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The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  People Carrying Water
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Celebrating
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Celebrating
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Celebrating
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  People Carrying Water
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Splashing Water
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Celebrating
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Celebrating
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  People Carrying Water
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  People Carrying Water
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Splashing Water
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Agatha Temba
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Agatha Temba
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Bridgitte K
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Bridgitte K
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Initial Site Clearance
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Site Measurements
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Site Measurements
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Excavation
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Excavation
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Slab Setting Black Polythene
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Slab Setting Chicken Wire
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Slab Setting Concrete Mix
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Slab Setting Concrete Mix
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Brick Setting
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Brick Setting
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Wall Construction
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Wall Construction
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Wall Construction
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Pipe Setting
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Pipe Setting
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Staircase Construction
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Staircase Construction
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Stone Pitching
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Stone Pitching
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Stone Pitching
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Drainage Channel
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Inside Plaster
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Inside Plaster
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Outside Plaster
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Tile Setting
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Tile Setting
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Plaque Inscription
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Backfilling Clay
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Backfilling Clay
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Backfilling Large Stones
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Backfilling Large Stones
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Backfilling Black Polythene
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Backfilling Black Polythene
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Backfilling Soil Cover
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Backfilling Soil Cover
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Grass Planting
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Grass Planting
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Fencing
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Fencing
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Community Engagement
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Community Engagement
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Community Engagement
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Community Engagement
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Group Photo
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Handwashing
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Handwashing
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Handwashing
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Handwashing
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Onsite Training
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Onsite Training
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Oral Hygiene
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Oral Hygiene
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Oral Hygiene
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Oral Hygiene
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Participants Receiving Stationery
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Soap Making
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Soap Making
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Soap Making
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Soap Making
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Training Session
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Training Session
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Training Session
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Water Collection And Storage
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Water Collection And Storage
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Finished Water Point
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Site Measurements
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Excavation
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Water Point
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Animals Grazing Field
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Water Point
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Water Storage Containers
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Water Storage Containers
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Sugar Plantation
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Samuel Yasuna Mwanza
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Rainwater Collecting Tank
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Onion Farm
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Maize Plantation
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Latrine And Bathing Shelter
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Latrine
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Landscape
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Homestead
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Dishrack
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Dishrack
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Community Members Preparing Meal
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Community Member Washing Clothes
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Community Member Home
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Clothesline
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Clothes And Bedding Airing
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Bathing Shelter
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Banana Plantation
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Animal Grazing
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Wesley Storing Water
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Wesley Carrying Water
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Wesley Carrying Water
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Wesley Y
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Water Point
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Water Point
The Water Project: Chevoso Community -  Water Point

Project Status



Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 200 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



Clean water is ideal for one to live a healthy life, and the lack of it means a community’s health is at risk. Such is the case for the 200 community members living in Chevoso who rely on the Yasuna Mwanza Spring as their primary water source.

Most community members risk their health by drinking the contaminated water from the spring as they cannot afford water treatments or locate another clean, safe water source. By being forced to drink unclean, unsafe water, this community often faces challenges.

“For a long time now, we have been accessing water that is not clean and safe for use. [I] am a victim of typhoid infection, and I can say it’s the water from the spring,” commented Samuel Yasuna Mwanza, a local farmer.

Many community members have suffered from waterborne illnesses such as typhoid and sore throats, not just Samuel. This leaves them feeling ill and lacking the energy needed to do daily tasks. They also lose out on income-generating activities to support their families, like farming.

Although the spring is small, contaminated, and challenging to access, it is still overcrowded. Most people go to fetch water in the morning and the evening — sometimes up to 7 trips per day are needed to meet a family’s water needs. Those employed at the local sugarcane factory often leave the spring without water for the day because they have limited time to wait in line and fear getting to work late.

Wesley Y. shared his challenges and how needing to go to the spring often means he does not make it to school. “My parents are not able to access the spring due to its current state. This has forced me to collect water every day for use at home and has always made me abscond (skip) school on various occasions as [I] am always exhausted.”

Protection of the water point will allow the community members access to clean, safe water and to have the energy and time to give time and attention to other helpful activities.

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


09/28/2022: Chevoso Community Spring Protection Complete!

Chevoso Community now has access to clean water! We transformed Yasuna Mwanza 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.

"The protected water point will impact my life very positively," said 38-year-old teacher Agatha Temba. "I have been struggling in getting clean water easily for my family. At times, it makes me get to school late due to time wastage due to inaccessibility. Right now, I am a happy human, for I have said bye-bye to lateness in school and also to waterborne diseases like typhoid, which was a thorn in my family."

Agatha, on the far left, celebrates with other community members.

"The plans that this water point will help me to achieve is getting to school early and [having] more time with the children," Agatha continued. "I used to feel bad when I got to school and [found] the ECD (Early Childhood Development) pupils waiting for me at the door. With this waterpoint, my house chores will not delay [me] in the morning, and thus [I will] have enough time to prepare."

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

"This water point has come [at] the right time," said 18-year-old Brigitte K. "My life will be impacted positively, for I have received a great solution to my problem. There will be no more waterborne diseases to be experienced. My time in school was minimal, for often I would visit the hospital for treatment over typhoid. Now that I can access clean and safe water, I can attest that God does remember His people, our community being one."

Brigitte enjoys water from the new spring.

"With the clean and safe water that we have received, I will no longer frequent the hospital as I used to," Brigitte said. "The cash that was used for treatment will be converted to do more development work like paying for my [transportation] to school. I will also have enough time in school to study and ensure I get the best grades."

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 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.

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.

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.

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 were instrumental in the construction process.

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.

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.

The day the spring was successfully completed, everybody was happy and wanted to have a taste of water after protection. The chairman of the water point committee appreciated all the community members for being cooperative and willingly supporting the project. He further thanked everyone involved in the project for remembering them and ensuring that they have clean and safe clean water. He finally finished with prayers asking God to bless every individual who made it possible.

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 Jemmimah, Victor, and Nelly deployed to the site to lead the event. 14 people attended the training, including 13 women and one man. We held the training near the spring, which is centrally located for everyone. Unfortunately, not as many people attended as we had hoped, but those who were present promised to relay the message of hygiene and sanitation to the rest of the community.

Handing out notebooks.

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.

Participants listen to the field officer.

One of the more memorable topics was dental hygiene. Because of the high cost of living in recent months, most of the community members in Chevoso have begun using sticks from the toothbrush tree as toothbrushes and salt as toothpaste. One participant said that toothbrushes and toothpaste are less important than having food on the table.

Brigitte and field officer Jemmimah demonstrate toothbrushing.

The facilitator then encouraged them not to lose hope and reminded them that they should not forget to take care of themselves. She further warned them that neglecting hygiene practices may cause more harm to finances if they become sick. We also believe that access to clean water will help with this, given the reduced medicinal costs in the future due to fewer water-related illnesses.

Participants also loved our demonstration on soap-making. They appreciated the skill and knowledge they received. They will use their new soap-making skills as an income-generating activity, so it will be easy for them to pool their resources to buy chemicals to make their own soap.

"The training was very valuable," said Agatha, who we quoted earlier. "The most interesting part of it was that we were reminded of the key things which affect our lives on a daily basis. [On the] example of dental hygiene practices, I used to assume things were affecting me, but from the training, [I] am in a better place of ensuring that my family members are well-kept."

Conclusion

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!


The Water Project : kenya22047-0-splashing-water-11


08/08/2022: Chevoso Community Spring Protection Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Chevoso 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!


The Water Project : kenya22047-2-site-measurements-1


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

Project Underwriter - TGB Caring with Crypto
4 individual donor(s)