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The Water Project : 13-kenya4739-spring-protection-construction
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The Water Project : 3-kenya4739-training
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The Water Project : 21-kenya4739-garbage-site-by-the-spring
The Water Project : 20-kenya4739-bathing-shelter
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The Water Project : 11-kenya4739-banana-plantation
The Water Project : 10-kenya4739-homestead
The Water Project : 9-kenya4739-carrying-water
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The Water Project : 7-kenya4739-woman-lifts-a-container-full-of-water
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The Water Project : 2-kenya4739-spring-environment
The Water Project : 1-kenya4739-zablon-fetching-water-at-matunda-spring

Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 240 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

Days in Handidi Community start early in the morning at about 6am. Women go to fetch water from the spring and carry it back to prepare breakfast for their children. When they finish their domestic chores, they then go to till their pieces of land.

Men engage in activities such as “boda boda” riding business to fend for their families, which means they use their motorbikes to taxi customers for a small fee. Other men get paid for casual labor at various construction sites.

Children go to school from Monday to Friday and assist their parents with chores on the weekends. Unfortunately, most men in this community choose not to provide for their families. Instead, the money they earn during the day sates drinking habits at night. This leaves women to do everything they can to make ends meet for themselves and their children. Land is furiously tilled to yield enough crop for both the family and to sell at the local market.

Most of the people here grow crops such as maize, beans, cassava and groundnuts. They also engage in different income-generating activities such as making bricks and ballast by breaking huge rocks into smaller pieces to sell to local construction projects. The poverty here is very serious, as most adults engage in hard labor but the returns are still not enough to fend for their families’ needs, not to mention school fees. Most children drop out of school early to be employed as causal labors for making bricks and ballast.

There is also an orphanage called “Victorious” that provides shelter for local children.

Water Situation

Matunda Spring is the main water source for 240 people living in Handidi Community. The spring also serves the nearby business people operating hotels and butcheries as well as an orphanage during the dry months.

The water is used for drinking, cooking and irrigating land.

The spring is unprotected and open to contamination from many different sources. Wild animals come and go, and rainwater washes dirt and waste into the water. The community has only fixed an iron pipe that allows a container to be filled more easily. Without this pipe, a small container would have to be continuously dunked in the dirty water and bailed into a larger container.

After drinking this water, there are outbreaks of waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid and dysentery.

Sanitation Situation

Sanitation in this community is wanting. During the baseline survey, we found out that many people do not have pit latrines of their own, and the few who do don’t maintain them. Those who do not have a latrine share with their neighbors, while others practice open defecation in the bushes near their homes. Since the spring is unprotected and located downhill from these households, feces are washed into the water.

Hygiene practices are also poor amongst the community members; many people do not wash their hands after visiting latrines, their compounds are dirty, and most do not have compost pits. Garbage is thrown everywhere.

Few people had dish racks, clotheslines, and bathing shelters. Most people dry their clothes on the ground, on bushes, or on roofs.

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.

30-year-old farmer Zablon Matunda is the landowner whom the spring is named after. He was there fetching water when we arrived. “We drink this water because there is no other safe water source around. Cases of waterborne diseases has been reported, especially by young children and old people. Protecting this spring will greatly help us.”

Recent Project Updates

11/29/2017: Handidi Community Project Complete

Matunda Spring in Handidi 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 connected with community members during supervision of spring protection; there were quite a few men helping our artisan, so we asked them to encourage their neighbors to attend hygiene and sanitation training. Everyone agreed to hold training at Mr. Matunda’s homestead, since he lives closest to the spring. We were met by 23 community members eager to learn ways they can improve life for themselves and their families. Even though it was only 10:15am in the morning, our first session was very lively. There were some older participants who were not fluent in English or Swahili, so we paused at times to allow for translation into their native language.

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 by the spring, we were able to teach about proper spring use, management, and simple maintenance.

The trainer leads participants through the 10 steps of hand-washing.

Mr. David Mmbwanga said, “I have spent a lot of my resources on medication for long without knowing that the common diseases that have been taking my resources are preventable. It’s true we had been exposed to these diseases because our spring was unprotected for long. Now I will have a duty to prevent them, as I have acquire knowledge from you. Thank you!”

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

Women carrying materials 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.

Community members help the artisan fill in the spring box with different materials.

This process has transformed Matunda Spring into a clean water source. People gathered to celebrate this transformation and fetch their first buckets of clean water. Village Elder Francis Lusich said, “It has really taken God’s hands for this spring to come to completion. Indeed we have suffered for long of waterborne diseases through consuming water from this spring. I believe now we are free from those diseases, it’s only us to practice what we have been taught today. Thank you for touching lives of people.” We were there for a couple of hours because every single community member wanted to express their gratefulness for having clean water.

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08/31/2017: Handidi Community Project Underway

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

The Water Project : 1-kenya4739-zablon-fetching-water-at-matunda-spring

Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Protected Spring
Location:  Kakamega, Shinyalu, Isukha, Kambiri, Lubao, Handidi
ProjectID: 4739
Install Date:  11/29/2017

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Functional - New Project


Project Sponsor - St. Therese Foundation

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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.