Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 350 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2016

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 12/09/2022

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).

Background Information

This unprotected spring is located in Emmumbia Village, Ebutanyi sub-location, Emasaba location, Mwibona ward, Luanda sub-county of Vihiga County. The spring serves 50 households, giving this area a total population of 350 people out of which 150 are men and 200 are women.

The people of Emmumbia Community practice small-scale farming mainly for sustenance. A normal day here involves women waking up early to fetch water for household use, while the men go to work the farm where the women join them after their housecleaning is finished. The afternoon hours are either spent at home or handling small businesses to raise income for the family.

The Current Source

The water from this unprotected spring is used for drinking, cooking, watering animals, and irrigation on farms, especially during the dry season.

Water is collected with small plastic jugs that are transferred into jerrycans or buckets. The jerrycans have covers, but the buckets rarely have them. Once home, water is transferred again to large drums or pots. All containers are cleaned thoroughly using sand and water. Some community members boil this spring's water before drinking, but unfortunately the treatment is not enough to make it fit for consumption. Community members report that they suffer from many cases of waterborne complications like typhoid and stomachaches as a result of drinking water from this unprotected spring. It is open to contamination from surface runoff and by people stepping into the water as they fetch and animals that do so to drink. The alternative water source is a running stream that is very dangerous for children when full.

Sanitation Situation

Sanitation is also a huge issue for this community. The majority, at least 75% of households, do not have even the most basic pit latrine. Open defecation is clearly an issue, causing both contamination of the spring and the greater environment. This waste is often transferred, since less than 25% of households have any form of hand-washing station. In fact, any type of sanitation facility is rare in this area. There are few bathing rooms and very few tools such as dish racks and clotheslines. People instead resort to airing out utensils and clothes on the ground, which even further heightens the transmission of germs.

Poor hygiene and the lack of safe drinking water in this area is life-threatening. For that reason, these people are in dire need of clean water to curb waterborne and hygiene-related diseases. To do so would not only save their health, but also their money that is currently spent on treating these maladies. Locals also require training on good sanitation practices in order to improve the environment in which they live. Furthermore, they are ready and willing to provide the necessary local materials for construction and also to provide food and accommodations for artisans during this construction.

Protecting Staus Amayuka Spring will save community members a lot of time that is now wasted fetching clean water. Additionally, these people feel that after the spring is protected, the community is given good health education, and a committee is elected to ensure cleanliness is maintained, children will no longer suffer from waterborne diseases. Without these diseases, children will stay in school all the time, thereby improving their academic performance.

Project Results


The training was conducted in one the homestead of Emilly Okonda, one of the participants in the training. The area village elder help in mobilizing the community members for the Community Health Worker and Water and Sanitation Management Committee trainings. This was done with attention to gender balance so as to enable every gender to be represented.

The training was attended by 10 community members of which 3 were men and 7 women. The members present were able to put forward issues ranging from previous problems they faced concerning the spring to hygiene in their community. All these were a clear indication that they were actively participating.

Topics covered in the training session include:

  • Wash objectives
  • Roles of community in projects
  • Community contribution
  • Leadership and governance
  • Roles and responsibilities of management committee
  • Water pollution and water related diseases
  • Funds collection and record keeping
  • Primary health care
  • Common local diseases and their prevention
  • Sanitation facilities for hygiene promotion
  • Water handling and food hygiene
  • Environmental health
  • Handwashing steps
  • Roles of hygiene promoters

Methods used for training include demonstrations, a transect walk to investigate open defecation in the community, presentations, and a question and answer session.

The community members can now educate others on proper hygiene practices and washing their hands at critical times using an improvised hand washing facility. The immediate effect of the training was evident in the increased number of community members putting up latrines and having their compounds free from bushes, and proper use of mosquito nets rather than using them to fence their vegetable gardens. This is due to Community Health Workers group efforts.

''I am pleased today to attend this precious training about water and hygiene which I personally have never had such an opportunity in my life,'' said Christine Olume, a 74-year-old participant in the training sessions.

Spring Protection

Protecting the spring involves building a concrete structure around the water point to shield it from contamination. Spring protection process involves:

  • Site clearance and foundation excavation to the
  • specified standards
  • Excavation of the land up slope from the spring discharge until three feet of water is flowing
  • Hard core packing, reinforcements and casting of the foundation slab for spring construction of the head wall and wing walls
  • Fittings (delivery pipes, inlets, draw off pipe and overflow, inlet screen)
  • Back filling of the spring source
  • Installing a pipe low in the collecting wall to direct the water from the interception reservoir to a concrete or plastic spring box
  • Landscaping the area around the spring for protection and drainage
  • Fencing of the catchment area
  • Removing potential sources of contamination and diverting surface water away from the spring box or collection area by making drain cut off

The local community participated in the project by provision of locally available materials such as bricks, sand, hardcore, ballast, unskilled laborers, poles for fencing, as well as meals and accommodation for the skilled artisans.

Moses Obillo, one of the village elders, expressed his thanks for this project. ''Am quite joyous for this gift from TWP and WEWASAFO because for a very long time, we as the people of Emmumbia village have been consuming contaminated water but from now onwards, we shall be enjoying safe clean water from this protected spring. May God bless you all.''

This spring protection project was particularly difficult. Shortly after the construction was initially completed, a strong rainstorm washed away one of the wing walls and the access stairs.  The damage has been repaired and the design slightly changed to avoid another instance of this in the future. The initial work, damage, and repairs can be seen in the pictures below.

Sanitation Platforms

Sanplats are concrete slabs used as stable floors for latrines. Making latrines safe, comfortable, and easy to clean is an important step toward helping a community become open defecation free. Five sanplats were provided for families in this community. See the pictures below for sanplats installed in the community.

With clean water and improved sanitation and hygiene comes unlocked potential! Thank You to all who made this project possible!

Project Updates

05/28/2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Emmumbia Community, Staus Amayuka 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.

"When in doubt, throw your arms out!" for social distancing

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 Emmumbia, Kenya.

The Community Health Volunteer (left) speaks at training

We trained more than 28 people 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.

Handwashing demonstration

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.

Community Health Volunteer shows the informational pamphlet shared at training

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.

Trainer demonstrates how to cough and sneeze into the elbow

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.

Girls help old prevention reminders chart while trainer reviews it

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.

Question and answer session

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.

12/20/2017: A Year Later: Staus Amayuka Spring

A year ago, generous donors helped build a protected spring for the Emmumbia Community in Western Kenya. Because of these gifts and the contributions of our monthly donors, partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from our partner, Wilson Kipchoge, with you.

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 pours through a reinforced pipe in a concrete headwall to a paved collection area. Safe water typically flows year-round and there is very limited ongoing maintenance needed!

A Year Later: Staus Amayuka Spring

December, 2017

We are now enjoying using safe water from the spring which is now our only safe source available in this area. Water related diseases that previously disturbed us are now gone.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Emmumbia Community, Staus Amayuka 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, generous donors helped build a protected spring for the Emmumbia Community in Western Kenya. Because of these gifts and the contributions of our monthly donors, partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from our partner, Wilson Kipchoge, with you.

In some communities, access to clean water changes the entire landscape in a visible way. Protection of the Staus Amayuku spring has done precisely that in Emmumbia village.  Wilson Kipchoge, a field officer for WEWASAFO,  provides a picture of the work that the people of Emmumbia have done: "As you enter into this community, you are welcomed by the clean environment full of flowers, trees, and improvised hand washing stations. The community members are now able to access safe water and sound sanitation. All these changes are attributed to the fact that TWP was able to protect the spring and also provide the sanitation platforms."

Emily Okonda, a secretary in the village notes that this is their only protected water source, and that access to clean water paired with their diligence in maintaining a sanitary and hygienic environment has practically eradicated many of the sicknesses that were previously disturbing them.  She points to the ripple effects of clean water, leading to improved health, and then to even more opportunities. Emily shares, "People concentrate on developmental activities that improve on their living standards because they previously used to spend a lot of money on treatment of diseases."

Emily and Jemimah at their clean water source.

Because fetching water is primarily the responsibility of women and children in the village, they experience the greatest benefit with a nearby protected water source.  Jemimah Atieno, age 14, provides insight into significant changes in her daily life, stating, "I nowadays go to school confidently with no risk of getting sick because I carry my own safe water from the spring. The spring is cemented and thus we step on a safer floor without fear of being attacked by poisonous insects and even snakes that are found in water." Girls like Jemimah are now able to devote more time to school, and we are confident that the entire region will witness the strength and growth that these youth bring to community life.

The WEWASAFO team will continue to walk alongside this community through consistent monitoring visits. We are excited to stay in touch with this community and to report back more positive stories.

The Water Project and our partners are committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by monthly donors, allows us to visit communities up to 4 times a year. Read more about our program 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 Emmumbia Community, Staus Amayuka 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 Emmumbia Community, Staus Amayuka 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!


The Orts and Rahns
The Michela's
35 individual donor(s)