Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 210 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2023

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/08/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

"Clean, safe water is a basic human need," said our field officer Rachael Dorcas when sharing about the water situation in the community of Giminoi.

There are 210 people who rely on Midigo Spring to meet their daily water needs, and it is neither clean nor safe. Consuming it jeopardizes their health and well-being, including suffering from sore throats and contracting waterborne diseases like typhoid.

The only alternative water source is rainwater they can collect, but since the rains are seasonal, there is not enough water to collect and safely store to last throughout the year.

An attempt at spring protection was made in the past, but several key components are missing or damaged. And when looking at the spring, it is easy to see how the water would be contaminated.

The improvised plastic water spout that community members added does not fit the hole in the spring wall, where a collection pipe should be; instead, algae and dirt are prevalent all around it.

The spring box has a crack, and water oozes from the wall. Access to the collection area is a big challenge, especially for the elderly and pregnant women, as the stairs are damaged.

"The current state of this spring is bad. Six months ago, I got injured in the process of collecting water [as] I did slip at the staircase while carrying water and had to be rushed to the hospital to seek medical attention. In the course of me nursing my wounds, my business came crumbling down, and I had to close," said 70-year-old Eunice Anyange, shown above standing in water as she collects water.

These components slow water collection and lead to congestion and time wastage.

"Midigo Spring can be classified as a campsite for its beneficiaries. The spring is ever congested as it serves a large population. Visiting the spring at any time, you never fail to find jerrycans pilling with and without water," said Rachael.

"Getting to the spring, you find people crowded with jerrycans. I just get bored. One has to be patient and wait for his or her turn, then fetch. This has always interfered with my planning, greatly affecting my school performance," said 17-year-old Sylvia V., shown above collection water from the spring.

Reconstruction of the spring so we can adequately protect it will allow for the collection of clean water and for congestion to reduce, giving community members back their time and health.

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 and More

To hold training, 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.

The training will focus on improved hygiene, health, and sanitation habits in this community. 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

May, 2023: Giminoi Community Spring Protection Complete!

Giminoi Community now has access to clean water! Thanks to your donation, we transformed Midigo Spring into a flowing source of naturally filtered water. We also installed a chlorine dispenser to provide added protection and 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] availability of clean, safe water will allow me [to] have clean water for drinking, thus a reduction in infections related to water," said 51-year-old businesswoman Margaret Chahenza.

Margaret with a glass of water from the spring.

"[With the] accessibility to the water point being fast, [our] time wastage will drastically reduce. Having eased access to the collection point, cases of people getting injured in the process of collecting water will now be a thing of the past. I will spend minimal time fetching water, thus allowing me ample time to tend to my poultry farming and business."

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

"Everyone is entitled to access to clean, safe, sufficient water," said 16-year-old Juliet M.

"A shortage of it will lead to various infections related to water, and this will stagger progress in a community. Water being safe and available will curb diseases such as typhoid, cholera, and other water-related infections such as sore throat complications."

Juliet rinsing her hands in the spring's water.

"Being a student, I see myself creating ample time for my school work, and this will help improve my academic performance," Juliet continued.

"Before [the] installation of this water point, I wasted valuable time getting water home for use as my mother and sister could not due to accessibility. I will be able to wash my clothes most often, avoiding repetition. I will bathe at least twice a day to keep my body fresh and healthy."

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 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 truck 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 around the construction site from the spring's eye. 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, 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, which prevents cross-contamination.

If we place the discharge pipe too high above the spring's eye, back pressure 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 the 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 close all other exits to force water through only the discharge pipe.

We filled 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 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. 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.

Planting grass.

The 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.

Community members gathered at the spring.

"Community members gathered at the completed water point to witness [the] handing-over ceremony," said our field officer, Sam. "Songs and jubilations filled the atmosphere, [with] community members singing and dancing [for] the occasion. The area clergy gave a vote of thanks, [and] finally closed with a thanksgiving prayer."

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 families and friends.

When the day arrived, facilitators Samuel and Naomi deployed to the site to lead the event. 16 people attended the training, including 11 women and five men. We held the training under a centrally located tree with plenty of rocks and boulders to serve as seating.

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

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 most memorable lesson covered the operation and maintenance of the spring structure. Community members worked together to write up a plan for maintaining the spring in the future and assign specific duties to volunteers.

"Being part of the training has been beneficial to me," said 21-year-old Rankline Asenji, who was elected to be the secretary of the new water user committee.

"I have gained more than what I expected. [The] information gathered here today, if well adhered to, will help maintain health, increase lifespan, and make this community of Giminoi a better place to live."


This project required a substantial collaboration between our staff, our in-country teams, and the community members. 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!

March, 2023: Giminoi Community Spring Protection Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Giminoi 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 Videos

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!

Clean Water Lessens Worry for Peace!

May, 2024

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Giminoi 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!

Last year, your gift unlocked the potential for a brighter future for Peace. Since then, she and the Giminoi Community of 210 residents have had clean, reliable water. Your contribution has made a significant impact. Thank you for making a difference!

Before the Spring's Protection
Seventeen-year-old Peace recalled what life was like in Giminoi before the community's spring was protected last year.

"Fetching water at the previous waterpoint was not easy. We used to crowd at the spring and, in the process, dirty the water. Fetching water was not easy as well, as we had to use a hollow flask to gather the water [we] fetched. We used to struggle a lot. In the rainy season, the water was dirty; in the dry season, water was little," shared Peace.

The spring before protection.

After the Spring's Protection

Collecting water is now less burdensome for Peace and the other community members.

"Fetching water here is easy and fast, and the water and the spring are clean. Having clean water makes things easier. My health is better, my clothes are clean, I can drink this water directly, and even our animals are better," said Peace.

Peace with Revina, a fellow community member at the protected spring.

Having ready access to water from the spring has made a difference for Peace, allowing her to look to the future with more hope. She also has more time and energy to focus on learning and spending time with her friends.

Reliable and clean water lays the groundwork for improved health, education, and economic possibilities, allowing people like Peace to thrive. We frequently hear from those we interview that "water is life!" 

"Since this spring was constructed, I have not gotten sick and drink the water directly from the spring. I have clean water anytime I need it, and I get to use clean water in everything," shared Peace.

"In school, I am doing good. I have had much smoother days as I don't have to worry about [a] water shortage. On the weekdays, I get to stay longer at school to do my studies and get to use the weekend for general cleaning. When I don't have much work to do in school, I get to enjoy [time] with my friends," she continued.

"I do not worry about water anymore. With this new water point, water is available throughout, and I have not seen one day when the water was dirty. It is always clean," said Peace.

The Future is Looking Bright!

You made a difference for Peace and the rest of the Giminoi Community a year ago. This is just the first chapter of their story as access to clean water continues to improve their lives!

At The Water Project, we value sustainability and want to ensure that people continue to thrive. We commit to monitoring this spring to ensure the water is always flowing and safe to consume. We inspect the system hardware, track water availability, conduct sanitary inspections, and collect water quality samples to identify risks. We work with our team on the ground to resolve them.

You gave Peace a crucial tool for achieving her dreams: access to clean water. Together, we can excitedly expect that with this precious resource, her enthusiasm and courage will help her fulfill her dreams.

"I hope to be a doctor. I want to treat people and help them live longer," concluded Peace.

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 Giminoi 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 Giminoi 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.


Project Sponsor - In Celebration of Micah and Teresa Canfield