Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/04/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

A normal day in Wasenje starts with people getting up early in the morning to get lots of work done on their farms before the sun gets too high in the sky. Many people engage in farming cash crops like bananas, while the women also manage smaller kitchen gardens that produce vegetables for their own families' meals.


About 250 different households rely on Margaret Jumba Spring to meet all of their water needs. It's used for cooking, cleaning, and drinking. When it doesn't rain, farmers get their irrigation water from Margaret Jumba Spring. There are also four nearby schools that use the spring's water throughout the school day.

Wasenje's people were thrilled to see us visit their spring. They told us it's served them for years, but nobody was ever willing to help them protect it from contamination. Green algae is visible on the water's surface, and it's so murky you can't even see the bottom. Waterborne disease has been a part of life in Wasenje ever since its establishment. People, especially the children, suffer from typhoid.


Most households have a pit latrine, but after observing some of these, we've decided that we need to teach community members how to build safer latrines. A lot of these have dangerous floors that are built from logs. This wood is almost impossible to clean and rots away - putting the user at risk of falling through into the pit.

A handful of households have a hand-washing station nearby the latrine, but there's no soap. We toured Margaret Jumba's home, and she told us a bit about standards in the rest of her community.

"Though we have mosquito nets, some of us use them to fence vegetables... as if our mosquitoes no longer bite people, but vegetables," she said.

It's not uncommon to see that people already have the tools they need to prevent sickness, but they just don't use them right.

Here's what we're going to do about it:


Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least two days. This training will ensure participants have the knowledge they need 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 the handling, storage, and treatment of water. Having a clean water source will be extremely helpful, but it is useless if water gets contaminated by the time it’s consumed. Hand-washing will also be a big topic.

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. With the community’s high involvement in the process, there should be a good sense of responsibility and ownership for the new clean water source.

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 (formatted and edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates

September, 2019: Giving Update: Wasenje Community, Margaret Jumba Spring

A year ago, your generous donation helped Wasenje Community in Kenya access clean water.

There’s an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water at Margaret Jumba Spring in Wasenje Community. Month after month, their giving supports ongoing sustainability programs that help this community maintain access to safe, reliable water. Read more…

July, 2018: Wasenje Community Has Safe, Clean Water!

Wasenje Community now has clean water! Margaret Jumba 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 done on sanitation and hygiene. These things unlock the opportunity for people to live healthier lives.

New Knowledge

Mrs. Margaret Jumba, the landowner where the spring is located, was our contact person as we planned for hygiene and sanitation training in Wasenje. She has a very well-established relationship with both us and the rest of her community. She helped us inform everyone about this training opportunity and its importance.

Unfortunately, attendance was a bit lower than expected with only a few men coming. It was still a successful training, though! We trust that those who attended will be able to share what they learned with their family members who couldn't attend. The training was held at Margaret Jumba's homestead,  chosen because it was a convenient location for all participants of various ages. Learning was conducted under a shady tree which created a conducive environment for the participants and their trainers.

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.

The facilitator took the participants through the issues concerning hygiene which entailed; personal cleanliness and environmental hygiene. Proper hygiene practices like handwashing with soap to kill germs, proper disposal of waste into a compost pit, having a latrine to dispose of human waste, hanging clothes on a clothesline, having a dish rack and living in well-ventilated houses were discussed at length.

"The knowledge that we have acquired today will help us change the way we have been taking hygiene lightly without knowing the dangers associated with poor hygiene," Mrs. Elizabeth Ihaji said.

Handwashing training

"I have been able to learn proper handwashing with soap as well as having hygiene facilities. I will share the knowledge with other community members."

Sanitation Platforms

Laying cement for new sanitation platform

All five sanitation platforms have been 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. We are continuing to encourage families to finish building walls and roofs over their new latrine floors.

Two girls stand on their new sanitation platform next to the pit dug for their new latrine!

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.

Gathering stone for spring

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. 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 stones and sand 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.

"This spring looks so wonderful and very beautiful, I could not imagine that our spring will someday look like this. Protection of this water point will really enable us to consume pure clean and safe water free from contamination," Mr. Julius Shikunye said.

April, 2018: Wasenje Community Project Underway

Dirty water from Margaret Jumba Spring is making people in Wasenje Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more. Since actual construction is starting a little later than planned, we've moved the expected completion date back to 8/31.

Get to know your community through the narrative and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!

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!

Giving Update: Wasenje Community, Margaret Jumba Spring

September, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Wasenje Community in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Janet Kiara. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Wasenje Community, Margaret Jumba Spring.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Wasenje Community, Margaret Jumba Spring maintain access to safe, reliable water. Together, they keep The Water Promise.

We’re confident you'll love joining this world-changing group committed to sustainability!

Fast. That's how everyone we talked to at Margaret Jumba Spring in Wasenje described the one-year-old protected spring, whether it was the rate of the water flowing or the time it takes to fetch it.

For the adults, they have had an easier time fetching water over the last year as they no longer take a lot of time cleaning the water, waiting for sediment to settle before collecting it. Children spend very little time at the spring because of the ease of water collection. With a strong and consistent yield, Margaret Jumba Spring sees a 20-liter jerrycan filled in 51 seconds.

Having solved their clean water problem, this community is still grateful for the protected spring and have put into practice everything they were taught, from site management to personal hygiene and water sanitation. Wasenje has a very able leader in Miss Janet Kiara, a local farmer, who said she is the person responsible for the spring's cleanliness. She has done a really good job as the area was in a good state upon our visit.

"We get clean water fast. Initially, there were all sorts of dirt and children also played in the water. We are now less worried about spending too much time trying to clean and disinfect the water," Kiara said.

Faith fills up next to Margaret Jumba Muyale, the spring landowner

14-year-old Faith Lumanye Jumba knows the importance of a quick-flowing spring too, with a different perspective as to why it matters.

"I have been scolded less as I am able to collect the water fast. Before, our parents would send us to this spring and we would take a lot of time to get clean water [so] our parents thought we were playing with the water and it resulted [in] being scolded," she said.

"Right now the water is in plenty and we don't take a lot of time here."

Margaret Jumba Muyale looks on at the spring of her name

Navigating through intense dry spells, performing preventative maintenance, conducting quality repairs when needed and continuing to assist community leaders to manage water points are all normal parts of keeping projects sustainable. The Water Promise community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Wasenje Community, Margaret Jumba Spring maintain access to safe, reliable water.

We’d love for you to join this world-changing group committed to sustainability.

The most impactful way to continue your support of Wasenje Community, Margaret Jumba Spring – and hundreds of other places just like this – is by joining our community of monthly givers.

Your monthly giving will help provide clean water, every month... keeping The Water Promise.