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The Water Project : 1-kenya4847-atechere-spring

Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 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

Each day in Timbito Community starts with people waking up at 5 am. That’s when men go milk their cows while women start breakfast and household cleaning. They then prepare children for school, and after they’ve sent them off they head to the farm. Most adults here are either farmers, casual laborers, or motorbike operators (they taxi others around). Every day is consumed with looking for enough money to bring food home for their families. The days normally ends at 8 pm after dinner, since there is no electricity in most homes. Paraffin is quite expensive for these families, so they prefer not to use it unless there is an emergency.

Water Situation

Atechere Spring is one of the main water sources in Timbito Community. The women in this community reported that they really need assistance getting clean water; they have suffered for a very long time, and some come from very far away to fetch water which happens to also be very dirty.

This spring is completely vulnerable to contamination. Rainy weather yields the worst water quality; rainwater washes all sorts of dirt, feces, and chemicals into the water. Community members admit that they often suffer from typhoid because they have to drink water from Atechere Spring.

Though a lot of children are getting clean water while at school through successful water projects, it doesn’t do much good when they return home to dirty water. Classes are missed and studies negatively impacted as these students suffer from waterborne disease.

Sanitation Situation

There are still quite a few households who don’t have pit latrines. While some people share sanitation facilities with their neighbors, others reportedly opt for open defecation; this was exposing the entire community to fecal-oral diseases. If latrines are old, dirty, or poorly built, using the bushes as a bathroom often seems the safer option. Most of the latrines are traditionally built using thatched sticks filled in with mud.

Though Timbito is quite ahead of other communities when it comes to sanitation facilities; the majority of households have and use clotheslines and dish racks. A percentage of these same households also have hand-washing stations.

Mr. Festus Ombio said, “We try to keep our environment clean with continuous failure basically due to lack of latrines which encourages people to ease themselves in the bushes, this is a huge challenge, the women here also are not educated on health-related issues, we live by the grace of God because we lack knowledge on proper standards of health. The children often get ill, out of the water they drink directly from the spring that has not been treated, it is hard to watch over them the whole day especially when they head out to play.”

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. One of the most important topics we plan to cover is open defecation and its dangers, as well as having and using a pit latrine.

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. The fence will keep out destructive animals, and the drainage will keep the area’s mosquito population at a minimum.

Plans: Sanitation Platforms

On the final day of training, participants will select five families that should benefit from new 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 chosen for sanitation platforms 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.


Recent Project Updates


11/01/2017: Timbito Community Project Complete

Atechere Spring in Timbito 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 by Mrs. Wilkister Esponi, who when she heard about our intentions, excitedly informed everyone she could. She got everyone else excited, too! We ended up meeting together at the village elder’s homestead, which is closest to the spring and allowed us to do some onsite training too. There was a great community representation there, though most of them were women. It is rare to find men around in this community, since they travel to the nearest shopping center to find work every day.

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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 really appreciating getting their hands involved. We did this with hand-washing, teaching the 10 steps of washing with soap and running water. We also took participants to their spring, where construction had recently finished. There we were able to teach about proper spring use, management, and simple maintenance.

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Mrs. Wilkister Esponi was so happy with the turnout and how much her community friends learned. “The training has come at the right time in this community, when we are having our own community health volunteers do this same sanitation awareness program in all the villages in this sub-county! We are therefore lucky to be able to participate in it. This will go a long way in informing the decisions we shall be making from now onward. The health of each and everyone of us will improve since we will no longer be living in ignorance. Thank you very much,” she said.

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.

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These women are happy to have such a solid foundation for good hygiene!

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.

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The stones gathered by community members to be used in construction.

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.

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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.

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Look at all of that clean water!

This process has transformed Atechere Spring into a clean water source. People gathered to celebrate this transformation and fetch their first buckets of clean water. As health improves with the presence of clean and safe water, time and money will be unlocked for economic progress.

Mrs. Julia Wanyama said, “We are so happy that now we can easily have access to clean and safe water with no worry of acquiring water-related diseases like in the past, where we had typhoid giving us a hard time. Us women, we will no longer have to spend a lot of time fetching the water using small tins – it’s easier now with the pipe the water just flows through, and as a parent I will not have to worry about where my children draw drinking water from, as they are all excited to be getting it from this source. It is now a trusted source of our water!”




10/13/2017: Timbito Community Project Underway

Timbito Community will soon have a clean, safe source of water thanks to your donation. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from Atechere 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, Malava, Chegulo, Chebwai, Timbito
ProjectID: 4847
Install Date:  11/01/2017

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Functional - New Project




Country Details

Kenya

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.