Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Program: Kenyan Spring Protection

Impact: 360 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2015

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 12/15/2022

Project Features

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Community Profile

This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water And Sanitation Forum. Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).

Background Information

This unprotected spring is located in Ebusachi Village, Ebuiralo Sub-Location, Luanda Township Location, Luanda Township Ward, Luanda Sub-County of Vihiga County. The spring serves a total population of 360 people from 45 different households. 160 of these people are men and 200 are women.


Since the spring is unprotected, the water is not safe for human consumption. It is contaminated by people stepping into the water as they fetch. Other people do laundry in the spring and farmers work in close proximity. These activities put water-drinkers at high risk for waterborne diseases such as typhoid, malaria, and cholera. The spring is also dirtied by high levels of runoff during rainy seasons.

The sanitation situation is also critical. Many households have latrines that are in poor condition, while others do not even have them. Because the latrines present are so old, children and the elderly avoid them for fear of falling through the floor. Instead, many people opt to open defecation. If this is not solved, this human waste will continue to mingle with other runoff and wash into the spring during rain. During WEWASAFO's survey of the area, they also noticed that animals are free to wander from contaminated areas to kitchens and other important areas. This community will greatly benefit from sanitation and hygiene training.

The community members are requesting that WEWASAFO protect their spring, and are prepared to make the necessary contributions to ensure the project will succeed.

Water and Sanitation Management Committee Training

This training was held from November 17-18 at Mr. David Andeso's homestead. It was attended by 15 community members of which eight were men and seven were women. The workshop's purpose was to empower the committee to take a lead role in managing and maintaining Benson Andeso Spring. This includes responsibilities both before and after construction.

The facilitator listed the local materials expected of the community: hardcore, ballast, bricks, clean sand, and fencing poles. They community is also expected to host work teams throughout the construction process. The committee elected five households that will benefit from new sanitation platforms (easy-to-clean concrete latrine floors) who will also have to provide extra clean sand and wall materials. These five families are also responsible for digging their own latrine pits. These sanitation platforms are meant to address cases of open defecation in the community, which leads to water pollution. Those families that will not receive slabs are encouraged to use locally available resources to install a simple pit latrine in their own compounds. All of these contributions ensure that the community feels project ownership, thus making the project more sustainable once the organization and workers leave.

Training also informed participants that many seemingly harmless activities are what cause water pollution. Malaria, typhoid, cholera, bilharzias and dysentery all result from dirty water and have been common illnesses challenging the community. The facilitator listed the following causes:

- Improper waste disposal

- Fetching water with dirty containers

- Open defecation

- Bathing in the spring

- Farming near the spring

- Watering animals

- Children playing

The group agreed that all diseases and other water pollution problems are preventable either by installing sanitation facilities or practicing water and food safety standards. Preventative measures include:

- Proper storage of drinking water

- Always using latrines

- Draining stagnant water

- Boiling and treating drinking water

- Drying utensil on a dish rack

- Treating sickness as soon as it is recognized

The committee agreed to take responsibility for the following activities at the spring site:

- Plant grass around the catchment area

- Dig drainage to alleviate erosion

- Regularly pick up trash

- Limit farming near the water

- Build a fence to keep away playing children and wandering animals

- Plant indigenous plants around the spring

Community Health Worker Training

The community health worker (CHW) training took place from November 19-20 at Mr. Benson's homestead. This training is a continuation of the committee workshops outlined above. It was attended by 11 people of which five were male and six were female. The aim of this training was to further educate community members on good hygiene and sanitation practices.

Workshops highlighted four aspects of hygiene: water, food, self, and environment. The group also brainstormed important times to wash hands, such as before eating, after using the latrine, before cooking, and after changing a diaper.

The group also elected three representatives to take the title of CHW. These three CHWs agreed to always be on the lookout for bad practices that hold back and damage the community. They have a responsibility to oversee household and educate them on:

- Family planning

- Sanitation facilities (latrines, bathing rooms, clotheslines, dish racks, etc.)

- Nutrition and diet

- HIV/AIDS awareness and immunizations

- Water and food storage

The facilitator also walked participants through math that proved it is prudent to build a latrine rather than waste money treating the consequences of poor hygiene.

Project Results:

Spring Protection

The protection of Benson Andeso Spring is complete and is now in use by community members. The community continues to grow as more people hear about accessible clean water. These new people are mostly from nearby rental buildings and villages, persuaded by friends who benefit from the clean, high-yielding Benson Andeso Spring.

The locals have full confidence that their water is protected from surface runoff and human activities. Before the construction, people had to step into the water to fetch it but now are able to descend steps and collect from a spout. Furthermore, the water committee has written and started enforcing rules concerning behavior. These rules prohibit anything like washing, bathing, or watering animals at the spring. Community members have welcomed these rules so far, realizing they are important to sustain this project.

No reports of waterborne diseases have yet come in. Instead, reports are all about the good results of spring protection and how the spring is now accessible, safe, and clean. WEWASAFO also observed that most of the community has embraced messages about proper sanitation and hygiene practices. Many households have installed sanitation facilities such as clotheslines, dish racks, and compost pits.

Household Sanitation Platforms

All five of the sanitation platforms have been installed and are now in use by beneficiaries. The new pit latrines have brightened up the faces of these families that no longer fear the safety of loved ones when they use the facilities. The floors used to be old an unstable, but now children and the elderly can easily and confidently stand on a new concrete floor. The beneficiaries have also realized that these concrete slabs are much smoother and therefore easier to clean. The rest of the community desires to have these installed within their own compounds as well.

Thank You for unlocking potential in the Benson Andeso Community!

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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!