Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 240 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/05/2024

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 Shiamboko Community starts at 6 AM immediately when the cock crows. The women head out to the spring, each lining up with a jerrycan to fetch water. The belief is that the later in the day, the dirtier the water is. Upon returning home, the woman milks the cows and prepares breakfast, then prepares the children for school who must leave by quarter to seven. The man goes out to the farm while the woman remains behind to do some household chores such as cleaning. She then prepares lunch for the entire family, including the children who return home from school for a break. After lunch a woman will go to the farm to help. Work on the farm is done until 5 PM when the children are expected home from school. Dinner is enjoyed, with the entire family retiring by 8 PM when it gets dark.

The primary crops here are maize, beans, sweet potatoes, and fruits like avocados and mangos. A large portion of this is sold at Shibuli Market.

Water Situation

Oluchinji Spring is one of the main water sources in Shiamboko. 30 households and a local private school rely on it for all of their water needs, such as drinking, cooking, and cleaning.

Containers are brought and dunked in the water. Water is kept in this container until it is used up, warranting yet another trip to the spring.

Oluchinji Spring is unprotected and entirely open to many different sources of contamination. Animals drink directly from the water, and nearby human activities such as farming are regular contaminants. When it rains, even more waste is carried into the open spring.

After consuming this water, community members suffer from waterborne diseases.

Mr. and Mrs. Oluchinji are the landowners who are witness to these struggles. Mrs. Oluchinji told us, "We have suffered from typhoid over a long period of time, our children have also complained of itching all over after bathing. This is mostly because the dogs and other animals drink from the source since it is in an open place."

Sanitation Situation

There are not many pit latrines in the community. Those who don't have one share with a neighbor or seek the privacy of bushes to relieve themselves. The latrines we inspected were too shallow and almost full. The same low number of households have bathing rooms for personal hygiene.

We were happy to find one or two hand-washing stations, and most of the homesteads had dug a compost pit for proper waste disposal.

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. This source will be transformed into a spring flowing with clean water for dozens of families!

Project Updates

July, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Shiamboko Community, Oluchinji 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.

Trainer Janet Kayi issues COVID-19 informational pamphlets

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 Shiamboko, Kenya.

Use the elbow to cough and sneeze

We trained more than 20 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.

Building a tippy tap handwashing station

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.

This young boy demonstrated excellent handwashing technique

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.

Handwashing using the tippy tap

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.

The prevention reminder chart temporarily set up at training for review before installing it at the spring.

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.

The completed mask sewed during the tutorial

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.

Social distancing check

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.

November, 2018: A Year Later: Shiamboko Community

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to protect Oluchinji Spring for Shiamboko 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...

December, 2017: Shiamboko Community Project Complete

Oluchinji Spring in Shiamboko 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

With the help of a resource person in the community who has seen this type of project implemented in a another village, Mr. Habakkuk, we were able to recruit participants for hygiene and sanitation training. He went door to door to invite those who use the water from the spring.

Sessions were held in a community church building at a private school, which is also a beneficiary of the spring. Though we required at least 15 household representatives to attend, we were happy to find that even more people came just out of their pure interest to learn more about hygiene and sanitation. To our joy, we also found children waiting there.

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 had the chance to come up front and practice what they learned about hand-washing.

Demonstrations were some of the most popular parts of the training, with participants enjoying getting their hands involved. We did this with hand-washing, teaching the 10 steps of washing with soap and running water. And since we were already near the spring, we were able to teach about proper spring use, management, and simple maintenance.

Community members learning about how spring protection works, and how to best care for it.

Rosemary Khamete is a teacher who plans to share what she learned with her students. She said, "The training has been timely and has further enlightened us on the importance of hygiene and sanitation, things we previously were unaware of. We really appreciate this. As the headteacher at this school, I personally know i will educate my small pupils on everything I have learned here today, but more importantly on the ten steps of hand-washing, which will help reduce the cases of school absenteeism I have witnessed in the past. This community has greatly benefited!"

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 built an impressive 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 we asked a few people to volunteer their time and strength to help the artisan with manual labor.

The spring area was excavated to create space for setting the foundation of polyethylene, wire mesh and concrete. After the base had been set, both wing walls and the headwall 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 polyethylene membrane to eliminate any potential sources of contamination. Community members then helped us plant grass and dig cutoff drains to direct surface water away from the spring box.

The artisan plastering the spring floor.

This process has transformed Oluchinji Spring into a clean water source. People gathered to celebrate this transformation by fetching their first buckets of clean water.

Mr. Habbakuk was so enthusiastic about this project ever since he witnessed it in a neighboring community. He expressed his gratefulness for the clean water now flowing in Shiamboko: "I have seen a project like this at a nearby village, and because I realized this is a credible institution I saw it fit to push for the same for us. I am delighted that this has finally happened, our children especially those in this school will now access clean and safe drinking water. This will ensure that we no longer suffer from water-related diseases, which will help us save money we previously used to seek for treatment.We are so happy, words alone are not enough to express our joy."

November, 2017: Shiamboko Community Project Underway

Shiamboko Community will soon have a clean, safe source of water thanks to your donation. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from Oluchinji 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.

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: Shiamboko Community

November, 2018

“Protecting this spring is the greatest thing that has changed my life.” – Emily Amwai

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Shiamboko Community, Oluchinji Spring 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 Oluchinji Spring for Shiamboko 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 Jemmimah Khasoha with you.

Throughout the year since the spring protection, community members here enjoyed regular access to water that is quick and easy to collect. The time that used to be spent fetching water is now spent farming, which has improved the incomes of community members.

"A change which I personally have experienced is that I no longer get to the hospital to treat my children for stomachaches," said Betty Nambiro, a member of the community we met at the spring. "The cost of treatment was high, and right now I can use the money to improve the nutrition of my children rather than spend it on medicine."

Betty Nambiro

We learned that children miss much less school due to waterborne diseases like cholera. We visited Shiamboko Community to learn about the project's impact a year later. We noticed that the homesteads are still very clean with compost pits, clotheslines, dish racks, bathrooms and handwashing stations by the latrines. This is a good indicator that the hygiene and sanitation training that accompanied the protection of the spring was successful, and that the community members were attentive.

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 Shiamboko is changing many lives.

"The project has really helped in a big way," said 11-year-old Emily Amwai.

Betty Nambiro, field officer Jemmimah Khasoha, and Emily Amwai

She used to fetch water each morning before going to school. The spring is close to her school, but it was very dirty and crowded. As a result, she would waste a lot of time getting water and the process would soil her uniform before she arrived for class.

"Protecting this spring is the greatest thing that has changed my life. We no longer struggle over water and we never get dirty while getting water," she said

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 Shiamboko Community, Oluchinji Spring 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 Shiamboko Community, Oluchinji Spring – 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.


Riverside Woman's Club
Brownie Troop 708
Grace Schmidt and Family
North Dunedin Baptist Church
Troy Athens Swim and Dive
Nieces of Patricia Moix
Mt. Hermon United Methodist Church
WaterSmart Software
Woodstock Academy
The Lange Family
Girl Scout Troop 2757
117 individual donor(s)