Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 418 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/09/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

As with many Kenyan villages, the day begins with a trek to fetch water for the day’s needs. Then, the children go off to school and the majority of villagers engage in small-scale farming, small business enterprises and manual labor. All those living here rely on subsistence farming, but there are a few who are also involved in mining gold.

Water Situation

Kitinga Spring serves over 30 households. It is unprotected from contamination such as surface runoff, human and animal activity, and erosion. Community members have fixed a small pipe at the eye of the spring, which helps them fetch more water. According to Mr. Charles Sirimbi, Visiru Community has been trying to transform their spring into a safe source of clean water for some time. "The spring is serving a large population; the community has made efforts to seek funds from the member of the county assembly, but there has never been a positive response from him," he shared.

Sanitation Situation

Over half of households have their own pit latrine, but lots of those are in disrepair. Floors are made of timber, but there are large gaps in between each slat. Some even lack doors! Because of these low number and poor conditions, open defecation is an issue in Visiru Community. Many people prefer going behind bushes or buildings over entering these dangerous and smelly latrines.

There are no hand-washing stations here, and less than a quarter of households have useful tools like dish racks and clotheslines. If garbage is compostable, it is thrown at the edge of the kitchen garden until it becomes fertilizer. Other trash is piled at the back of the property until there's enough 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. Visiru 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.

Project Updates

May, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Visiru Community, Kitinga 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.

Facilitators offer to sanitize participants' hands before passing out materials 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 Visiru, Kenya.

A woman reads through an informational pamphlet on COVID-19

We trained more than 20 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.

Trainer Erick demonstrates how a leaky tin handwashing station works

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.

Trainer Erick explains the importance of using soap and clean water for handwashing

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.

Trainers use a prevention reminders chart at training

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.

Trainer Erick and community members install a new leaky tin handwashing station at the spring

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.

Installing the sign at the spring while demonstrating social distancing

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.

Social distancing adhered to during 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.

September, 2018: A Year Later: Visiru Community

A year ago, generous donors helped protect Kitanga Spring for Visiru Community in 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...

July, 2017: Visiru Community Project Complete

Kitinga Spring in Visiru Community, 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, want to do a bit more? 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 Mr. John Ovita's home, who is the chairman of the newly-established water user committee which will oversee and maintain the protected spring. All of the spring users were invited to attend the two days of training.

Both young and old united to learn, presenting the issues affecting their community to the trainer and seeking advice.

3 kenya4712 training

Community members were given notebooks and pens to record the great hygiene and sanitation advice shared during training.

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.

7 kenya4712 training

The trainer demonstrates how to use the power of the sun to purify water.

Mrs. Susan Avukusu felt empowered after all of the new things she learned. She hadn't even been aware that when drinking contaminated water from the spring, she was risking her life. "I am so grateful to our donors for this perfect initiative. Most of us in the community were never acquainted with most of the information we have received today. From today, health and sanitation will be a priority in our homes and I hope cases to do with waterborne diseases will never affect the community."

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.

Mrs. Mwinamo shows her son the new sanitation platform they received.

Project Result: Spring Protection

Community members provided all locally available construction materials, e.g bricks, wheelbarrows of clean sand, wheelbarrows of ballast, fencing poles and hard core (crushed rock and gravel). Accommodation and food for the artisan were provided and a few people volunteered their services as laborers.

12 kenya4712 collecting materials

As some men in the community have regular work during the day, women often step up to help our artisans finish a project.

The area of the spring was excavated to create space for setting the foundation of polythene, wire mesh and concrete. After the base had been set, both wing walls and the head wall were set in place using brickwork. The discharge pipe was fixed low in place through the head wall to direct the water from the reservoir to the drawing area.

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The artisan leads the way in excavating the ground at the spring to create a level foundation.

As the wing walls and head wall were curing, the stairs were set and the tiles were fixed directly below the discharge pipe. This reduces the erosive force of the falling water and beautifies the spring. The process of plastering the head wall and wing walls on both sides reinforces the brickwork and prevents water from the reservoir from seeping through the walls and allows pressure to build in the collection box to push water up through the discharge pipe.  Lastly, the base of the spring was plastered and the collection box was cleaned. The source area was filled up with clean hardcore and covered with a polythene membrane to eliminate any potential sources of contamination. Finally, grass was planted and cutoff drains dug to direct surface water away from the spring box.

27 kenya4712 Kitinga Spring

Tiles are fixed below the pipes to prevent erosion.

Mr. Aston Misigo witnessed the transformation. "We are so blessed as a community. God has answered our prayers too soon. We have been risking our lives by drawing water from our unprotected spring. But with its implementation, with the aid of our donors, we shall be able to access clean and safe water. We will live to protect it at all times!" He and his neighbors gathered at the finished spring to collect their first of many containers of clean, safe water.

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: Visiru Community

September, 2018

Collecting water is quicker and safer for Irene Jepnyango now that Kitanga Spring is protected.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Visiru Community, Kitinga 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 Kitanga Spring for Visiru Community in 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 Samuel Simidi with you.

"We no longer hear of any water-related diseases or infections in this village," Florence Makungu, secretary of the Water User Committee for the spring, said.

We saw big smiles from community members during our visit, especially from the children. It is a sign of growing hope in the village. Lives have improved tremendously now that people have access to safe, reliable water. Community members say they focus on other activities now that water access is no longer a concern.

"We are happy and grateful since we can now access sufficient water for our household chores. Our children and mothers are able to save time while drawing water from the spring due to its accessibility," Mrs. Makungu added.

Protection of the spring is only one step along the journey toward sustainable access to clean water. The Water Project is 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.

Florence Makungu

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 spring in Visiru is changing many lives.

"In the year since the spring was commissioned, I am proud to say that a lot has changed in my life," Irene Jepnyango, a 16-year-old student, said. "The water is high-yielding which means I take less time fetching water. I have sufficient time for my studies, thanks to your support. In addition, I am much safer now that the spring is easily accessible."

This is only possible because of the web of support and trust built between The Water Project, our local teams, 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 Visiru Community, Kitinga 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 Visiru Community, Kitinga 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.


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