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Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 280 Served

Project Phase:  Installed

Functionality Status:  Functional

Community Profile & Stories

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

Most of the population in this area is from the Butsotso sub-tribe. Those who live in Luanda Village start their days very early. When the men wake up, they immediately head off to work on their farms. When the women get up, they help their children get ready for school. Once everything is finished around the house, wives will join their husbands. These farmers specialize in raising dairy cattle and growing maize, sugarcane, ground nuts, bananas, and other vegetables. When there isn’t anything to be done on the farm (which is rare), men will undertake stone excavation or sand harvesting to supply local construction distributors. A lot of the money these parents earn is invested in their children’s education. These folks are extremely hardworking.

Luanda Village is home to 280 people from about 40 different households.

Water Situation

These 280 people rely on Richard Spring for their water. They use it for drinking, cooking, household chores, and irrigation during the dry season. The women and children are those primarily responsible for fetching enough water for their families.

Community members say that the spring has never failed to supply them with water, even after long periods without rain. But the spring is unprotected, meaning that it is open to contamination from many different sources. Some of these contaminants are from surface runoff that washes feces, chemicals, and other waste into the water when it rains. Other times, animals live in or drink from the water.

Once water is delivered back home, it is separated into containers by use. Water for drinking is stored in clay pots, because these keep the water cooler. Water for cooking and cleaning is kept in open plastic containers anywhere from 50 to 100 liters. After drinking water from Richard Spring, community members complain of typhoid, amoebas, and diarrhea-related illnesses.

Sanitation Situation

More than half of homes in this area do not have pit latrines, forcing family members to use the privacy of bushes. This endangers the entire community. Those who do have latrines have made them out of mud, wood slats, and banana leaves. The same low number of homes have bathing rooms for personal hygiene. There are no places to wash hands. Most people dispose of garbage on their farms, separating the biodegradable to make compost.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training and Sanitation Platforms

This community requires training on good hygiene and sanitation practices for them to improve the environment they live in. They will learn about how to keep a clean environment and maintain personal hygiene.

Community members will be trained for three days on a variety of health, hygiene and sanitation topics. This training will result in community members donning the roles of health workers and water user committee members. The training facilitator plans to use PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Training), CLTS (Community-Led Total Sanitation), and ABCD (Asset-Based Community Development) methods to teach community members, especially the women and children who feel the burden of household responsibility. Training will equip each person with the knowledge needed to practice viable and effective health solutions in their homes and at the spring.

During training, we will take this community on a transect walk to sensitize them to some of the more serious health threats. The transect walk will teach locals to watch for practices that go on and facilities that are present related to good health and hygiene. Sometimes, a participant feels shame when the group arrives at their household and points out things that are unhealthy or unhygienic; but in Kenya, this affects people to make a positive change. Training participants will also vote on and decide the families that should benefit from the five new sanitation platforms. These five families will have to prepare for the platform by sinking their own latrine pit.

Training will also result in the formation of a water user committee that will oversee and maintain the spring protection. Other training participants will join a group of community health workers who will promote and teach healthy habits to their neighbors.

Plans: Spring Protection

Fetching water negatively affects women and young girls on a daily basis. It holds them back from getting more important things accomplished. Protecting Richard Spring will empower the female members of the community by creating more time for them to engage with or invest in income-generating activities. Protecting the spring will improve the health of all community members. Since they heard the news, everybody has been very optimistic. One of the local mothers, Susan Makokha, told us “Getting clean water for the community has been difficult, but at least God has remembered us through WEWASAFO.”

Recent Project Updates

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

A year ago, generous donors helped the community around Richard Spring in Western Kenya build a spring protection and sanitation platforms. Because of these gifts and contributions from 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, Rose Sereti and Mary Afandi, with you.

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12/22/2016: Richard Spring Project Complete

We are excited to report that the project to protect Richard Spring in Luanda Village, 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 spring protection 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! And please enjoy the rest of the report from our partner in Kenya:

Project Result: New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was held at the home of Mr. Nathan Shichenje, one of 14 community members who attended. The community elder, Mr. Shikuku, was the one in charge of going house to house to recruit as many participants as possible. He focused on those people he knew to be natural leaders, wanting to equip them with tools to enrich the entire community. These 14 men and women who showed up were invested in what they were learning, bringing up the daily issues plaguing them and learning how to solve them. They were both active listeners and active question-askers.

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These topics included but were not limited to leadership and governance; operation and maintenance of the spring; healthcare; family planning; immunizations; the spread of disease and prevention. We also covered water treatment methods, environmental hygiene, and hygiene promotion. During our initial visit to Maraba Village, we observed a lot of inappropriate behavior at the water source. Thus, we chose to emphasize proper maintenance of the spring protection project. The community should refrain from washing clothes, water animals, farming with fertilizers, and open defecation in the vicinity. We encouraged positive activities such as building a fence and digging proper drainage. All of these activities will prevent water pollution.

Hand-washing was both discussed and demonstrated. It is one of the most important barriers in preventing disease. Hands should be washed after visiting the latrine, before cooking, before and after eating, after shaking hands, and after handling garbage. We also taught locals how to build a hand-washing station out of sticks, rope, and plastic containers.

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By the end of the three days, participants formed a water user water user committee to oversee and maintain the spring protection. Other participants were equipped with the knowledge to become community health workers. These workers will be responsible for sharing what they learned with the rest of their community by making door-to-door visits. They will continue to keep their neighbors accountable so that the overall community can experience improved health.

By the end of the third day, community members had already constructed useful facilities for their families. Some were building dish racks, others were digging pits for latrines. Many of these homesteads had placed containers for hand-washing outside of the latrine.

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Project Result: Sanitation Platforms

All five sanitation platforms have been installed and are ready for use. These five families are happy about this milestone and are optimistic that there will be much less open defecation. People without proper latrines would often use the privacy of bushes, but now have a private place of their own. It is expected that proper use of latrine facilities provided by the sanitation platforms will go a long way in reducing environmental pollution here. The community members who have these new platforms applaud them, saying they are more comfortable and much easier to clean. They are encouraging their neighbors to build the same.

Project Result: Spring Protection

Construction to protect Richard Spring began on November 13.

After a spring is earmarked for protection, our artisan arrives to clear the construction site. All bushes and trees are felled with machetes. This is followed by excavating up the slope from the spring output. Ballast is then mixed with cement and sand to make concrete. A wire mesh is lain on the excavated space before the concrete is added in order to create a strong foundation. This foundation is left to cure overnight.

On the second day, the walls are raised with brick. The artisan then installs a pipe low in the collection wall to direct water from the reservoir to a concrete or plastic spring box. He then backfills the spring source with hardcore until water is flowing from the discharge pipe. The area around the spring is then landscaped, fenced, and drainage is dug.

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The community helped by gathering sand, bricks, hardcore, and fencing poles. They also cooked for and housed our work team during their stay.

The one challenge to project implementation was tardiness. The community had agreed to help our artisans by fetching the above construction materials, but this was not done before the agreed date. Our artisan thus had to wait an extra three days until the community could deliver everything to the site. This also affected training, with so many participants arriving late that our facilitator had to add a few hours at the end to cover all of the topics.

The water user committee has already scheduled monthly meetings, and the community health workers plan are already maintaining hand-washing stations nearby the spring and at the center of the village.The community has met at Richard Spring to offer prayers of hope and thanksgiving. They shared their desires that this spring protection will make fetching water faster and drinking water safer!

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10/26/2016: Richard Spring Protection Project Underway

We are excited to share that work around Richard 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 click on the tabs above to find our report containing community information, pictures, and GPS coordinates.

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

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Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Protected Spring
Location:  Kakamega, Luanda
ProjectID: 4584
Install Date:  12/22/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 01/16/2018

Visit History:
02/17/2017 — Needs Repair
05/10/2017 — Functional
08/17/2017 — Functional
01/16/2018 — Functional

A Year Later: Richard Spring

November, 2017

“I am happy to say that Richard Spring has not been the same since the project intervention last year. The protected spring has reduced the sickness and now the community has clean and safe water.”

A year ago, generous donors helped the community around Richard Spring in Western Kenya build a spring protection and sanitation platforms. Because of these gifts and contributions from 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, Rose Sereti and Mary Afandi, with you.

The community around Richard Spring has experienced incredible transformation since the local spring was protected to ensure clean water for the community.  Lilian Achieng, a woman in the community who benefits from the water at Richard spring testifies to the improved health that she has seen.  She proclaims, “I am happy to say that Richard Spring has not been the same since the project intervention last year. The protected spring has reduced the sickness and now the community has clean and safe water.”  Yet, the improved health can only happen with improved hygiene and sanitation practices, and the community around Richard Spring has made some incredible improvements in this area.

Rose and Mary report, “The community members living around Richard Spring are now very healthy and happy. The surrounding environment is clean. Initially there were complains of diseases outbreak like malaria, typhoid, diarrhoea and stomachache. Nowadays they are happy because the money used for medical is being used for taking care of the family.” When the cases of sickness are reduced because of clean water and improved hygiene and sanitation practices, the people are freed to use both time and resources toward other personal and family goals.

Barrack Okova, age 9, is enthusiastic about the impact that it has had on him and other children in the community.  He shares, “I am happy because we have a lot of water for drinking, cooking and washing. In addition, we don’t take a lot of time to draw water because there are two pipes which discharge water.” Yet, Barack and other community members have noticed impact beyond just access to clean water- they see that the community is healthier because open defecation is no longer a problem since people have access to pit latrines.

One protected spring unlocks the potential for many families!  We are excited to stay in touch with this community and to report the impact for those drawing clean water from Richard Spring.

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.

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.