Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Nov 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 10/12/2023

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

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.

Project Updates

October, 2018: A Year Later: Timbito Community, Atechere Spring

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to protect Atechere Spring for Timbito 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...

November, 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.

1 kenya4847 training

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.

4 kenya4847 training

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.

17 kenya4847 sanitation platform

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.

8 kenya4847 stones collected for construction

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.

10 kenya4847 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.

11 kenya4847 clean water

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!"

October, 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.

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: Timbito Community, Atechere Spring

October, 2018

“I am happier now that I have the opportunity to channel some of my energy elsewhere,” Shaeni Wilkister said, talking about the time she’s saved since the spring’s protection.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Timbito Community, Atechere Spring 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 Atechere Spring for Timbito 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 Christine Luvandwa with you.

This water project has transformed the lives of the people of this community in terms of ease of access to clean water and sanitation facilities. People now have a cleaner living environment, children are growing up in clean and beautiful surroundings, and women are having an easy and fun time carrying out their daily chores - all thanks to the reliable availability of clean water.

Before the spring's protection, women like Shaeni Wilkister had to scoop water that pooled at the spring to pour it into larger containers. The process was time-consuming because each person had to wait for the dirt in the water to settle after it was stirred up by each scoop. Women had little free time since they spent so much time fetching water and attending to other household duties.

Fetching water at the spring

"This had been the trend for a long time and I believe it had robbed us [of] a lot of time and opportunities to develop ourselves and our communities," Sheni told us.

But that is no longer the case, thanks to the spring protection. The attached pipe allows Shaeni to fill her container directly - without concern of contamination.

"I am happier now that I have the opportunity to channel some of my energy elsewhere," Shaeni Wilkister said. "The water project is one step towards women saving time and getting some to spend on development issues."

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.

Field officer Christine (center) poses for a picture with community members at the spring

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 Timbito is changing many lives.

"As a school-going student I now have easy and fast access to clean water," Victoria Kageha said. "This saves me time and therefore gives me room to carry on with my school assignments before it gets too dark."

Victoria Kageha fetching water

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 Timbito Community, Atechere Spring 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 Timbito Community, Atechere Spring – 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.