Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 425 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 01/12/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

As the sun rises, the people of Emwanya village are already up doing their daily chores. Many Emwanya residents do odd jobs to keep life moving on. Watchmen can be seen still in their uniforms heading to their homes, those who ride motorcycles are also up, some with children taking them to school while others carrying teachers to their schools. Some men can be seen with hoes headed to farms, some digging on their own farms but most of them hire themselves out to labor on other's farms.

Women remain home to do chores and work on their own kitchen garden full of vegetables. Some women are seen looking for firewood to start preparing breakfast, while others rush to collect water and come back balancing buckets of water on their heads. After morning chores, those who do small businesses in the village center are seen carrying heavy bags full of stock for their kiosks.


Hundred of people rely on Josam Kutsuru Spring for all of their water. It's brought back home for cooking, cleaning, drinking, and irrigating during the dry months. However, Josam Kutsuru Spring is an pool of water completely open to contamination. Its water is always murky, and the quality is especially poor when rainwater washes tons of dirt, waste, and chemicals into the water.

After drinking this water, it's normal to have an upset stomach accompanied with diarrhea.


Less than a quarter of nearby households have a pit latrine. The few latrines we were able to visit are in very poor condition - made of wooden floors that are near impossible to clean. The families who don't have a pit latrine are using the bushes instead. Even the village center doesn't have a latrine.

There's nowhere to wash your hands, nor are there many helpful sanitation tools like dish racks or clotheslines to dry things safely off the ground.

"If only we could get someone to teach us about the importance of good hygiene and sanitation, we wouldn't be going through the problems we are currently facing. Our people are just too ignorant, that's why we suffer so much, if only we could find someone to talk about hygiene then make people practice good health," Mrs. Jane Amimo 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 Kutsuru 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 Emwanya, 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: Emwanya Community, Josam Kutsuru Spring

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

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

July, 2018: Emwanya Community Has Clean Water!

Emwanya Community now has clean water! Josam Kutsuru 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

The participants were mobilized by Mr. Justus Kwendo, chairperson of the water user committee, who requested them to create time out of their busy schedules to learn how to manage the spring and also get insight on health matters. The participants for the training were drawn from the area in which the spring is located.

Attendance was comprised of people from every age bracket, which is what the trainer had requested. Both genders were equal in number, too. Children didn't have school on the day of that training, so most of them attended the workshop.

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.

Solar disinfection demonstration

Children were most active, as they kept on raising hands to ask questions concerning different aspects of health. The youth and adults in the meeting gave them maximum support and even participated in answering many of the questions posed by the young ones.

"We have been so careless on how to handle personal health and even our environment has always been dirty. One thing we have to know is that nobody will come to practice good health or maintain the facilities for us. The facilitators have helped us to get information, and we must practice it. Let me hope everyone will play their part to ensure our community gets better and better," Mrs. Rebecca Lwamba said.

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.

Men and women lent their strength to the artisan to help him with manual labor.

Community members bring materials at the construction site

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.

A fence has been constructed to shield animals and people from getting close to the water source and stepping on it, to avoid contamination and reduction in water discharge. Grass has been planted upstream to preserve that water.

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 water is very clean, and we shall also save time when we come to fetch because there are two discharge pipes," Ms. Dianah Kutsuru said.

"This means that two people will draw water at the same time, not like before protection where we used to wait for one person to get water, and also give it time to settle before another person fetches. That time will be saved and used for doing other productive activities."

Construction of Josam Kutsuru Spring has left the community members more united than they were before.

April, 2018: Emwanya Community Project Underway

Dirty water from Josam Kutsuru Spring is making people in Emwanya 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: Emwanya Community, Josam Kutsuru Spring

September, 2019

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Emwanya Community, Josam Kutsuru 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!

Protecting Josam Kutsuru Spring in Emwanya Community last year has brought about many changes in the community. Fetching water from this protected spring has helped to reduce incidences of waterborne diseases that were once so rampant here.

Children have been enabled to go to school without fear of contracting diseases from their water source at home. They carry the spring water to drink while at school and get the same clean water for use at home (though we are also looking into providing a water source on-site at the school so that the pupils do not have to carry it from home at all). The economic burden of treating diseases related to water and sanitation has also gone down.

This has definitely made their lives better, community members say.

The community was very quick to notice the stroke of good fortune brought by protecting Josam Kutsuru Spring. Most water vendors at nearby Ebuyalu market center come to fetch water from this protected spring since its water does not cause any diseases. It is a point of pride for Emwanya community members to know their water is of such a quality that the water vendors seek it out.

"Because of the available clean water and information on proper hygiene and sanitation, most parents are now helping their children to practice personal hygiene and be decent in schools," said Aineas Bukachi, a member of the water committee.

Aineas Bukachi at the spring

"This has reduced the spread of diseases among learners and villagers as well. In addition to that, women no longer slide and fall when they go to fetch water since [the] very nice staircases were constructed to ease the process of getting [water] at the drawing point."

When the occasional line or influx of people arrive at the spring, Aineas recognized the benefits of the high yielding Josam Kutsuru Spring.

"To their advantage, the spring has two discharge pipes and therefore they do not waste time in long queues when there are many users who want to fetch water [at] the same time," he said.

Aineas Bukachi and Christine Musungu

15-year-old community member Christine Musungu shared how the protection of Josam Kutsuru Spring has helped improve the safety of more than just the water at the spring.

"The spring itself is so attractive, which boosts their self-esteem as a village. We no longer find snakes at the spring surrounding [it], this is because after the protection of the spring the area around was cleared of every bush and so nobody gets scared when going to get water. Before the protection, one could just get shocked to find snakes coming to the spring and it used to be so scary."

Field Officer Erick Wagaka with Aineas and Christine at the spring

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 Emwanya Community, Josam Kutsuru 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 Emwanya Community, Josam Kutsuru 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.


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