Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 200 Served

Project Phase:  Under Construction
Estimated Install Date (?):  2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

200 people in the Shipala Community rely on an unsafe and unprotected spring for their water needs. It is an open hole where community members must reach into the contaminated water and lug their heavy buckets back up. The water is downstream from farm animals, and frogs and other wildlife are often seen in the water. The road to this spring becomes impassable to motorists during the rainy season, making collecting water even more arduous.

12-year-old Emmanuel (shown below) shared the burdensome process of collecting water. "When we come to fetch water, we find it dirty. It takes a lot of time to draw water; sometimes, I waste a lot of time waiting for it to clear up." Every time someone takes their turn to draw water, the water gets cloudier and cloudier. Community members waste valuable time waiting in line and for some sediment to subside.

The unprotected spring is the primary water source for the people of the Shipala. They must travel even further to a neighboring community's spring if that becomes too contaminated. The nearby community's spring is protected, but distance isn't the only barrier. It sits on a community member's property, and this landowner is known for charging people money and chasing them away if they can't pay.

Farmer Elizabeth Khasoa (shown below) shared, "When I fail to get water very early in the morning and fetch [at] just any other time when I use it to cook tea, the color of the tea is not pleasant. This makes me go [to] the protected spring, which is a distance from here, and sometimes we are chased away because the owner wants money."

Without clean water, life in the Shipala Community is relentlessly burdensome. Community members are tired of being forced to use unsafe water, ultimately making them ill. People hope for a day when the time they waste finding and collecting water can be redeemed for other fruitful activities.

Protecting the Shipala Community Spring can empower people like Emmanuel and Elizabeth to prioritize their well-being. They'll have more time and energy to invest in building a brighter tomorrow without worrying about water.

The Proposed Solution, Determined Together...

At The Water Project, everyone has a part in conversations and solutions. We operate in transparency, believing it benefits everyone. We expect reliability from one another as well as our water solutions. Everyone involved makes this possible through hard work and dedication.

In a joint discovery process, community members determine their most advantageous water solution alongside our technical experts. Read more specifics about this solution on the What We're Building tab of this project page. Then, community members lend their support by collecting needed construction materials (sometimes for months ahead of time!), providing labor alongside our artisans, sheltering and feeding the builders, and supplying additional resources.

Water Access for Everyone

This water project is one piece in a large puzzle. In Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Uganda, we're working toward complete coverage of reliable, maintained water sources that guarantee public access now and in the future within a 30-minute round trip for each community, household, school, and health center. One day, we hope to report that this has been achieved!

Training on Health, Hygiene & More

With the community's input, we've identified topics where training will increase positive health outcomes at personal, household, and community levels. We'll coordinate with them to find the best training date. Some examples of what we train communities on are:

  • Improved hygiene, health, and sanitation habits
  • Safe water handling, storage & treatment
  • Disease prevention and proper handwashing
  • Income-generation
  • Community leadership, governance, & election of a water committee
  • Operation and maintenance of the water point

Chlorine Dispensers

Installing chlorine dispensers is an important piece of our spring protection projects. Protecting a spring provides community members with an improved water source, but it doesn’t prevent contamination once the water is collected and stored. For example, if the water is clean and the container is dirty, the water will become contaminated.

We ensure that each chlorine dispenser is filled with diluted chlorine on a consistent schedule so that people can add pre-measured drops to each container of water they collect. That way, community members can feel even more confident in the quality of their water.

Project Updates

March, 2024: Shipala Community Spring Protection Underway!

The lack of adequate water in Shipala Community costs people time, energy, and health every single day. Clean water scarcity contributes to community instability and diminishes individuals’ personal progress.

But thanks to your recent generosity, things will soon improve here. We are now working to install a reliable water point and improve hygiene standards. We look forward to sharing inspiring news in the near future!

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!


Project Sponsor - Imago Dei Community