Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 490 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 01/10/2024

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

In Shitungu Community, women do most of the household chores. The women wake up early in the morning to prepare their children for school before their other chores like collecting firewood, washing clothes, sweeping, farming and fetching water from the unprotected spring among many others!

Most people in the community are involved in farming. They grow maize, vegetables, bananas, sweet potatoes and cassava and others. A few people in the local community have small retail shops from where neighbors buy their household items.

Water Situation

70 different households report that they use Makale Spring for all of their water needs.

A metal pipe has been fixed in the ground to make filling containers easier. Instead of dunking jerrycans under the water, they can be held underneath the pipe until full. There's a lot of activity around this open water source that contribute to its contamination. Animals are brought to Makale Spring to drink, while community members do their laundry at the spring. They also told us that the spring is dirtiest after it rains; rainwater carries slews of dirt and mud directly into the water, and community members have to wait a long time for the water to settle again.

On some occasions, there are crowds of people waiting to fetch water. Women spend a number of hours walking to and waiting at Makale Spring. In this community, fetching water is predominantly a woman's affair.

When delivered back home, dirty water from Makale Spring is stored in 100-liter plastic barrels if intended for cleaning, and poured into covered clay pots if meant for drinking. People report that these clay pots keep water cooler. After drinking this water, residents of Shitungu suffer from waterborne diseases such as typhoid.

Sanitation Situation

Less than half of these households have their own pit latrine. Those who don't have them share with their neighbor or seek the privacy of bushes to relieve themselves. Most of the latrines we observed are made the traditional way, with mud walls and wooden floors. These wooden floors are difficult to clean and susceptible to rot.

The same low number of families have helpful sanitation tools like dish racks, clotheslines, and hand-washing stations.

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 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

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.

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.

Project Updates

June, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Makale Spring

Our teams are working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Join us in our fight against the virus while maintaining access to clean, reliable water.

We are carrying out awareness and prevention trainings on the virus in every community we serve. Very often, our teams are the first (and only) to bring news and information of the virus to rural communities like Shitungu, Kenya.

We trained community members on the symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention of COVID-19. Due to public gathering concerns, we worked with trusted community leaders to gather a select group of community members who would then relay the information learned to the rest of their family and friends.

We covered essential hygiene lessons:

- Demonstrations on how to build a simple handwashing station

- Proper handwashing technique

- The importance of using soap and clean water for handwashing

- Cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces including at the water point.

We covered COVID-19-specific guidance in line with national and international standards:

- Information on the symptoms and transmission routes of COVID-19

- What social distancing is and how to practice it

- How to cough into an elbow

- Alternative ways to greet people without handshakes, fist bumps, etc.

- How to make and properly wear a facemask.

During training, we installed a new handwashing station with soap near the community’s water point, along with a sign with reminders of what we covered.

Due to the rampant spread of misinformation about COVID-19, we also dedicated time to a question and answer session to help debunk rumors about the disease and provide extra information where needed.

We continue to stay in touch with this community as the pandemic progresses. We want to ensure their water point remains functional and their community stays informed about the virus.

Water access, sanitation, and hygiene are at the crux of disease prevention. You can directly support our work on the frontlines of COVID-19 prevention in all of the communities we serve while maintaining their access to safe, clean, and reliable water.

November, 2018: A Year Later: Shitungu Community, Makale Spring

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to protect Makale Spring for Shitungu 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...

December, 2017: Shitungu Community Project Complete

Makale Spring in Shitungu 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

Mr. Lukas Makale's oldest son was in charge of organizing the best place and time for hygiene and sanitation training. He functioned as our main contact person, and went door to door inviting community members to attend. We ended up meeting at Mr. Tito Amere Makable's homestead, which is closest to the spring. Total attendance was 21 people.

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 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.

Hand-washing demonstration

Our facilitators were very happy about the motivation they've seen in these same community members: As soon as they got home, they started preparing for new latrines, clearing the bushes from around their homesteads, building dish racks and building hand-washing stations. The participants who were trained will meet twice a month to keep track of their first goal: that all households build their own hand-washing station.

Participants posing for a group picture after training.

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.

Community members were particularly helpful when it came to the heavy digging it took to excavate this spring.

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. Community members then helped us plant grass and dig cutoff drains to direct surface water away from the spring box.

This process has transformed Makale Spring into a source of safe, clean water. Community members immediately gathered together to celebrate by fetching their first containers of clean water. Emily Mmbone said, "This will help reduce waterborne diseases, given that the water is now safe and clean fro drinking and for domestic use. The spring yield is exceptionally high, and I promise that my neighbors and I will take good care of it."

October, 2017: Shitungu Community Project Underway

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

November, 2018

“We have access to safe and clean water. The water from the protected spring is used for washing, cleaning, bathing, and for drinking,” said Doreen, 12.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Shitungu Community, Makale 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 Makale Spring for Shitungu 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 Mary Afandi with you.

Before Makale Spring was protected last year, the community had to use contaminated water. Disease outbreaks were prevalent in the area around the unprotected spring.

According to Violet Kebali, cases of diarrhea and typhoid were very common among her family and the rest of the residents. People were paying a lot for medical care.

After the protection of the spring and the health training carried out, the area around the protected spring is clean and well-maintained. Sicknesses have significantly decreased.

We spoke with Violet Kebali and Doreen Vinzari about some of the other changes they have witnessed over the past year.

Doreen Vinzari, Violet Kebali, and Mary Afandi

"After the protection of the spring, the residents now have enough water in terms of quantity and quality," said Mrs. Kebali.

"The spring also benefits many people from within the community and the neighboring communities. Many people come to fetch water from the protected spring as early as 4am and as late as 9pm. This indicates that the number of households benefiting has greatly increased!"

Protecting 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 Shitungu is changing many lives.

Doreen Vinzari

"We have access to safe and clean water. The water from the protected spring is used for washing, cleaning, bathing, and for drinking," 12-year-old Doreen said with a smile.

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 Shitungu Community, Makale 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 Shitungu Community, Makale 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.


2 individual donor(s)