Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/07/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

The people of Elukuto Village wake up very early in the morning to prepare their children for school and then work on their farms. The community keeps dairy cattle, grows maize, sugarcane, groundnuts, cassava, yams, bananas and various vegetables. Sugarcane growing is predominant in this area because the crop is sold to local sugar factories.

The community is special because through farming and keeping cattle, they afford to educate their children. It is a hardworking community that not only works hard but works smart. Making bricks is another economic activity that is vibrant here, owing to an amazing amount of construction going on in the area.

Water Situation

Isa Spring is in Elukuto Village, serving at least 100 different households. Its water is used for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and irrigation during the driest months. Unfortunately, the spring's water is open to pollution. The water is prone to contamination after it rains, with the rainwater washing dirt, feces, fertilizers, and countless other things into the water.

Hundreds come with their 20-liter jerrycans, filling them up from the water flowing over an iron sheet. This allows them to fill their jerrycans without dunking them under the water.

Community members suffer from waterborne illnesses such as typhoid and amoeba due to drinking water from Isa Spring. Speaking with Mr. Isa Matala, we learned that his wife had typhoid just the week before.

Sanitation Situation

Quite a large number of homes still need a pit latrine of their own. Most families share one pit latrine among themselves. These latrines are made from mud with wooden floors. Plastic bags, sacks or iron sheets are often hung in the doorway for privacy.

Hand-washing after using the latrine is not a habit here, either.

Mr. Isa Matala said, "The idea of protecting Isa Spring will solve our water problems. Moreover, the sanitation facilities and health promotion campaign through trainings will enlighten the community to take matters related to community health as a priority."

Here’s what we plan to do about it.

You can donate directly to this project to help us provide a reliable source of clean, safe water and equip families with important hygiene and sanitation information. We hope you’ll join us.

Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least three days. This training will ensure participants are no longer ignorant 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. Since open defecation was encountered here, this is at the top of our list of things to address. Waste always needs to be disposed of properly, or else it will be spread by flies or rainwater.

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.

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 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.

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 female community members 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 Elukuto Community, Isa 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 leaky tin

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 Elukuto, Kenya.

Handwashing training

We trained more than 26 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.

Handwashing demonstration

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.

Community members help install the prevention reminders chart at the spring

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.

Team Leader Catherine Chepkemoi addresses the community

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.

Homemade mask tutorial

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.

July, 2019: Giving Update: Elukuto Community, Isa Spring

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to protect Isa Spring for Elukuto Community in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories. Read more…

May, 2018: Elukuto Community Project Complete

Elukuto Community now has clean water! Isa 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

Isa Matala, the landowner of where the spring is located, was tasked with organizing the training. He gave us the community’s preferred date for training, for he was very much aware of the community calendar when it comes to planting season and other big events.

Some 21 people attended, mostly women. It is a number that exceeded the expected 15 participants, so we were very happy with the turnout.

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.

The younger participants were the most active. They asked many questions to get more information on water and sanitation. The demonstration session was most interesting because it allowed for the participants to actively participate. Overall, the demonstration session enhanced the community's understanding of the basic principles of water and sanitation.

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.

Woman stands on new latrine platform

Spring Protection

Community members provided all locally available construction materials, e.g bricks, wheelbarrows of clean sand, wheelbarrows of ballast, fencing poles and gravel. Accommodations and meals were provided for the artisan, too.

Protection underway

Men and women lent their strength to the artisan to help him with manual labor. 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.

Laying brick for new water source

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.

Nearly done!

The source area was filled up with clean stones and sand and covered with a polyethylene membrane to eliminate any potential sources of contamination. It took about two weeks of patience for the concrete to dry.

"We thank God for the Water Project through WEWASAFO for considering the community's spring for protection. Many people had visited the area promising to protect the spring but all in vain. However, at last, the spring has been protected and we are assured of clean and safe water for our use," Mr. Wilson Shikuku explained.

Lined up to collect the safe water

As soon as it was ready, people got the okay from our field officers to begin fetching clean water. We met them there to celebrate this momentous occasion.

March, 2018: Elukuto Community Project Underway

Dirty water from Isa Spring is making people in Elukuto 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 Videos

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: Elukuto Community, Isa Spring

July, 2019

A year ago, you funded a spring protection at Elukuto Community in Kenya – creating a life-changing moment for Sabina Nawire. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Elukuto 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!

A little over a year ago marked a turning point for Elukuto Community when Isa Spring was protected and sanitation and hygiene training held in the village. On a recent field visit, we were pleased to see the continued, positive impacts of these projects in Elukuto.

First, we heard how community members often boast of their good water source to their neighbors who still have unprotected springs. This was even confirmed by members from neighboring communities who stopped us to ask about the possibility of their unprotected springs being protected (and rest assured, we're looking into it!).

We also saw that more homes had constructed their own latrines and dishracks since our last visit, evidence that the reasoning behind their construction and use is supported and spread by the community members.

Sabina Nawire, a caretaker in Elukuto, shared with us the many changes Isa Spring's protection has brought in her community.

Sabina with Field Officer Lillian

"The protection of this spring has boosted our agriculture since we can water our crops using [the spring] water because [there is] plenty. Chances of diseases like typhoid and malaria have gone down, [and] we are able to save on time because earlier on we used to spend so much time fetching water when the spring was not protected," Sabina said.

Sabina waters her crops using water from Isa Spring

14-year-old Karim Tohola shared his perspective with us as well, detailing how the protection of Isa Spring has brought more than just water to his community, but peace.

Karim Tohola

"The protection of the spring has brought a clean environment. The place looked so bushy before the protection. Many community members can [now] access water unlike before when others would look for alternative sources due to the queuing at the unprotected spring."

Karim Tohola

"We have also seen peace because we had land boundary issues before the spring was protected. Some [people] would complain about their crops being stepped on by those coming to fetch water. When the spring was protected and the community trained, they saw the positive side of the whole project and embraced unity."

Perhaps of all the changes Elukuto has seen over the last year, few are as powerful as one of Sabina's observations.

"Survival chances of community members has increased since water is life."

All smiles at Isa 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 Elukuto 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 Elukuto 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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