Peresten Spring Catchment Project

Water Point
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IcFEM Water Projects

Latitude 0.49
Longitude 34.28

500 Served

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Stories and Community Profile

This project is part of IcFEM’s WaSH program, which includes multiple water source schemes as well as substantial community level hygiene promotion, and training on project operation and maintenance.

What follows is a brief project outline direct from our partner:

Peresten spring is located in Peresten village, Ngachi sub-location, Cheptais location in Mt Elgon, Bungoma County. The region is highly productive with adequate amounts of rainfall and coffee is the main cash crop for the locals. They also grow peas, beans, maize and vegetables. The population of Peresten is about 2800 people. (Editor’s Note: While this many people may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only support a population of 350-500 people.  To learn more, click here.)

Despite the area being richly endowed with resources, it has been at the centre of inter-clan and interethnic conflicts resulting in the deaths of hundreds of residents and displacement of thousands. Until the government deployed the military in 2007, a militia group called the Sabaot Land Defence Force (SLDF) terrorised residents as a result of ethnic differences in the allocation of land in the settlement scheme. This scenario has rendered many people in the area poor and hopeless.

Peresten spring is a major source of water for the people in this area. The water is used by a nearby school, the villagers as well as Cheptais town. There is a huge potential for agricultural activities like growing vegetables using the spring because it has a lot of water.

The people made an attempt to protect the spring in 1969 but the work was poorly done resulting in an overflow of water. Locals draw water from a distance of 25 metres from the protected area of the spring where the clean water apparently mixes with the dirty one but they still use it anyway. This exposes them to the risk of diseases. As such, protecting the spring will be a major benefit to the people as well as the school, the local health centre and Cheptais town in general.

Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

11/04/2013: Final Pictures From Peresten

After long delays, we are happy to report that we just posted pictures of the completed Peresten spring protection system in Kenya.  The report below from our partner in the field gives the latest status of the project (edited for clarity).  Take a look, and Thank You for your help.

Project Status

Peresten spring was one of the projects that were earmarked for Quarter 2.  Mobilization of the community took place in December and the community collected sufficient materials. However, when the team visited the site for the first time in January, a few challenges were identified.

i)                    A nearby school (Peresten Secondary School) had tapped water from the same source and was using electric-powered pump-to-pump water to the school. When they did so, the community would not be able to get water due to overuse of the source.

ii)                  The community was drawing water from a small tap extended from the school water tank located within the perimeter fence. The tap itself was located outside the fence on the road that connects Cheptais town and Peresten area. During the rainy season, dirty water from the town covered the tap but the community continued to draw water from the same tap thus exposing them to the risk of water borne diseases.

The situation was discussed with The Water Project to find the best solution to the problem. IcFEM and a TWP representative visited the site in late January to see what could be done.  From our discussions, it was agreed that the spring be built at the point where the tap was located to save the people from water borne diseases. The drainage system would also be expanded to ensure contaminated rainwater from the town does not flood over the place where people drew water.

Since the spring was to be built on a part of the road, it was discovered that it would be difficult to fence the water point without significantly reducing the size of the road, which had a lot of human and animal traffic. It was thus agreed that the best way to prevent contamination by animals, would be to provide a watering point specifically for animals as an extension of the spring wall as the long-term solution.

 Once this was agreed, the work began immediately in the month of February and was successfully completed in the same month. The construction had to be speeded up because both people and animals flocked to the water point throughout the day as it was during a dry season and this was the only source of water for them. 

The committee was empowered to constantly mobilize the people to clean the site because it was prone to stagnation of water if the drainage was filled with silt. The site is now fenced to prevent animals from using it.

Currently, the site is well maintained and the community is enjoying water with no risk of infections.

Way Forward

As a long-term solution, it was suggested that discussions be held about the possibility of seeking additional funding to construct a water trough for animals at the site. This would prevent the human-animal conflict at the spring and the possibility of contamination or damaging the spring. The trough will serve a similar purpose as the fence; preventing animals from getting their way into the spring.

The Water Project : kenya4119-8

03/11/2013: Peresten Construction Complete

We are excited to report that construction of the spring protection system at Peresten is complete.  The report below is directly from our partner in the field:

The construction work on this site was completed and the community is preparing for a handover
ceremony. A neighbouring school, Cheptais town and the community in general are already using the
water from the site.

The spring committee has been trained and is actively involved in managing the site.

As soon as we have pictures of the completed project, we will get them posted and let you know!  We just added pictures showing just a portion of the materials provided by the community that were used in construction.

The Water Project : kenya4119_contribution_2

02/21/2013: Peresten Community Mobilization

The community of Peresten, Kenya is coming together around this project to provide a spring protection system for their community.  We recently received pictures of people meeting together to get things underway.

The Water Project : kenya4119_community-mobilization_1

11/09/2012: Peresten Project update

Quick update from IcFEM on the project: 

The committee has been established and has been doing community mobilization to prepare their contributions. The contractor for the work has been identified and is ready to start work once the funds and the community contribution are in place. The work is expected to take no more than a month to complete. 

Great update from the field, we’ll add photos just as soon as we get them. IcFEM assure us more photos will be coming through in the next couple of days. 

10/23/2012: Peresten Spring Catchment Community mobilisation update

ICFEM have sent through details of the community mobilisation process under way as part of their spring catchment programme. Here’s some insight into what is happening, direct from IcFEM:  

All the water sites have a standard water users’ committee comprising of 11 members. The 11 are derived from all the water stakeholders in the community, that is:

  1.  The land owner (1)
  2. The Provincial Administration representative (Village Elder/Ass. Chief/Chief) (1)
  3. A Community Health Worker (1)
  4. A Technician (someone within the community with some technical knowledge on springs) (1)
  5. IcFEM Fellowship representative (1) 
  6. A Women leader (1)
  7. A Youth Leader (1)
  8. Ex-official (LTU executive)
  9. Community Members (3)

The turn-out  of the meetings convened at the water sites was a good representation of the water users and the key stakeholders. A total of 332 people were mobilised from the 15 water sites that we are currently dealing with, most of whom were men. 

All the water sites accepted to rise up to 15% of the total project cost before the constructions begin by early October 2012. This mainly comprises of the locally available resources within the villages i.e. Stone, Hardcore, Sand, Construction tools, Food and unskilled labour etc, but this varies from one community to the other. 

The committees formed are mainly overseeing the collection of the agreed resources at each site as they undergo training in preparation to oversee Operation and Maintenance. 

This is excellent news coming from IcFEM, offering real insight into the community mobilisation process. We are excited about the next step, and look forward to updating this page soon with more information. 

10/04/2012: Construction Underway in Peresten

We are excited to report that the village of Peresten has been selected to receive a spring catchment system.  Construction is underway to protect this source of clean water for the people of the village and the surrounding area.  See the project page for more information, including GPS coordinates.

Project Data

Project Type:  Protected Spring
ProjectID: 4119
Install Date:  03/31/2013

Country Details


Population: 39.8 Million
Lacking clean water: 43%
Below poverty line: 50%

Partner Profile

IcFEM is an indigenous Kenyan organization based in Kimilili, Western Kenya with a mission of smooth integration of community development, evangelism and innovative provision of holistic care. IcFEM aims at building people, especially in rural areas, both spiritually and practically to become self supporting.