Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 480 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Nov 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/09/2024

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

People in Tsivaka Village are usually up by 5 AM because they prefer to get work done before the sun gets too hot. A family's morning schedule entails milking the cows and preparing breakfast, after which the man heads to the nearest shopping center to deliver milk that's sold throughout the day. The man will head back to the market in the evening to collect his profits. He spends the brunt of the day looking for casual labor jobs that will make ends meet. One of these jobs is brick-making, causing many men to join the women and children in fetching water from their local spring to use for mixing up the bricks.

The woman remains behind to prepare the children for school, clean up the compound and do other household chores. She heads out to the farm until she needs to return home to prepare lunch for the entire family, even the children who return from school for a break. She then returns to the farm until 4 PM for dinner preparation. The family retires to bed at around 7:30 PM after the children have completed their homework. Children don't work much later so as to save on the paraffin they must use for lighting.

Water Situation

Wefwafwa Spring is the main water source for Tsivaka. It currently serves 60 households, many who live quite a distance away. These distant households come to Tsivaka to get their water because all of their own water sources have dried up. This water is used for drinking, cooking, cleaning, brick-making, and irrigation.

Community members fixed a pipe in the eye of the spring so that they can hold their containers underneath until full. It's nearly impossible to do this without stepping in the water pooled below. Water is then delivered home and poured between containers in the kitchen, living room, and latrine. The water in the living room is stored in covered clay pots and is intended for drinking, because it's believed to stay as cool as a refrigerator!

After consuming water from Wefwafwa Spring, community members report waterborne sicknesses such as typhoid, cholera, and diarrhea.

Sanitation Situation

Under half of households have their own pit latrine. Those we visited are in a very poor state; some are collapsing, and others lack doors. Because of these low numbers and poor conditions, many community members opt to seek the privacy of plantations or brush to relieve themselves.

There are no hand-washing stations, and only a few helpful tools like dish racks and clotheslines. Mr. Geoffrey Liwa lives in this community and pastors a local church. He said, "The sanitation state in this community is so poor, much needs to be done in terms of health training in order to help our people. Most households do not have proper toilets, other do not have at all. This has been a health risk to all of us over the years, because when it rain it's obvious all that water is drained to our water sources, and since it is a dry season we do not have an alternative water source for example rainwater. The health of the children is not good either, water-related diseases affect them most, we also have jiggers and other nutrition-related diseases like Kwashiorkor and Marasmus."

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.

Project Updates

July, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Tsivaka Community, Wefwafwa 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.

Reviewing the prevention reminders chart

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 Tsivaka, Kenya.

Handwashing training

We trained more than 19 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.


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.

Handwashing using a leaky tin

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.

Tutorial on sewing a homemade mask

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.

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.

Showing the sample mask made at training

Training participant Clementina Liwa encouraged her community members to put into practice whatever they had learned. She said she regretted spending her little money on buying a face mask the previous day after the government had begun to arrest those who were seen in public without face masks. She was, therefore, going to make her own and masks for her entire family following the simple method taught by the facilitator and she encouraged the rest of the community to do so, too.

Social distancing check

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.

Sneeze and cough using the elbow

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.

October, 2018: A Year Later: Tsivaka Community

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to protect Wefwafwa Spring for Tsivaka Community in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local 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...

November, 2017: Tsivaka Community Project Complete

Wefwafwa Spring in Tsivaka 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 organized by our contact person, Mr. Abraham Maloba. We met him and 12 other participants nearby the spring. Most of the people there were women, since women are looked to as most responsible for their family's water, hygiene, and sanitation. The participants were most interested in learning how to improve the lives of their children.

Two of our facilitators covered several topics, including 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, hygiene promotion, and many others.

Participants received new notebooks and pens to take notes with.

Demonstrations were some of the most popular parts of the training, with participants really appreciating getting their hands involved. We did this with hand-washing, teaching the 10 steps of washing with soap and running water. We also took participants to their spring, where construction had recently finished. There we were able to teach about proper spring use, management, and simple maintenance.

The artisan takes the community through spring protection management and maintenance.

Farmer and preacher Geoffrey Liwa was one of the few men who sacrificed the time to learn. He certainly did not regret this decision! "I am impressed that there are people out there who are concerned about us, more than any of us has ever been about ourselves. Sharing knowledge with us, overlooking the fact that most of us are illiterate; is a problem many are not willing to tackle and therefore prefer taking these projects to areas that look somehow developed. This is a show of great love; personally I have gained much more than I expected to. For young people as yourselves to take out time to train community members it takes great courage and sacrifice. I have taken the challenge and I will ensure every member of my congregation back at my church learns or gets hints of what I have learned myself."

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 are continuing to encourage families to finish building walls and roofs over their new latrine floors.

This family has already constructed a traditional superstructure around their new sanitation platform.

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 even volunteered their time and strength to help the artisan with manual labor.

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.

This process has transformed Wefwafwa Spring into a clean water source. People gathered to celebrate this transformation and fetch their first buckets of clean water. Mr. Patrick Wavomba said, "We may not have anything to give you at the moment as an appreciation, other than what we have harvested. But we are so grateful for the new water source that assures us that our health is taken care of. We are excited to see our lives get transformed!"

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: Tsivaka Community

October, 2018

“As a housewife, I am now so happy that I have plenty of clean water for my entire family.” – Leah Joshua

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Tsivaka Community 2.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Tsivaka Community 2 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, your generous donation enabled us to protect Wefwafwa Spring for Tsivaka Community in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local 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 local team member Christine Luvandwa with you.

The community is very happy to have experienced a full year of clean water. This spring protection yields clean water that is used for drinking, washing, and cooking. This, they say, has improved their health incredibly. In addition, the construction of new toilets has led to a decrease in cases of open defecation in this community.

"As a student in high school, I used to spend a lot of time getting water for my family after leaving school in the evening since we stay far," 15-year-old Milldred Lumbasi said to us while visiting the spring.

Milldred Lumbasi

"It usually takes me a 20-minute walk to the spring and most of the time I would wait in long queues. Since the spring was protected and a permanent pipe was fixed, I do not have such problems anymore."

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 Tsivaka is changing many lives.

"As a housewife, I am now so happy that I have plenty of clean water for my entire family. This is a blessing to me since the duty of getting clean water for the household is entirely my duty," Leah Joshua said.

Leah Joshua

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 Tsivaka Community 2 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 Tsivaka Community 2 – 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.


Laurel Mill Elementary School
Florence MacDougall Community School
2017 Lenten Group
60 individual donor(s)