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Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 210 Served

Project Phase:  Installed

Functionality Status:  Functional

Community Profile & Stories

This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water and Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO). Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).

Welcome to the Community

Most living in Shiamala Community rely on “hand to mouth,” which means that they have to work extra hard just to put enough food on the table by the end of the day.

Many men work as “boda boda” drivers, taxiing people back and forth on their motorbikes. They sometimes sleep for only two hours a day in order to wait at the bus stops in front of night clubs to carry partiers back home. “Apart from working during the day, I also work at night because fares shoot up after 9PM and keep on increasing,” said one. “I have paid school fees for my daughter because of working at night.” It’s a risky job though, because some drivers have been killed for their motorbikes.

Other community members engage in agriculture and small scale business selling vegetables and other goods. People here only rest when they sit down to eat or attend church.

Children go to school early in the morning, and return home late in the afternoon to help with chores and study.

Water Situation

David Ashiona Spring is as old as seventy years. It serves at least 30 households where children and women are for fetching water with jerrycans and other plastic containers. They use small containers such as jugs or tins to fill up the larger jerrycans.

The spring is open to contamination by animals and children who drop garbage and waste near or in the water. Susan Musotsi said they walk long distances looking for alternative drinking water, while John Okello – a Ugandan resident of Shiamala Village – said that his friends have complained of diarrhea after they drink the spring’s water. Violet Atango also mentioned that the water problem worsens during the dry season.

Due to the messy conditions around the spring, people complain of malaria as a result of mosquito bites received when fetching water.

David Ashiona, the landowner, says “It is not only risky to send children to the spring in the evening, but it is also dangerous to allow them to fetch water alone, more so for the girls. The bushes around this spring can easily be used as a hideout for people who want to take advantage of girls and to harass them sexually.”

Not to mention that though the spring’s water is contaminated, lines are unbearably long as women fetch water to do household chores.

Sanitation Situation

Many people in Shiamala Community do not have latrines of their own, comfortably practicing open defecation in the bushes around their homes. Others have simple pit latrines that they share with some of the neighbors. The available latrines are dirty and full of flies that are attracted by the smell. When Mr. Ernest was told about the sanitation platforms, he put his name forward promptly, saying that his next step of action is to start digging the pit and to gather the clean sand and bricks so that the chance does not bypass him.

Hand-washing doesn’t even enter the mind here; there is nowhere to wash hands after using latrines or before cooking.

Violet Atsango said, “We dispose of rubbish everywhere, and more so in the kitchen gardens.” Mr. David Ashiona said, “We still lag behind on matters of health because most of the residents of Shiamala Village believe in open defecation as a way of response to the call of nature. Apart from the water that we need, we also need knowledge and change of attitude among our people who seemingly are still living in the darkness of tradition and culture.”

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least three days. This training will ensure participants are no longer ignorant about healthy practices and their importance. The facilitator plans to use PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation), CLTS (Community-Led Total Sanitation), ABCD (Asset-Based Community Development), group discussions, handouts, and demonstrations at the spring.

Training will also result in the formation of a committee that will oversee operations and maintenance at the spring. They 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.

Plans: Sanitation Platforms

On the final day of training, participants will select five families that should benefit from new latrines.

Training will also inform the community and selected families on what they need to contribute to make this project a success. They must mobilize locally available materials, such as bricks, clean sand, hardcore, and ballast. The five families must prepare by sinking a pit for the sanitation platforms to be placed over. All community members must work together to make sure that accommodations and food are always provided for the work teams.

Plans: Spring Protection

Fetching water is predominantly a female role, done by both women and young girls. Protecting the spring and offering training and support will therefore help empower the female members of the community by giving them more time and efforts to engage and invest in income-generating activities.

In addition, protecting the spring will ensure that the water is safe, adequate and secure. Construction will keep surface runoff and other contaminants out of the water.

Recent Project Updates

05/02/2017: Shiamala Community Project Complete

David Ashiona Spring in Shiamala, Kenya is now a protected, clean source of water thanks to your donation. The spring is protected from contamination, five sanitation platforms have been provided for the community, and training has been given in sanitation and hygiene. Imagine the changes that all of these resources are going to bring for these residents! You made it happen, now help keep the water flowing! Join our team of monthly donors and help us maintain this spring protection and many other projects.

We just updated the project page with the latest pictures, so make sure to check them out! And please enjoy the rest of the report from our partner in Kenya:

Project Result: New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training took place at the home of Mrs. Jane Indasi, who helped the training officer invite at least one representative of every household that fetches water from David Ashiona Spring. A total number of 16 community members attended.

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Training topics included but were not limited to leadership and governance; operation and maintenance of the spring; healthcare; family planning; immunizations; the spread of disease and prevention. We also covered water treatment methods, environmental hygiene, and hygiene promotion. We also took a session to emphasize proper maintenance of the spring protection project. The community should refrain from washing clothes, water animals, farming with fertilizers, and open defecation in the vicinity.

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By the end of the two days, participants formed a water and sanitation committee to oversee and maintain the spring protection. Other participants were equipped with the knowledge to become community health workers. These workers will be responsible for sharing what they learned with the rest of their community by making door-to-door visits. They will continue to keep their neighbors accountable so that the entire community can experience improved health.

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Project Result: Sanitation Platforms

All five sanitation platforms have been installed and are ready for use. These five families are happy about this milestone and are optimistic that there will be much less open defecation. People without proper latrines would often use the privacy of bushes, but now have a private place of their own. It is expected that proper use of latrine facilities provided by the sanitation platforms will go a long way in reducing environmental pollution here. We will continue to encourage these five families to build walls and roofs to protect their new platforms.

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Project Result: Spring Protection

The community prepared for construction by gathering the local materials and delivering them to the spring. These included ballast, hardcore, sand, and bricks. Some of the women even prepared meals for our artisan.

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Our artisan arrived to direct the excavation of the spring area to create a level ground for setting and casting the foundation slab. This foundation is built using wire mesh, concrete and waterproof cement. During this process, the spring water is diverted to flow to the sides to avoid interference with cement work.

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After the foundation has settled, the brick work for both wing walls and the head wall are done. These walls trap head waters and direct them towards the collection source. This builds enough pressure to raise the water to the discharge pipe fitted in the wall. As the bricks dry, staircases are made using concrete and bricks, and the basement foundation walls are constructed using hardcore, cement and sand. Tiles are then fitted on the spring floor to provide erosion resistance from the discharge pipe’s water. The brick is then plastered to finish both sides and further reinforce them against pressure.

The collection source is then excavated and cleaned to remove any mud, and is redirected. The area behind the wall is then packed with hardcore that acts as a filter, and then covered with a polythene membrane to stop any external contamination. Finally, trenches are dug to direct sources of contamination away from the spring.

Farmer Rose Auma was there to fetch water as soon as the work to protect David Ashiona Spring completed. “Thank you for coming to this needy community! As a community, we have gone through a lot,” she shared.

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02/14/2017: Shiamala Community Project Underway

We are excited to share that work in Shiamala Community has begun. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from David Ashiona Spring, and often suffer physical illnesses after doing so. Our partner conducted a survey of the area and deemed it necessary to protect the spring, build new sanitation platforms (safe, easy-to-clean concrete floors for latrines), and conduct sanitation and hygiene training. Thanks to your generosity, waterborne disease will no longer be a challenge for the families drinking the spring’s water. We look forward to sharing more details with you as they come! But for now, please take some time to check out the report containing community information, pictures, and GPS coordinates. Check out the tabs above to read more about this project!

The Water Project and Shiamala Community Thank You for giving the hope of clean water and good health.

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Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Protected Spring
Location:  Kakamega, Lurambi, Shikoti, Butsotso, Shiamala
ProjectID: 4701
Install Date:  05/02/2017

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 09/28/2017

Visit History:
06/01/2017 — Functional
09/28/2017 — Functional


Milltown School PTO
East Iredell Middle School
1 individual donor(s)

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Country Details


Population: 39.8 Million
Lacking clean water: 43%
Below poverty line: 50%

Partner Profile

Western Water and Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO) works together with less privileged and marginalized members of communities in Western Kenya to reduce poverty through harnessing and utilization of local resources for sustainable development.