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The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Enjoying Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Collecting Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Collecting Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Collecting Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Collecting Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Collecting Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Drinking Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Drinking Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Enjoying Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Enjoying Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Enjoying Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Enjoying Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Enjoying Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Enjoying Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Water Celebrations
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Water Celebrations
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  At The Water Point
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Jenipher Muteshi
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Jenipher Muteshi
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  John Omwanda
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  John Omwanda
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Keith A
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Keith A
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Leonald Amboso Chairperson
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Mersela Khakayi
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Mersela Khakayi
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Zekiel A
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Zekiel A
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Oral Hygiene Training
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Oral Hygiene Training
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Oral Hygiene Training
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Soapmaking
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Soapmaking
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Soapmaking
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Soapmaking
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Soapmaking
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Training Session
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Training Session
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Group Photo
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Handwashing
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Handwashing
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Handwashing
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Handwashing
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Site Measurement
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Site Measurement
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Community Engagement
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Excavation
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Excavation
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Diversion Channel Opening
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Diversion Channel Opening
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Slab Setting
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Slab Setting
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Slab Setting
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Slab Setting
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Bricks Setting
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Bricks Setting
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Bricks Setting
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Bricks Setting
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Raising The Wall
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Raising The Wall
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Discharge Pipe Setting
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Discharge Pipe Setting
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Discharge Pipe Setting
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Stair Construction
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Stair Construction
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Stone Pitching
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Stone Pitching
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Drainage Channel
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Outside Plastering
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Inside Plastering
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Inside Plastering
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Inside Plastering
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Floor Plastering
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Floor Plastering
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Tile Setting
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Plaque Inscription
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Backfilling With Stones
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Backfilling With Stones
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Backfilling With Plastic
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Backfilling With Soil
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Backfilling With Soil
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Grass Planting
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Fencing
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Cut Off Drainage
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Final Site Clearance
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Flowing Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Flowing Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Water Point
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Inside The Kitchen
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Water Storage Containers
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Fireplace In The Kitchen
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Inside The Latrine
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Shelyne Lika
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Rainwater Storage Tank
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Chicken Coop
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Shelyne Washing Dishes
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Dish Rack
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Outside The Kitchen
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Dog Kennel
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Clothesline
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Latrine
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Collecting Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Collecting Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Latrine
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Clothesline
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Zekiel A
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Banana Trees
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Collecting Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Cow Pen
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Carrying Water From Bulimo
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Collecting Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Family Compound
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Water Source
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Bathing Area
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Clothes Drying On Ground
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Carrying Water From Bulimo
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Collecting Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Sugarcane Farm
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Shelyne Fetching Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community 7 -  Sheep Grazing

Project Status



Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 210 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



The community of Shitungu relies on Bulimo Spring to provide water for the 210 people that live here. It is a shallow, unprotected water source open to all types of contamination, but people have no other option.

Most community members are farmers and leave for the spring to collect water very early in the morning to avoid delays in their day due to the spring’s overcrowding. Having water is a high priority for their crops to survive, grow food, and earn a living to pay their children’s school fees.


Zekiel, a 13-year-old student responsible for collecting water for his family later in the day, shared his experience. “I have not been able to perform well at school because I waste more time at the spring in the evening when [I] am asked to get water before doing my homework,” said Zekiel A., age 13.

Waterborne illnesses from drinking the contaminated water have made the people in this community suffer for a long time as they are often in and out of the hospital.

“Using water from this spring has really costed us. [I] am looking forward to seeing this spring protected and that will be the joy of my heart,” said Shelyne Lika, a 38-year-old farmer.

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


09/20/2022: Shitungu Community Spring Protection Complete!

Shitungu Community now has access to clean water! We transformed Bulimo 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] protection of this spring has given me joy and peace. I live close to the water point, and many times people will start fighting and end up in my compound, forcing my parents-in-law to settle the disputes," said 27-year-old farmer Mercellar Adhiambo. "[I] am happy because there will be no time for exchange of words because the water is discharging at a high speed [and] no one should waste time in the spring."

Mercellar (right) shares water from the spring with another community member.

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

"At the moment, [I] am able to draw water through the discharge pipe. Initially, our water point was open, and it took us time to draw water, which resulted in long queues that generated gossip," said 15-year-old Aminha K.

Aminha.

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.

Community members help prepare construction materials.

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.

Brick work begins.

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.

Setting the discharge pipe.

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.

Building rub walls.

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.

Plastering.

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.

Setting the tiles.

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 box.

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 work together to transplant grass near the 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 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.

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 Betty and Stella deployed to the site to lead the event. 14 people attended the training, including 10 women and four men. We held the training under some shade trees at the home of Mr. Shikhole, a village elder.

The training participants.

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.

The soap-making session.

Soap-making was the most memorable topic during the training. Most of the participants had not seen it done before, which kept them very attentive and keen to learn. They realized after watching the process that the soap they purchase locally was not up to the proper standard.

John pratices hand washing during the training.

"[I] am one of the people who had problems in our group. Having gone through [a] group dynamics [session], I promise to support the leadership team in my group. Since [I] am a leader in my family, I will give them time to express themselves, and I will not make decisions alone," said 50-year-old John Omwanda.

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 : kenya22082-0-enjoying-water-8


08/01/2022: Shitungu Community Spring Protection Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Bulimo Spring 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 : kenya22082-7-bricks-setting-10


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

Data Abstract Solutions, Inc.
Folsom Memorial United Methodist Church
Kimarie's 26th Birthday Campaign for Water
14 individual donor(s)