Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 196 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/05/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Jairus Odera has an unprotected spring on his property that he and the community use to meet their water needs. However, it is an open water source that is exposed to contaminants making it unsafe for drinking.

He heard about TWP and WEWASAFO's partnership and came to the office for more information about us. He learned that we work with community members like him to protect springs and he proceeded to apply for the protection of the spring on his property.

The spring serves 28 households in the community. The water is used for drinking, washing, and cooking. This unprotected spring is the only source around the area that the community is fetching water from.

People have to step in the same water when fetching. Cows also stand in the water when the drink from it, contaminating it further.

Community members say that the money spent treating waterborne diseases, such as typhoid and diarrhea, is a significant cost. They lose a lot of money which would be otherwise used to do things that will improve their living standards.

Sanitation in this community is in need of improvement. Many people do not have latrines and the few who have the latrines are in poor condition. Few people have dish racks, clotheslines, and bathrooms.

The protection of the spring and associated training will help raise sanitation standards, said community members. It will be a big boost for people who largely live as subsistence farmers, growing maize, beans, sugarcane and other vegetables.

A normal day in Nambatsa Village begins at 6:30am. The children and women are seen carrying jerrycans going to fetch water from their unprotected spring for use before they go to school. When enough water is collected, the women go and make breakfast for their children. They go back out to fetch water after breakfast.

Some women go to the market to sell their crops during the day while the men work on other tasks in the village or at home.

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


Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training to give them a chance to learn 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.

Handwashing will also be a big topic. And since open defecation was encountered here, this is at the top of our list of things to address. Waste always needs to be disposed of properly, or else it will be spread by flies or rainwater.

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.

Training will inform the committee and the rest of the community about 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. All community members must work together to make sure that accommodations and food are always provided for the work teams.

Sanitation Platforms

On the final day of training, participants will select five families that should benefit from new latrine floors. The five families must prepare by sinking a pit for the sanitation platforms to be placed over.

Spring Protection

Our artisans will protect the spring and 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 female community members 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

September, 2019: Giving Update: Nambatsa Community, Odera Spring

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

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

August, 2018: Nambatsa Community Project Complete

Nambatsa Community now has clean water! Odera 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

We started planning for a hygiene and sanitation training a few days before spring protection completion. We worked closely with our contact person, Mr. Jairus Odera who went house to house inviting people to attend. Attendance was good, but there were very few men. Most of the men were out in search of labor jobs. The women were there since it was planting season and they felt comfortable waiting until the afternoon to work on their farms.

It was a sunny morning, although the weather was threatening to change at any time. The training went well, and it did not rain until we finished. We met at the house of the water user committee chairperson, under a tree, where there was enough shade for everyone.

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.

During training, the father to the water committee chairperson was there, who opposed the election of his son Jairus. He claimed his son could not be a leader because he is the youngest son. We were able to explain that leadership's main qualifications are not birth position or traditional beliefs. We strongly supported the election of Mr. Jairus since he was available throughout the entire process, always available when called.

The group walked over to the spring for sessions on management and maintenance.

Mrs. Beatrice Indakwa said, "There are certain activities I was involving myself in that I had never considered unhygienic, but now my eyes have been opened to such activities that caused poor health for me and my family. These included water and food handling, handwashing and the important sanitation structures I need to ensure that not only my household is safe from disease, but also the entire village. I am now more knowledgeable than I ever was before."

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. Men and women lent their strength to the artisan to help him with manual labor. Accommodations and meals were provided for the artisan, too.

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 plastic to eliminate any potential sources of contamination. It took about two weeks of patience for the concrete to dry.

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.

"This to us marks the beginning of a better and healthier life. We know that water is life and we are so happy because now we have this life in abundance within reach. We will no longer experience diarrhea due to consumption of contaminated water, and thus will not spend a lot of money on water-related diseases," Mr. Odera said.

"We are safer and happier."

The spring protection has brought so much joy to Mr. Odera. He was able to share his story of how he's worked tirelessly over the years to ensure his homestead had plenty of clean water by looking for ways to protect the spring. Unfortunately, none of his efforts were effective because his family still got water-related diseases. He was so happy and optimistic that in the remaining years he has to live, he and his community would be drinking clean water from now on.

May, 2018: Nambatsa Community Project Underway

Dirty water from Odera Spring is making people in Nambatsa 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: Nambatsa Community, Odera Spring

September, 2019

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Nambatsa Community 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!

There have been many changes in Nambatsa over the last year since Odera Spring was protected. Community members have been able to unite and work together on different family occasions, unlike they ever have before. There used to be so much division across the community and even within families, but the spring has brought them together.

Sanitation and hygiene have also improved. This is visible as one can see dishracks and compost pits that did not exist during our first visit to this community. Community members have embraced the knowledge they acquired during the sanitation and hygiene training that was held during the implementation period.

One can clearly see that this community desired to have a protected water source by looking at how they have maintained their spring. The fence is intact and some flowers have even been planted around the fence.

Mr. Jairus Odera, the spring's landowner, told us that he intends to paint the pitched stones and also inscribe the name of their spring into them to make it more visible and beautiful.

The spring is indeed treasured.

"Apart from us having clean water, protection of this spring has made it possible for us to fetch water even at night. Previously one could not fetch water at night because of a lot of caution that was needed when drawing water using a bowl," explained Jairus.

Jairus Odera

"Right now, as long as you have means of lighting, like a flashlight, you can just go walk down the spring and fetch water since it's just a matter of placing the jerrican at the discharge pipe. The algae on [the] water before the spring was protected used to cause us diseases, the most common being cough and stomach problems. This has subsequently reduced since the water was protected."

Jairus continued to explain that his own family had been quite divided in the past, but the protected spring has changed things for the better. It has been a journey of unity for this family, and he said it is easier to work together now.

Maria Alwang'a

17-year-old Maria Alwang'a is also a community member in Nambatsa who, like Jairus, depends on the spring for her and her family's daily water needs.

"For the first time in my village, we have a chance to have clean water flowing through a pipe," Maria said.

"The protection of this spring has even prompted the organization that placed a chlorine dispenser at our spring back then to be refilling it often. Previously, it would stay empty for a very long period before they came to refill [it]. Fetching of water has also been made easy and less time-consuming."

Maria, Jairus, and Lillian

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 Nambatsa Community 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 Nambatsa Community – 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.