Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 420 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/03/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

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

Early in the morning, women wake up to start household chores, while most men sleep late. When they wake up, they take tea and return to the bar. When children wake up, they take black tea or eat porridge in preparation for the rush to school. After the children are out, women work either on their own farms or those of others to earn a living. Each household has at least one cow, so feeding and watering the cow is part of a woman's daily routine.

A day hardly ever ends without quarrels erupting; drunkards always seem to be causing disputes over even the simplest matters. It is believed that a curse is flowing down the ancestry here, because it has an abnormal level of alcoholism that is not witnessed anywhere else in the region. "I have seen drunkards, but at least villages with alcoholics also have a few reasonable men, and even some of the drinking men try to somehow support in the smallest ways like grazing animals, but this village must be under a curse: their rate of drinking is not normal," Mary Ayuma explained. These same men do not fend for their families, and furthermore return home from the bar demanding food. If they don't get the meal they were hoping for, all hell breaks loose. Women of this village must be honored for struggling to provide for their families despite the hard conditions and poor environment. A number of widows in this area lost their husbands to diseases caused by heavy drinking and heavy smoking.

"The most interesting thing is that many people in this area, including the drunkards, are serious church-goers. A man leaves home smoking and stands by the church gate to finish puffing his stick, then throws the filter at the entrance as he enters the church smelling like cigarette smoke," shared the village elder. Some young men have resorted to thuggery as a source of money to fund their habits, while others fetch water from Andebe Spring to sell to Ebukanga Secondary School or the nearby local brewing stations.

Water Situation

Surface runoff contaminates the main water source, Andebe Spring. At times, frogs, snails and even cow dung have been seen in the water. When it rains, everyone must wait for the dirt to settle before drawing water, which wastes a lot of the time. In addition to that, when parents fall sick - especially women - getting food and other basic needs become a problem in the family.

People hold their containers under a banana leaf rolled up and fitted in the spring eye, an improvisation that works a bit like a pipe. The older the person fetching water, the larger the container they're expected to carry. Since the households using Andebe Spring are so impoverished, they just store water in the same containers that they bring to the spring. Since they have no lids (most lids get lost or are taken by the children to play with) they are susceptible to large contamination levels the longer they're stored.

After consuming this water, children and elderly are the most susceptible to sickness. Children often miss class. When the mother running a Shikhuyu household falls ill, then getting food and other basic needs becomes a huge challenge for the rest of the family.

Sanitation Situation

The latrines in Shikhuyu do not have proper doors, most just hang a piece of cloth in the opening. Most of the floors are made of branches, which are attractive to termites and prone to rot. These floors are particularly hard to balance on, presenting challenges to small children and the elderly. The branch floors are near impossible to clean.

Not a single household has dug a compost pit to properly dispose of their trash, and so it's scattered all around their properties. Less than a quarter of families living around Andebe Spring use helpful tools like dish racks and clotheslines.

Village Elder Delis Akinyi said, "My people are suffering because of ignorance. Please come and teach us how to practice good health so that we will no longer waste time and money treating diseases that can be prevented. Prevention is better than cure!"

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

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

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 energy to engage and invest in income-generating activities.

Project Updates

October, 2018: A Year Later: Shikhuyu Community

A year ago, generous donors helped protect Andebe Spring for Shikhuyu 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...

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: Shikhuyu Community

October, 2018

The impact of the spring protection is immediately apparent, from the fact that men now help fetch water to the healthy and happy faces of the children.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Shikhuyu Community 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 Andebe Spring for Shikhuyu 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 Jacqueline Shigali with you.

The entire village has completely changed for the better. Men were seen helping carry out domestic work like fetching water from the spring and feeding animals. Children seemed to be all-round healthy, and happiness was visible all over their bright faces. We are encouraged that the community members are keen to follow everything they learned during the water and sanitation training last year.

Every home now has a pit latrine, dish rack, and nearly everyone has dug compost pits. The environment is serene with compounds swept clean. We spoke with Village Elder John Memba and 8-year-old Dickson Aswani about how their lives have changed for the better over the past year.

John Memba

"Diarrheal diseases have reduced because of the clean water from the protected spring and adherence to proper hygiene practices that were discussed in the training," Mr. Memba said.

"This has led to improved living standards because all resources that the community members could part with earlier in order to seek medication have now been redeemed and are being channeled to other profitable ventures."

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.

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 Shikhuyu is changing many lives.

Children no longer miss lessons as a result of avertable sicknesses such as diarrhea. Dickson was so happy that this spring helps him get clean water and latrines at home provide a place to use the bathroom.

Dickson Aswani

"I do not suffer from any diseases associated with poor hygiene and dirty water because donors brought solutions through the project at Andebe Spring and they did the same at my school, Ebukanga Primary," he said.

Dickson is a witness to the fact that children hardly miss lessons at Ebukanga Primary School (see the project here). He has not suffered from any disease since the spring was protected.

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 Shikhuyu Community 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 Shikhuyu Community – 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.