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The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Sanitation Platform
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Sanitation Platform Drying
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Spring Construction
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Spring Construction
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Spring Construction
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Training
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Training
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Training
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Training
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Training
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Training
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Training
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Training
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Training
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Training
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Clothesline
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Bushes Used As Latrine
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Inside Latrine
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Latrine
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Latrines
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Household
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Community Landscape
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Mrs Lukanda Fetching Water
The Water Project: Irenji Community -  Shianda Spring

Project Status



Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 350 Served

Project Phase:  Installed - Feb 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 09/11/2018

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



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

Irenji is unique compared to other areas, attracting local tourists and the occasional international tourist. This is because the adults in this area mold beautiful clay pots.

A normal day in Irenji commences when women and children go to fetch water from Shianda Spring so they can clean and prepare breakfast. Children are then shuttled off for school. Men head out right away to milk the cows, eating breakfast only when they get back. They then head off to either their farms or begin molding pots. The women join their men after household chores because they say “two are better than one.”

Water Situation

Shianda Spring is the main water source for over 50 households in Irenji. While conducting the baseline survey it was evident that the people relying on Shianda Spring have really suffered from drinking its water. The spring is unprotected and open to contamination from many different sources. When it rains, waste is washed into the spring. The water is further dirtied with all of the coming and going of both people and animals.

This water is used for cooking, washing, watering animals, irrigating farms when it doesn’t rain, and drinking. Cases of typhoid and other waterborne diseases are an everyday occurrence. Mrs. Elizabeth said, “Clean water is quite safe for consumption, in my community since time in memorial, we have been victims of water borne diseases due to consumption of unclean and unsafe water from shianda spring. Massive resources have been used to cater for the same. Direct translation from Swahili, “water doesn’t have bad heart” has made many to suffer since they don’t treat or boil the water before consumption.”

Sanitation Situation

The homes that I was invited into revealed how bad the situation is here. The compounds are poorly kept; children are filthy and no one seems to care. Individuals visit the unkempt latrines barefooted and do not wash their hands after. Sanitation and hygiene in this community is quite poor and needs urgent attention.

Most people lack proper latrines, dish racks, and clotheslines. When asked about these things, community members were not able to explain their importance. Those who don’t have latrines relieve themselves in the privacy of farm crops or bushes around their homes. Waste that is not properly disposed of is then spread around the community by flies, wild animals, and rainwater.

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 the water is safe and adequate for drinking. Construction will keep surface runoff and other contaminants out of the water. 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


02/22/2018: Irenji Community Project Complete

Shianda Spring in Irenji 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.

Project Result: New Knowledge

Madam Regina is a woman who has gained a lot of respect in Irenji, and she played a big part in our preparations for hygiene and sanitation training. We wanted to reach as many people as possible, so Madam Regina decided to go house to house to personally invite everyone to the training, which would be held at a church right by the spring. She did so well in recruiting participants that we had each household represented! Even some children attended.

We 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. Since we were near the spring, we could run through hands-on management and maintenance demonstrations. Many of these individuals have joined a water user committee that will primarily be responsible for this water source.

Hand-washing is one of the most important and cost efficient ways a person can stop germs from spreading. We had a lot of fun demonstrating this and then watching the community members try.

Madam Regina regretted that school was in session during the training because she’d like students to hear the same things. Though they won’t hear about hygiene and sanitation straight from the trainer, Mrs. Regina is a teacher herself and is excited to share what she’s learned. “It was so unfortunate that the training had to be conducted when schools are on. The training should be repeated when schools are closed so that our children are taken through the same content we covered. This training is so important, and the topics handled are very relevant to everybody in society. It would have been very beneficial to our children, who need this information for the many years they will live. For us who were privileged to attend, we will put into practice all that we have learned and our lives will change for the better.”

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.

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.

All this has transformed Shianda Spring into a flowing, clean water source. People arrived right away to fetch their first jerrycans of that clean water, and we were there to capture some of that joy.

Mr. Ernest said, “For a very long time we battled with the problem of dirty water, especially when it rained. It took a lot of time for one to get from the spring whenever they went to fetch water. This problem was even worse whenever the rainy season set in. We thank God that the problem is now behind our backs. With the spring now protected and with staircases to the water point, it is easier, safer and more convenient to get water. Now that the spring has been protected, it is now our task to ensure that the project is well-managed and maintained.”


The Water Project : 19-kenya4744-clean-water


01/11/2018: Irenji Community Project Underway

Irenji Community will soon have a clean, safe source of water thanks to your donation. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from Shianda 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 : 2-kenya4744-mrs-lukanda-fetching-water


Project Photos


Project Type

Protected Spring

In many communities, natural springs exist as water flows from cracks in rocky ground or the side of a hill.  Springs provide reliable water but that doesn’t mean safe. When left open they become contaminated by surface contamination, animal and human waste and rain runoff. The solution is to protect the source. First, you excavate around the exact source area of the spring. Then, you build a protective reservoir for water flow, which leads to a concrete spring box and collection area. Safe water typically flows year-round and there is very limited ongoing maintenance needed!