Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 240 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/03/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

John Omusembi Spring is located in Asimuli Village of Vihiga County.

For people in this community, a normal day starts by getting up early in the morning and going to their farms. Many people in this community engage in small-scale dairy farming, poultry keeping, cash crop farming such as small-scale sugar cane plantations, and subsistence farming of vegetables and cereals like maize, beans, and groundnuts.

Throughout the year they are found cultivating their land in preparation for planting or harvesting ready crops from their farms. After which, the harvest is stored for future use. Some of the food is taken to the markets to be sold for money.

Though the income from the sale of these crops is low, the community members prioritize their budgets to meet their daily needs and keep life going.


The improvised spring has been in existence for the last 17 years, according to the landowner Mr. John Omusembi Akunwa. It serves some 240 people. This source has a lot of water, which does not disappear even during extreme droughts or dry spells.

"I used to see how people in my area and mostly my family were struggling to get water from nearby sources which are safe and far to reach. I said, "No I must do something to relieve them," and thus I decided to invent this source," Mr. Akunwa said.

People normally place their containers directly below the pipes and allow water to just flow into the containers. Others use jugs to fetch the water from the improvised pipes and pour them into the containers.

Many people prefer leaving the water in the containers used to fetch the water, to use the water when the need arises. Others have special storage containers placed strategically at various areas within the house like the kitchen for cooking and washing utensils, the bathrooms for bathing, and the sitting room for drinking.

The source is contaminated.

This is because the pipes used to collect the water were fixed manually without laying stones and covering the spring box with a polythene paper to avoid seepage of contaminant during the rainy season.

According to the landowner, the government, through the Ministry of Water and Natural Resources, has supported the protection of some springs in this location but the community has not been able to list their spring as part of the intended projects. With this kind of isolation, the community members feel that their leadership has sidelined them instead of acting equitably in terms of project allocations.

After we identified Lihala Sifoto Spring, word went round that there is a good samaritan around who is concerned with helping those in need. One of the village elders by the name Beatrice Donald directed us to visit the people of John Omusembi Akunwa Spring and found that their spring needs urgent attention to save them of many struggles in accessing safe, clean drinking water.


Sanitation, on the other hand, has always been a big challenge to this community.

We found out that many households have at least one facility that promotes hygiene like a clothesline, a compost pit, or a dish rack. Garbage is left to decompose for some time and later dug up to use as organic manure on the farms.

Many people in this area use latrines made of mud walls, wooden floors, old iron sheet roofs, and doors of varied materials depending on the ability of the owner to acquire the materials. Most people use improvised doors made of old iron sheets and joint timber.

Latrines made of mud walls sometimes become weak and fall, leaving holes in the walls that exposes the privacy of the users. Also, many of this latrines are made of a wooden floor which absorbs urine and starts to rot and break over time — thus injuring the users.

The provision of sanitation platforms will help to improve the status of the sanitation of this community members.

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.

Project Updates

May, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Asimuli Community, John Omusembi 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.

Trainer Shigali shows how to make a mask

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 Asimuli, Kenya.

We trained more than 17 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.

The sample mask made during the tutorial

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.

Handwashing demonstration

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.

Handwashing demonstration

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.

An elder demonstrates handwashing

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.

Reviewing the prevention reminders chart

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.

Social distancing at the training

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.

October, 2019: Giving Update: Asimuli Community, John Omusembi Spring

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

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

February, 2019: Asimuli Community, John Omusembi Spring Project Complete

Asimuli Community is celebrating their new protected spring, so celebrate with them! John Omusembi Spring has been transformed into a flowing, safe 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

Construction at John Omusembi Spring was successful and water is now flowing from the discharge pipe.

"We are more than a happy village now. The water point looks very good and pleasing, to be admired by all. This spring is a Christmas gift to us, our long suffering as now gone forever and we promised to take care of this water source like the apple of our eyes," said Mr. Aponya.

The Process:

Community members provided all locally available construction materials, e.g bricks, wheelbarrows of clean sand, wheelbarrows of ballast, and gravel. This work was so fast and easy because many hands make light work; even the children chose to help transport materials to the construction site. Community members also hosted our artisans for the duration of construction.

A child delivering sand to the construction site, which will be used to mix cement

The spring area was excavated with jembes, hoes, and spades 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.

Working on the stairs

The source area was filled up with clean stones and sand and covered with a polyethylene membrane to eliminate any potential sources of contamination.

The concrete dried over the course of five days. The community plans to plant grass around the spring area to prevent soil erosion, and has already put up a fence to protect the construction from wild animals.

With this spring now handed over to the community, we will continue to follow up with the water committee to make sure everything runs smoothly.

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 latrine of their own. We are continuing to encourage families to finish building walls and roofs over their new latrine floors.

New Knowledge

The community has been trained to form a very strong management committee that will oversee all the activities carried out at the spring. Also, the group is being advised to always seek the advice of our organization when there is a major issue that may require our help.

We planned for the training sessions with the help of the village elder, Beatrice Donald. She helped us inform and invite community representatives who use John Omusembi Spring.

Several topics were covered during the training, such as personal and environmental hygiene, common local diseases and their prevention, and care of the water point. The ten steps of handwashing were demonstrated, along with demonstrations for dental hygiene and water treatment.

"Surely education has no end!" said Mrs. Omusembi.

"Today we have received new information about normal life. The knowledge acquired, especially on water handling and hygiene, has challenged us to do more on our part - especially the kinds of practices we partake in like general cleanliness, food handling, and handwashing."

Thank You for making all of this possible!

January, 2019: Asimuli Community Project Underway

Dirty water from John Omusembi Spring is making people in Asimuli Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to build a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this 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: Asimuli Community, John Omusembi Spring

October, 2019

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Asimuli 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!

Field Officer Wilson Kipchoge recently visited John Omusembi Spring in Asimuli to check up on the spring and interview community members about the project's impact in its first year since completion. Wilson shared the following reflection from his visit:

"As you approach the homestead of these beneficiaries, you are welcomed by [a] clean environment comprised of flowers, trees, and well-swept houses. People in this area are very healthy and strong because they drink safe clean water from the spring that was constructed for them. The water looks clear and [is] very cold to taste making it a thirst quencher at all times for the beneficiaries."

"The training on community health helped a lot to awaken community members to take up hygiene more seriously as a way of reducing common local diseases like malaria and jiggers infestation."

"This group of people is very much thankful for of the spring and provision of sanitation platforms. The beneficiaries of slabs have embraced [them] and are enjoying using the facilities."

Mr. John Omusembi with Field Officer Wilson Kipchoge at the spring

John Omusembi Akunwa is not only the landowner of the spring and a respected elder in his community, but he also serves as the chair of the water committee. Mr. Omusembi met up with Field Officer Wilson at the spring to discuss the changes that the project has brought his community and how they are using it.

"The biggest change that has occurred here is that we now drink clean and safe water from the water point which had been a nightmare to us, but now it is a reality because we can see it and also use it," he said.

"Previously, people could complain of stomachache attributed to drinking of the water from the unprotected spring. Today, I am a proud beneficiary to say we have no such cases anymore. Women come to the spring and fetch water and leave the site without spending a lot of the time."

Kids pose with the spring

12-year-old Joseck Onyino was also with Mr. Omusembi and Wilson and reflected on what the project has meant to him as a child and student in his community.

Joseck Onyino fetches water from the spring

"Since the project was done in our village, I use very little time to fetch water from the spring unlike in the past where I could struggle with a jug on my hand and on the other side, a container to carry the water home," he said.

"I nowadays place my container near the pipe and allow water to flow in in seconds, then carry it home without using a lot of energy. Also, when I go to school I stay there and learn without being sick because I drink safe water from the spring."

Kids enjoying the spring water

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 Asimuli 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 Asimuli 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.


Tableau Software Incorporated Matching Gift
Microsoft Matching Gift
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"It's Kevin's Birthday!" Campaign for Water
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Ruhee's Campaign for Water
Preach at the Beach- Water Campaign

And 1 other fundraising page(s)
5 individual donor(s)