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The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Group Discussion
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Trainer Adelaide In Action
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Trainer Lynnah In Action
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Practicing Handwashing
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Site Management Training
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Celebrating The Spring
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Satisfied Beneficiaries
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Filling Up
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Handwashing With Joy
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Happy Faces
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Handing Spring Over To Community
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Completed Spring
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Satisfied Beneficiaries
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Building A Sanitation Platform
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Completed Spring
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Smoothing The Cement
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Fitting The Pipe
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Brick Laying
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Construction Begins
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Helping Hands
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Water And Smiles Give Life
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Dorcas Kweyu
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Ernest Murunga
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Community Members
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Water Storage
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Current Water Source
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Current Water Source
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring -  Household

Project Status



Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 189 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 11/12/2019

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



It was a sunny, clear day outside when we first visited Eshiakhulo. It is a hilly, green rural community that’s full of farming activity. Most of these farmers plant maize as their specialty.

People in this community wake up with the rising sun at 6am to prepare children for school. The adults send them off and then go to their various farms. They must return home to prepare a meal because students are sent back for lunch, but after eating they usually go right back to farming.

But the 189 people living in this particular part of Eshiakhulo do not have clean water. They use Kweyu Spring, which has naturally pooled to the surface across from the community’s main road.

This water is completely open to all sorts of contamination, especially when rain washes even more dirt and debris into the spring. When we visited Kweyu Spring in person, we immediately noted green algae growing around the spring. This dirty water is used for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and everything else.

People suffer from waterborne diseases like typhoid, and spend a lot of their resources seeking treatment. These resources are very limited and cause families to sacrifice important things when a family member falls ill.

“We have been praying that one day we get someone to help and protect water. It seems that God has heard our prayers and we will be so happy to start getting safer water,” said Mr. Ernest Murunga.

Some of the older community members report that they had a protected spring in the village several years ago. However, the spring succumbed to the passing of time and collapsed, forcing people to clear away the debris and begin fetching dirty water once again.

What we can do:

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

“Some people here have no latrines and they are forced to share with their neighbors. They need to improve on sanitation standards,” said Dorca Kweyu.

The latrines we observed are made in the traditional way: of mud, sticks, and thatched leaves. These muddy floors are near impossible to clean.

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.

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.

Project Updates


06/26/2019: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring Complete!

Eshiakhulo Community now has clean water! Kweyu Spring has been transformed into a flowing source of clean water thanks to your donation. The spring is protected from contamination, five sanitation platforms have been provided for the community, and training has been done on sanitation and hygiene.

Happy handwashing in the new spring water!

Spring Protection

The community members in Eshiakhulo village were surprised when we first offered to help protect their spring since they had heard so many similar promises for a very long time from people who had never turned up to fulfill them. They started to have more hope, however, as we continued to visit the site, set the date for construction, and asked them to gather materials. The relationship that was created between the community and our team strengthened each day as both communications and the number of visits increased. When the month for implementation arrived, all of the materials were ready and taken to the site. The locally provided construction materials included bricks, wheelbarrows of clean sand, stones, and fencing poles. Accommodations and meals were provided for the artisan, too.

Two students help gather materials during school holidays

The Process

Men and women 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 plastic, 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.

Adding water to the cement for the spring’s platform

Bricklaying begins

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.

Fitting the discharge pipe

The source area was filled up with clean stones and sand and covered with a plastic membrane to eliminate any potential sources of contamination. It took about two weeks of patience for the concrete to dry. The community also built a fence and began growing grass around the spring to protect the backfilling from erosion.

Finished the cement runoff area

The community members were so surprised when the construction had been finished since they confessed they had not imagined seeing such a beautiful spring.

Excited, thankful, grateful

“We have waited for anyone to come and protect this spring for us, but no one ever came,” said Ayub Kweyu, the farmer who owns the land where the spring is located.

“Now that it has been protected we are going to get clean water, [and] we shall ensure that we take good care so that it serves us again and again.”

Ta-dah! Fresh, clean water

As soon as cement dried and the spring 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 official handoff from our team to Eshiakhulo Community for use and stewardship of Kweyu Spring

After the community all prayed together, it was declared that the spring was now ready to be used. Previously a divided village, the community was brought together during local material mobilization and also during the training. The project was left to the community to use and to steward. The community members did not hide their excitement as they sang and gave thanks for the completed spring.

Happy to lean back and let the spring do the work of filling his container!

Sanitation Platforms

All five sanitation platforms have been installed. These five 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.

Artisan constructs a sanitation platform

Happy beneficiaries of a new sanitation platform

New Knowledge

Pastor Ernest Murunga 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.
22 people attended the training, which was lower than anticipated. This was due to the community members’ need to be on their farms for planting as the rains had just begun. For those who attended, however, there was full participation, a high level of interest, and no one was in a hurry to leave.

The training kicked off with a powerful statement by Pastor Herbert Aseka, a community member of Eshiakhulo. He said, “This is our golden opportunity to bury our differences as the community and come up with strategies to forge ahead.”

Site Management Training

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

Mr. Aseka also amused the group by confessing during the healthcare segment that his commitment to regular exercising had kept him fit for over 25 years without being sick.

Trainer Adelaide in action

The community members heartily adopted the concept of keeping their water clean, and they were impressed when learning how to get safe and clean drinking water by using the sun to treat their spring water. They also adopted the concept of storing drinking water for at most three days and cleaning their containers.

Trainer Lynnah in action

Additionally, Eshiakhulo villagers have decided to come up with a project that will bring them together as well as generate some income. They propose to lease some land around the spring, irrigate it, and plant vegetables to be sold at the market in Kakamega, where one of the community members has been selling vegetables for a very long time and will be able to serve as a resource for the rest of the village on this method. This will especially be useful during the dry season, when the community hopes to continue selling their vegetables as there is a high demand for them at that time and they fetch a good price at the market. Finally, the community also proposed to add in poultry farming, which if successful they will later expand into a catering business.

Trainer Adelaide leads handwashing practice

One spring user said: “I am so happy that you managed to protect this spring. We have had so many challenges – especially during rainy seasons – [when] all the dirt upstream used to be discharged here. We are so grateful as we are now able to access [a] clean water source.”

“It’s now our mandate to ensure that we keep the spring clean and also maintain it,” she remarked.

Thank you for making all of this possible!


The Water Project : 11-kenya19178-happy-faces-2


05/16/2019: Eshiakhulo Community, Kweyu Spring Project Underway

Dirty water from Kweyu Spring is making people in Eshiakhulo Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to solve this issue by building 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 again with news of success!


The Water Project : 5-kenya19178-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

1 individual donor(s)