Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 105 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Oct 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/08/2024

Project Features

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The two things the 105 people of Shamberere wish for most are more time and more money, both of which are regularly eaten up by the water crisis in their community.

People come to the spring in the morning and the evening every day, because otherwise, they must be at school, work, or in the fields farming. But fetching water at Jafred Shiayo Spring is a time-consuming process that involves bending and scooping up water one small jugful at a time until their 20-liter jerrycans are full.

Sarah, a 17-year-old student (pictured above), explained the repercussions of having to wait in line for water. "Sometimes I have to forego washing my uniforms due to the long queue at the water point, which makes me spend a lot of time there that I would have used in finishing school assignments. I have to prioritize doing assignments rather than cleaning my clothes. So other days, I have to put on [a] dirty uniform."

Shamberere's people are thankful for Jafred Shiayo Spring because it never dries even during long periods of drought. But drinking the water has caused serious problems for the people who live here, including Josina Ikera, 65 (pictured below).

"A number of times, I have had to be treated when I suffered from typhoid and amoeba due to drinking this water: money which would have been spent on something else," Josina explained.

Since we conducted our vetting survey, a chlorine dispenser was installed at the spring. However, this will not solve all the community's problems, as chlorine, like medicine, costs money. A protected spring will allow Shamberere's people to fetch water freely and easily at any time of day. Fetching water will take a fraction of the time, meaning queues and long hours spent at the spring will be a thing of the past.

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

October, 2022: Shamberere Community Spring Complete!

Shamberere Community now has access to clean water! We transformed Jafred Shiayo Spring into a flowing source of naturally filtered water thanks to your donation. Our team also trained the community on improved sanitation and hygiene practices. Together, these components will unlock the opportunity for community members to live better, healthier lives.

"Before this project, getting water was such a hard task, because it meant waking up very early so as to go get clean water before the water [was] disturbed and made dirty by continuous use. Also, the bending down so as to reach the water was quite hard considering [I] am getting old, and my knees are getting weaker," said 66-year-old farmer Josina Ichera.

Josina, all smiles at the protected spring.

"But now, with this new water point, all I have to do is get my water can and put it at the pipe and just get water. Also, now I do not have to forego my sleep so as to go fetch water because of the fear of getting dirty water. This, in turn, has made everything easy," she concluded.

Children were just as excited as adults about the new waterpoint.

"Before the project, congestion at the water point was the order of the day. If you happened to be among the last, that meant that your water would be very dirty because that meant the first ones had taken the clean, settled water first. Now I am glad that I do not have to worry if I am first or last because either way, I will get clean water," said 10-year-old Emmanuel B.


Emmanuel continued: "Normally, after school, I have to go fetch the water to be used for the evening chores at home before I am able to do anything else. Most times, I do not get the opportunity for other activities because of the congestion at the water point. But now, I believe I will be able to engage in other activities. I really love football and want to practice and really get better at it so that in [the] future, I can get [a] scholarship for my education through playing football. Spending less time at the water point will help me achieve this because it would mean more free time."

Preparing for Spring Protection

Community members, especially Shamberere's women, 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 rocks to break them down into gravel. Because people have to carry most items by hand, the material-collection process can take anywhere from a few weeks to months.

Community members collect stones.

When the community was ready, we sent a lorry to deliver the remaining construction materials, including cement, plastic tarps, and hardware. Then, our construction 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

First, we cleared and excavated the spring area. Next, we dug a drainage channel below the spring and several runoff diversion channels above and around the spring. These help to divert surface contaminants away.

To ensure community members could still access water throughout the construction process, we also dug temporary channels from the spring's eye around the construction site. This allowed water to flow without disrupting community members' tasks or the construction work. Excavation created space for setting the spring's foundation, made of thick plastic tarp, wire mesh, concrete, and waterproof cement.

A community woman and children help with clearing the land and excavation.

After establishing the base, we started brickwork to build the headwall, wing walls, and stairs. Once the walls had grown tall enough, we began one of the most crucial steps: setting the discharge pipe. The discharge pipe needs to be positioned low enough in the headwall so the water level never rises above the spring's eye, yet high enough to allow room for the average jerrycan (a 20-liter container) to sit beneath the pipe without making contact.

If we place the discharge pipe too high above the spring's eye, backpressure could force water 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 clay is in short supply) and placed it at an incline to ensure water flows in the right direction.

In coordination with brickwork, we pitched stones on both sides of the spring's drainage channel. We then cemented and plastered each stone, forming the rub walls. These walls discourage people and animals from standing in that area, which could cause soil erosion and a clogged drainage area.

We then cemented and plastered 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.


As the headwall and wing walls cured, 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.

The final stage of construction is backfilling the reservoir box behind the discharge pipe. We cleared the collection box of any debris that may have fallen during construction. 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 water through the discharge pipe only.

Backfilling the reservoir area.

We filled up the reservoir area with the large, clean stones community members had gathered, arranging them in layers like a well-fitting puzzle. We covered the rocks with a thick plastic tarp to minimize potential contamination sources, then piled enough dirt on top to compensate for future settling.

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. Compaction can lead to disturbances in the backfill layers and potentially compromise water quality.

Community members transplanting grass.

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

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

Happy for easily accessible water.

Training on Health, Hygiene, and More

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 representative group of community members to attend training and relay the information learned to the rest of their family and friends.

When the day arrived, facilitators Patience and Brenda deployed to the site to lead the event. 13 women attended the training as the men had gone out to work. We held the training outside near a road by the spring.

Receiving training materials.

We covered several topics, including community participation in the project, leadership and governance, personal and environmental hygiene, water handling and treatment, spring maintenance, dental hygiene, the ten steps of handwashing, disease prevention, and how to make and use handwashing stations.

During the leadership and governance session, we held an election for the newly formed water user committee leaders, who will oversee the maintenance of the spring. We also brainstormed income-generating activities. Community members can now start a group savings account for any future minor repairs to the spring and a cooperative lending group, enabling them to develop small businesses.

Site proper operation and maintenance session.

A favorite of the training was the soap-making demonstration. Everyone was really excited to learn all there was to know about it, which made it interesting for the group. They sang and talked amongst themselves about how glad they were for the opportunity.

"I have really enjoyed the training and learned a lot, especially the aspect of soap making. I hope that this skill will be of help to me and others moving forward," said Josina, quoted earlier.

Learning how to make soap.


This project required a substantial collaboration between our staff, our in-country teams, and the community members themselves. When an issue arises concerning the spring, 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 their local field officers to assist them.

Also, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program. We walk with each community, problem-solving together when they face challenges with functionality, seasonality, or water quality. Together, all these components help us strive for enduring access to reliable, clean, and safe water for this community.

With your contribution, one more piece has been added to a large puzzle of water projects. In our target areas, we’re working toward complete coverage of reliable, maintained water sources within a 30-minute round trip for each community, household, school, and health center. With this in mind, search through our upcoming projects to see which community you can help next!

Thank you for making all of this possible!

August, 2022: Shamberere Community Spring Protection Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Shamberere Community drains people’s time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this community through the introduction and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation, and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!

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!

A Year Later: Spring Protection = Health Protection

November, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Shamberere 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!

Josephine Khamasi, 32, recalled what life was like in the Shamberere Community before her community’s spring was protected last year.

"The owner of this piece of land used to plant maize up to the water source. This poor method of farming made our water dirty through soil erosion. The safety of the spring was not good because the place was bushy. We fetched water using tins and jugs," shared Josephine.

Collecting water is now much safer and easier for Josephine and the other community members in Shamberere.

"Getting water has been made easy through protection. Fencing has made clear boundaries for farming, [and] cut drainage [channels] made above the spring has improved the quality of water. During [the] rainy season, this water could turn cloudy, but recently, it is very clear," she added.

Having ready access to water from the spring has made a difference for Josephine, allowing her to collect safer water that enhances her life.

"The spring protection has solved the issue of poor farming above the spring. There is order at the spring when people crowd to fetch water," she concluded.

Josephine at the spring.

Right now, there are others in neighboring communities that desperately need safe water access. Your support will immediately go to work to provide a clean water project - and we can’t wait to introduce you to the next person you’ll help.

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 Shamberere 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 Shamberere 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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