Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 280 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/08/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Wamwaka Spring is a reliable source of water for people living in Kidinye Village. Unfortunately, its dirty water is not a source of life. Families constantly suffer from waterborne disease, diarrhea, and stomach pains. Local women and children both contaminate the spring and waste time by dunking their containers to fetch water. Some of the smaller children even have to wade into the water to fill their containers!

With your support, we have begun providing the tools and skills this community needs. Most importantly, Wamwaka Spring is being transformed into a protected source of clean drinking water.

Welcome to the Community

Kidinye Community is home to 280 people from around 30 different households.

As children wake up to start preparing for school, most men head straight to work - either on their small farms, or doing other income-generating activities like brick-laying and harvesting ballast by breaking big rocks found in the area. Women have to clean homes and prepare breakfast, which they take to their husbands wherever they are working, unless they are motorbike taxi drivers who come back home to eat breakfast.

Some women spend the morning hours engaged in various domestic chores, while others go searching for manual labor. Most women here pick tea to be paid 150 shillings daily, and others run small businesses in Majengo, Mbale, Kivagala or Mudete trading centers.

There are also many alcoholic men who leave their wives having to do everything for their families from providing food to doing all domestic chores and paying school fees. Anytime those men do casual labor and are paid, all of that money is spent on buying local the brew. Some of them, after getting drunk, harass and abuse their wives and children - no wonder some children in this area grow up with bitterness that affects their adult lives.

There's a pocket of these men who lay around all day long, drinking and smoking with no attempt to till their lands. But oddly enough, farm produce - especially maize - is sun-drying on their property during harvesting seasons. They are the ones suspected to be stealing other people's maize and vegetables from the farms. "We suspect them, but no one can claim to know a thief until they are caught red-handed. Therefore, this lot sleeps and drinks during the day but do illicit work at night. Nobody can plant crops ahead of others or later than others because their produce will be the only ones for thieves, therefore they have to wait for everyone else before planting."

Another small group of men are brokers who move from market to market with cattle, goats and sheep, buying and selling at considerable profit margins. Every center has its own market day. For instance, all of the men take their animals to Luanda every Monday and Thursday, Cheptul every Tuesday and Friday, Serem on Wednesday and Saturdays, Mbale every Wednesday, and Mudete every Thursday. You rarely see these men at home.

Water Situation

Many people in Kidinye Community rely on Wamwaka Spring. The number of individuals relying on the spring for all of their water needs drastically rises in the dry season, because Wamwaka is one of the only sources that keeps flowing.

The path to the spring is extremely steep and is often very slippery. The steep slope also channels rainwater into the spring during the rains. This rainwater carries fecal matter and garbage into the spring's water. Furthermore, the spring is always overcrowded, and women have to wait long hours to fill their containers.

Leaves and other things are seen floating around women and children who wade into the water to fill their containers. Many people in this village have diarrhea, which can be attributed to drinking water from Wamwaka Spring.

Sanitation Situation

At the household level, most families have clotheslines, dish racks, and bathing rooms, but latrines are lacking. Those with functional latrines have the simple pit type with floors made of logs. This makes latrine floors hard to clean, thus attracting flies.

There were no compost pits for waste disposal. Instead, rubbish is either disposed of in the garden or behind the houses where dogs and chicken scramble for a snack.

Families spread their harvested maize on that same ground full of dirt, a practice that puts them at risk.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least two 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.

The above interventions all help ensure that spring users have access to safe and adequate drinking water, along with sound sanitation facilities. They will help in the prevention of communicable diseases and waterborne diseases.

Project Updates

July, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Kidinye Community, Wamwaka Spring

Our teams are working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Join us in our fight against the virus while maintaining access to clean, reliable water.

We are carrying out awareness and prevention trainings on the virus in every community we serve. Very often, our teams are the first (and only) to bring news and information of the virus to rural communities like Kidinye, Kenya.

We trained more than 15 people on the symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention of COVID-19. Due to public gathering concerns, we worked with trusted community leaders to gather a select group of community members who would then relay the information learned to the rest of their family and friends.

We covered essential hygiene lessons:

- Demonstrations on how to build a simple handwashing station

- Proper handwashing technique

- The importance of using soap and clean water for handwashing

- Cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces including at the water point.

We covered COVID-19-specific guidance in line with national and international standards:

- Information on the symptoms and transmission routes of COVID-19

- What social distancing is and how to practice it

- How to cough into an elbow

- Alternative ways to greet people without handshakes, fist bumps, etc.

- How to make and properly wear a facemask.

During training, we installed a new handwashing station with soap near the community’s water point, along with a sign with reminders of what we covered.

Due to the rampant spread of misinformation about COVID-19, we also dedicated time to a question and answer session to help debunk rumors about the disease and provide extra information where needed.

We continue to stay in touch with this community as the pandemic progresses. We want to ensure their water point remains functional and their community stays informed about the virus.

Water access, sanitation, and hygiene are at the crux of disease prevention. You can directly support our work on the frontlines of COVID-19 prevention in all of the communities we serve while maintaining their access to safe, clean, and reliable water.

August, 2018: A Year Later: Kidinye Community

A year ago, generous donors helped protect Wamwaka Spring for Kidinye Community in Western Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories. Read more...

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!

A Year Later: Kidinye Community

August, 2018

Eugene Ngatha, an 11-year-old boy, says he can now sit and concentrate in school, and this has led to increased performance in examinations.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kidinye Community, Wamwaka Spring 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!

A year ago, generous donors helped protect Wamwaka Spring for Kidinye Community in Western Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – and we’re excited to share this one from Jacqueline Shigali with you.

There is an incredible improvement in hygiene and sanitation here. Compounds are clean with utensils dried on dish racks and clothes hung on wire lines to dry - instead of on the ground, rooftops, fences or shrubs as witnessed before the project. Water containers are now clean and covered with lids and the houses are mopped to keep dust away. The construction work at the spring is very attractive to the eyes, and the people of Kidinye are so proud of having the most beautiful spring in the whole area.

Eugene Ngatha, an 11-year-old boy, says he can now sit and concentrate in school, and this has led to increased performance in examinations. He has never fallen sick since completion of construction of Wamwaka Spring, and as a result, he has not missed a single day of school. Absenteeism has also decreased at Kidinye primary and secondary schools - whose children fetch water from this source to use at home.

Completion of the spring protection is only one step along the journey toward sustainable access to clean water. The Water Project and WEWASAFO (our trusted local partner) are committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by donors like you, allows us to maintain our relationships with communities by visiting up to 4 times each year to ensure that the water points continue to be safe and reliable.

This is just one of the many ways that we monitor projects and communicate with you. Additionally, you can always check the functionality status and our project map to see how all of our water points are performing, based on our consistent monitoring data.

One project is just a drop in the bucket towards ending the global water crisis, but the ripple effects of this project are truly astounding.

"The coming together of the community during the construction phase helped foster a peace and unity that had never been experienced in this community before," Mr. Jamin Alumasa, the secretary of the water user committee, said.

"A strong relationship has been created among the village dwellers as they come together to clean the water point and discuss matters concerning their spring. This unity has gone beyond management of the spring area to joint action and support of one another during various functions and ceremonies in the community."

This functional spring protection in Kidinye is changing many lives. This is only possible because of the web of support and trust built between The Water Project, WEWASAFO, the community, and you. We are excited to stay in touch with this community and support their journey with safe water.

Read more about The Water Promise and how you can help.

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 Kidinye Community, Wamwaka Spring 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 Kidinye Community, Wamwaka Spring – 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.