Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 70 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/09/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

A normal day in Ejinja begins very early in the morning around 6am. Many of the men get straight to doing casual work like making bricks or motorbike taxiing. During the rainy season, they'll sometimes be delayed as they escort their children to school, for the way is dark and overgrown.

The women wake up to prepare their children for school, fetch water from the spring, and do general cleaning of the compound before gardening. Laziness isn't glimpsed in this community; everyone is busy doing something.

We started working with Ejinja Community through one of our school projects. We were talking with students about where they get their water when they're home, and one of them led us here.


Community members living in Ejinja rely on Anekha Spring to provide all of their water. The water bubbles to the surface, so they've placed a metal pipe there to make it easier to fill a container. Since the water behind the pipe isn't protected, it is polluted by the rain washing over contaminants like fertilizer, feces, and other types of waste.

"For a long time, we have had water problems. During the rainy season, we cannot get water, for it is usually too muddy and with a lot of sand which is not suitable for consumption," Mrs. Timinah Andega said.

"Due to this problem, most of our children have had problems with diarrhea, making it difficult for them to go to school. The elderly also cannot do development work like farming, for after getting the water without being treated many complain of stomachaches. Our health situation is very bad."

Waterborne diseases are all common here.


While the majority of households have pit latrines, there's still a handful who don't. Those without their own most often share one with their neighbor. Most of these are made of mud.

There are no handwashing stations, but a great number of families are using other tools like clotheslines and dish racks.

What we can do about it:


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

July, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Ejinja Community, Anehka 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 Ejinja, Kenya.

We trained more than 25 people 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: Ejinja Community, Anekha Spring

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

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

August, 2018: Ejinja Community Project Complete

Ejinja Community now has clean water! Anekha 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

Hygiene and sanitation training was organized right after our first visit to the community. Community members prepared free time so that they could attend, and we were happy to find 12 people already waiting for us at Anekha Spring. Half of the participants were men, which is abnormal for these kinds of communities where traditional gender roles are observed. It was chilly in the morning until the sun got high enough in the sky to warm us as we sat on the gradual slope by the spring.

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.

Participants were surprised by the section on food handling and preparation. They had never heard of food poisoning (and that it doesn't mean someone actually poisoned your food). Now, they know that improper handling and storage of food is conducive to contamination. They also know what symptoms to look out for.

They also learned a lot during our discussions about environmental health. Participants were taught that the commonly planted eucalyptus trees drain the water table. If they're near a spring or well, those sources might lose water after a few years. On the contrary, indigenous trees help conserve the environment.

48-year-old farmer Bernand Anekha said, "I am very grateful for the training, for my life will really change. I am so enlightened for I had a bad attitude about nature and the available resources we have. From this training, my economic status will really move to another level for I see a bright future. Coming the next six months I will be putting into practice what I have learned and I will be a happy citizen and so will enlighten others too."

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. The only issue was that there were a few other water projects happening in their large community, making it harder to gather the sand and stones needed for all of them. 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. 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.

We met community members at the finished spring on a Sunday evening. The community members, led by Florence Ayuma, sang songs of thanksgiving, happiness, and appreciation. Prayers followed, and then the chairperson of the spring committee thanked everyone for coming. Community members who felt led spoke a few words, and the field officer was given a chance to summarize some of the things they had learned as a community. She also thanked them for their great cooperation and dedication that resulted in a successful water project!

"We had been suffering for many years drinking dirty water, especially during the rainy season. Our spring had never been protected and this brought us issues with stomach problems, especially to our children. Right now I am very glad that we have clean safe and sufficient drinking water. No more suffering, but instead more joy and life are added to us," Mrs. Jemmimah Chimoli said.

"We are grateful and God bless all!"

May, 2018: Ejinja Community Project Underway

Dirty water from Anekha Spring is making people in Ejinja Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

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: Ejinja Community, Anekha Spring

September, 2019

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Ejinja Community, Anekha 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!

The lives of the people in Ejinja who use Anekha Spring have changed greatly in different ways since the spring's protection last year. When you look at hygiene, sanitation, and the way of life for these members, you will notice improvements in all of these categories. Just as the saying goes, seeing is believing, and we saw so much joy and gratitude expressed in the words and on the faces of those we spoke with.

Initially, Ejinja community members had an unprotected water point which was so bushy and impossible to maintenance that some people resorted fetching water from a hand-dug well runs dry. Some homes did not have sanitation facilities either. But, since last year, lives have been transformed as a result of the protected spring and training on various sanitation and hygiene topics.

The community members here are very happy and enjoying clean, safe water. The reception and the responses given during the interview attest to it. The group that uses Anekha Spring is well-organized and eloquent in articulating the empowerment they have gained in the last year alone. They are ready to correct any areas for improvement and are very cooperative in maintaining their spring.

Anekha Spring, green with grass

"First, [I] am very grateful and I would like to sincerely register my deep appreciation to all the donors and everyone who in one way or another participated in ensuring that we have clean and safe water at all times and seasons," said Jemmimah Chimoli, Treasurer of the water committee.

"The biggest changes that have occurred are reduced frequent hospital visits, which we used to have because most of our children had stomach issues. While at the hospital, we were told it was poor hygiene and dirty water which was mainly the [cause]."

"After the spring has been protected, our children are attending school full-time, we have peace in our community for no struggles over water, we have oneness. Since the training happened, we maintained a relationship with one another and the group is active. People have time to work on their farms very early since they were taught on economic empowerment which will help our income."

Jemmimah Anekha, spring landowner

Terry M'mbone, a 13-year-old who lives in Ejinja with her family, depends on Anekha Spring to meet her daily water needs. Terry shared how the protected spring has changed more than just her access to clean water.

"Personally, life has changed academically because I have enough time to study while at home. From school, I normally help my grandmother fetch water from the spring and cook. All these have been made easy because the spring is discharging a lot of water [so] I take few seconds to fill my jerrican thus [I] go home fast and go do my studies."

"Having enough clean water has also helped me clean my uniforms at least thrice a week and this made me be chosen [as] the cleanest girl [in] school. I was awarded and this made me proud."

"Initially, we used to get water from a well which was hard and could bring us flu. This made me get sickly because of this, but I say [I] am safe now for [at] this spring since protection I have never had [an] issue . I therefore thank all the people who helped us get this safe clean water."

Happy kids (right to left) Joy, Maurine, Mike, and Bella at Anekha 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 Ejinja Community, Anekha 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 Ejinja Community, Anekha 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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