Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 200 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/05/2024

Project Features

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While seated on a bus, Field Officer Samuel Simidi received a strange call from an unknown number. Answering it, he was pleasantly surprised to learn it was a local community member requesting help in protecting his community's water source. Our team decided to pay a visit the following day to Kimarani to assess the viability of Kipsiro Spring for protection. When we arrived, we were received by none other than Mr. Mark Kipsiro, the community member who made the call and the landowner of Kipsiro Spring.

Upon arrival at the water point, we were happy to see the spring discharging at a high rate. It took only 55 seconds to fill a 20-liter jerrycan - a good thing when there are 200 people depending on this spring for their daily water needs. Kipsiro Spring is situated on a slope, so community members have improvised stairs in the earth to help traverse the path. The discharge channel has been fitted with an improvised pipe of sorts, using the backs of banana plants to help direct water into people's jerrycans.

In its unprotected state, Kipsiro Spring is open to all types of contamination including animal waste, dirt and mud, bugs, and human contamination. With the improvised discharge pipe so low to the ground, debris often falls into the waterflow.

When it rains, these problems only grow.

"This water point is a permanent water source and it has been in existence for decades now," said Paul Sigor, a 55-year-old community member who works as a teacher and relies on Kipsiro Spring for water.

"We have had cases of diarrhea, typhoid, and other water-related diseases and this is because our water source is exposed to contaminants. Any interventions will be highly welcomed and appreciated," he said.

Kimaran is inhabited by the Tiriki, a sub-tribe of the Luhyia. The community has a rural set-up with a majority of the members practicing small scale farming due to the unavailability of land. They grow maize, beans, sweet potatoes, and indigenous vegetables and any surplus is sold in the nearby market just to earn a few coins. A majority of the houses have roofs made of iron sheets, and their walls vary from mud to concrete.

Being a rural set-up, a majority of the community members are the elderly and the children as most of the youths are out in major towns working. A majority of the children are left with their grandparents who take good care of them, even helping them through their studies.

For Mark Kipsiro, the landowner for the area where Kipsiro Spring is located, protecting this spring would mean so much more than bringing clean water to his community. For a long time now, community members have been drawing water from the unprotected spring and this has put their precious lives in danger. Mark described his average day:

"I wake up at 6:00 am, prepare myself for 20 minutes then immediately tend to my chickens and my small farm. At 7:30 am, I get back to the house to carry out the house chores then later open my small kiosk which I run almost the entire day. I retire at 8:00 pm"

When Mark or anyone else gets sick from the spring water, they are prevented from doing their farm work or running their small businesses, thus they are not earning money for their family. On top of that, they are spending the money they have saved on expensive medicines and treatment for their waterborne illnesses.

Kimarani community members are trying very hard to live to the highest hygiene standards required for a healthy life, but this has not been achieved 100%. A walk through various homesteads showed us all or almost all of the sanitation facilities needed in a homestead such as a bathing room, dishrack, and clotheslines, but the challenge lies with hygiene.

Without clean water to assist in cleaning or washing hands, especially around latrines, the community is forced to leave their health to chance.

"We are not much behind in regard to our hygiene and sanitation standards," explained Mark.

"We [are] having just a few loopholes here and there that we need to fix as a community in order to achieve the standards required [for a healthy life]. Your help will be appreciated in order to achieve all these requirements."

What we can do:

Spring Protection

Protecting the spring will help provide access to cleaner and safer water. 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 a task predominantly carried out by women and young girls. Protecting the spring and offering training and support will, therefore, help empower the female members of the community by freeing up more of their time and energy to engage and invest in income-generating activities.


Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least 2 days. This training will ensure participants have the knowledge they need about healthy practices and their importance. The facilitator plans to use Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST), Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD), 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 is consumed. We will also emphasize the importance of handwashing.

Training will result in the formation of a committee that will oversee the operations and maintenance of 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 channels. The fence will keep out destructive animals, and the drainage will keep the area’s mosquito population at a minimum.

Sanitation Platforms

At the end of training, participants will select 5 families that should benefit from new concrete latrine floors. Training will inform the community and selected families on what they need to contribute to make this project a success. They must mobilize locally available materials, including bricks, clean sand, and gravel. The 5 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

May, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Kimarani Community, Kipsiro 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 Kimarani, Kenya.

We trained more than 12 people on the symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention of COVID-19. Before there were any reported cases in the area, we worked with trusted community leaders and the Water User Committee to gather community members for the training.

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.

February, 2020: Kimarani Community, Kipsiro Spring Project Complete!

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

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.

Kids help carry bricks to the spring construction site

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.

Artisans work on early brickwork of the headwall

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.

Artisans work on plastering the walls and stairs

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.

Artisan backfills spring box with stones as clean water begins to flow

The source area was filled up with clean stones and sand and covered with a thick plastic tarp to prevent potential sources of contamination. Soil and grass were added on top, and the spring box area was fenced in for protection.

Children pass dug up grass for the artisan to plant

The only challenges to the construction process were heavy rains that slowed the artisans down, and some early challenges sourcing enough of the locally available materials. Eventually, each hurdle was overcome, however, and all work was completed on time. It then took about 2 weeks of patience for the concrete to dry.

A child quickly fills up his container at the spring

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.

"The entire village depends on this spring as the main source of water. Protection of the spring will reduce the congestion experienced, especially during the dry seasons. We will also be able to access clean, safe, and sufficient water at any given time of need," said excited local farmer Rebecca Murunda.

Children ready to head home with clean water

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

Community member Angeline Murutu, a local business person, helped organize the training in coordination with our team. Together we found the community’s preferred date for training while considering other events in the community calendar such as the agricultural season and expected gatherings.

15 women and children attended training, which was a different group than we had expected. We always ask for equal representation of genders at training, but on this day the men were helping the artisan continue with construction. (Women and children helped throughout the construction process too, but on this particular day just the men were busy.) Nonetheless, considering women and children are the most frequent spring users, we emphasized the importance of the training participants passing the knowledge gained onto other spring users after the training.

Trainer Samuel Simidi leads training with participation from adults and children alike

Upon our team's arrival, we were warmly ushered in by Mrs. Murutu who directed us to the venue for the training. The environment for the training was conducive due to the quietness of the surroundings since most of the community members were out tending to their farms.

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 discussed water treatment methods, personal care like handwashing, environmental hygiene, hygiene promotion, and many other things. All of the participants were actively involved in every training stage.

The topic of income-generating activities was a vital one as the participants shared how quite a number of young people in their village were struggling to find work. This prompted a thorough conversation on the importance of starting income-generating activities to improve their living standards. Various business ideas raised by the training group included hawking small goods, running shops, car washing, and even the bodaboda (motorcycle taxi) business.

A community member presents a topic with Trainer Samuel

The session on water pollution and treatment was also memorable when most participants shared that they had never before treated their drinking water. Since untreated water can put one's health at risk, we walked participants through the various forms of waterborne diseases like amoebic dysentery, cholera, and typhoid.

Handwashing practice at training

We discussed the illnesses' symptoms, prevention, and treatment options. Then, we covered solar disinfection as an easy and free way to treat water. This was a new idea to the participants and everyone was interested during the demonstrations. Consequently, participants were encouraged to ensure that the drinking water they use is always clean and safe for human consumption.

"Today's training has been awesome. The information we have received today will take us one step up [in hygiene and sanitation] the moment this new knowledge is disseminated to the entire village," said Mrs. Murutu.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

January, 2020: Kimarani Community, Kipsiro Spring Project Underway!

Dirty water from Kipsiro Spring is making people in Kimarani 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!

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. Learn more here!

Giving Update: Kimarani Community, Kipsiro Spring

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kimarani Community 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!

"Before this project was completed, getting water was troublesome. The water point was unpleasant and unhealthy."

"The area around the spring was muddy and the water was not clean because community members would wash clothes around the spring and dirty water would flow into the source. This led to water-related health problems."

"Since the water project was completed, everything is simpler. The water point is amazing, clean, and healthy. Fetching water now is easier because the water flows through the pipe. We have clean and safe water for drinking and we have said goodbye to water-related diseases."

"As a farmer, my lifestyle has been made easier. Irrigation of crops is no longer a problem since now it is easy to access water, unlike before, when getting water was a major problem and affected my farming activities."

Everlyne with Field Officer Rose (left) at the spring

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 Kimarani Community 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 Kimarani Community – 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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