Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 479 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 09/07/2023

Project Features

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Chepnonochi Spring is an unprotected spring that is serving 479 people from 40 households across Chepnonochi Village. It is an unsafe water source and is in need of protection.

Women in this community spend their days digging on their farms, as casual laborers, or tilling their own kitchen gardens. Others are mothers and wives who are busy with household chores like fetching water and preparing food for the children. Some have small-scale businesses where they sell small fish, greens, and tomatoes to their neighbors.

The special thing about people from this community is the genuine love and concern they have for one another.

They share information about development issues among themselves and pull resources together to meet their goals.

They are also hardworking environmentalists who plant trees on their small plots of land. These trees are sold to make a living or are harvested upon maturity to make buildings or furniture for sale.


Chepnonochi Spring attracts a lot of people during the dry spell since it always has water and is near Senende Center. However, in its current state, a lot of time is wasted fetching water from the spring. The entrance to the spring is slippery and muddy, putting people at risk of plunging into the water point as they fill their containers.

There is an improvised plastic pipe inserted into the spring eye to dispense the water. A lot of water is wasted because the pipe is not funneling enough of the spring's water. In its current state, the spring is open to contamination by human waste, animal activity, soil erosion, and proximate farming.

The community members got the contact information of the field officer who implemented a rainwater tank project at Bumuyange Secondary School and called asking for the protection of this spring.

People us a variety of containers, such as jerrycans of different sizes and buckets, to fetch the water. We observed that none of these containers had covers. The water is tapped from this pipe directly into the containers.

The lack of safe water exposes people to diarrheal diseases and other waterborne infections. Users confirmed that they experience coughs are a result of drinking the water.

Some users also spend a lot of money to treat the water either by boiling or with chemicals, such as chlorine.

"As a community, we have battled with waterborne diseases of various kinds due to the unsafe water we get from Chepnonochi Spring. Most of the children have suffered stomachaches and diarrhea in a recurrent manner, more so during the dry spell," Mrs. Jessica Isadia said.

The condition of this spring is expected to change in the near future because the community members have demonstrated willingness to rewrite history by participating in the spring protection project.


We estimate that more than half of households have latrines. Most of the latrine slabs were made of logs or off-cuts from tree bark, while others were smeared using cow dung.

Maintaining cleanliness is hardest during wet seasons. Thus, most of the latrines we saw were smelly and attracted flies. However, a few household latrines were neat and clean.

"The problem is compounded by people who lack latrines and have to rely on the bush or share with the neighbors as the only option," Mrs. Isadia said.

Garbage is mainly kitchen waste that is reused to feed the chickens or household pets. Any excess waste is disposed of in compost pits that are then used to fertilize crops.

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

July, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Chepnonochi Community, Chepnonochi 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 Chepnonochi, 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.

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.

October, 2019: Giving Update: Chepnonochi Community, Chepnonochi Spring

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

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

February, 2019: Chepnonochi Community Project Complete

Chepnonochi Community is celebrating their new protected spring, so celebrate with them! Chepnonochi 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 Chepnonochi Spring was successful and water is now flowing from the discharge pipe.

"For as long as I can remember, this water has served this community steadily without running out. The perennial issue had been that it was open to all sorts of contamination. But now it has not only been protected, but it has acquired a nice structure and shape that make the access more convenient to users," said Mr. Indeche.

"The bacteriological results that we have received have also encouraged us that our water is free from pathogens. Therefore, water safety all depends on us based on how we shall handle it henceforth."

Mr. Indeche and his grandson at the spring

The Process:

Community members provided all locally available construction materials, e.g bricks, wheelbarrows of clean sand, wheelbarrows of ballast, and gravel. But the terrain to the spring ended up being too uneven and steep for wheelbarrows, posing a technical challenges in ferrying construction materials to the spring. However, children and their parents helped our artisan by carrying building materials on their backs using sacks and other containers.
Community members also hosted our artisans for the duration of construction.

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.

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

People passing along stones so that the artisan can protect the water behind the discharge pipe

The concrete dried over the course of five days.

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

The spring users have already put up a fence around the spring. They have complimented the fence by planting shrubs around it so that should the fencing poles dry and rot, the shrubs will replace them.

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 spring user committee mobilized spring users by going from house to house to announce the upcoming training. Mrs. Christine Aswani helped find the best place and time to ensure the biggest turnout.

Community members opted to meet along the path leading to the spring

The attendance was extraordinary because there were both young and old there eager to learn. Some of the participants, namely Mr. Indeche and Mrs. Khavehi, happened to be representing the local government and church leadership, and were also elected as part of the spring user committee.

Mr. Indeche addressing the participants about how important hygiene and sanitation is

There was a lot of rapport already established because of our work in the children's schools. Most of the kids who attended training already had a rainwater tank, so they understood the impact of clean water.

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.

Learning how to best care for the spring so that it continues to yield clean water

Participants were very willing to share their past experiences in regards to poor hygiene and sanitation and consequential illnesses. These experiences helped the adults in the meeting discuss and agree on rules and regulations to safeguard their spring and its water quality. Children readily took part in demonstrations of handwashing and the lesson on water treatment.

Children follow along as Trainer Erick demonstrates each step of handwashing

All of the discussions were very fruitful. Some participants were already practicing good hygiene habits for the wrong reasons. They needed to know the connection between good hygiene and good health. For example, people would wash their hands only when they smelled bad out of fear that other people would be disgusted by them.

"The workshop has inspired, corrected, and rebuked us," said Mrs. Aswani.

"We have gotten rich information on how to deal with environmental constraints that derail efforts put to achieve universal health coverage."

Thank You for making all of this possible!

January, 2019: Chepnonochi Community Project Underway

Dirty water from Chepnonochi Spring is making people in Chepnonochi 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: Chepnonochi Community, Chepnonochi Spring

October, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Chepnonochi Community in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Christine Aswani Anjeyo. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Chepnonochi 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 Laura Alulu recently visited Chepnonochi Spring in Chepnonochi to check up on the spring and interview community members about the project's impact in its first year since completion. Laura shared the following reflection from her visit:

"In the past year, the community of Chepnonochi has really changed because before they had difficulty in accessing the water. They didn't have the stairs, hence they could easily fall down when fetching water. This is no more since the place is well-constructed and they are sure of their physical wellbeing."

"Another thing that the beneficiaries are sure of is that they can now access clean water, for [in] the last one year they have not wasted time waiting for the water to settle down after one has fetched so as to get clean water. This is because by putting [in] the discharge pipe, this has really saved them time and the hustle they used to go through. It's evident by the slogan they use to welcome you when you talk of the spring, [saying] "our water" with so much happiness and bragging."

"Their water is good, it looks clear in color, there is no pollution near the spring, no toilets uphill, meaning there are no contaminations or pathogens in the water. Again they have maintained discipline, they don't step on the backfilled area, everything is intact."

Christine ready to head home with water

Christine Aswani Anjeyo met with Laura at the spring to share what it has been like living with the protected spring in their village over the last year.

"Some of the biggest changes that have been happening since the project last year is that one, this water has been constant throughout the year, we've never lacked water. Two, the method in which we use to fetch [it] is improved, no time wasting because you simply place the container under the discharge pipe and water flows directly into it, hence saving both time and energy."

"Third, everyone feels comfortable going to fetch water. This includes the children since initially, they could fall inside the unprotected spring. Right now even parents are not worried when the children go out to fetch water since they are sure of their safety."

"Lastly, one can come with as many containers as one wishes since they will fetch more clean water without much struggle, so it's easier to even know the exact time you want to use to fetch a certain number of containers. Before this was not the case."

Sarah at the spring

7-year-old Sarah Edel was also there and offered a different perspective on the spring's impact on her life as a young child in the village.

"Since the project was completed last year, we no longer get sick because of the waterborne diseases like typhoid that were rampant. Our water is very clean, we are happy," she said.

"Children used to fall inside the water source before it was implemented, but for the last one year, those kinds of cases stopped. You can walk or run to the spring and quickly get water. This makes our parents so happy because they can rest as we help them get 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 Chepnonochi 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 Chepnonochi 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.


4 individual donor(s)