Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/08/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Wambosani Spring is an unprotected water point that is found in Upper Visiru Village of Vihiga County.

A normal day's work begins at 6 in the morning. The adults prepare to go to their farms while the children prepare to go to their respective schools. Most of the community members are casual laborers in the nearby towns of Majengo and Mbale.
Due to lack of sufficient land for farming, members of the village practice farming at a small scale just to feed their families.


The spring serves more than 60 households, not to mention the nearby Magui Primary School. The spring always flows with water and is especially popular during droughts.

Despite the spring serving a large number of people, it has never been protected.

"On so many occasions, we tried to come up with ways to protect this spring but all has never been positive," Mr. Ezekiel Ageso said.

Water from the spring is gathered using a jug or a plastic container which is immersed in the pool of water and then poured in jerrycans.

Water sourced at the spring is used almost immediately - most of the members have no storage containers in their homes. A majority of the members can't afford to buy the storage containers.

We could easily see that the spring water is contaminated. The catchment area is exposed to all types of contaminants. Even animals come to sate their thirst!

"We have had cases of typhoid in our village, this could be attributed to our water source being exposed to contaminants especially from human activities," Seth Kiribwa, a farmer from the community, said.


When conducting our survey we realized that at least each home had one or two sanitation facilities - an indicator that the community attitude towards hygiene and sanitation is positive.

We estimate more than half of all households have a latrine. However, some members still share latrines because they are not able to put up their own due to the fact that they are expensive to construct.

A majority of the members told us that they have a kitchen garden where most of the garbage is disposed of and later on used as manure once it has decomposed.

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. Hand-washing 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 Upper Visiru Community, Wambosani 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 Karen speaks to the group about COVID-19

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 Upper Visiru, Kenya.

We trained more than 29 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.

Participants read through COVID-19 informational pamphlets received at training

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.

Everyone practices the 10 steps of handwashing

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.

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.

Practicing the elbow cough to help reduce virus spread

"The training came just in time since many community members were confused about the myths surrounding COVID-19. Some thought that COVID-19 was a disease of the old, and those with underlying medical conditions. But after being taught elaborately about COVID-19, their perceptions were changed and they promised to do things differently since they had gotten a better understanding of the disease," said Trainer Karen.

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: Upper Visiru Community, Wambosani Spring

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

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

March, 2019: Upper Visiru Community, Wambosani Spring Project Complete

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

"The protection of Wambosani Spring is quite an achievement to all people in this community. As a community we have for decades suffered in terms of consuming dirty water and lack of proper knowledge on water, sanitation, and hygiene education," said Mrs. Sirimbi.

"I am more than excited to be accessing clean and safe water as the problems of being sick and wasting more time at the spring is now history."

A jerrycan filling with water 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. 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.

Plastering the drainage canal

The concrete dried over the course of five days, during which a community member wetted the concrete to make sure it would dry without cracking. The source area was filled up with clean stones and sand and covered with a polyethylene membrane to eliminate any potential sources of contamination.

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.

A latrine platform ready to go over the latrine pit

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.

The spring serves a large number of people, so we just requested that at least one family representative is in attendance. A majority of attendees were women and children since they are the ones who frequently access the spring. The community members had been trying to gather the resources needed to protect their spring for a long time, but have never been successful. Our arrival brought such joy to the community, so they were more than willing to be involved in each step of the way.

Discussing illustrations of good and bad hygiene habits

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.

Participants practiced handwashing for themselves after the trainer demonstrated the process

Participants also elected leaders amongst themselves who will oversee the spring, delegate upkeep chores, and enforce rules for spring use.

"People perish due to lack of information. Personally, the training has made me acquire meaningful information that I never imagined I would find anywhere else. Most of the homes are going to experience a turnaround and their lives are going to change for the better," said Mr. Asava.

Thank You for making all of this possible!

January, 2019: Upper Visiru Community Project Underway

Dirty water from Wambosani Spring is making people in Upper Visiru 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: Upper Visiru Community, Wambosani Spring

October, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Upper Visiru Community in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Mary Manase. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Upper Visiru 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 Samuel Samidi recently visited Wambosani Spring in Upper Visiru to check up on the spring and interview community members about the project's impact in its first year since completion. Samuel shared the following reflection from his visit:

"I arrive at the village at about 10:00 am, [and] guess who welcomes me? Tommy, one of the dogs in the village!"

"[During] a spot check at the various homes, one is able to observe a clean and tidy environment with at least all the sanitation facilities in place and this is attributed to the hygiene and sanitation training conducted in the village...The hygiene and sanitation training has brought about positivism in the community as the members now observe both personal and environmental hygiene to the standard."

"Protection of the spring has brought about immense improvements in the community...The community members can now access clean safe water thanks to the springs protection....compared to years back when the spring had not been protected, which did risk their health. Community members spend minimal time at the spring thanks to the discharge speed having improved."

"From the interviews conducted, the community members are appreciative of the project and have endeavored to maintain it to the standards required."

Young boys play with the water at Wambosani Spring

Mary Manase is a village elder in Upper Visiru who spent time with Samuel to share her perspective on the WaSH projects her community received last year.

"Water is life; a shortage of it leads to paralysis. We, the beneficiaries are happy and grateful to our partners for considering us for the project," she said.

"The project has brought about major developments in our land thanks to our partners. As a community, the rate of illness related to water has dropped after the spring's protection."

Mary fetching water

"The hygiene and sanitation training conducted in the village was detailed and we did gain much information and this we have put into practice. As a community, every household has at least all the sanitation facilities required in a home thanks to the frequent sensitization carried out by our leaders," Mary said.

Agnes waits for her jerrycan to fill with clean spring water

14-year-old Agnes Lidambiza is a student in Upper Visiru and the eldest child in her family. Agnes told Samuel of the changes the spring protection and hygiene training have brought to her life as a young person in her village.

"As one of the beneficiaries, I would love to thank [your team] for considering us. Ever since the spring was protected, I now access clean, safe water for my personal use. Securing the catchment area has helped tap clean safe water at all times. I spend minimal time at the spring as the discharge speed has improved thanks to the installation of the pipe, which helps direct sufficient water into the jerrycans," she said.

"I now observe both personal and environmental hygiene after undertaking the hygiene and sanitation training conducted at the spring. I also enjoy sufficient time in my academics. This year, I have been able to register major improvements in the various subjects [I] am undertaking at school."

Kids play on the rocks around the spring

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 Upper Visiru 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 Upper Visiru 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.


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