Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 280 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 10/10/2023

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

Most people in Lutonyi Community wake up at 5am to get ready for the day. Children get ready for school, while adults prepare for their respective jobs. Most of the men in this community are motorbike operators downtown, and head out after eating breakfast. Women prepare the children for school, then prepare for farm work. Some of the other women do casual work like washing clothes for a small fee or fetching water for construction projects.

Everyone's work day usually ends around 5pm when they head back home. But as for the men, they continue taxiing with their motorbikes late into the night.

Water Situation

Shihachi Spring is the main water source in Lutonyi Community, serving a total of 40 households. Its water is used for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and irrigation. The spring is open to contamination from many different sources. When it rains, waste is washed into the water. As animals come and go to quench their thirst, they too contaminate the water. Water is visibly contaminated, proven as community members drink and then suffer from waterborne diseases such as bilharzia and typhoid.

Still, the community members express their joy for the spring's existence, saying that it is of great significance in their lives. During our visit, we also learned that the spring serves a nearby school as their main water source.

Sanitation Situation

Less than half of the households here have pit latrines which are semi-permanent, made of wood floors, walls of mud, old iron sheet roofs and doors of old rags or iron sheets. They are often rickety structures that offer little privacy, and become unsafe after years of use. The wood floors cannot be easily cleaned and decay to the point of collapsing, oftentimes while in use. The mud floors weaken if not fortified, too.

There are a few bathing shelters but absolutely no dedicated containers for hand-washing, proving that personal hygiene is not a current priority.

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

Protecting the spring will ensure that its water is safe, adequate and secure. Construction will keep surface runoff and other contaminants out of the water. By volunteering as unskilled laborers, attending trainings, and providing food and accommodation for the skilled artisan, community members confirm their investment in the sustainable management and maintenance of the project upon completion.

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

July, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Lutonyi Community, Shihachi 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 Jacky shows how to build and use a tippy tap handwashing station

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 Lutonyi, Kenya.

Scrubbing hands thoroughly with soap is essential in fighting the virus

We trained more than 17 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.

Handwashing is a lesson for all ages

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 with soap

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 with soap

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.

Trainers review the prevention reminders chart 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.

Trainer Jacky leads the homemade mask sewing tutorial

Community member Benson Imbali said that it was hard for people suffering from asthma to wear face masks. The facilitator asked those suffering from asthma to avoid going out as much as possible and advised them not to tie their face masks very tight, but instead allow room around their nose to breathe.

Cough or sneeze into the elbow like this

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.

Reading the informational pamphlet on COVID-19

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: Lutonyi Community

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to protect Shihachi Spring for Lutonyi 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...

February, 2018: Lutonyi Community Project Complete

Shihachi Spring in Lutonyi 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

We spoke with one of the local leaders, Mrs. Violet, as we scheduled hygiene and sanitation training. She went from house to house to invite everyone in Lutonyi to attend. Training was also held at her homestead, which is near the spring. Community members turned out in large numbers, including both men and women who participated enthusiastically in each activity.

Participants received notebooks and pens to record what they learned.

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.

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.

Participants were hungry for even more information and asked that we return as soon as we have time for another training.

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.

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.

Rocks gathered by community members and delivered to the construction site.

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 backfilling from the spring eye to the discharge pipe.

During the spring construction, a monitor lizard appeared, causing among the community members and artisan. The monitor lizard was killed by Mr. Kiki, one of the fearless community members - It was scaring everybody because it's believed that when it wipes you with its tail, your skin will remain dry forever, even if you apply petroleum jelly. This monitor lizard had also been eating all of the chicks of community members. They knew it was reared by a community member since it had markings and decorations. But Mr. Kiki said that if the owner does not show himself, he will skin it and use that skin to make a drum (isukuti drum).

Mr. Kiki and the scary monitor lizard!

This process has transformed Shihachi Spring into a clean water source. People gathered to celebrate this transformation by fetching their first buckets of clean water. Mrs. Khamalishi said, "We are impressed with the good work. Actually, we had been worriedly consuming this water in fear of contracting waterborne diseases like typhoid, cholera, and diarrhea. We appreciate and may God bless you abundantly so that you reach out to many communities."

October, 2017: Lutonyi Community Project Underway

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

November, 2018

Waterborne illness no longer keeps Michelle Andeka and her classmates out of school because they now have safe water at Shihachi Spring.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Lutonyi 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, your generous donation enabled us to protect Shihachi Spring for Lutonyi 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 Olivia Bomji with you.

Community members are so exited that Shihachi Spring has clean and safe water for drinking and household chores. The area surrounding the spring is green and well-fenced, and banana tress are growing well which proves that this water really has an economic value for the people living here. Managing water as an economic good is an important way to achieve efficient and equitable usage and to encourage preservation of water resources, Field Officer Olivia noted.

She spoke with farmer Violet Khamalishi and 8-year-old student Michelle Andeka during a recent visit to the spring. The two expressed gratitude for the spring protection and explained how their lives have changed for the better over the past year.

Field Officer Olivia Bomji, Michelle Andeka, and Violet Khamalishi

"We children can now access clean water for drinking. Going to the hospital was the order of the day because of drinking contaminated water," Michelle said.

"Since Shihachi Spring was protected, we can go to school without being absent from waterborne illness."

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 Lutonyi is changing many lives.

The community members can now access to clean and safe water for drinking, which is stored in clean containers that are washed. That is because people learned how to store safe water for drinking as a part of the accompanying hygiene and sanitation training last year. Clothing lines and the dish racks are now used in the community - another example of how the lessons learned from last year are being put to use. They have learned that living healthy is both maintaining cleanliness and drinking safe water.

Michelle Andeka and Violet Khamalishi

"We thank you for protecting Shihachi Spring because we are now drinking clean and safe water that is not contaminated," Violet 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 Lutonyi 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 Lutonyi 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.


Arcadia Camp for Girls
Fishing Creek Baptist Church
Allstate Giving Campaign
9 individual donor(s)