Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2016

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 12/13/2023

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

This unprotected spring is located in Emmuli Ebutuku Village, Esiandumba sub-location, Emasaba location, Mwibona Ward, Luanda Sub-County of Vihiga County. The spring serves a total of 60 households with a village population of 500 people - 240 are men and 260 are women. Most locals make a living from farming, growing crops like sugarcane, maize, potatoes, and other vegetables. The terrain is relatively flat and receives an adequate amount of rainfall, both conducive to farming.

Due to poor hygiene and lack of safe, clean drinking water in the area, many lives are endangered. These people are in need of safe water to curb waterborne and hygiene-related diseases. This will cut the costs of constant treatment and medicine, giving locals the chance to use their money on more productive economic activities.

Not only do they need the improved water source, but they also need proper training on good hygiene and sanitation practices. Knowledge of the steps they can take to improve their environment and maintain cleanliness in their homes, at school, at the spring, and for themselves will greatly decrease the cases of disease.

And with the need, there is a readiness and willingness to provide the local materials needed for project construction. Local families will also provide accommodation and food for the artisans during construction, as well as contribute food for the participants of the Community Health Worker and Water and Sanitation Management Committee trainings.

Water Situation

The community members said that they had suffered from waterborne complications like typhoid and stomachaches as a result of drinking water from John Maganga Spring. Because the spring is unprotected, it is open to contamination from surface runoff and people stepping into the water as they fetch. The spring is out in the open so there's a lot of activity around it, even farming! Open defecation was also observed during our initial visit. The only alternative source of water available is during the rainy season when families set up gutters on their roofs to collect rainwater (which also happens to be unsafe!).

Women and children draw water from the spring using small containers, pouring them into a 20-liter jerrycans to transport back home. The water from these sources is used for drinking, cooking, washing, watering animals, and irrigation on farms (particularly during the dry spells).

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Having John Maganga Spring protected will give the community a chance to enjoy better health. Good health education and an elected water user committee resulting from training will ensure that cleanliness is maintained both at home and the spring. Training participants will learn about disease transmission, how to properly gather and store water, and about sanitation facilities such as latrines, dish racks, clotheslines, and hand-washing stations. By the end of three days of training, five households will be selected to benefit from new sanitation platforms (safe, clean floors) for latrines. John Maganga, who the spring is named after, says "We have had situations in the community where members use mosquito nets as fences on their gardens, while others defecate openly! If this initiative can help us get sanitation platforms, it will help towards our health and protection of our water sources."

Plans: Sanitation Platforms

Community members will decide on the five families most in need of a new latrine. These families will receive a sanitation platform, which is a concrete floor that makes a great foundation for a safe and clean latrine. These families will prepare by sinking a pit that the concrete slab can be placed over. These five new latrines will go a long way in reducing the level of open defecation in this community!

Plans: Spring Protection

Locals are eagerly preparing for this spring protection project. They have agreed to gather the local materials needed for construction to begin, which include sand, ballast, hardcore, bricks, fencing poles, and even a few helpful hands!

These actions will give children the opportunity to stay in school all the time, thus improving their academic performance. Locals also believe that the decrease of common water and hygiene-relate diseases will save them money. That's undoubtedly true!

Project Updates

May, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Emmuli Ebutuku Community, John Maganga 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.

Community member and facilitator holding prevention reminder chart

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 Emmuli Ebutuku, Kenya.

Demonstrating how to tie a face mask

We trained more than 24 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.

Handwashing demonstration

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.

Handwashing demonstration

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.

Passing out informational pamphlets on COVID-19

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.

Installing the caution chart at the spring

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.

Observing social distancing

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, 2017: A Year Later: John Maganga Spring

A year ago, generous donors helped build a spring protection and sanitation platforms for the community surrounding John Maganga Spring in Kenya. Because of these gifts and 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

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: John Maganga Spring

September, 2017

“Before our spring was protected, we used to consume contaminated which led to water related diseases like typhoid and cough. Protection of this spring has really helped us to have access safe clean drinking water not only to us but also our animals do drink safe water.”

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Emmuli Ebutuku Community.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Emmuli Ebutuku Community 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 spring protection and sanitation platforms for the community surrounding John Maganga Spring in Kenya. Because of these gifts and 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.

Life for many people in the community of Emmuli Ebutuku, where the John Maganga spring is located, has changed tremendously over the past year.  Because of the clean water now available at the protected spring, community members are able to avoid sickness and save time.


Regular health and hygiene training promotes sustainable practices for long-term health impact. WEWASAFO will continue supporting Emmuli Ebutuku to ensure that clean water is not only available but to ensure that the community has the tools to keep the water clean until drinking it- collection, storage. In addition WEWASAFO trains and challenges the community to build and maintain clean latrines. John Mganga, the landowner of the protected spring area, says, “Provision of five sanitation platforms was a wakeup call to all those who never had latrines but relied solely on sharing with their neighbors.”


Jared Ondere, a 14-year-old in the community shares the ways his life, and the life of many students in this community has been impacted: “Since last year, I have been able to drink safe water with confidence without getting sick, unlike previous years when I drank dirty water and later suffered from diarrhea.” For him, the protected spring not only gives him confidence in health, but also saves time, “because many people could come at the same time to the unprotected spring to fetch water causing congestion, but now people fetch the water with ease.”

As John Maganga Spring continues to provide safe drinking water to the surrounding community, the people are freed to pursue their own vision for a flourishing life.  We are excited to stay in touch with this community and report back more positive findings.

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 Emmuli Ebutuku Community 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 Emmuli Ebutuku Community – 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.


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