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Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 105 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

People living in Gidagadi Community get up early in the morning to go to their farms. They plant a variety of vegetables and cereals to feed their families, while excess is sold or traded in the local market. Many people also engage in dairy farming and poultry keeping. Though the proceeds from the sale of these crops is low, community members adjusts their budgets so as to meet their daily needs.

This location is in a remote area where people are close to nature as birds sing their melodies and trees provide fresh air. And since they’re so remote, people get farm produce and animal products at low costs compared to people who live in more urban areas.

We’re building a large rainwater catchment tank at Gidagadi Primary School. Clean water at school is great, but doesn’t do much good if students drink dirty water while they’re home. Headteacher Rose Lamka told us that many of her students rely on Anusu Spring, so we went out into the village to see the water source for ourselves.

Water Situation

Anusu Spring has served the people living in Gidagadi since the 1980s. The spring flows out from and pools between two large stones in the ground, surrounded by bushes on one side and and open yard on the other. The water is completely vulnerable to contamination introduced by humans, animals, and rainwater.

Women are those most often seen fetching water at Anusu Spring. They use plastic buckets or jerrycans to carry the water back home. If the container is small enough, women will dunk the container directly under the water. If too large, women bring a smaller cup to bail water. When delivered back home, water is poured from the plastic container into barrels or pots found in the kitchen, living room, and by the latrine (if a family has one).

After drinking water from Anusu Spring, people suffer from stomachaches and diarrhea – often diagnosed as typhoid.

Sanitation Situation

Many people have unsafe latrines with wooden floors and mud walls. These are weak and can sink if used for a long period of time, causing injury or even death to its users. The mud walls crack and expose the inside, while other latrines are just made of plastic bags! There are no hand-washing stations for people to wash up after using these latrines, either.

Mrs. Lydia Sayo told us that “many people in our area still lack knowledge on the use of mosquito nets provided by the government because they are given free. Some use them in their gardens as fences! Nearly every month, at least one person gets sick…” But despite the poor conditions, the community is extremely hopeful and excited; when we mentioned training, they wanted to hear all about the topics we’re covering!

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 (though they’re so excited they’ve already started talking about who should get them).

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.

Construction will keep surface runoff and other contaminants out of the water, which means the water will be safe, clean, and adequate.

Recent Project Updates

01/17/2018: Gidagadi Community Project Complete

Anusu Spring in Gidagadi 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

Mercy Mirenjah is a social, well-known woman in her community. When she heard we were planning a hygiene and sanitation training, she jumped on the opportunity to help. She reached out to families household by household to invite them to training.

11 community members met us at the spring site. They were attentive and asked questions when they needed clarification.

Participants posing together for a group picture. They received new notebooks and pens for taking notes!

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.

Participants split up into two groups for discussions.

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 stations with local and affordable materials.

Hand-washing demonstration with soap and running water

Lydia Sayo said, “The training has reminded me of my very many responsibilities that I have yet to carry out so that my environment may look clean and green. I thank God for this opportunity to be here and learn more on safety of our water and proper hygiene practices!”

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.

Thumbs up for a safe latrine floor!

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.

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.

Materials are layered up to protect the water flowing up to the discharge pipe.

Community members then helped us plant grass and dig cutoff drains to direct surface water away from the spring box. This process transformed Anusu Spring from a dirty puddle to a flowing source of clean water.

Nancy Magunugu said, “This new source of water discharges very clean and pure water that anybody can just drink direct from the source without fear of contamination. Our spring now looks beautiful after construction. We as a community will do everything possible to ensure that the spring remains intact.”

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11/15/2017: Gidagadi Community Project Underway

Gidagadi Community will soon have a clean, safe source of water thanks to your donation. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from Anusu 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:  Vihiga, Hamisi, Gisambai, Gomomoi, Gidagadi
ProjectID: 4854
Install Date:  01/17/2018

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Functional - New Project


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Country Details


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.