Location: Kenya

Regional Program:
Western Kenya WaSH Program

315 Served

Project Phase:

Functionality 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

Elande Village is located in Murrumba sub-location, East Butsotso location, Lurambi Ward of Lurambi Constituency within Kakamega County.

There are 45 households living in Elande Village, totaling 315 people of which 158 are women and 157 are men. Some of the more prominent economic activities in this community include subsistence farming, cash crop farming of maize, and brick-making. Many farmers participate in a unique activity to earn a living: they rear cattle for bullfighting, which is done in the nearby Luhya Community.

Water Situation

Community members say that Elande Spring has been consistently flowing since 1989. Community members use the spring’s water for household chores, watering, and drinking.

Since the spring has been around for such a long time, people have come to trust it. They trust that the water is absolutely safe for direct drinking without any form of treatment such as boiling. They have failed to consider that the water quality of Elande Spring has changed over the years, due to factors such as climate change and population growth which usually affect the quality of water. However, there are people within the community who voiced their concerns, complaining of waterborne and water-related diseases such as diarrhea, typhoid, and cholera. They admit that they spend a great deal of their income treating these complications, especially for children and the elderly. Other sicknesses mentioned include coughs, malaria, and skin disease.

This spring is at the bottom of a slope and is open to contamination from many different sources. When it rains, animal feces are washed into the water. The more people that fetch water by dunking their containers in the spring, the dirtier the water gets. Water is carried back and forth in jerrycans from five to 20 liters, depending on what a woman or child can carry. Small gourds are dipped in the water to fill the larger jerrycans, and once home, it is stored in larger 100-liter plastic barrels.

Sanitation Situation

This community is a somewhat unique case because it already has some good sanitation and hygiene practices in place. There are helpful structures in the community such as: a segregated washing area that all community members use, clotheslines, and composting pits. The compost is used as fertilizer when they plant their crops.

Although this community might strike one as well organized, other important sanitation structures such as pit latrines, dish racks, and hand-washing stations are not available in most households. Under half of households have a pit latrine, and open defication was an evident issue. Most people know about hand-washing, but don’t take it seriously enough to make it a habit.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Community members will be trained for two 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.

Plans: Sanitation Platforms

The five families chosen by the community 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

Elande Spring has been around for more than 25 years, which proves to us that the spring will be a great, reliable source to protect. Will will take this reliable source and make it safe, too. Construction will include backfilling the spring up to a catchment area, a discharge pipe, stairs, and drainage, which will all ensure that the water is protected and constantly flowing. Community members have agreed to help gather local materials needed for construction such as sand, ballast, hardcore, bricks, fencing poles, and even some helpful hands!

“This is an answered prayer to us as a community, which will help us stop being affected with waterborne disease such as  typhoid, cholera and malaria due to stagnant water,” said local businessman Thomas Shikuku.

Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

01/11/2017: Elande Village Project Complete

We are excited to report that the project to protect Elande Spring in Elande 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. Thomas Shikuku who is a village elder. He organized the time and place for these sessions, announcing this decision to the rest of his community. Participation was good and attendance was great, with many more people coming than we expected.

9 kenya4588 training

Training 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. We also took a session 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, which 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.

13 kenya4588 training

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.

5 kenya4588 training

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. We will continue to encourage people to build walls and roofs around their platforms.

24 kenya4588 sanitation platform

Project Result: Spring Protection

Construction for this spring protection began on October 4th, 2016.

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.

16 kenya4588 construction

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.

The community helped by gathering sand, bricks, hardcore, and fencing poles. Men tirelessly carried bricks balanced on their heads, and women children lugged bags of sand. They also cooked for and housed our work team during their stay.

15 kenya4588 construction

The only delay was caused by a shortage of bricks. The community had not delivered enough to the construction site, so the artisan had to wait to finish his work.

Elande Spring is now protected from the contaminants to which it was earlier subjected. There was a celebration with singing and dancing both at the spring and Mr. Shikuku’s home. Our team joined the local leadership, committee members, and women and children to hand the spring protection back to the community. It was a joy to see those women and children fetch their first full container of clean, safe water.

The Water Project : 20-kenya4588-protected-spring

11/14/2016: Elande Village Project is Underway

We are excited to share that work around Elande 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. Check out the tabs above to read more about this project! 

The Water Project and the people of Elande Village Thank You for giving the hope of clean water and good health.

The Water Project : 2-kenya4588-fetching-water

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Protected Spring
Location:  Kenya, Kakamega, Elande
ProjectID: 4588
Install Date:  01/11/2017

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 02/10/2017

Visit History:
02/10/2017 — Functional


Northeast Elementary School
Saint Louis Abbey
Princeton Presbyterian Church
1 individual donor(s)

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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.