Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 210 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/11/2024

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

A normal day for the 210 residents of this community begins with heading out to their farms early at 6am. Many people in this community engage in small-scale dairy farming, raising poultry, and growing bananas.  Much fruit of their labor goes to the market for sale.  The earnings from the sale of these crops is not much. Yet, because this location is in a remote area, people pay a lower cost compared to those in urban areas. Their subsistence farming consists of vegetables, maize, beans and ground nuts.

Water Situation

Lihala Sifoto Spring located in Elukhobe/Simuli Village. It is really a pool of water at the bottom of a slope. Because of this, the spring is contaminated by surface runoff, improper waste disposal, bacteria and soil erosion. Animals are free to come and go as they please, further contaminating the water. This is their main source of water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. During the dry months, it's also used to water their crops.

The villagers dunk jugs and pans into the stagnant, muddy water and carry it to their homes where they store it in earthen pots and plastic containers of 50 to 100 liters, some with covers, some without. Sometimes water, sand and leaves are pushed into the openings of the containers and swished around to clean the inside.

Most here have suffered from waterborne diseases such as typhoid and amoebiasis - as well as malaria from the mosquito-breeding that takes place around the stagnant water hole. Very young children and the elderly are the most susceptible.

"We are blessed to have variety of food that helps us not to be victims of malnutrition," reported Beatrice Donald, a 57-year-old farmer.  "Though we have (a) nearby dispensary, many people still prefer herbal medicine as many fear the injection - except when the situation is more serious - which has put many lives at high risk of dying from manageable diseases."

Sanitation Situation

50 - 75% 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.

Many households have dish racks and clotheslines, although most are of a rudimentary nature. Many people heap up their solid garbage and allow it to decompose and later dig up to be used as organic farm manure. None have hand-washing stations.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least three 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.  The training objectives will be to sensitize the community members to the need to maintain high standards of hygiene, to make good use of available health facilities, to have safe and sound sanitation and proper management and maintenance of the spring.

Plans: Sanitation Platforms

On the final day of training, the Elukhobe/Simuli Community will select five of its families to benefit from new latrines. The five families must prepare by sinking a pit over which the sanitation platforms will be placed.

Plans: Spring Protection

Lihila Sifoto Spring came to the attention of WEWASAFO who spoke with one of the teachers while visiting a water project at Ematsuli Primary School. We traveled to the spring, taking note of the fact that it is a permanent source of water during all seasons, even during extreme drought. He heard the commitment of the community members and decided that protecting the spring was a great investment for them.

The community will provide the local materials such as crushed rocks and gravel, clean sand, poles for fencing, unskilled labor and accommodation and food for the work team. Protecting the spring will ensure that the water is safe, adequate and secure and thus will allow the community to invest more of their time and energies in economically productive activities.

"Our spring helps us a lot, especially during dry season when everywhere people are crying for water. We are prayerful that you will bring healing to many souls that have for a very long time suffered by using contaminated water. We as a community are really happy to be part of this exercise and are looking forward to seeing this project transform the lives of the young, youth and the aged," said Beatrice Donald. "We will ensure that every member of this community is involved in every step towards achieving our goal which is having our spring protected!"

Project Updates

December, 2018: A Year Later: Simuli Community, Lihala Sifoto Spring

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to protect Lihala Sifoto Spring for Simuli 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...

January, 2018: Simuli Community Project Complete

Lihala Sifoto Spring in Simuli 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

Right from our first visit to Simuli, we started telling community members that clean water and good hygiene and sanitation go hand in hand. Mr. Lihala worked directly with his community and our field officer to schedule a convenient time for training. He went house to house to encourage everyone to come and learn. Total attendance ended up being 16, of which most were women. This is because women are traditionally seen as those most responsible for water, sanitation and hygiene for their families.

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.

We spent an entire session on hand-washing and its importance. When, how, and why should one wash their hands? We also taught participants how to construct their own hand-washing stations with local and affordable materials.

The village elder, Mrs. Beatrice Donald, said "Indeed knowledge is power. If we only had had the information you passed to us today, we would not have wasted our resources in treating waterborne diseases which are preventable, like typhoid and amoebas."

Mr. Lihala agreed, saying "We had been drinking dirty water from this beautiful spring! Sometimes people came here to wash their clothes without thinking of the effects of soap on our water. Thank you very much for the ideas on hygiene, water and sanitation. Surely, I have learned the importance of living in a cleaner environment and the need of having access to safe, clean drinking water for both animals and human beings."

Training participants gather together for a group picture after their final session.

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 Lihala Sifoto Spring into a flowing, clean water source. People arrived right away to fetch their first jerrycans of that clean water. Beatrice said, "The new water source is discharging very clean and safe water that can be consumed at any time without need of boiling or treating it. It's unlike before where we used to consider water fetched early in the morning was only safe for drinking... but that was not so because the source was open and thus exposed to all kinds of contamination. We are grateful for considering our spring for protection!"

December, 2017: Simuli Community Project Underway

Simuli Community will soon have a clean, safe source of water thanks to your donation. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from Lihala Sifoto Spring, and often suffer from waterborne diseases. 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: Simuli Community, Lihala Sifoto Spring

December, 2018

Rebecca Asiko says she no longer misses school due to illness since the protection of the spring.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Simuli 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 Lihala Sifoto Spring for Simuli 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 Wilson Kipchoge with you.

For this community, access to safe clean drinking water is no longer just a dream. Every member is assured of safe water that's free from contamination because every possible route of contamination has been sealed off.

"Having the spring protected has brought relief to us because we now take very short time to fetch safe clean water. Cases of water-related diseases have completely been eradicated through this intervention, and the community members walk comfortably to the water source," said Irene Munyasa to us during a recent visit to the spring.

Irene Munyasa

We observed that homes are well-kept; there are clean homes, clotheslines, compost pits, and a green environment at every household. The environment is very good. It is filled with trees and flowers which makes the whole place attractive.

These changes are the result of the available water from the protected spring and the hygiene and sanitation training that was carried out on proper health practices.

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 project in Simuli, Kenya is changing many lives.

"Since last year, I have been able to drink very safe and clean water from the spring," said 8-year-old Rebecca Askio. "Ever since this spring was protected, I go to school on a regular basis because I don't get sick."

Rebecca Asiko

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 Simuli 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 Simuli 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.