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The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Exposing The Springs Eye
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Measuring Perimeter
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Excavation
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Preparation Of Materials
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  The Communitys Unity And Support Was Overwhelming
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Community Members Help Deliver Materials
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Confirming Measurements During Excavation
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Laying Of Foundation
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Digging Drainage System
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Digging Drainage System
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Adding Concrete To Spring Foundation
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Forming Concrete Foundation
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Bricklaying On The Foundation
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Brick By Brick
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Community Members Look On
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Stone Pitching
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Plastering Rub Walls
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Stair Construction
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  The Assistant Chief Helps Dig The Diversion Channels
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Backfilling With Great Help From The Community
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Backfill Layer Of Stones
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Mobilizing Clay For Backfilling
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Backfilling With Clay
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Backfilling With Soil
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Community Participating In Fencing
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Fencing
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Community Participates In Grass Planting
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Clean Water Begins To Flow
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  The Assistant Chief Shakes Hands With A Community Member
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Words Of Encouragement From The Local Assistant Chief At Training
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Trainer David Leads Site Management Session
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Trainer Lynnah In Action
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  A Reaction During Training
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Group Discussion
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Participants Keenly Taking Notes
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Handwashing Session
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Participants
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Active Participation During Tooth Sensitivity Session
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Participants
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Trainer Adelaide On Toothbrushing
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  The Session Was Lively And Full Of Reactions
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Access To The Spring
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Completed Kubai Spring
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Clean Water Flowing
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Happy Faces On Site
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Handing Over Session At Kubai Spring
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Even Children Can Safely Access The Spring
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Smiles At The Spring
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Clean Water All The Way
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Carrying Clean Water Home
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Carrying Clean Water Home
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Proud New Sanitation Platform Owners
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Thank You
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Team Leader Emmah Wekesa And A Field Officer Saying Thanks
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Thank You
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Thank You
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Whole Community Says Thank You
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Celebrating The Spring
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Singing And Dancing At The Spring
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Singing And Dancing At The Spring
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  All Smiles At Kubai Spring
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  One Of Two Handwashing Stations In Community
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Dangerous Mud Latrine Floor
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Mud Latrine
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Margaret Mbone
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Water Storage
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Maurice Kubai
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Current Water Source
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  At Home
The Water Project: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring -  Farming

Project Status



Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 420 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Nov 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



It was a sunny, dry day when we traveled to Sichinji to visit Kubai Spring, making dust billow up as we drove along the dirt road. This is a rural, peaceful area where farms abound. There are breaks among the fields where households sit with three to four mud-walled buildings.

There used to be gold miners here but the resource has long been exhausted. Some of the farmers have ventured into sugarcane but this turned into a challenge when the local sugar factory went under.

Kubai Spring is an open, unprotected water source. It is nonetheless one of the main water sources for the 420 people living here. The banks are slippery and most people step directly in the water as they fill their containers.

“The spring serves so many people and since it’s not protected, we have a high risk of water-related diseases such as typhoid and amoeba,” said Mr. Kubai, the spring’s namesake. There is a high rate of water-related diseases from drinking the water. Some people think all of this sickness is due to witchcraft, but it’s truly this water. Children die early because of typhoid and amoeba. Families spend money on treatment yet their low income puts such a strain on them.

What we can do:

Training

Most of the community members have latrines, so open defecation is rare. They have clotheslines, but dish racks are rare since they would rather use any and all wood for firewood. Most of them do not have handwashing facilities which means they are not washing their hands at critical times. Most of them bathe at night in darkness, so they do not have bathing shelters for privacy.

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

“Most of our latrines are constructed with mud floors and when it rains it’s unbearable to use,” said Mrs. Mbone.

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


11/27/2019: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring Project Complete!

Sichinji Community now has access to clean water! Kubai 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.

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. Our field officers reported how impressed they were with this community’s level of engagement and teamwork, as they have never seen so much cohesion and strength brought to a spring protection before.

First, 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.

Working on the headwall 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.

Clearing the stairs site; plastering 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. These layers were then covered in soil, and community members planted grass and constructed a fence around the area to keep animals and people off the spring box. It took about 2 weeks of patience for the concrete to dry.

Backfilling with great help from the community

Community members planting grass around 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.

Handing-over session at Kubai Spring with Field Officer Protus on right

The project was handed over to the community by the field officer on behalf of our team in the presence of the village elder and the community members, who are now a happy lot. They could not believe that drawing water from the spring is so quick and easy now!

(To hear the community members tell, sing, and dance their thanks for their new water point, check out the video on the Photos tab of this project page!)

When asked how they thought the newly protected spring might bring change to their community, farmer Pamela Nangila reflected on how difficult it was to fetch water from the unprotected spring compared to what they have now.

“Drawing water was a very tedious exercise. Sometimes the person who drew before you could make the water dirty so you would have to wait for it to settle before drawing,” she said.

Today, all that has changed thanks to spring’s new discharge pipe and strong yield.

“The delays at the spring will be a forgotten story…sending children to the spring is okay as initially the hole where the water was coming from was very unsafe and women were very afraid whenever they heard or sent the children to the spring. Our prayer for The Water Project is that God will continue using you to touch many more lives all over Ikolomani.”

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 owners

New Knowledge

Mr. Maurice Kubai, the Board of Management Chair for Sichinji Primary School and landowner of the spring, together with a village elder 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.

Some 35 people attended training, which was was conducted at the spring so that the participants could witness the final stages of the spring protection process. The attendance was excellent, especially given it is a very busy season with many people harvesting their maize this time of year. We also had a meeting with the community health workers in the village on the same day.

Community member raises a hand during training

The participants actively participated in the training, with the elderly women and men being more active than the middle-aged women and children. Since most of the participants and especially the elderly did speak either of the national languages, we translated the entire session into their native languages so that everyone could understand the training equally.

Participants keenly taking notes during training

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. We could see in the participants’ words and actions that many of these topics resonated deeply with them, and they were ready to immediately adopt the personal hygiene practices.

Assistant Chief drops in on training to offer words of encouragement; Team Leader Emmah Wekesa in center

The leadership and governance session was made quite special as the area Assistant Chief graced the occasion. He participated in the construction of the cut-off drainage by digging the trench. He also thanked our team for coming to assist the community to protect the spring. He said the major challenge for their community was lack of safe water and wished if resources would allow, we could protect more springs around his location.

Assistant Chief helps dig drainage channels

The Assistant Chief emphasized that the spring should be maintained by the community and for any cases of unsolvable conflict that might occur, his office was open to assist. It was clear from the community members’ welcoming response to the Assistant Chief that he is indeed ad respected leader here, and could not have popped in at a better time.

Trainer David leads site management session of training while artisan continues to work

While discussing site management and practices to uphold the sustainability of the spring, the facilitator explained to participants how pit latrines constructed nearby or on an uphill slope of the spring could pollute the water in the spring. Mama Rose raised a concern of a nearby unprotected spring whose water smells very bad, she said.

She asked whether the pit latrines built around that spring might be the cause of the bad smell of the water. This question was able to enlighten the community on the dangers of constructing pit latrines near the spring because this can pollute their water.

“This training will help us lead a better, healthy life. I know how to keep myself clean,” said Kenneth Mboya, a local farmer.

Thank you for making all of this possible!


The Water Project : 44-kenya19183-clean-water-all-the-way


10/29/2019: Sichinji Community, Kubai Spring Project Underway!

Dirty water from Kubai Spring is making people in Sichinji 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 : 4-kenya19183-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

St. Therese Foundation