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The Water Project : 1-kenya4724-igunza-spring

Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 342 Served

Project Phase:  Installed

Functionality Status:  Functional



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

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.


Recent Project Updates


08/28/2017: 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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06/12/2017: Igogwa Community Project Underway

Igogwa Community will soon have a clean, safe source of water thanks to your donation. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from Igunza Spring, and often suffer physical illnesses after doing so. 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.


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Explore More of The Project

Project Photos


Monitoring Data


Project Type:  Protected Spring
Location:  Vihiga, Igogwa
ProjectID: 4724
Install Date:  08/28/2017

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Functional - New Project




Country Details

Kenya

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.