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The Water Project : 1-kenya4728-wycliff-spring

Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 301 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

Members of Ebung’ayo Community rely on farming as a way to meet their daily needs. A normal day begins with routine household chores for women, and men attending to their farms. If there isn’t anything left to do on the farm, they look for any other means of earning income. Most of the homes here brew alcohol, resulting in a high rate of alcoholism, especially in men.

Water Situation

Wycliff Spring is one of the main sources of water for people living in Ebung’ayo.
The spring serves over 43 households. The water is used for domestic purposes such as drinking, cooking, washing, watering animals and irrigating farms during dry seasons. During these dry seasons the population using the spring increases greatly, for many other springs in the area dry up.

Ebung’ayo Village is already highly populated with a total number of 301 community members. During the dry seasons, the community is involved in conflicts since everyone wants to fetch water at the same times, and the more people who use it, the dirtier it gets. Some members who wish to embrace peace even when resources are scarce fetch water during the middle of the night.

Containers are immersed into the water at the spring, or a small cup is used to bail water into larger containers. Wycliff Spring is open to contamination from human and animal activity, and is particularly contaminated during and after the rains that wash waste straight into the water.

It was also reported that the community battles waterborne diseases like diarrhea and typhoid as a result of using contaminated water from Wycliff Spring. “As a community we have battled for so long with issues of health and sanitation which is majorly caused by the use of contaminated water. My family inclusive of me, have used massive resources to treat recurring diseases that are brought about by the same condition,” Mr. Wycliff shared.

Sanitation Situation

Sanitation standards are low, because most of the families in the area lack proper latrines, bathing rooms, dish racks, and clotheslines. When asked about these things, it became clear that there’s an overall lack of knowledge on hygiene and sanitation practices in Ebung’ayo.

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.

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.

Recent Project Updates

10/12/2017: Ebung'ayo Community Project Complete

Wycliff Spring in Ebung’ayo 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

Community members had been so excited for training ever since they witnessed the transformation around Murambi Spring in a neighboring community. When Wycliff let them know about the training by their own spring, everyone was ready to make the time to attend.

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Community members offered to continue helping the artisan, even after their own work was done.

In fact, many of the training participants were on location early, since they were helping carry stones to fill the top of the spring box. Our artisan had already been working on backfilling the spring, and hadn’t even asked for the extra help. This was so encouraging! This made for a great transition straight into caring for and protecting the spring protection system. There was a total of 31 people out of which 13 were children.

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Learning about proper use and care of the spring.

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. The community should refrain from washing clothes, watering animals, farming with fertilizers, and open defecation in the vicinity.

Group discussions were very effective in helping participants take responsibility for what they were learning. And since we were at the spring, we could easily show the group how to manage and maintain their new clean water point. We demonstrated the ten steps to properly washing hands and allowed everyone a chance to practice.

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This community was so serious about the information they learned, that they invited our field officers to make random household visits whenever they wished. They said that they’d build the facilities they need and clean up their household compounds to create a healthy environment for their families.

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.

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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.

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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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 Wycliff Spring into a clean water source.

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Mr. Wycliff Andala and several other community members gathered at the spring to celebrate their first sips of clean water. Wycliff said, “After every five years we get an opportunity to elect our leaders, the president. This year was not an exception, and we are still in the election process. But I am sure that there is not one leader among those whom we have elected that can do for us what you have done. We can now access clean water and the environment from which we get it is perfect. We shall do all it takes to ensure the spring is well-managed and maintained. I want to sincerely thank you!”

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06/27/2017: Ebung'ayo Community Project Underway

Ebung’ayo Community will soon have a clean, safe source of water thanks to your donation. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from Wycliff 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:  Kakamega, Ebung'ayo
ProjectID: 4728
Install Date:  10/12/2017

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 11/17/2017

Visit History:
11/17/2017 — Functional


Aliya, Aiyana, Ethan Hoffmann
ESC Renaissance - Defi de l Eau 2017
Mrs. Andersen's first grade class
56 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.