Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 266 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/05/2024

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

The people of Chegulo Community are basically all farmers, most who plant large plantations of sugarcane to sell in bulk to Butali Sugar Company. Others are farmers on a smaller scale who sell foods like maize and vegetables in the local market.

A normal day here starts at around 5:30am when people wake up to work on their farms until about 6am. During this time, the moon is still up and provides adequate lighting. They then head back home to make breakfast and prepare children for school. Once they've seen the children off, the parents go out again to look for odd jobs that will bring in extra income. Dinner is around 6pm, after which they get ready for bed. Since there's no electricity in Chegulo, the day is only as long as the sun is up.

Water Situation

Shakava Spring is one of the main water sources in Chegulo Community. This spring is so dirty that at first glance it looks like a puddle. The water is murky and moss floats on the top. Mr. Shakava himself tries his best to clear the water's surface on a daily basis, but more contaminants are washed into the water whenever it rains.

Community members normally bring two containers to Shakava Spring; one small cup to fill a larger jerrycan. A small cup is useful to bail water with because one can avoid the waste floating in the water. There's no storage at home, so water is kept in the same container until used.

A safe water shortage for this community translates to limited hygiene and sanitation for both the elderly and young people. They end up looking for ways to save the little water they manage to collect; resulting in a number of diseases that need to be treated with the little money they earn.

Sanitation Situation

Less than half of households that rely on Shakava Spring have latrines. These are built in the traditional way using thatched sticks filled in with mud, with sugar sacks hanging in the doorway. The pits are covered with wooden slats that the user is supposed to balance on. These are prone to rot and are immensely difficult to clean.

Because of these poor conditions, open defecation is an issue in Chegulo; people prefer the privacy behind buildings or bushes over dangerous, dirty latrines. Since open defecation endangers the entire community, everyone should support each other in the building of newer, safer latrines.

Mr. James Andanje explained a little more about conditions in Chegulo, saying "The people here use whatever little water they get for cooking [and drinking], this is however limited by the fact that this water is not clean at all - thus leading to diseases such as diarrhea, amoeba and coughing too, since just a handful of them [community members] boil their drinking water. With this kind of trend, people hardly consider sanitation concerns such as hand-washing and even cleaning their toilets and clothes. We therefore need people like you to intervene and enlighten us more!"

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.

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 concrete latrine floors.

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.

Project Updates

October, 2018: A Year Later: Chegulo Community

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to protect Shakava Spring for Chegulo 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...

September, 2017: Chegulo Community Project Complete

Shakava Spring in Chegulo 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

Hygiene and sanitation training was organized in consultation with local leadership who could recommend the best time and place to meet. The community decided the best place would be at the spring, since construction was almost finished and we could use it for water point management and maintenance demonstrations.

We were so surprised to arrive the first day with a large crowd of people waiting excitedly. Women even brought their children! It's most often the other way around; we'd arrive in a community and have to wait for them to finish their work and trickle in to training. Everyone listened respectfully and asked a lot of questions.

1 kenya4846 training

Training topics included but were not limited to 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, and hygiene promotion. The community should refrain from washing clothes, watering animals, farming with fertilizers, and open defecation in the vicinity.

Group discussions were very effective in helping participants take responsibility for what they were learning. And since we were at the spring, we could easily show the group how to manage and maintain their new clean water point. We demonstrated the ten steps to properly washing hands and allowed everyone a chance to practice.

4 kenya4846 training

Participants look on as a man follows the trainer's instructions on how to properly wash hands.

Participants were grateful for what they learned, admitting that a lot of the information wasn't just encouraging but entirely new, too. They were especially appreciative of the steps they can take to ensure their spring never dries up. They promised not to grow any blue gum trees nearby, which soak up any available water. They will also build a fence to protect the spring protection from animals.

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. Mr. James Andanje said, "Our lives were in danger because of open defecation. When it rains, the dirt was washed into the spring and then we'd drink because there was no other source around that was protected." We will continue to encourage these five families to finish building walls and roofs for privacy.

12 kenya4846 sanitation platform

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 volunteered their services as laborers.

The spring area was excavated to create space for setting the foundation of polythene, wire mesh and concrete. After the base had been set, both wing walls and the head wall 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.

5 kenya4846 spring construction

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 polythene membrane to eliminate any potential sources of contamination. Finally, grass was planted and cutoff drains dug to direct surface water away from the spring box.

This process has transformed Shakava Spring into a clean water source.

7 kenya4846 clean water

This is a very vibrant community focused on improving their economic lives. We observed this during the training - they were interested in poultry keeping and growing cash crops. The people we trained promised to tell other community members, especially the women, to come together and form a group to do business. They said they had believed keeping poultry was only to prepare food for visitors. They feel enlightened and hopeful that what they learned will improve their lives. We're so happy that clean water will unlock these kinds of opportunities!

August, 2017: Chegulo Community Project Underway

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

October, 2018

Instead of spending time fetching water, Elphy Muyanzi studied for her primary school exams last year thanks to the protected spring. She passed and is now in secondary school, saying that this project enabled her to do so!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Chegulo 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 Shakava Spring for Chegulo 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 team member Christine Luvandwa with you.

The lives of people in this community have changed in terms of cleanliness and improved hygiene. The availability of water has ensured that they get their chores done and have plenty of safe drinking water whenever they need it. As a result, there are no more water-related reported here.

"Since the project was implemented last year, we have had plenty of water for use here, for so many households, and the good thing is that the spring never goes dry," Tom Shakava told us.

He and other community members were able to irrigate their crops during the dry season last year, which is something they were never able to do in the past. The vegetables they harvested were then sold in local markets, providing more food for the community and increased income for local farmers.

Tom Shakava collecting water

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 spring in Chegulo is changing many lives.

Elphy Muyanzi, a 14-year-old student, has another example. She says that spring is helping improve her grades in school.

"Last year, I was in primary school and had to study for my national exams. Since the project had been implemented, I had plenty of time for studying unlike in the past when I would spend so much time getting clean water for our home," she said.

"I was able to pass my exams and graduated into high school. I believe this project helped me accomplish that."

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 Chegulo 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 Chegulo 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.