John Maganga Spring Protection Project

Regional Program:
Western Kenya WaSH Program

Latitude 0.04
Longitude 34.56

500 Served

Project Status:

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Stories and 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 Photos

Recent Project Updates

11/20/2017: 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.

The Water Project : 4567_yar_1

07/26/2016: John Maganga Spring Protection Project Complete

We are excited to report that the project to protect John Maganga Spring in Kenya is now complete. 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 help keep the water flowing. Join our team of monthly donors and help us maintain this well and many other projects.

We just updated the project page with the latest pictures, so make sure to open the “See Photos & Video” tab to enjoy!

Project Result: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Hygiene and sanitation training was held at John Manganga’s homestead, since the spring runs through his land. The village elder in the area helped spread the word about training, and he and the community decided on the most convenient dates. Total attendance was 20 of which three were men and 17 were women. Everybody brought their own experiences to training, and shared their range of struggles concerning hygiene, sanitation, and their water.

Some of the topics included but were not limited to:

  • Community contribution and responsibilities
  • Leadership and governance
  • Group dynamics
  • Forming an effective water user committee
  • Mangement and maintenance of the spring
  • Water pollution
  • Water-related diseases
  • Building disease transmission barriers
  • Proper handling of food and water
  • Importance of having and using a latrine

It was obvious trainings were a success. Many households have already started building latrines, clearing overgrowth around their homes, and constructing dish racks and hand-washing stations. The community health workers have already decided to meet twice a month until they can verify that every single household has their own latrine and hand-washing station. They also plan to help families eliminate jiggers and teach about family planning.

After training, participant Elizabeth Afande shared, “Today is my first time to attend such an informing training on hygiene and sanitation, may God bless TWP, WEWASAFO, and everyone at this meeting!”

7 kenya4567 training

Project Result: Sanitation Platforms

Five families benefited from sanitation platforms for their latrines. They expressed their happiness saying that with the help of TWP and WEWASAFO, they have been able to get these facilities which will help their lives improve. Most of them had been practicing open defecation, which resulted in anxiety and outbreaks of disease. Others used wooden floor latrines which posed a lot of risk of injury or death because of rotten beams that break. But since these sanitation platforms are made of sand and cement, they will be able to last for a longer period of time (up to 15 years).

17 kenya4567 sanplat construction

Project Result: Spring Protection

Construction for this spring protection began on June 19th.

Spring protection involves conducting a water quality test; clearing the site, excavating the land uphill from the spring discharge until three feet of water is flowing; packing hard core; reinforcing and casting the foundation slab, building the main and wing walls; fitting the delivery pipes, inlets, draw off pipe, overflow, and inlet screen; backfilling; installing a pipe low in the collection wall to direct the water from the interception reservoir to a concrete or plastic spring box; landscaping and drainage; fencing the area; digging drainage.

Though the pictures might fool one into thinking not much goes into protecting a spring, that list proves it a misconception! When spring protection was complete, community members like Juliet Kitoto expressed their gratefulness. She thinks that “this water source is going to attract many people, because we’ve never seen such a spring as this!”

The Water Project : 23-kenya4567-protected-spring

06/03/2016: John Maganga Spring Protection Underway

We are excited to share that work around John Maganga Spring has begun. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from this 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 GPS coordinates.

The Water Project and the community of John Maganga Spring Thank You for giving the hope of clean water and good health.

The Water Project : 3-kenya4567-unprotected-spring

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Protected Spring
Location:  Vihiga, Luanda, Mwibona, Emasaba, Esiandumba, Emmuli Ebutuku Village
ProjectID: 4567
Install Date:  07/12/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 02/25/2018

Visit History:
08/21/2016 — Functional
11/25/2016 — Functional
02/28/2017 — Functional
05/29/2017 — Functional
02/25/2018 — Functional

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.”

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.


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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.