Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 342 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/08/2024

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

A normal day in Igogwa Community begins at 6 AM with parents preparing their children for school. Once on their way, adults prepare to work. Some go to their farms, while others go to the markets to buy, sell and trade. A majority of adults are farmers and/or casual laborers who look for odd jobs to make ends meet.

Water Situation

Igunza Spring serves over 30 households living here in Igogwa. It is named after the landowners, who report that the spring has never run dry.

The spring is in bad shape with the catchmemnt area exposed to contamination through human and animal activity and runoff from storm waters.

Instead of dunking their containers in the water, locals have fixed a pipe in the muddy eye of the spring, directing water through it. Now, a container just has to be placed underneath and left until filled.

"Most of the water drawn from the spring is used almost immediately," reports Mr. Bernard Elegwa. It is used for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and irrigating farms. After drinking this dirty water, community members suffer from waterborne diseases like typhoid and cholera.

Sanitation Situation

Over half of households have their own pit latrine. Those who do not have their own either share with their neighbor or seek the privacy of bushes to relieve themselves. This waste attracts flies and animals that spread contamination throughout the village. The latrines we observed were all in poor condition, with floors made of wooden slats that have begun to rot. These can't be cleaned, and are dangerous for users who need to balance as they squat.

A couple improvised hand-washing stations were observed, so it's obvious only a handful of community members value hand-washing. Garbage is deposed of by the kitchen garden, so that whatever composts can be used as fertilizer.

26-year-old farmer, Violet Aruda, has noticed that many of her neighbors don't see the importance of hygiene and sanitation practices. "The sanitation and health of the individuals leaves a lot to be desired. Water is drawn from unprotected spring, and other members have no toilets and instead go for open defecation."

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.

The rest of the households that do not have latrines will be motivated to construct a pit in order to safeguard their water from fecal contamination.

Plans: Spring Protection

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.

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.

Project Updates

October, 2018: A Year Later: Igogwa Community

A year ago, generous donors helped Igunza Spring for Igogwa 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...

August, 2017: Igogwa Community Project Complete

Igunza Spring in Igogwa 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 Mrs. Igunza's homestead, and was attended by 11 community members. We all sat outside under a tree since there wasn't enough room inside. Even though participants were sitting on the ground outside, they were focused on training and asked lots of questions.

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.

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 near the spring, we could easily show the group how to manage and maintain their new clean water point.

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The trainer uses a clear container to demonstrate the solar disinfection of water.

Mr. Bernard Elegwa spoke on behalf of all the participants when he said, "We are humbled. This is a good project implemented in our village. We now can access clean and safe water from our spring. We have also learnt a lot from today's training - more of which we didn't know." He and the others promised to implement the new practices they learned, such as hand-washing and proper water storage.

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 finish building walls and roofs for privacy.

12 kenya4724 Mr. Benard poses at his new sanitation platform

Mr. Bernard checks out the new sanitation platform he'll use for his family's latrine floor.

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.

3 kenya4724 spring construction

These men helped transport clean dirt to the artisan for his construction of the spring protection system.

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.

4 kenya4724 spring construction

The artisan fixes the discharge pipe firmly in between bricks and cement.

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.

5 kenya4724 spring construction

Community members still accessed Igunza Spring during construction.

Village Elder Josephine Jaika was there with her community to fetch their first containers of clean water from Igunza Spring. "The spring before its construction was not safe for us. We used to put our lives at risk by using the water, but thank God we are blessed with its protection. From today we will access clean, safe water for our use. We thank our donors," rejoiced Mrs. Jaika.

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: Igogwa Community

October, 2018

Time wasted collecting water has become a problem of the past.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Igogwa 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 Igunza Spring for Igogwa 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.

Since the installation of the project, the community has experienced many positive changes in terms of health and hygiene. These positive improvements have been brought about by the health and hygiene training that people were taken through, and also the clean water and sanitation platforms they received.

"The community is benefiting in so many ways," Water User Committee Chairman Bernard Elegwa said.

"Our children and mothers are now able to access the water point much easier since now we have stairs that leads them to the collection point. Before the protection, we used to hear of people slipping while trying to access the water point. This was especially common during the rainy season."

Bernard Elegwa

Completion 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 Igogwa is changing many lives.

"Before the installation of the project, we used to waste a lot of time going to fetch water. That took away time for my studies," 17-year-old student Phoebe Mbone said.

Phoebe Mbone

Time wasted collecting water has become a problem of the past. Community members, including Pheobe, collect water quickly and spend their time on other activities. For Pheobe, that means more time for studying.

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 Igogwa 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 Igogwa 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.