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The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -
The Water Project: Omulakha Spring Protection Project -

Project Status



Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 217 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Oct 2016

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/04/2019

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).

Welcome to the Community

Omulakha Spring is an unprotected spring located in Emukaba Village, Indangalasia sub-location, Butsotso East location, East Butsotso Ward, Lurambi sub-county of Kakamega County. The spring serves 31 households of approximately seven family members each, totaling 217 beneficiaries.

A normal day in Emukaba Village involves women waking up early to go fetch water from their nearby unprotected spring. This they use at home to prepare meals for the family who need to leave for school or to work on their farms. The evenings are spent with men either resting at home or attending meetings, while the women sell local farm produce in the nearby village markets, where they also buy food for their family’s evening meal. Sugarcane farming is paramount in Emukaba Village, which covers a majority of the farmland.

Water Situation

An unprotected spring is open to contamination of every sort. Since this area is covered in farms, fertilizers and pesticides are some of the more dominant contaminants. Not only are there chemicals on these farms, but the privacy of sugarcane crop also draws both human and animal to use it as a bathroom. Chemicals are washed into the spring when it rains, but also bathroom waste.

Right upon arriving at the spring, we recognized the contamination. Before the spring’s water is disturbed, green algae floats on top. The spring’s water is used for drinking, cooking watering animals, and other domestic chores.

Plastic jerrycans are the primary water container used to transport water from the spring. A smaller container is brought to pour water from the spring into the jerrycan, most of which do not have covers to protect water on the way home. Once home, the water is separated into other containers by use. Earthen pots are used for drinking water, since they have covers and keep the water cool. The rest of the water for domestic use is poured into a large plastic bucket.

Community members do not know how important it is to treat or boil water before drinking. When people drink the spring’s water without taking these steps, cases of diarrhea are reported, especially among the small children. Incidences of typhoid and other water-related diseases have also been reported.

Sanitation Situation

Under 25% of households have a pit latrine. Any pit latrines we observed were in poor condition, made of mud that is falling apart. Many children and elderly people fear using these latrines because they are unstable; users risk falling through the floor into the pit. Since so few families have a pit latrine of their own, open defecation is a huge issue here.

The same, small number of households have bathing rooms available for personal hygiene. Less than a quarter have helpful tools like dish racks and clotheslines to dry belongings up off the ground. We found no hand-washing stations.

The community will be trained on the importance of having and using the above facilities. They look forward to this learning opportunity.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training and Sanitation Platforms

Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least three 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. On the final day of training, participants will select five families that should benefit from new latrines that have sanitation platforms (concrete pit latrine floors).

Based on the initial visit, the facilitator decided to focus on the following training topics:

Proper handling and treatment of water and food
Dangers of open defecation
Protecting, preserving, and managing community water sources
Practicing personal and environmental hygiene

Training will also inform the community and selected families on what they can do to help make this project a success. They will mobilize local materials such as bricks, clean sand, hardcore, and ballast. The five selected families will also prepare by sinking a pit for sanitation platforms to be placed over. All community members will work together to make sure that accommodations and food are always provided for the work teams.

We met Mr. Josiah Abwalaba, one of the community’s many sugarcane farmers. He too has noticed the problem of open defecation and how it occurs on his own farm. He said, “Many of our people lack proper latrines and the slabs (sanitation platforms) you bring will ease the problem of open defecation in the community, and constructing a superstructure isn’t difficult. The slab is the most important, and we will be very grateful if approved for the project!”

Plans: Spring Protection

Community members have already been collecting the local materials that will be used for spring protection construction, such as rocks and sand. Some of the families who want sanitation platforms have already sunk their pits in preparation! This is evidence that the entire community is ready and willing to unite for positive change.

Protecting the spring will ensure that the water is safe, adequate and secure. Construction will keep surface runoff and other contaminants out of the water. The sanitation facilities and trainings will also enable, enlighten and build the capacity of the community so that they can take matters into their own hands.

Project Updates


12/15/2017: A Year Later: Omulakha Spring

A year ago, generous donors helped build a spring protection and sanitation platforms for the community surrounding Omulakha 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 partners, Sarah Kitui and Rose Serete, with you.


The Water Project : 4578_yar_4


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: Omulakha Spring Community

November, 2017

“Health of the people in the community has improved! There are reduced cases of waterborne diseases. Initially people used to drink untreated water, but now they have clean and safe water for drinking.”

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Omulakha Spring Protection Project.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Omulakha Spring Protection Project 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!

Give Monthly

A year ago, generous donors helped build a spring protection and sanitation platforms for the community surrounding Omulakha 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 partners, Sarah Kitui and Rose Serete, with you.

The community around the Omulakha Spring is excited about the changes they have experienced this year with a protected spring.  Lavin Achimbo, age 8, expressed great relief because of a reduction in diseases like typhoid this year.  Both Lavin and a chairman in the community, shared that the sanitation and hygiene and sanitation training conducted by WEWASAFO has helped to improve health and cut down significantly the cases diarrhea.

Sarah Kitui, a WEWASAFO employee, reported, “The community has kept the spring’s site clean, fenced, and cleared from the long grass.  They have their own set of rules that help them in maintaining the spring and keeping it clean.”  Sustainable improved health for a community depends on both clean water access and consistent hygiene and sanitation practices, and the community surrounding the Omukhala Spring is providing an excellent example of what can happen when both of these things are implemented.

 

WEWASAFO will continue working with the Omulakha community to ensure that clean water is consistently available, even during the dry seasons when many wells and springs experience lower yield in water supply.  The Omulakha community has integrated much of the WEWASAFO training into community life, keeping the water clean until it is used or consumed, building latrines, and maintaining a healthier environment.

We know that the positive changes around Omulakha Spring from clean water access and healthy lifestyle changes will have ripples of impact throughout their community and in the surrounding areas.  We are excited to stay in touch with this community and to report the news as they continue on their journey with clean water.

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 Omulakha Spring Protection Project 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 Omulakha Spring Protection Project – 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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