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The Water Project: Shitungu Community D -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community D -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community D -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community D -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community D -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community D -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community D -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community D -  Finished Sanitation Platform
The Water Project: Shitungu Community D -  Finished Sanitation Platform
The Water Project: Shitungu Community D -  Finished Sanitation Platform
The Water Project: Shitungu Community D -  Training
The Water Project: Shitungu Community D -  Training
The Water Project: Shitungu Community D -  Training
The Water Project: Shitungu Community D -  Clothes Hanging On Bushes
The Water Project: Shitungu Community D -  Peek Inside The Kitchen
The Water Project: Shitungu Community D -  Victor Outside His Parents House
The Water Project: Shitungu Community D -  Community Member Watching His Pig
The Water Project: Shitungu Community D -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community D -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community D -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Shitungu Community D -  Mmbone Spring

Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 350 Served

Project Phase:  Installed - Jan 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 09/10/2018

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

A normal day in Shitungu Community starts at around 5am when parents wake up to prepare their children for school. Once they see their children off, they usually go to their farms to tend maize, bananas or beans. Parents who can afford the tools needed to form and bake bricks do so; bricks from this area find a great market in Kakamega Town, which is currently undergoing infrastructure development.

This area is highly populated. If not on the farm or baking bricks, men will either work as causal laborers or drive “boda boda,” or motorbikes, for a living. Women are responsible for all the household chores: fetching water, cleaning, cooking, and tending children, and yet they’re also expected to do some work on their farms or kitchen gardens.

Water Situation

Mmbone Spring is a main source of water for hundreds of people living in Shitungu. Reportedly, 350 people rely on it for their drinking, cooking, cleaning, and irrigation needs.

Since the spring is unprotected, it is open to contamination from surface runoff that washes feces and farming chemicals into the water. People also step right into the water as they fetch it, and animals often drink from it. Since the water is so shallow, a lot of time is wasted by the next woman in line who has to wait for the stirred up mud and dirt to settle again. Adults most often carry this dirty water in 20-liter jerrycans, while children cannot manage to carry such a heavy weight and opt for smaller plastic jugs instead.

Community members report that they suffer from waterborne diseases like typhoid, with diarrhea and stomachache a part of everyday life.

Sanitation Situation

Most of the households that rely on Mmbone Spring do not have the sanitation facilities they need. Less than half have even a basic pit latrine. The ones we observed are made of mud, branches, and iron sheets. Most latrine floors are made of mud and branches suspended over the pit – and as the wood rots, these latrines become very dangerous for the users.

Nobody has a hand-washing station, and only a handful of people have helpful tools like dish racks and clotheslines to safely dry their belongings.

Community members are very excited about the opportunity to attend hygiene and sanitation training.

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 latrines.

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 and adequate for drinking. 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

01/15/2018: Shitungu Community Project Complete

Mmbone 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

Hygiene and sanitation training started early in the morning as the sun was still shining through the trees. Community members walked together in twos and threes to the home of Mrs. Mmbone, who agreed to host training. Participants sat themselves under a shady tree to avoid the rising sun.

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.

We all went on a transect walk to enlighten participants on the dangers of open defecation in their community. Apart from the five families who received sanitation platforms from this project, many more joined in the construction of traditional latrines because of the things they learned on that walk.

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 station with local and affordable materials.

We saw immediate changes. For example, when the women came to the finished spring to fetch their clean water, they thoroughly washed their container. As more women arrived, we noticed that the majority of them had found covers for their containers.

Mrs. Josphine Mmbone said, “My family has suffered constant attacks of diarrhea and stomachaches for so long. I was so ignorant about the routes of contamination. But now after training, I am aware of how to prevent diarrhea amongst my children and reduce water pollution by proper handling.With this gained knowledge I am confident that diarrhea will be a thing of the past in my family.”

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

(Editor’s Note: We are still waiting to receive construction pictures for Mmbone Spring, but didn’t want to delay in sharing the good news that there’s clean water in Shitungu!)

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.

Cathrine Makokha said it was “like a dream for this community to see cement being delivered in this village.”

Cathrine Makokha

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 transformed Mmbone Spring into a clean water source!

Shouts of joy and singing pulled many other neighbors out of their homes to witness the completion of this water project. As clean water started flowing from the pipe, we reminded the community of their great role in maintaining this water source. After that, the village elder handed the spring over for the entire community’s enjoyment.

The Water Project : 10-kenya4853-clean-water

11/13/2017: 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 Mmbone 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.

The Water Project : 3-kenya4853-fetching-water

Project Photos

Project Type

Protected Spring

In many communities, natural springs exist as water flows from cracks in rocky ground or the side of a hill.  Springs provide reliable water but that doesn’t mean safe. When left open they become contaminated by surface contamination, animal and human waste and rain runoff. The solution is to protect the source. First, you excavate around the exact source area of the spring. Then, you build a protective reservoir for water flow, which leads to a concrete spring box and collection area. Safe water typically flows year-round and there is very limited ongoing maintenance needed!


1 individual donor(s)