Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Program: Kenyan Spring Protection

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2015

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/08/2024

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).

Background Information

This unprotected spring is located in Khumikoche Village, Ebutsimi sub-location, Emasaba location, Mwibona Ward, Luanda sub-county in Vihiga County. The spring serves 700 people from over 60 different households. 205 people are male and 495 are female.
(Editor's Note: While this many people may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only support a population of 350-500 people.  This community would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)


Since there is no protected catchment area at the spring, people must step into the water while fetching. Families wash their clothes and water their animals at the spring. Furthermore, the spring is located at the bottom of an incline. This makes the spring virtually inaccessible for children during rainy weather, forcing them to resort to nearer, even more contaminated sources. The rain also washes improperly disposed waste down the hill into the spring.

As a result of unprotected water, community members have reported cases of waterborne-related illnesses such as typhoid, diarrhea, and dysentery. Children are especially susceptible to these problems. "When there is an outbreak our children are the worst hit, in fact one of us lost a child due to dehydration caused by diarrhea. Kindly assist us," asks one of the community members.

Sanitation is also an issue because many households do not have latrines. These families must instead use the privacy of bushes, backs of buildings, or fields of banana plantations. Any latrines households have are old and in disrepair, causing many children and elderly to avoid them for fear of falling through the slats. This uncovered waste has attracted many flies that easily carry germs from one source to another.

Hygiene practices are also lacking. Many people do not wash hands after using the bathroom or before cooking a meal. WEWASAFO noted that many household compounds were dirty and in need of dish racks and clotheslines; thus concluding that hygiene training will be key for this village.

Water and Sanitation Management Committee Training

The Water and Sanitation Management Committee (WSMC) training was held from September 29th to 30th at Mr. Angango's homestead. This homestead was a good training location because of its centrality and proximity to the spring.

The training reached a total of 25 participants. This training's purpose was to equip the committee with skills necessary for managing and maintaining Angango spring.

The facilitator highlighted that it is important that they all contribute towards and own the project. They were informed of necessary project materials such as sand, ballast, fencing poles, and bricks.

The committee's responsibilities include choosing five families to benefit from new sanitation platforms (safe, easy-to-clean concrete floors for latrines), keeping records of the spring project and spring use, repairing any spring damage, monitoring and evaluating the spring's safety, registering and recruiting for the committee, and drafting rules for spring users.

The committee and other community members were taken to the spring so 'Dos' and 'Don'ts' could be demonstrated. A goat was brought to demonstrate how it contaminates the water, and tools were carried over to demonstrate how to properly dig spring drainage (see the picture below). Participants also got a chance to observe how curious children can damage the spring when not well supervised. These dos and don'ts included education about how to properly fetch, transport, and store water.

The committee agreed on the following spring management list:

- Fence in the spring to keep animals away

- Prohibit playing near the spring

- Monitor for and penalize anyone who defecates near the spring

- Prohibit washing and bathing in the spring

- No farming in the area

- Plant grass and indigenous plants to preserve the water

- Dig cut-off drains and other drainage channels

Mr. Angango passes on his regards to the donor for implementing this project at Emikoche Village. "We also request WEWASAFO to consider Emikoche community for other development agendas," he concluded.

Community Health Workers Training

The community health workers (CHW) training was held from October 1st to 2nd at Mr. Angango's homestead.

CHW training attracted 24 participants of which 14 were women and 10 were men. This included the area's omwami (sub-chief) and a Community Health Extension worker from the government.

The training objective was to equip CHWs with the skills required for proper water-handling, good hygiene practices, and waterborne disease prevention. The omwami expressed his enthusiasm by saying he is "so elated that at last this rare chance has reached us. Let us grab, guard and embrace this blessing. Nobody will be tolerated to put to waste all these blessings."

The facilitator applied many techniques to encourage participants' full participation, such as Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD), Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), demonstrations, question and answer sessions, Focused Group Discussion (FGD) and brainstorming.

The group was in general consensus about what entails personal hygiene, food hygiene, and environmental hygiene. Personal hygiene includes brushing teeth, washing clothes, cleaning out ears, washing hands with soap, cutting nails, and bathing at least once a day. Food hygiene includes washing food before cooking, cooking food thoroughly, keeping kitchens clean, storing food properly, and serving food while still hot. Environmental hygiene includes having proper latrines, managing the spring, and cleaning household compounds.

Most people agreed on the proper time to wash hands. It is important to wash before cleaning and after using the bathroom, but the facilitator noticed women rarely mentioned washing hands after changing a child's diaper. Participants not only learned when hand-washing is critical, but joined in demonstrations and practice about how to do this properly (check out the pictures!).

Being present in the environment was very effective; participants had the opportunity to explore their community on a "transect walk." They observed and noted the following:

- Clotheslines and dish racks

- Latrines' locations and conditions

- Hand-washing facilities near latrines

- Compost pits

- Separation of human and animal housing

- General cleanliness of compounds and their kitchens

- Drainage channels and their effectiveness

- Indigenous plants

- Rainwater catchment and its storage

- Use of insecticide-treated nets (ITN)

The group was brought to a latrine where they learned about disease transmission routes. The facilitator used the CLTS approach to teach how feces, water, soil, flies, fingers, food, and mouth are often connected when barriers are not established. This is why a proper latrine, hand-washing facilities, and water quality are all very important.

Four CHW promoters were chosen, who are now responsible for spreading what was learned to the rest of the community. The workshop was considered a success. "Thanks so much for the great facilitation. Please pass our regard to the WEWASAFO team and to the donor for the great favor and partnership between them and us, the Emikoche family," said the group chairperson, Susan Ang'ana, on behalf of all participants.

Project Results:

Spring Protection

Protection of Angango Spring is complete and now in use by community members. After the project, contamination at the water point was completely eliminated. The community members now draw water from a spout as opposed to stepping into the same water from which they fetch. The hygiene situation has also improved since community members were made aware that bathing and washing clothes in the spring lead to its contamination.

The community members are very happy with the project results, and they cannot hide their joy. Women and children celebrated with song and dance. They are confident that they are getting safe, clean water to drink. Thus, cases of waterborne illnesses like typhoid, cholera, and dysentery will be things of the past since the contamination chain has been broken.

Thank You for bringing joy and happiness to the faces of children and women in this community.

Household Sanitation Platforms

New household sanitation platforms (cement slabs for latrine construction) have been installed and are now in use by approximately 41 community members. Waste that is improperly disposed of will no longer be an issue, especially in critical areas near the water source. Those households were sensitized to the importance of using latrines and compost pits. There is now safe disposal of waste as community members make good use of latrines. They also admit that the cement floors are safer and easier to clean.

Hygiene practices have already improved since training, for many people now make sure to wash their hands after using the latrines.

Thank You for making clean water a reality in the community of Angango Spring!

Project Updates

June, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Angango 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.

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 Khumikoche, Kenya.

We trained community members 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!