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Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 480 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

A normal day in Bumavi begins early in the morning at six, with both men and women heading out to the farms to beat the afternoon heat. Most people here engage in farming sugarcane and raising dairy and poultry animals. Other common crops are bananas, vegetables, maize, and groundnuts. An adult always ensures that enough crop is harvested for their family first before surplus is sold in the local market, if there even is any. The income from these crop sales is low, but the community members squeeze their budgets to meet their daily needs.

Bumavi Village is home to 480 people from 80 different households and two different tribes.

Water Situation

The Maragoli and Tiriki tribes have shared Shoso Mwoga Spring since the early 1950s. Its water is used for cooking, drinking, bathing, irrigating crops and watering animals. The community members have fixed a plastic pipe at the point from which water flows so that they can more easily fill containers.

The water is visibly contaminated. Rotten leaves float around children as they walk into the water to fill their containers. The spring is also open to rainwater that washes garbage and fecal matter into the same flow that people drink from.

When delivered back home, water is separated between different barrels located in the kitchen, latrine, and sitting room. Community members complain from typhoid and constant stomachaches after drinking  the water from Shoso Mwoga Spring.

Sanitation Situation

Around a quarter of households still don’t have their own pit latrine. Any observed were found to be constructed of wood, and cracked, muddy walls. Many of the wooden floors have rotted out and caved in, causing injuries to their users. The others who don’t have their own latrine either share or use the privacy of bushes. This waste left out in the open puts the rest of the community at risk of disease.

A few hand-washing stations were observed, but none had any cleansing agents like soap or ash. However, many women had improvised dish racks and clotheslines to dry their families’ belongings safely off the ground.

Since many of these people have animals to feed and crops to fertilize, any compostable garbage is used for that purpose. Other garbage is piled up for burning.

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. Bumavi community members hope to save time and resources previously wasted on medication, instead spending them on more important economic activities that can help lift their community out of poverty. We met Mr. Ambasi as he was fetching water at the spring. He told us that there have been “disease outbreaks, especially related to water. Malaria has always been a challenge, especially for women and children… We thank God that we have never lost any member of this village due to waterborne diseases; your intervention will greatly redeem us from our current status.”

Recent Project Updates

05/09/2017: Clean Water Flowing in Bumavi Community

Shoso Mwoga Spring in Bumavi, 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 was held at Mrs. Zippora Chavera’s homestead.  She offered her property because it is near the spring, which helped during practical sessions at the spring site. Also, her venue had a mango tree that provided shade for all the participants.

The training was organized by Mr. John Ambasi who was elected by the community to lead the project from its start to completion. He reached out to Shoso Mwoga Spring users and invited them to attend the training regardless of gender or age so that everyone could get information on water, hygiene and sanitation.

Training ended up attracting a total of 13 community members, all who were actively involved in each activity.

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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.

By the end of the three 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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Elderly farmer Esther Shoso attended training, proving you’re never too old to learn something new. She said, “I am privileged to be here today and be part of this training which I have never attended before. At my old age of 69 years, I have learned the importance of maintaining high standards of hygiene.”

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.

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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.

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Mrs. Zippora could easily see the change from unprotected, dirty water to protected, clean water. “The water from this new source is very clean and pure that anybody can just drink direct from the source without fear of contamination. This spring now looks beautiful after construction. Because I live near this source, I will never ever let anyone spoil it,” she said.

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03/07/2017: Bumavi Community Project Underway

We are excited to share that work in Bumavi Community has begun. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from Shoso Mwoga 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 Bumavi 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:  Vihiga, Hamisi, Shamakhokho, Jivovoli, Bumavi
ProjectID: 4704
Install Date:  05/09/2017

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 07/29/2017

Visit History:
07/29/2017 — Functional


Westminster Christian Academy - Kindergarten Class
DDP's Friends and Family
Lisa McAllister's campaign for water
7 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.