Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/12/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Andrea Kong'o Spring is one of many sources on which people from Shitaho Community rely. This water gathers in a pool that is open to contamination in many ways; rain washes feces, fertilizers, and garbage into the water. People and animals step in and out of the water, not to mention the animals that drink directly from the spring.

Outbreaks of typhoid and cholera run rampant through the community, draining people's time, finances, and overall opportunity.

Protecting Andrea Kong'o Spring has been deemed necessary for the success of this community. Construction will protect the spring's water from outside contaminants, providing local families with the clean water they need.

Welcome to the Community

A normal day begins early in the morning when students walk to school. Men and women do various chores and then proceed with the day's activities. Members of Shitaho Community engage in small-scale farming. They plant maize, beans, vegetables and sugarcane. Apart from farming, the community members makes bricks and extract stones or hardcore used for construction.

What makes this community special is their high level of peace, love, and cooperation. The members love each other and keep the peace. There are many far away members who travel to the spring, and those members  bordering the spring have provided roads for the others. Students from the nearby university also stay in this community, and share homes with the locals. They're fitting in just like they're living in their real homes. They get water from the same spring, buy goods from the community members and engage in small business.

Water Situation

Women begin their day by going to the spring to fetch water for their families. Fetching water is an activity dominated by the women, observed holding their jerrycans as they line up at the spring. They return to their homes to continue with house chores such as sweeping the compound. Some women then join the men doing casual labour like fetching firewood to sell. Men here also fetch water, but mostly for commercial purposes.

A person must go very early in the morning or late in the evening to get water, because the more people fetching the water, the dirtier it becomes. People dunk their containers in the water to fill them, and others even step into the water. After filling their containers, women lift them high on their heads to begin the journey home.

When delivered home, water is separated into storage containers by use. The 100-liter plastic tanks are reserved for cooking and cleaning, and the clay pots are set aside for drinking in the living room. Locals say that the clay pots with covers keep the water cooler.

Sanitation Situation

The pit latrines here are not in good condition, for they are made of mud and wooden slats. They are difficult to clean and also to use; urine is splashed around the floor, predisposing users to hygiene-related diseases.  Fortunately, a majority of the community at least has this basic type of pit latrine. Nevertheless a handful of community members don't have latrine access and must either share with their neighbor or use the privacy of bushes.

There were many other households that didn't have basic tools like dish racks and clotheslines. We spoke to them about their importance, and they seemed willing to learn how to construct these helpful tools.

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.

Shitaho Community is home to thousands, so Andrea Kong'o Spring is one of a couple other water sources being protected this year.

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. Farmer Christopher Indakala told us, "We are so happy, and this is God's doing. We have suffered for long and even politicians have kept promising to come to our rescue but in vain. We are very much ready to coordinate and collaborate with you to see our spring protected so that we can have safe and enough drinking water."

Project Updates

July, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Shitaho Community, Andrea Kong'o 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.

A man shows the COVID-19 informational pamphlet he received at training

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 Shitaho, Kenya.

We trained more than 27 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.

Handwashing session

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.

Cough and sneeze into the elbow

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.

Reviewing prevention reminders chart while demonstrating new ways of greeting

"The community reached an agreement that every homestead will improvise a handwashing facility and put it into the right use as one effort to stop the spread of Covid-19. Everyone also agreed to follow the guidelines put in place in the fight against Coronavirus in order for them to stop the spread of Covid-19," said Trainer Jacky Chelagat.

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.

Observing social distancing at training

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: Shitaho Community

A year ago, generous donors helped protect Andrea Kong’o Spring for Shitaho 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: Andrea Kong'o Spring

August, 2018

Agnes Lung’atso does not have to spend hours collecting water each day now that the spring is a reliable source!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Shitaho Community, Andrea Kong'o Spring.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Shitaho Community, Andrea Kong'o 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 Andrea Kong’o Spring for Shitaho 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 – we’re excited to share this one from our partner, John Were, with you.

"We used to fetch water with a small plastic container and we would waste a lot of time waiting for the water to settle down before we made another scoop," Mrs. Agnes Lung’atso said.

"Fetching water is now a quick and enjoyable task for us!"

Thumbs up for reliable water!

Most households have installed improvised handwashing stations and placed them near toilets. This can be attributed to the hygiene and sanitation training that was conducted in the community when their spring was being protected. The community is now practicing handwashing after visiting the toilet.

"I am very grateful to the water project for protecting our spring," Gentrix Muhonja, a 19-year-old girl, said.

"Initially, one would come with up to 50 jerricans to the spring and spend almost 3 hours filling them. sometimes we would go back home without fetching water and many fights would arise at the spring. Fetching water now is quick and we never lack water at home."

Joan Were with Jentrix Muhonja at the spring

Protection of this spring 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 are 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. This functional spring in Shitaho Community is changing many lives.

The protection of this spring has encouraged the economic growth of the area. Availability of water has enabled the community to construct hostels that are occupied by university students.

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 Shitaho Community, Andrea Kong'o 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 Shitaho Community, Andrea Kong'o 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.


Union Presbyterian Church
Nicholas Christos III
Steven & Carisa Jones Family Fund
Allahs Servants
2 individual donor(s)