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The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  A Girl Enjoying The Water
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  A Moment Of Laughter With Sarah At The Spring
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Cheers To Clean Water
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Fetching Water From Shatuma Sping
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Happy Leaving The Spring
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  John Jumba Celebrates The Spring
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  People Celebrating At The Water Point
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Smiling While Carrying Water From The Spring
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Water Celebrations
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Water Celebrations
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Entrance To The Spring
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Flowing Water
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Training On Solar Disinfection Of Water
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  A Community Member Asking For Clarification
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Demonstration On How To Make A Leaky Tin
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Florence Naliaka
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Fridah Naliaka
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Sarah
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Training In Session
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Training In Session
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Training In Session
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Training On Covid Prevention
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Training On Dental Hygiene
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Grass Planting
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Local Children Help Carrying Materials To The Spring
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Mixing Of Concrete
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Site Clearance
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Excavation
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Slab Casting
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Brick Setting
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Wall Construction
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Pipe Measurement And Setting
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Pipe Setting
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Stair Construction
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Stone Pitching
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Stone Pitching
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Plastering The Walls
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Floor Plastering
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Tile Setting
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Backfilling With Rocks
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Backfilling With Plastic Sheet
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Backfilling With Soil
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Ground Leveling
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Fencing
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Water Point
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Water Point
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  People Collecting Water
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Francis Collecting Water
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Access Point
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Leaving The Spring
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Back Up The Hill With Water
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Walking To The Spring
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Walking To The Spring
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Storing Water
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Water Storage Containers
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Utensils Inside A Kitchen
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Animals Grazing
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Bathing Shelter
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Children Playing
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Clothes Drying
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Clothesline
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Community Landscape
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Dishrack
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Dishrack
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Drying Maize
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Farming
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Francis
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Francis Handwashing
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Home Compound
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Kitchen With Cobs Stored For Fuel
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Latrine
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Latrine
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Leaky Tin Handwashing Station
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Lush Landscape
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Maize Drying Outside A Home
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Ms Mukavana Cooking
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Slicing Plantains
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Sundrying Maize
The Water Project: Shamoni Community, Shatuma Spring -  Timothy Lucheri

Project Status



Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 300 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 09/03/2021

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



Based in a rural set-up, Shamoni Village is in a sugar belt region with community members practicing large scale sugarcane farming as their main cash crop and livelihood. Most houses in the village are semi-permanent and grass-thatched with a majority not connected to electricity. Some community members are employed as casual laborers at the West Kenya Sugar Factory while others engage in running small businesses in the nearby town. People here are a united group who relate well to one another, and this has created a strong bond in the community.

Water being a precious commodity needed by all, 300 community members in Shamoni are forced to draw water from the unprotected Shatuma Spring as it is the only year-round water source in the area. Currently, water from the spring is not safe for drinking as the catchment area is exposed to runoff from the rains that seep into the ground. The runoff carries farm chemicals, animal waste residues, and soil into the spring water.

Community members report water-related infections such as cholera and typhoid among the families who depend on this spring. The medication and hospital visits often required of these illnesses are expensive, eating into families’ financial resources. When they are home sick, adults miss work and lose income-earning time, while kids have to stay home from school and can start to fall behind in their classes.

Physical accessibility is another big concern at Shatuma Spring.

“Drawing water from the spring is a big challenge, especially to elderly persons. The spring has no stairs guiding one to the water point, thus making it difficult for such persons to access the spring. I have once hurt myself while trying to access the water point, forcing me to seek medical attention,” said 60-year-old farmer Timothy Lucheri Ijendi.

At one point the spring was partially protected, but it was not done to standard and it quickly broke down. All that remains is the discharge pipe lodged directly into the earth and the open area where the spring’s water originates. Without a complete catchment area, a lot of the spring’s water flows around the pipe, slowing community members down as they wait for their jerrycans to fill.

“Over the holidays, I find it quite a big challenge accessing the spring. This is due to overcrowding at the spring since it is a tradition in our community that children have to allow the elder persons to first access the precious commodity,” reported young primary school-aged student Francis.

To aid in fetching water, the community moved several stones and old cinderblocks below the pipe to try to stay above the constant pool of water while they fetch. But these are slippery and difficult to balance on, often ending up with people in the water anyway.

The drainage system is not well-constructed or maintained, leading to water stagnating at the collection area. This has been a great challenge when drawing water from the spring, as mosquitoes, snakes, and insects all prefer this wet environment and can be dangerous to the community members. This is especially true of mosquitoes carrying malaria that use the spring as a breeding ground.

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.

Project Updates


05/24/2021: Shatuma Spring Project Complete!

Shamoni Community now has access to clean water! We transformed Shatuma Spring into a flowing source of water, thanks to your donation. Our team protected the spring and trained the community on improved sanitation and hygiene practices, including COVID-19 prevention.

A woman fetches water from the protected spring.

"Having been protected, our water is now safe for drinking. We are assured of clean water every day as the spring is now accessible to all at any given time. As a business person, I see myself getting to my workstation in time. Long before the installation of this water point, we used to spend much time at the water point as the discharge used to be low due to the diversion of water," remarked John Jumba, the elected Chair of the spring's water user committee.

John Jumba celebrates the spring.

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

"Cases of water-related infections will now be a thing of the past. In recent years, I had been diagnosed with typhoid and even sore throat complications, and these I related to the water we collected at the spring," recalled primary school-aged Sarah.

Sarah enjoys a moment of laughter at the spring.

"I see myself having ample time for my studies. I will no longer be wasting much time at the spring as the spring is now accessible. Availability of clean, sufficient water will ensure that I wash my clothes, enabling me to put on clean clothes every day," she added.

Preparing for Spring Protection

Community members worked together to source and carried 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 the gravel. Because people have to carry most items by hand, the materials collection process can take anywhere from a few weeks to months.

Children from the community helped mobilize construction materials alongside the adults.

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.

Bricklaying

Next, we began one of the most crucial spring protection steps to ensure a fully functional water point: setting the discharge pipe. The discharge pipe has 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 pipe and the spring floor. This allows room for the average jerrycan (a 20-liter container) to sit beneath the pipe without making contact.

Setting the pipe

If the discharge pipe 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 pipe using clay (or mortar when the clay is in short supply) and placed it slightly incline to ensure water flows in the right direction.

Plastering the 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. This helps discourage people and animals from standing on that area, which could cause soil erosion and thus a clogged drainage area.

Stairs construction

We turned to cementing and plastering both sides of the headwall and wing walls with brickwork and stone pitching completed. 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.

Plastering the walls

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 beautifying the spring and facilitating easy cleaning of the spring floor.

Setting the tiles

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 pipe only.

Backfilling with stones

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 and transplanting grass

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.

Clean water flows from the completed spring.

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. On the day of commissioning, songs and jubilation did carry the day. Participants were so happy with the project installed and did promise to maintain it.

A woman celebrates the spring.

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

Due to the ongoing challenges and restrictions amidst the pandemic, we worked with 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 agricultural and social events. We requested a representative group of community members to attend training to relay the information learned to the rest of their family and friends.

Trainer Sam leads the handwashing session.

When the day arrived, facilitators, Samuel and Dominic deployed to the site to lead the event. With the third wave of COVID-19 hitting Kenya, we had to limit participants for the training. Key members of the community were selected from various households taking into consideration gender parity. Eleven people attended the training, including community-based leaders and self-help group members.

With no house to accommodate all participants, it was fortunate that the weather was calm and hot, allowing us to utilize John Jumba's compound. Physical spacing was considered as this created an atmosphere that encouraged participation and learning, especially during this time of COVID-19.

A community member helps lead an activity.

Perhaps the most crucial 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.

Lesson on using the elbow for safer coughs and sneezes.

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; 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.

Demonstrating solar disinfection method of water treatment.

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

"Good hygiene practice is key in one's development. Today's training has shed more light on how we need to maintain our hygiene and sanitation standards. We are going to extend this information to our members so that they live a healthy life," said John Juma, a local businessperson and the elected Chair of the spring's water user committee.

Demonstration on leaky tin handwashing station construction.

"COVID-19 is real. It's here with us. Today's training on COVID-19 has enabled us to gather information, much of which we weren't aware of. In this community, we tend to trust one another, not knowing their health condition. We will encourage social distancing, putting on masks, and washing of hands at all times. As one of the elders in this community, I promise to champion the process of awareness to ensure we live as a COVID-19 free community," John continued.

Handwashing practice

"Most of our members have been complaining of not being able to afford handwashing facilities. Today we have been taught how to improvise a handwashing facility. We will train our members on how to make the leaky tin and ensure that water and soap are available at all times. From the discussion today, we know COVID-19 is a threat to our health. As a community, we have to come together and help curb the spread of the virus, or else it will teach us a big lesson."

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 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 : kenya21004-fetching-water-from-shatuma-sping


04/20/2021: Shatuma Spring Project Underway!

Dirty water from Shatuma Spring is making people in Shamoni, 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 : kenya21004-francis-collecting-water-3


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)