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Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 210 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

Most of the people here are unemployed and have to work extra hard to get by each day. Days begin very early in the morning: Women struggle to clean the home and then prepare breakfast for the family and prepare children to go to school. Men milk dairy animals and leave immediately for the market to sell a few bottles of milk in order to buy sugar and tea leaves. After that, men look for grass to feed their cows. Finding grass is especially hard now because of the recent dry spell.

Meanwhile, women take several trips to fetch water, as men and youth till the land to make sure there is enough food on the table. Women prepare lunch early and then join their husbands on the farm until noon. After lunch, women head off to the market to sell any extra crops or craft goods. At home, they assign chores to the children. After school, every child has a role to play in helping their families get by.

Water Situation

Women and children carry their five to 20-liter jerrycans to Laurence Spring for water. It is used for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. Because of the high rate of open defecation (going to the bathroom and not disposing of the waste), there is an issue with human waste being washed into the spring, particularly during the rainy seasons.

Locals fixed a pipe where they saw the water flowing from, which makes it easier to fetch water. They’re able to hold their containers upright until they’re full. Then, containers are often lifted up and supported with the head all the way back home. When home, water is poured into container by intended use. Older ladies prefer their drinking water to be stored in clay pots which they believe keep the water cooler. Younger ladies prefer large plastic containers.

Typhoid is a regular struggle for those drinking water from Laurence Spring. Those in neighboring Emarembwa Community recently had their Nyangweso Spring protected, and were very happy with the results. Shitoto Community came up in our conversation as an area of need, and people recommended us to pay Laurence Spring a visit.

Sanitation Situation

Less than half of households have pit latrines. Most of those are not in good condition; the floors are made of mud and wooden slats that rot away and endanger users. It’s not uncommon to hear stories of people who fall through the floor to injury or death. Because of these dangerous conditions, many who have latrines prefer not to use them – instead looking for privacy in the bushes. This waste is spread by animals, flies, and rainwater, further increasing infection and illness in Shitoto Community.

A handful of homes have hand-washing stations for hand-washing, but the community majority needs to adopt this important habit.

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.

Protecting this spring will result in increased water quality and water flow. Those living in Shitoto will thus be able to live happier, healthier lives as they efficiently fill their containers with clean water from Laurence Spring.

Recent Project Updates

01/10/2018: Shitoto Community B Project Complete

Laurence Spring in Shitoto 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

16 participants met us at Laurence Spring for hygiene and sanitation training.

The trainer handing out notebooks and pens to participants so they can record what they learn.

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.

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.

Mercy Madegwa said, “Thanks for the training. Personally, I had no idea on water handling. I knew that my water was safe after treating it with chlorine forgetting that handling was key, but from now I will take good care of it, be it at home or on my way from the spring.”

Participants posing for a group picture at their spring.

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.

Men helping our artisan by delivering bricks 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.

Installing the discharge pipe

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. This process transformed Laurence Spring into a clean water source!

Community members assembled at the spring to sing songs and dance, as the officer in charge of the project handed this new clean water source over for their use. Mr. Laurence Nashilove spoke on behalf of his community, saying “We thank God for you, because very many political leaders had promised to protect this spring, but it never came to pass. In the past, they brought their artisans to protect the spring but whenever they arrived, the artisans complained of the big stone around the spring. But these artisans from WeWaSaFo are qualified. We now have safe and clean water, and our children will not suffer from waterborne diseases again.”

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11/15/2017: Shitoto Community Project Underway

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

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Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Protected Spring
Location:  Kakamega, East Butsotso, Shitoto
ProjectID: 4746
Install Date:  01/10/2018

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Functional - New Project


Bounce Treatment Services
2 individual donor(s)

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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.