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The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Spring Protection Construction
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Spring Protection Construction
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Spring Protection Construction
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Sanitation Platform Construction
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Sanitation Platform Construction
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Samwel Saina
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Training
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Training
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Training
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Training
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Training
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Training
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Training
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Bramwell Amugwiri Working On His Farm
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Poor Waste Disposal
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Clothes Drying
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Mosquito Nets Used Around Garden
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Bathing Shelter Made Of Banana Leaves And Mosquito Net
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  If
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Water Containers And Outdoor Kitchen
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Warosi Spring
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Mrs Alugwiri Herding Her Cows
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Maize And Bananas
The Water Project: Lwenya Community -  Household

Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 350 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2018

Functionality Status:  Water Flowing - Needs Attention

Last Checkup: 04/23/2019

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Community Profile

Lwenya is located in Vihiga County, Kenya and is home to about 350 people.

In the morning hours, you’ll see women rushing around to do chores like milking cows, selling milk, fetching water, cleaning, and digging in their kitchen gardens. They’ll heat up rice or maize if there’s any left so that children can have a quick breakfast before they walk to school. After children are on their way, adults earn money by either working on their farms or running small businesses (like repair shops). Brewing alcohol is also a popular endeavor. Women normally return home a little before lunch to prepare food for their husbands and children, who return for an hour from their jobs and school.


Everyone relies on water fetched from Warosi Spring, which is an open and unprotected source of water. It is contaminated from all forms of pollutants; people slide into the water as they fetch it, dirt is washed in when it rains, and animals drink from this same water. People even admit that the water is dirty, but they have no other option for their drinking, cooking, and cleaning needs. They say that after consuming this dirty water, they experience serious diarrhea.


Less than half of households have a pit latrine. These are simple latrines made of logs, iron sheet roofs, and plastic bags for doors. Since most floors are made of wood, they’re susceptible to rotting away and endangering the user. This low latrine coverage is indicative of an expansive open defecation issue; so many families are opting for the privacy of bushes to relieve themselves.

This same low number of families have helpful tools like dish racks and clotheslines to keep their belongings off the ground. Even if they’re cleaning these items, they’re contaminated from being left out to dry on bushes or the ground.

It’s obvious that mosquito nets have been distributed around Lwenya, but community members are not using them properly. Instead of hanging them over their beds, they’re using them as fencing outside. We also observed that some families are throwing their litter all around their household compounds.

Agatha Vike is a mother who relies on selling the milk she gets from her cows. She told us, “Poor health has caused us many health challenges, and therefore we welcome you in this village and request for your help as we are all aware that anybody that comes here with the aim of doing any project is someone that is concerned about us. By protecting our spring and bringing us health education, you will have solved so many problems of this area.”

What we can do:


Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least two 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. One of the most important topics we plan to cover is open defecation and its dangers, as well as having and using a pit latrine.

Training will also result in the formation of a committee that will oversee operations and maintenance at the spring. They will enforce proper behavior around the spring and delegate tasks that will help preserve the site, such as building a fence and digging proper drainage. The fence will keep out destructive animals, and the drainage will keep the area’s mosquito population at a minimum.

Sanitation Platforms

On the final day of training, participants will select five families that should benefit from new latrine floors.

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

Spring Protection

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.

Fetching water is predominantly a female role, done by both women and young girls. Protecting the spring and offering training and support will, therefore, help empower the female members of the community by giving them more time and efforts to engage and invest in income-generating activities.

This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water And Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO). Our team is pleased to provide the reports for this project (edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates

05/23/2018: Lwenya Community Project Complete

Lwenya Community now has clean water! Warosi Spring has been transformed into a flowing source of clean water thanks to your donation. The spring is protected from contamination, five sanitation platforms have been provided for the community, and training has been given in sanitation and hygiene.

New Knowledge

Mr. Bramwel, who was our contact person, worked with the local leaders and the and family living by the spring to invite the entire community to hygiene and sanitation training. They worked to have at least one representative for each household, but all were asked to come. We ended up having a total of 16 community members meet us at the spring for onsite training sessions.

Though people came to attend our training, not all the expected attendees were there. The training coincided with the planting season in Western Kenya, and many people were not willing to sacrifice their time for the longterm gain. Those who came to training had found or hired someone else to work on their farms.

Participants were excited about the completed spring, wanting to know what their role would be in managing their new clean water source. They actively discussed ways of ensuring that the water project serves its purpose.

Learning about how important it is to protect the spring box and how to do so effectively.

70-year-old Samuel Saina is now the chairman of the water committee.

“The concept of helping the community formulate rules and regulations on the spring’s use and management is a crucial element that will help foster harmony among the users while at the same time helping us enjoy the fruits of this new spring for a long time,” he shared.

“Initially, no one was giving any keen interest in protecting this water source from getting polluted, but now we must do so with joined hands and a common goal.”

Mr. Samuel Saina

We covered several topics including 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, personal care like handwashing, environmental hygiene, hygiene promotion, and many other things.

We handed out new notebooks so that people could write down or draw what they were learning. 

Sanitation Platforms

All five sanitation platforms were installed. These five families are happy about this milestone of having a private latrine of their own and are optimistic that people will no longer leave waste outdoors. Those who had dilapidated old latrines rushed to demolish the rotten floors, while others had to start afresh by digging a new pit. We are continuing to encourage families to finish building walls and roofs over their new latrine floors.

Men working together to cast one of the sanitation platforms.

Spring Protection

Community members provided all locally available construction materials, e.g bricks, wheelbarrows of clean sand, wheelbarrows of ballast, fencing poles and gravel. Accommodations and meals were provided for the artisan, too.

Men and women lent their strength to the artisan to help him with manual labor. The spring area was excavated to create space for setting the foundation of polyethylene, wire mesh and concrete. This proved to be the most difficult part of the process since the ground around Lwenya is extremely rocky. Much effort was spent trying to break the rocks to make room for the spring’s foundation.

After the base had been set, both wing walls and the headwall were set in place using brickwork. The discharge pipe was fixed low in place through the headwall to direct the water from the reservoir to the drawing area.

As the wing walls and headwall were curing, the stairs were set and ceramic tiles were fixed directly below the discharge pipe. This protects the concrete from the erosive force of the falling water and beautifies the spring. The process of plastering the headwall and wing walls on both sides reinforces the brickwork and prevents water from the reservoir from seeping through the walls and allows pressure to build in the collection box to push water up through the discharge pipe.

The source area was filled up with clean hardcore and covered with a polyethylene membrane to eliminate any potential sources of contamination. It took about two weeks of patience for the concrete to dry.

Mr. Bramwel and his neighbors

Mr. Bramwel and many other community members were there waiting for the okay to fetch their first containers of clean water. We were there to share in that momentous celebration, capturing the smiles seen all around.

“This water point was initially exposed to contamination from all forms of pollutants because it was used by a variety of people, including children,” Mr. Bramwel said on behalf of the community.

“Not to mention the fact that it was an open source. Some people slid into the water as they looked for where to step on while drawing water using their jugs. But now we are very confident that even if we send children to fetch this water, it is indeed clean and safe.”

“It has become our source of water and of joy and prestige as well!”

The Water Project : 17-kenya18096-clean-water

01/25/2018: Lwenya Community Project Underway

Lwenya Community will soon have a clean, safe source of water thanks to your donation. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from Warosi 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 maps.

The Water Project : 4-kenya18096-warosi-spring

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 leads to a concrete spring box and collection area. Safe water typically flows year-round and there is very limited ongoing maintenance needed!