Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 175 Served

Project Phase:  Under Construction
Estimated Install Date (?):  02/10/2023

Project Features

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Akola Spring serves as the primary water source for many of the 700 community members in Shimanyiro. During the dry season, the water point experiences severe overcrowding because community members share the water point with children from two local primary schools whose water sources have dried up.

The spring is hard to access because it sits in a valley with no staircase and the surrounding area is wet. Users have to struggle to walk downhill and then fear falling under the weight of their filled water containers as they ascend back up the slope.

"I will be so happy when this spring is protected. It has been a thorn in the flesh to go each day to fetch water from the spring. The terrain calls for a proper staircase that will increase our access to this water point," said farmer Hellen Khadenje, 58, shown above, collecting water from the spring.

"This water is of great help to us because [it] is nearby. We take a short time to go to the spring, but the challenge is accessibility. The large [hill] leading to the spring is a bit sloppy, and we have no stairs to help us deal with this problem. Thus, it's tiresome to carry water from the spring," said Andhila N., 17, standing in front of the spring below.

Contamination is also a problem since the spring's collection box is wide open, and people must stand in the water to collect it. Farming activities create runoff that drains directly into the water source, especially during the rainy season, making the water unsafe to consume. Drinking the contaminated water has led to people experiencing stomachaches and community members being diagnosed with typhoid.

Once the spring is protected, abundant clean, safe water will flow so there will be sufficient water for everyone with secure access, and it will stop making people sick.

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

12/21/2022: Shimanyiro Community Spring Protection Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Shimanyiro 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

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!


2 individual donor(s)