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Site Leveling
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Fencing And Grass Planting
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Fencing
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Grass Planting
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Training At The Spring Site
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Dental Hygiene Session
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Toothbrushing
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Site Management Training
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Women Delivering Grass For Planting At The Spring Site
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Village Elder Damaris Khalechi
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Village Elder Damaris Fetches Water
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Damaris In Center Of Community Celebrating The Spring
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Community Members At The Spring
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Completed Imbai Spring
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Getting A Fresh Drink
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Camera Shy
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Camera Shy
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Thumbs Up Fro A Clean Drink
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Having Fun With Spring Water
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Splash
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Smiles At The Spring
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Kids Having Fun At The Spring
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Balancing Water Up The Stairs
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Ready To Walk Home With Clean Water
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Proud New Sanitation Platform Owner
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Kids With Their Familys New Sanitation Platform
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Village Elder Whistles To Community To Start Mobilizing Materials
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Clothes Drying On The Ground
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Water Containers Outside
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Joseph Imbai
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Pauline Khalai
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  A Cow Grazing At Home
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Women Selling Vegetables From Their Gardens
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Tree Nursery
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Banana Trees
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Stagnant Water That Needs To Be Drained
The Water Project: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring -  Household

Project Status



Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 224 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Nov 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



The Shamakhokho area (previously mislabeled as Butiti) is full of rural villages where community members practice farming on small pieces of land. Animals are domesticated, and a few community members have decided to try out small businesses as a source of income.

Fetching water, digging or weeding, feeding animals, and selling vegetables and spices in the marketplace are the activities that fill the day. People wake up at 5:30 am at the latest and go to bed by 10 pm.

There is no water at home for these 224 people. They’ve done what they can by rigging banana sheath gutters on the eaves of their homes to direct rainwater into buckets or small drums. The buckets are placed outside when it’s raining and brought back inside when they’re full. But when the rainwater is used up or it doesn’t rain at all, people have to leave home in search of water – at least once a day.

They most often walk to Imbai Spring, where water has pooled up to the surface. This water sits completely unprotected from contamination. Animals come and go when they’re thirsty and mud stirs up from the bottom each time a person dunks their container to fetch water.

Drinking both dirty rainwater and dirty water from Imbai Spring is causing waterborne diseases. A lot of time and money is wasted as community members regularly visit the local clinic looking for treatment.

“Lack of safe water is the main cause of poverty for us because if we save that money we have been wasting in hospitals to treat waterborne diseases, then we will use it to develop ourselves,” said Mrs. Khalai.

What we can do:

Spring Protection

Community members have struggled to find a water solution for their village. They have moved from one government office to the next requesting help to protect Imbai Spring, but nobody was ready to help.

We will protect the spring to 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

“We need improvement in the area of sanitation and hygiene because this community seems not to care at all. Our people are comfortable and just assuming that protection of the spring will save them from diseases, but the state of sanitation and hygiene in this village is poor and needs to be addressed,” said Mr. Imbai, the landowner living by Imbai Spring.

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

Many homes here have built pit latrines out of wood. However, the latrines are never cleaned with water because the wooden floors are prone to rot.

On the final day of training, participants will select 5 families that should most benefit from new cement 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


11/27/2019: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring Project Complete!

Shamakhokho Community (previously mislabeled as Butiti) now has access to clean water! Imbai 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.

Village Elder Damaris (in center with hands up) celebrates the new spring with her community

Spring Protection – “Whistle for Water”

As the saying goes, unity is strength, and so it was at Imbai Spring. The 3 village elders representing the 3 villages served by Imabi Spring across Shamakhokho (Mukhunya B, Bumavi, and Bumira) came together in mobilizing the community for spring construction. They engaged the best mobilization method of whistling as everyone in this village respects the whistle of the village elders. Whenever it is heard, all the community members come out in large numbers to hear what their local leaders have to say as they really believe in them.

Village elder whistles for her community to start mobilizing construction materials

The whistle worked for us very well. Each day as the village elder whistled, the women and men came running to the spring, each carrying either a stone, a brick, or availing themselves for helping out the artisans at the spring. What magic that the whistle ensured safe drinking water flowing from the spring. Networking and collaboration with all stakeholders on the ground was a key lesson learned for the success of any project.

Delivering materials to the construction site

The Process

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.

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. The community members came out in full to help the skilled artisan with this part of the construction, which is normally the heaviest part of the work. 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.

Building the spring walls brick by brick

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.

Looking at the spring from behind the headwall, yet to be backfilled

The source area was filled up with clean stones and sand and covered with a thick plastic tarp to prevent potential sources of contamination. With all preparations done on time and the weather being favorable, there were no delays through the entire spring construction process. It took about 2 weeks of patience for the concrete to dry.

Newly constructed Imbai Spring, complete with fencing and planted 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.

“Protection of Imbai Spring will improve the living standard of the people of Shamakhokho since they will no longer spend much time and resources in treating diseases caused by taking contaminated water,” said Bumavi Village Elder Damaris Khalechi.

Bumavi Village Elder Damaris Khalechi

“The women in this community looked more enthusiastic about the new water point since they are the ones who are always on the receiving end. This happens mostly when the children fall sick and when they have to fetch water from the unprotected spring. With the African culture, men don’t get so much involved in house chores which are termed as work for women. Having water flowing from the pipe has reduced time used to fetch water from the spring.”

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.

Proud new sanitation platform owner

New Knowledge

Samuel Imbai, the spring’s landowner and elected Chair of the water, sanitation, and hygiene committee, was tasked with organizing the training. This community had already elected their entire water committee leadership before construction began, which greatly helped in spreading the word about mobilizing the materials during construction and sending out the invitation for training.

This spring is also unique in that it serves community members from 3 different villages (Mukhunya B, Bumavi, and Bumira) thus the 3 village elders joined hands in mobilizing their communities for the spring construction and training. This combined group 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.

When the training day arrived, however, we were surprised to see just 10 women prepared to learn. As it turns out, many people had come to learn but the men ended up being busy helping the artisan backfill the spring box. We decided to carry on with the training, asking the women who attended to spread the information to their neighbors who could not attend. (We also include follow-up trainings during our routine monitoring visits to all water points, so this community will be no exception in extending extra training if necessary.)

Training begins

The day of the training was sunny in the morning and toward the mid-morning, some clouds were experienced. We opted to sit under the trees close by the spring and the shade was so conducive for the training. On the other hand, the venue was also ideal since it was close to the spring. This way, the women were giving the men moral support as they continued to work on the backfilling while the men got to overhear what was being discussed as they worked.

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

During the leadership and governance session, the facilitator first asked the participants what they understood about leadership and the qualities of a good leader. They stated that a good leader is one who does not sell the cement of the spring for their own profit before it can be used, like Mama Angelina, and everyone applauded! The election process was so interesting as Mama Angelina was automatically elected as the treasurer for being a faithful person who never sold the cement of the spring, while the Bumavi village elder Damaris Khalechi had been on the forefront in mobilization and they elected her as she is a tough and no-nonsense lady who cannot allow the spring to be dirty. After the election, Damaris categorically stated that “with the powers vested in me as the community health volunteer, no one and I mean no one will wash clothes at this spring again!”

Damaris fetching water from the spring

No sooner had the training ended than the village elder started saying that “Those women who come to wash their clothes here – be warned that it shall no longer be business as usual!” At that point, the women started mentioning the names of the women who are very stubborn as they wash their clothes daily at the spring, and the village elder promised to deal with them ceremoniously.

Dental hygiene has always been a topic of interest in this community, and as such our training on it was no exception. This is because our teeth play a key role in enhancing speech, chewing, and beauty and anyone who loses their teeth is bound to suffer in these 3 areas. Participants stated they use toothpaste that is hawked in the market as it is cheap, and some use salt as an alternative. The facilitator highlighted the importance of having healthy teeth through proper brushing and with the right tools at the right time.

Toothbrushing with a twig (left) and a toothbrush (right)

2 ladies made everyone smile while they plucked twigs around them from the eucalyptus trees and started brushing their teeth immediately when the topic was introduced. They had this to say after hearing the facilitator teaching about using the recommended toothpaste. “We never use Colgate but our teeth are strong since we brush daily using ash.” We could tell everyone was really enjoying themselves with interactions and responses like this, sharing their knowledge and pride in the different topics.

Ready to walk home with clean water

“I am very proud as a village elder to be part of this project,” said Damaris Khalechi, village elder of Bumavi.

“For [a] long [time] we have suffered drinking dirty water and the hygiene conditions of the water were very poor. We are glad the spring is protected and more so that I have been part of this training. As a local leader, I am informed more on hygiene, water, and sanitation matters that I will be confidently sharing during the chief’s barazas (council meetings) and church meetings so that everyone in my village is enlightened on matters of hygiene. As the bible says, “My people perish for lack of knowledge,” [but] it shall no longer be the saying in Bumavi. Thank you.”

Thank you for making all of this possible!


The Water Project : 34-kenya19150-community-members-at-the-spring


11/04/2019: Shamakhokho Community, Imbai Spring Project Underway!

Dirty water from Imbai Spring is making people in Shamakhokho 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-kenya19150-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

SJR
1 individual donor(s)