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The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Appreciating The Donors
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Peter Majoni Spring With Grass Grown In
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Water Joy
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Fetching Water Made Easy
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Thank You
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  The Joy Of Clean Water
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Gushing Clean Water
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Protected Peter Majoni Spring
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Community Members At The Spring
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Ruth And Flavian At The Spring
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Ruth And Flavian Celebrate The Spring
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Ruth At The Spring
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Using The Chlorine Dispenser At The Spring
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Celebratingt The Spring
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Ready To Take Clean Water Home
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Water Celebrations
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Flavian
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Excited About The New Sanplats
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Posing On A New Sanitation Platform
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Assistant Chief Adresses The Community Members
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Braving The Hot Sun To Attend Training
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Community Members Following The Training
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Following Handwashing Steps
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Handwashing Steps Demonstration
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Mr Peter Were Water User Committee Chair At The Training
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Participants Spread Out On The Hill
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Spring Maintenance Training
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Training At The Spring Site
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Training On How To Make A Leaky Tin
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Sanitation Platform Construction
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Grass Planting
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Community Members Bring Materials To Work Site
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Site Clearance
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Site Clearance
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Foundation Excavation
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Laying Foundation
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Mixing Concrete
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Brick Setting
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Wall Construction
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Pipe Measurements
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Pipe Setting
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Stone Pitching
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Stone Pitching
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Plastering Interior Spring Walls
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Plastering Of The Spring Walls
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Plastering The Spring Walls
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Backfilling With Large Stones
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Clear Water Beings To Flow During Backfilling
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Splash From A Thrown Rock In The Backfilling
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Layering Tarp Over Stones
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Soil Backfilling Over Tarp
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Spring Fencing
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Spring Fencing
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Water Storage Containers
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  First You Scoop
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Then You Pour
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  A Child Helps Prepare Yams To Eat
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Aron Kwemba Grazing His Cow
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Assisting An Old Man Fetch Water
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Bathing Room Made Of Maize Stalks
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Carrying Water From The Unprotected Spring
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Chlorine Dispenser At The Water Point
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Clotheesline
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Clothes Drying
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Coming Home With Water
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Compound
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Cooking Inside The Kitchen
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Dishrack
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Fetching Water At Peter Majoni Spring
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  How Water Is Drawn
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Moses With His Little Brother Ake
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Outside The Kitchen
The Water Project: Shihome Community, Peter Majoni Spring -  Pots As Water Storage

Project Status



Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 280 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 09/10/2021

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



Shihome is in a rural and peaceful area that is highly vegetated due to community members’ farming. People primarily grow sugarcane, bananas, sweet potatoes, yams, and beans to support their families. Many young men in this area have decided to buy motorbikes and use them for taxiing, known as the boda boda business, and this has helped them to earn something to support their families.

The 280 people in Shihome who rely on Peter Majoni Spring for water come to the spring very early in the morning. This is preferred to the late morning and afternoon, when there are large crowds at the spring which increase both wait time and the muddiness of the water from having to step into it when fetching it. “People step in the water and make it dirty, so we don’t take safe water for our health,” said primary aged student Moses. The crowds are of particular concern during the pandemic, when community members are trying to limit their contact with groups and reduce the amount of time they have to spend in public.

When it rains, it is even harder to access the spring because the area is slippery and steep. The rains also pour more dirty surface runoff into the spring water, further contaminating it.

“Many years we have been taking dirty water. The water is contaminated and we use a lot of money for medication,” said 68-year-old farmer Aron Kwemba. Diarrhea and typhoid are the most common water-related illnesses among community members, especially for children. Families are forced to spend money on medication for their water-related illnesses, draining their resources that could be better spent on other needs. Kids also miss a lot of classtime due to staying at home and seeking treatment for their waterborne illnesses.

What We Can Do:

Spring Protection

Protecting the spring will help provide access to cleaner and safer water and reduce the time people have to spend to fetch it. 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 and their education.

Training on Health, Hygiene, COVID-19, and More

To hold trainings during the pandemic, we work closely with both community leaders and the local government to approve small groups to attend training. We ask community leaders to invite a select yet representative group of people to attend training who will then act as ambassadors to the rest of the community to share what they learn. We also communicate our expectations of physical distancing and wearing masks for all who choose to attend.

The training will focus on improved hygiene, health, and sanitation habits in this community. We will also have a dedicated session on COVID-19 symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention best practices.

With the community’s input, we will identify key leverage points where they can alter their practices at the personal, household, and community levels to affect change. This training will help to ensure participants have the knowledge they need about healthy practices and their importance to make the most of their water point as soon as water is flowing.

Our team of facilitators will use a variety of methods to train community members. Some of these methods include participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation, asset-based community development, group discussions, handouts, and demonstrations at the spring.

One of the most important issues 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 and the community strongly believe that all of these components will work together to improve living standards here, which will help to unlock the potential for these community members to live better, healthier lives.

We will then conduct a small series of follow-up trainings before transitioning to our regularly scheduled support visits throughout the year.

Training will result in the formation of a water user committee, elected by their peers, that will oversee the operations and maintenance of the spring. The committee 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 unwanted waste, 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 called sanitation platforms. 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. The families will then be asked to complete their latrines by constructing a superstructure over their platforms. These 5 sanitation platforms will then serve as examples for the rest of the community to replicate.

Project Updates


02/25/2021: Peter Majoni Spring Project Complete!

Shihome Community now has access to clean water! We transformed Peter Majoni Spring into a flowing source of water thanks to your donation. Our team protected the spring, constructed five sanitation platforms for different households in the community, and trained the community on improved sanitation and hygiene practices, including COVID-19 prevention.

"I am sure of secure life and health as a result of access to clean and safe water. Access to reliable and safe water will allow me time to concentrate on other on-farm and off-farm economic activities, hence enhancing livelihoods," said Moses Kanari, a pastor in the community.

"The overflow water will be used for irrigation during the dry season. As a result of irrigation, it is expected that agricultural production will increase for enhanced food and nutrition security in addition to increased incomes," Moses said.

"I thank my heavenly Father for The Water Project for considering the community members' spring for protection. From now onwards, I am assured of safe and clean water," said Peter Were, a 70-year-old carpenter and the elected Chair of the water user committee.

Children were just as excited as the adults about the new water point.

"I will take a short time to collect water from the spring and have more time for other social and economic activities. There will be no queueing at the spring, and it will give me an easy time to concentrate on my homework after school," said teenaged girl Flavian.

Ruth and Flavian at the spring

Preparing for Spring Protection

Community members worked together to source and carry all locally available construction materials to the spring. These included bricks, sand, stones, and fencing poles. Some people also chiseled away at large stones to break them down into gravel. Because people have to carry most items by hand, the materials collection process can take anywhere from a few weeks to months.

Community members carry construction materials to the spring.

When everything was prepared, we sent a lorry to the community to deliver the rest of the construction materials, including the cement, plastic tarps, and hardware. Then, our artisan and field officers deployed to the spring to begin work. Individual households provided meals throughout each day to sustain the work team.

From Open Source to Protected Spring: A Step-by-Step Process

At last, it was time to dig in at the spring! Women and men lent their strength to the artisan each day to help with the manual labor. First, we cleared and excavated the spring area. We dug a drainage channel below the spring and several surface runoff diversion channels above and around the spring. These help to divert environmental contaminants carried by the rains away from the spring.

Excavation

To ensure community members could still fetch water throughout the construction process, we also dug temporary diversion channels from the spring’s eye around the construction site. This allowed water to flow without severely disrupting community members’ water needs or the construction work.

Laying the foundation

Excavation created space for setting the spring’s foundation made of thick plastic tarp, wire mesh, concrete, and waterproof cement. After setting the base, we started brickwork to build the headwall, wing walls, and stairs.

Brickwork

Next, we began one of the most crucial spring protection steps to ensure a fully functional water point: setting the discharge pipe, or in this case, a whopping three pipes due to the spring's naturally high yield. The discharge pipes have to be low enough in the headwall so that the water level inside never rises above the spring’s eye, yet high enough to leave eighteen to twenty inches between the pipes and the spring floor to allow room for the average jerrycan (a 20-liter container) to sit beneath the pipes without making contact.

Setting the pipes

If the discharge pipes were placed too high above the spring’s eye, too much backpressure could force the flow to emerge elsewhere. Too low, and community members would not be able to access the water easily. We embedded the pipes using clay (or mortar when the clay is in short supply) and placed it at a slight incline to ensure water flows in the right direction.

Stone pitching

In coordination with brickwork, we pitched medium to large stones on both sides of the spring’s drainage channel. We then cemented and plastered each stone group into place, forming the rub walls. These help to discourage people and animals from trying to stand on that area, which could cause soil erosion and thus a clogged drainage area.

Plasterwork underway

With brickwork and stone pitching completed, we turned to cementing and plastering both sides of the headwall and wing walls. These finishing layers reinforce the brickwork and prevent water in the reservoir from seeping through the walls. In turn, enough pressure builds in the reservoir box to push water out through the discharge pipe.

Backfilling with large stones

As the headwall and wing walls were curing, we cemented and plastered the stairs and installed four tiles beneath the discharge pipe. The tiles protect the concrete from the falling water's erosive force while also beautifying the spring and facilitating easy cleaning of the spring floor.

Backfilling with soil

We transitioned to the final stages of construction with the tiles in place - backfilling the reservoir box. First, we cleared the collection box of any debris that may have fallen in since its construction, such as dead leaves or other items. Then we redirected the temporary diversion channels back into the reservoir box, channeling water into this area for the first time. We closed off all of the other exits to start forcing the water through the discharge pipes only.

Planting grass

With much help from the community, we filled up the reservoir area with the clean and large stones they gathered, arranging them in layers like a well-fitting puzzle. We covered the stones with a thick plastic tarp to minimize potential contamination sources from aboveground, followed by a layer of soil. We piled enough soil on top to create a slight mound to compensate for the backfill’s future settlement.

Building the fence

Community members transplanted grass onto the backfilled soil to help prevent erosion. Finally, the collection area was fenced to discourage any person or animal from walking on it since compaction can lead to disturbances in the backfill layers and potentially compromise water quality.

Peter Majoni Spring with grass grown in

The entire construction process took about two weeks of work and patience to allow the cement and plaster to finish curing. As soon as it was ready, people got the okay from our field officers to fetch water.

We officially handed over the spring directly following training to mark the community's ownership of the water point. Happiness, thanksgiving, and appreciation were the order of the day flowing in all directions.

The protected spring was dedicated by the area Assistant Chief, the village elder, and the community members. The Assistant Chief told the community members to take care of the protected spring, reiterating that "Water is life." He called upon the community members to maintain the protected spring as a sign of appreciation to the water project through our team.

Assistant Chief addresses community members at the spring.

Sanitation Platforms

We completed all five sanitation platforms and handed them over to their new owners. 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 encouraging families to finish building walls and roofs over their new latrine floors and other families to replicate the design after having helped construct these examples.

A girl poses on a new sanitation platform.

Training on Health, Hygiene, COVID-19 and More

Due to the ongoing challenges and restrictions amidst the pandemic, we worked with both local leaders and the national Ministry of Health to gain approval for a small group training about health, hygiene, and COVID-19 prevention.

Together with the community, we found their preferred date for training while considering other community calendar events, such as the agricultural season and social events. We requested a select yet representative group of community members to attend training, relaying the information learned to the rest of their family and friends. When the day arrived, facilitators Samuel Simidi and Mary Afandi deployed to the site to lead the event.

People spread out along the hillside to attend training at the spring.

19 people attended the training, including the local Community Health Volunteer. We held the training at the spring, where people could spread out along the hillside and in multiple directions around the spring to listen in. Even when the sun shifted and we were left without shade, the community members endured the heat and completed the training successfully.

Perhaps the most important topic of the day was our session on COVID-19 prevention and control. Due to the rampant spread of misinformation about COVID-19, we dedicated time to a question and answer session to help debunk rumors about the virus and provide extra information where needed. We also left behind a rice sack painted with messages of COVID-19 prevention reminders in the local language. We affixed the sign to the spring's fence during training and encouraged community members to use it as a daily reminder to stay cautious both at home and at the spring.

Handwashing demonstration

We covered several other topics, including community participation in the project; leadership and governance; personal and environmental hygiene; water handling and treatment; operation and maintenance of the spring and sanitation platforms; dental hygiene; the ten steps of handwashing, and how to make and use a tippy tap and leaky tin. We held an election for the newly formed water user committee leaders during the leadership and governance session.

Trainer Sam demonstrates how to make a leaky tin handwashing station.

We also brainstormed income-generating activities that can be used to start both a community savings account for any future minor repairs to the spring and a cooperative lending group to enable members to develop their own small businesses.

"The training was valuable to me. It increased my knowledge of hygiene and sanitation. I realized that personal hygiene is my personal responsibility. My attitude toward hygiene and sanitation has changed," said Ruth Joseph, a small business owner and also the elected Treasurer of the water user committee.

Ruth at the spring

When an issue arises concerning the water project, the water user committee is equipped with the necessary skills to rectify the problem and ensure the water point works appropriately. However, if the issue is beyond their capabilities, they can contact our field officers' team to assist them. Also, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our ongoing monitoring and maintenance program.

Thank you for making all of this possible!


The Water Project : kenya20171-appreciating-the-donors


01/20/2021: Peter Majoni Spring Project Underway!

Dirty water from Peter Majoni Spring is making people in Shihome, Kenya 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 : 1-kenya20171-first-you-scoop-3


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

Scandinavians for Life