Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 240 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Nov 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/07/2024

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

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."

Project Updates

July, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Handidi Community, Matunda 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 Patience 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 Handidi, Kenya.

We trained more than 21 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.

Handwashing exercise

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.


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.

Social distancing check

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.

Mask making tutorial

Trainer Patience awards the mask made at training to a child in attendance

"The participants were happy to be reminded of washing hands with soap and running water in order to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. The community members also loved the procedure of making face masks with local materials and each one vowed to make asks for themselves and for their family members," reflected Trainer Patience Njeri.

The mask fit perfectly

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.

Training participants pose for a group photo with their manuals after training

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: Handidi Community, Matunda Spring

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to protect Matunda Spring for Handidi 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: 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.

August, 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.

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: Handidi Community, Matunda Spring

November, 2018

Improvement is evident here, from the well-maintained spring to the presence of clotheslines and latrines in homesteads.

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Handidi Community 4.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Handidi Community 4 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 Matunda Spring for Handidi 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.

Ever since the spring was protected, there has been a marked improvement in hygiene and sanitation for people in Handidi Community. Our visit to a number of homesteads was proof positive of this. The various homesteads we visited had sanitation facilities such as clotheslines, latrines, and compost pits. It shows that the community members are working together to improve hygiene and sanitation, which promotes healthy living.

"We really feel blessed because we can access clean water. Before, we used to drink contaminated water," farmer Magdalyne Wasambili said to us when we visited the community and spring.

Magdalyne Wasambili

"During the rainy season, rainwater mixed with water in the unprotected spring and contaminated the supply, causing waterborne diseases such as typhoid and cholera. But, since you protected Matunda Spring, we have learned that water is life and clean water is health," she continued.

These changes are the result of the spring protection and the accompanying hygiene and sanitation training for community members a year ago. We are excited to stay in touch with this community and to report on their journey that has changed their lives positively - because they now know the importance of water, hygiene and sanitation.

Protection fo 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.

Magdalyne Wasambili and field officer Olivia Bomji at the spring

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 Handidi Community is changing many lives.

"Since the project was implemented, it has really helped us because we can easily access clean water for drinking and I no longer go to the hospital because of stomachaches," 10-year-old Samson Matunda said.

Samson Matunda and his mother

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 Handidi Community 4 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 Handidi Community 4 – 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.


Project Sponsor - St. Therese Foundation