The Water Project : 35-kenya4719-a-welcome-smile-for-the-latrine-slab
The Water Project : 34-kenya4719-precious-muyonga-leads-team-of-friends-to-show-thumbs-up-for-the-new-sanitation-platform
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The Water Project : 32-kenya4719-clean-water
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The Water Project : anita-andisi-drawing-water-with-ease
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The Water Project : 25-kenya4719-building-a-fence
The Water Project : 24-kenya4719-spring-construction
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The Water Project : 17-kenya4719-sanitation-platform-construction
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The Water Project : 14-kenya4719-onsite-training
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The Water Project : 10-kenya4719-harrison-kamadi-listening-during-the-training-sessions
The Water Project : 9-kenya4719-a-village-elder-attending-the-trainings
The Water Project : 8-kenya4719-group-discussions
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The Water Project : 6-kenya4719-sylvia-midecha-leading-focused-group-discussion-on-sound-hygienic-practices
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The Water Project : 2-kenya4719-training-illustrations
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The Water Project : 15-kenya4719-adelaide-apiyo
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The Water Project : 1-kenya4719-elvis-eating-a-wet-maize-stalk-since-his-parents-cannot-afford-lunch
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The Water Project : 9-kenya4719-inside-latrine
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The Water Project : 6-kenya4719-peter-ondiek
The Water Project : 5-kenya4719-mr-ondiek-works-to-load-construction-materials-into-trucks
The Water Project : 3-kenya4719-latrine-made-from-iron-sheets
The Water Project : 3-kenya4719-scooping-water
The Water Project : 2-kenya4719-filling-bucket
The Water Project : 1-kenya4719-ondiek-spring

Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 210 Served

Project Phase:  Installed

Functionality Status:  Functional

I am now convinced that the new water point is a pull factor that will quench the thirst of many people [who are now] without fear of contracting waterborne diseases.

Miss Sylvia Midecha

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

This is a region inhabited by the Maragoli sub-tribe of the giant Luhya Community. By 6 AM, everyone in Nyira Village – except the very little children – is always involved in the village hustle and bustle to ensure constructive work is accomplished. The men here tirelessly help their wives fend for their families, contrasting most men in Western Kenya who leave all family responsibilities to their wives.

Women engage in small-scale businesses in Mahanga, but they don’t do as well as they’d hope. Customers travel as far as Majengo Town just to save five shillings. “People are so funny,” exclaimed the spring’s landowner Mr. Ondiek. “Imagine women and men trekking for eight kilometers from here to Majengo Town to buy goods, that they leave here in our small market, just because of a small difference in price of five shillings. That is a waste of time that should be used productively elsewhere!” Traders don’t make good profits, but they keep on trying to sell day in and day out.

Children must arrive at school by 7 AM for class, and then return home for an hour at noon to eat lunch with their families. Children get home from school again at 5 PM and help their mothers accomplish domestic chores before they sit down to do revision and private studies by the light of their tin lamps fueled with kerosene.

There are so many children here, and many of them go hungry while their parents are out struggling to make ends meet. No wonder some children were seen eating wet maize stalks. When asked, nursery school students Elvis said, “We do not cook lunch at our home and I think this stalk to be sugarcane… at least it cools pangs of hunger until 6 PM when we eat supper.” Anita added, ‘We eat maize stalks whose sweetness is close to that of sugarcane. When all maize is gone, God is great; the guavas are usually ready, therefore we swiftly change from eating maize stems to eating guavas from the nearby bush and life moves on.”

Water Situation

Just above the swampy thickets of Mahanga flows a water spring that has been used by the people of Nyira Village for decades. Ondiek Spring serves 30 households totaling 210 individuals, but that number increases as others use Ondiek Spring during the dry months. “You see few people here today because it has rained for two consecutive days, otherwise the queues you would have found here would not have allowed you do excavation to establish the sources and amount of water at this source,” Adelaide Apiyo shared. But even the heavy rains that could have relieved many people from fetching water at the spring is not a relief to them because of their lack of storage facilities.

Ondiek Spring is open to all forms of contamination. Specifically, animals that come to drink here often urinate and step in the pool of water. Thus, it is unsafe for human consumption: urgent intervention is needed to rescue this community. “We have suffered diarrheal diseases because of using this water in such a poor state,” said Mr. Oliver Ondiek, whom the spring is named after.

Sanitation Situation

Latrine floors are made of wood, leaving large holes and gaps that are dangerous for the young and elderly. They do not have proper doors, so a user must struggle to hold the broken doors closed as they squat. Most bathing shelters are made of banana leaves or dry maize stalks with old blankets for doors. The wind blows away the blanket when someone is bathing, so privacy is never guaranteed. There are no hand-washing stations here.

A few compounds have dish racks and clotheslines, but clothes were seen spread on bushes while other people dry their garments on iron sheets that conduct heat and dry them faster.

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. Shitoto Community is ready and willing to do everything they can to make this project a success.

Increasing accessibility to water and sanitation facilities as well as equipping people with adequate knowledge on sanitation and hygiene will prevent and control diseases. Time and finances wasted in search of treatment will be saved, instead used to develop the village.

Recent Project Updates

08/01/2017: Nyira Community Project Complete

Ondiek Spring in Nyira 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 done on Mr. Epheri Onyango’s yard, where he had enough room in the shade for benches. He also lives very close to the spring, making it convenient for onsite demonstrations.

We invited every spring user to attend the training, and Mr. Oliver Ondiek was influential in encouraging a lot of his neighbors to come. There was a total of 19 participants; seven children and 12 adults.

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Trainer Erick talking about solar disinfection for drinking water.

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, watering animals, farming with fertilizers, and open defecation in the vicinity.

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Group discussions on good and bad sanitation practices and how they might affect health.

We brought poster paper and illustrations that facilitated discussion on healthy and unhealthy behaviors. Group discussions were also very effective in helping participants take responsibility for what they were learning. And since we were so close to the spring, we could take the group over there to do onsite training in management and maintenance.

The participants were surprised that many of their daily routines were affecting their health; they had been victims of open defecation for a long time. They brainstormed how to support and encourage their neighbors to build new latrines beyond the five provided through this project. Even at the old age of 70, Harrison Kamadi was motivated to make a change in Nyira Community. He addressed us and his peers saying, “I am absolutely sure we have friends and neighbors who do not have basic sanitation facilities such as latrine for safe human waste disposal. Where do you think their feces go? Any feces disposed in water, plastic or on the open ground are considered as open defecation. It is you and I that end up eating these feces in our food when flies bring them, or drink them in untreated water or any other food that has come in direct contact with feces through fecal-oral route. This workshop is so timely to ignite us to think differently!”

10 kenya4719 Harrison Kamadi listening during the training sessions

Mr. Harrison Kamadi

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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Precious Muyonga leads her team of friends to show thumbs up for the new sanitation platform! Her parents will construct walls and a roof for privacy.

Project Result: Spring Protection

Construction to protect Ondiek Spring began at the very end of May.

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.

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These local men volunteered their time and strength to dig trenches around their spring.

The spring area 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.

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.

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Building the fence to keep animals out.

The rains often forced our artisan to delay cement work, but his patience resulted in a beautiful spring protection system. Miss Syliva Midecha said, “I am now convinced that the new water point is a pull factor that will quench the thirst of many people [who are now] without fear of contracting waterborne diseases. This dream will be made viably sustainable when we all comply with the minimal threshold of water, hygiene and sanitation safeguards.” Miss Midecha is on the water committee and will ensure that this is done.

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When the participants were challenged to take full responsibility for managing and maintaining their new clean water point, Mrs. Beatrice Maube smiled and said “What have been shared are doable things. It will cost us much less to maintain the spring fence, drainage channels, clean the spring, treat drinking water, hold regular meetings and keep records; compared to us seeking medical attention because of waterborne diseases resulting from our irresponsibility.”

The Water Project : anita-andisi-drawing-water-with-ease

06/23/2017: Nyira Community Project Beginning

Nyira Community will soon have a clean, safe source of water thanks to your donation. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from Ondiek Spring, and often suffer from waterborne diseases. 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 maps.

The Water Project : 3-kenya4719-scooping-water

Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Protected Spring
Location:  Vihiga, Mahanga, Mungoma, Nyira
ProjectID: 4719
Install Date:  08/01/2017

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 12/17/2017

Visit History:
10/10/2017 — Functional
12/17/2017 — Functional


Nandansons Charitable Foundation
8 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.