Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 320 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/09/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Ms. Violet Musera lives in Lwangele, and shared a little bit about what a normal day looks like.

''I wake up at 6am to prepare breakfast for my family, then I clean all the utensils and the family house," she said.

"At about 8:30am, I go to the market to open my small business which I run till 6pm.''

She and many other women sell the produce their husbands are able to harvest from their farms. Men who don't own their own farm must seek casual employment from others.

Mr. Boaz Machayo admitted that "This village lacks professions, and this is due to high levels of illiteracy. Our fathers never considered education seriously, which has slowed development in the area. Most of the villagers are casual laborers in the nearby Mbale Town."


Both Mrs. Musera, Mr. Machayo, and hundreds of others depend on Machayo Spring for their water. This water is used for everything, from drinking to cooking, to watering animals.

They know that the water at Machayo Spring is open to contamination, but the community members have no alternative.

Mr. Machayo is a pastor at a local church, and he uses that forum to remind his neighbors that they should always boil the dirty water before consuming it. Nonetheless, waterborne diseases are common in Lwangele.

We met women, like Charity Orengo at Machayo Spring, who dunk their containers right into the water to fill them. Mrs. Orengo said that she just keeps that water in her jerrycan since she has no other place to store it.


There's still a quarter of families who don't have their own latrines. They instead share with their closest neighbors. When it's not appropriate to share, a person needs to seek privacy among the bushes. This kind of improper waste disposal jeopardizes the health of the rest of the community.

There are no places to wash hands, nor are there other helpful sanitation tools like dish racks or clotheslines - many things are set out to dry on bushes or the grassy ground.

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. The building and usage of new latrines and handwashing stations 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 (edited for clarity) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates

September, 2019: Giving Update: Lwangele Community, Machayo Spring

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

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

August, 2018: Lwangele Community Project Complete

Lwangele Community now has clean water! Machayo 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

Mrs. Violet Mwanga was our contact person in the community as we prepared for hygiene and sanitation training. She made rounds to invite every household to attend training, ensuring them of its positive impact on their lives. Both the young and the old were encouraged to attend, no matter man or woman.

The training was conducted at Mr. Machayo's residence nearby the spring. A majority of the people who came ended up being women and the children, as they are the ones who visit the spring on a regular basis.

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 especially enjoyed learning how to take care of their teeth. While demonstrating the various steps, participants were shocked.

''I have been brushing my teeth for years now, but still experienced bad odor coming from my mouth. Now I know why!'' Fredrick Chichova said.

Many parents admitted they hadn't wanted to spend the money to buy toothbrushes for each of their children, but after learning about the importance of oral hygiene they said they would promptly purchase new toothbrushes.

We had no challenges but for language. A couple of the participants couldn't understand Swahili or English, so some younger community members who knew the local dialect placed themselves next to those who needed translation.

Pastor Geoffrey Machayo said, "We are indeed fortunate to get first-hand information from our good friends, touching on hygiene and sanitation. Truly we have learned a lot and we are going to pass this information to our fellow members who did not get time to attend. We say thank you!"

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.

These stones are topped with a plastic tarp that will help prevent contamination.

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 spring has been successfully protected from contamination, with the only challenge being the weather. The artisan had to work in starts and stops because of the rains. With more community members stepping in to help, the artisan was able to finish construction after nine days. People even improvised extra steps down to the spring since it's located on a slope.

Miss Susan Afandi said, "We are very happy about having our own water source protected. We previously used to gather water by use of a small container which was immersed in the pool of water and poured into the jerrycans. During those days, our water was exposed to contamination as the catchment area was left open. Water is now one less problem for us!"

June, 2018: Change Coming to Lwangele Community!

Dirty water from Machayo Spring is making people in Lwangele 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: Lwangele Community, Machayo Spring

September, 2019

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Lwangele Community, Machayo 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 protection of Machayo Spring in Lwangele last year has brought about tremendous improvements in the lives of the community members here.

Infections related to waterborne diseases have gone down thanks to the protection of the spring as people can now access clean, safe water for their personal use. Lwangele community members have appreciated the project and have endeavored to maintain every as[ect at all times.

The hygiene and sanitation standards across homesteads have also greatly improved compared to years when the spring had not been protected. This was seen when we recently walked through various homesteads across the village during our visit and interviews, as we spotted all to almost all the sanitation facilities needed in a homestead such as clotheslines, dishracks, toilets, handwashing leaky tins, bathrooms, and compost pits.

Training on hygiene and sanitation was a boost towards improving the living standards of the community members in more than just their health, we were told. People are now engaging themselves in income-generating activities and these are improving their living standards by earning families the financial resources to take care of their own basic needs such as food, clothing, and school fees.

"Installation of Machayo spring has brought about positive changes in our community and we are grateful," said Mr. Machayo, the spring's landowner and also a pastor in the community.

"These changes include [the] availability of clean, safe water for [our] use. Back then, our water was always exposed to contaminants and this was not good for our health. Accessibility to the spring is now fast and easy due to [the] installation of the stairs. The hygiene and sanitation training did transform our way of thinking and reasoning. We now are observing and maintaining proper hygiene standards."

Pamela Emere

14-year-old Pamela Emere met us at the spring to share her thoughts too on how the project has impacted her community.

"I would like to say thanks to our partners for such a great project in our village, this is one of [a] kind. Immediately after installation, my life has never been the same again and this I owe to you great people," Pamela said.

"Time wastage while going to the spring is now a thing of the past as it is accessible, fast, and easier. The training on hygiene and sanitation has helped a lot towards my personal hygiene standards. [I] am able to create time for my studies compared to years back when much time was spent at the spring. [In my family], having benefited from the [sanitation platform], I can now access a toilet in our homestead compared to years back when we used to share with our neighbor."

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 Lwangele Community, Machayo 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 Lwangele Community, Machayo 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.