Loading images...
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Finished Spring Protection
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Finished Spring Protection
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Finished Spring Protection
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Finished Spring Protection
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Finished Spring Protection
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Finished Spring Protection
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Finished Spring Protection
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Sanitation Platform
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Spring Construction
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Spring Construction
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Sanitation Platform Construction
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Training
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Training
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Training
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Training
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Training
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Training
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Weku Spring
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Water Containers And Cloths Drying On A Clothline
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Washing Pots
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Walking Up The Hill With The Water
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Sample Latrine
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Returning Home With Water
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Pots And Pans Drying Rack
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Maize Plantation
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Latrine
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Fetching Water At The Spring
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Community Members Smearing Their Houses For Decoration
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  Carrying Jerrycan Filled With Water On Head
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  A Pig Resting On A Pile Of Dirt
The Water Project: Ematetie Community -  A Cow Grazes At An Open Field

Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 210 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Oct 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 09/07/2019

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Weku Spring is located in Ematetie Village of Kakamega County.

The people from Ematetie Village wake up very early in the morning to work on their farms and prepare their children to go to school. The community members living around the spring keep dairy cattle and grow crops including maize, groundnuts, bananas, and vegetables. Most of the women take the vegetables to market in the evening, when still fresh, for selling.

Some members of the community are involved in brick making to earn extra income. There are many construction projects going on in the area, thus there is a ready market for bricks.

The community is special because, through these economic activities, the people are able to educate their children and provide for their family needs.


People collect water from Weku Spring by using small plastic containers which they pour into 20-liter plastic jerricans and carry the filled containers to the respective home. That water is then stored in bigger clay pots and containers with a capacity of 50 to 100 liters.

Some store the water in the same containers they collected the water with from the unprotected spring.

After conducting a baseline survey at Ematietie Primary School and having introduced ourselves as working for WEWASAFO, one member of the school informed me that there was an unprotected spring in the neighborhood that could be protected if it met the requirements.

The unprotected spring has a large discharge of water and does not dry up in the dry season. It has been in a deplorable condition with no maintenance on it for many years.

Most of the community members have suffered from water-borne diseases such as diarrhea, typhoid, and stomachaches.

After the protection is over, the spring will get a major facelift. It will make a positive impact on the local community through the provision of clean and safe water and general sanitation.


Fewer than half of the households in the village have latrines. Most of the latrines that exist are made of wooden floors with superstructures made of banana leaves, polythene papers, mud, and iron sheets.

It is projected that the other members of the community who will not directly benefit from the sanitation platform will take the initiative to improve their toilets or put up entirely new ones.

“The sanitation facilities and health promotion campaign through trainings will enable, enlighten and capacity build the community to take matters related to community health as a priority,” Mr. Dickson Weku 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. Handwashing 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 readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates

10/05/2018: Ematetie Community Project Complete

Ematetie Community is celebrating their new protected spring, so celebrate with them! Weku Spring has been transformed into a flowing source of 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.

Spring Protection

Ematetie Community is so happy because they have clean and sufficient water. Women expressed their gratitude for the spring protection and the knowledge shared during training, saying that they were in the darkness but now they are in the light. They are excited to share that light with other women.

Men agree that their homes will improve because their wives are now using clean water. Children are excited to bring their neighbors and friends to see what has happened at their spring. The community is so happy and plans to refer us to other communities that should benefit from the same program.

Construction Process:

Community members provided all locally available construction materials, e.g bricks, wheelbarrows of clean sand, wheelbarrows of ballast, fencing poles and gravel. One of the vehicles the community hired to transport bricks to our artisan broke down. Since it wasn’t fiscally responsible to hire an entirely new vehicle, we all had to be patient as the original vehicle was repaired. Community members also hosted our artisans for the duration of construction.

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 cured, 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.

Filling in the area from the spring eye to the discharge pipe.

The concrete dried over the course of two weeks. With this spring now handed over to the community, we will continue to follow up with the water user committee to make sure everything runs smoothly.

“Since I got married into this community, I have never seen great people like you. We have been struggling to follow our leaders, trusting them to help us but it was in vain,” admitted Linet Weku.

“Now we have a wonderful spring and we thank you so much.”

Sanitation Platforms

All five sanitation platforms have been installed and make wonderful, easy to clean latrine floors. 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.

New Knowledge

We started talking to community members about the importance of training as we supervised spring construction. We worked with Dickson Weku to make sure everyone who uses Weku Spring was notified of the training schedule.

It was a cool afternoon when we met 20 community members for the first session. This was an active class, with all the participants giving their opinions on everything. The children were also actively involved, though not as opinionated as the adults.

We covered several topics including but not limited to leadership and governance (participants started a water and sanitation committee); 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, and hygiene promotion. These participants will become ambassadors of healthy living among their own families and their greater community.

This brave girl demonstrates handwashing to all of the adults.

Participants really liked forming and planning for the committee. They elected officials and we educated them on the responsibilities of each member. Instead of us listing off ways this committee could protect and care for their spring, they had tons of ideas themselves. They also didn’t need any help forming rules for spring users, either.

It looks like we’ll have a strong “spring enforcement team” here!

We were impressed with how much the community already knows about income-generating activities. This was a topic for which we felt like we were just adding spice to already cooked food. Someone came up with the idea of using the spring drainage water for a fish pond, and everyone immediately jumped on board.

This community will easily adopt all of the new information we shared. They knew hygiene and sanitation basics and were eager to learn about improvements they could integrate into their daily habits.

Pens and notebooks were handed out so people could note the new details they learned.

“We all have been taught today. Some of these things we knew, but we have gathered a few others we had not previously known,” Givan Weku said on behalf of Ematetie Community.

“Thank you for having come to teach us, and we hope that we will be able to improve on our previous methods and change our lives for the better.”

The Water Project : 18-kenya18154-finished-spring-protection

08/07/2018: Ematetie Community Project Underway

Dirty water from Weku Spring is making people in Ematetie 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!

The Water Project : kenya18154-fetching-water

Project Photos

Project Type

Protected Spring

In many communities, natural springs exist as water flows from cracks in rocky ground or the side of a hill.  Springs provide reliable water but that doesn’t mean safe. When left open they become contaminated by surface contamination, animal and human waste and rain runoff. The solution is to protect the source. First, you excavate around the exact source area of the spring. Then, you build a protective reservoir for water flow, which pours through a reinforced pipe in a concrete headwall to a paved collection area. Safe water typically flows year-round and there is very limited ongoing maintenance needed!


Imago Dei Community