Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 238 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/09/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Community Profile

Ulagai Village is full of hardworking individuals who wake up as early as 6am to start their daily chores. The children get ready for school as women work to make breakfast. The men head out to their farms as soon as possible to beat the rising sun. The women finish up household chores before either joining their husbands on the farm or taking the produce they've harvested to sell at the local market.


The entire village of about 238 people rely on Aduda Spring for all of their water. They dunk their containers under the surface to get water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and irrigating their crops during the dry months.

Aduda Spring is entirely open to contamination, especially with people dunking their hands and containers directly into the water. When it's particularly busy, some people even resort to getting their water as it drains away. We fear that contaminants like farm fertilizer, motorbike oil from the nearby repair shop, and animal feces are in this water.

The consequences are obvious, with people constantly suffering from waterborne diseases like typhoid and cholera.


Less than a quarter of households have a pit latrine. There's no doubt people are just going outside in the bushes, due to this low coverage. This waste isn't properly disposed of and endangers the community in numerous different ways. Many of the latrines we observed pose a danger for their users, with wooden floors that rot away.

There are no hand-washing stations nor are there helpful tools like dish racks or clotheslines. Garbage is piled up and attracts animals that spread it around the community.

"We suffer as a community because of ignorance. If we could find proper training on water, sanitation and hygiene we would be better placed. I urge you to please come and do this training to help my people," Mrs. Millicent Onyiengo said.

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

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

September, 2019: Giving Update: Ulagai Community, Aduda Spring

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

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

August, 2018: Clean Water in Ulagai Community

Ulagai Community now has clean water! Aduda 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.

New Knowledge

Village Elder Mahadho moved from house to house, requesting each family to send at least one representative to hygiene and sanitation training. He later followed up to ensure that there would be a thorough, gender-balanced representation.

Attendance was higher than we or the village elder expected. Some homes sent more than one person to training! The community had been told all about the training by students attending Lihanda Mixed Secondary School, so they were eager to get first-hand knowledge of what those students had told them about good health.

The peacefulness brought by the shady trees created the perfect environment for our workshop. Trainees sat on plastic chairs while others found a comfortable place on benches that were made of wooden slats found around Mr. Madara’s compound.

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.

Spring protection was near completion, so we could take training participants to the site to learn about care and maintenance.

Some participants had been told a lot of new information by CTC (child to child) health club members of Lihanda Mixed Secondary School. Students told them about the importance of replacing rusty iron roofs with new ones when they're being used to harvest rainwater. Based on this previous knowledge, the training participants also asked us whether it was safe to keep on using dish racks made of rusty iron sheets, as was common in their village. People had mixed reactions to this question - some people argued that rust could just be wiped away with a cloth, and then the utensils would be clean.

A very good example of a rusty dish rack was found at the very compound where the training was carried out. After observing and learning, everyone understood that it was very dangerous to put dishes on rusty iron sheets! In the end, the few people that had previously challenged the idea promised to build new dish racks that wouldn't rust.

"This training brought more enlightenment to us. Ulagai will never be the same again!" Michael Otieno admitted.

Indeed, the training has already born fruits. New sanitation facilities and health promotion were taken up immediately. Many homes now have dish racks made of wood, a good number of homes have bought clotheslines, and compounds are neatly swept and tidy.

Sanitation Platforms

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.

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.

The process of protecting Aduda Spring began with clearance and excavation of the site so that a foundation could be built to specified standards. Stones were packed together for the first layer, and the foundation slab was made paved so that walls could be built up. Delivery pipes, inlets, a draw-off pipe and overflow inlet screen were fitted. A pipe was installed in the collection box to direct water from the reservoir to a concrete and plastic spring box.

Stairs were built for easy access. The cement was plastered with a final waterproof mixture and ceramic tiles were fixed below the discharge pipe to make sure the cement doesn't wear away. The area behind the discharge pipe was then backfilled with stones and sand. Finally, more community members helped us dig proper drainage so that no water will pool and attract mosquitos.

As soon as the artisan finished backfilling, community members could not wait any longer to wash their hands and legs with the flowing water. This was followed by fetching it in jerricans to use for washing clothes and other afternoon cleaning purposes.

The community has been encouraged to plant vegetables to sell to nearby schools like Sinaga Girls' High School and Lihanda Mixed Secondary School. They always need to buy kales for students to eat. Proceeds from the sales will be used for spring maintenance. In the meantime, every household has been requested to give 20 shillings ($0.20) monthly to be saved just in case it's needed.

"This new spring is easily accessible and the water we drink is now very safe. I strongly believe diseases will be minimized so that we get ample time to work on our farms," Village Elder Mahadho said.

April, 2018: Ulagai Community Project Underway

Dirty water from Aduda Spring is making people in Ulagai 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: Ulagai Community, Aduda Spring

September, 2019

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Ulagai Community, Aduda 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!

Ulagai Village has embraced the protection of Aduda Spring wholeheartedly since its installation last year. The water is of great help to the community, and people no longer suffer new cases of waterborne diseases. Traders here reported their profits increased as they can now sell their goods for longer hours at Ulagai market.

This is because parents can now send their children very comfortably to get water from the spring without the fear that they might fetch dirty water or get home late. The spring point is safe, secure and neat. Thus, parents have taken advantage of the safe and easily accessible water to send their children instead of themselves and use the saved time to make extra cash in their small businesses.

The project has thus improved their lives socially and economically, and this explains why their living standards have improved. Chair of the water committee John Madara shared how the protection of Aduda Spring has changed his community over the last year.

"The process of fetching water from Aduda spring is very organized, and the current discharge is good. Diarrheal diseases have reduced, meaning that the community is now able to raise a new crop: [a new] generation that is less affected by those diseases," he said.

"This means that the village is becoming healthy, productive, and disease-free."

William Okello (left) and John Madara (right)

John explained that while the community has faced challenges maintaining their dried-pole fence around the spring box to protect it from animals and humans alike, the water committee has been resilient and recently agreed to plant a live thorny fence to solve the challenge and safeguard the spring box. In addition to that, they plan to train the new spring users on how to safeguard the spring just the way they were also taught last year by our training officers, since new people come to the spring with the dry season and when they move to the area.

17-year-old William Okello shared how this project has affected not just his life in the village, but his experience in school as well.

"The training helped [us] to appreciate the value of handwashing at critical times. I am now a hygiene and sanitation champion in my school at Ulagai," he said.

"The project has helped many families to enjoy safe, sound and reliable sanitation facilities, [my] family is one of those that got [sanitation platforms] that were cast and installed during [the] implementation period. Those homes that did not have latrines have also tried and constructed them and this has helped in doing away with open defecation from the village."

Field Officer Erick Wagaka with William and John

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 Ulagai Community, Aduda 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 Ulagai Community, Aduda 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.


Jefferson County School District
Bio Ouster