Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 210 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 01/09/2024

Project Features

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The community of Emasera neighbors Murumba Community, where we protected Shololwa Spring. The members admired the fine work done and the clean water they now drink. So, they requested protection for their own water source, Visenda Spring (formerly mislabeled as Murumba Spring in Masera community).

A normal day begins at 5am. The wife of the house prepares the children to go to school. The adults then proceed to the farm where they spend most of the day either planting, weeding or harvesting - depending on the season of the year.

The majority of these people are small-scale farmers who plant maize and other subsistence crops like sweet potatoes. Very little is sold.

Young men in the area roam around the village hoping to get someone to hire them for manual labor. There are few jobs due to the low levels of education and lack of proper income-generating projects.

The community members are united despite a high rate of unemployment and low literacy levels in the village. This was evident in the way we were welcomed while conducting the baseline survey.


This unprotected spring is located in Emasera Village of Kakamega County and serves more than 30 households.

The spring beneficiaries use the water for drinking, various domestic needs, and irrigating their farms. They have mustered a standing stone and a rod to step on as they fetch water so that they do not step into the water as they scoop it up. Water is collected using a cup or bowl which is poured out into the larger jerrycans.

The water is used almost immediately after collection. It is usually fetched when the need arises. The remaining water is stored in the jerrycans - often without covers.

This spring is unprotected and thus contaminated in various ways. Farming activities, for example, are done very close to the water catchment area.

Sugarcane, the main cash crop in the area, is planted close to the water spring. The various chemicals fertilizers and pesticides sprayed in the farm wash into the spring water when it rains.

This results in a high level of contamination. The community members cited many cases of stomachaches and the outbreak of waterborne diseases. Waterborne diseases like typhoid and diarrhea are rampant within this community.

Many people continue washing their clothes, watering their animals, and bathing in the spring due to the general lack of awareness of water pollution. This results in further water contamination.


Less than half of households in the community have latrines. The few that exist are in a poor state with mud walls full of cracks and floors that appear too dirty to enter. As a result, open defecation is an issue in the community.

The presence of dish racks, bathrooms, and few clotheslines symbolize the willingness of the community to do improve their sanitation and hygiene.

The majority of people dispose of their garbage by decomposing it in their farms. They believe produces a very effective kind of manure. On the other hand, they burn the plastic and paper.

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

June, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Visenda 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 Emasera, Kenya.

We trained community members 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: Emasera Community, Visenda Spring

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

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

February, 2019: Masera Community, Murumba Spring Project Complete

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

"Thank you for protecting this spring. We had been wasting a lot of time to get water before, where we would wait for the water to settle before the next person drew the water," remembered Mrs. Mutsi.

"But now we are able to come to the spring anytime we want using less time to drawing water. Thanks so much!"

Before the spring was protected, farming activities were done very close to the water source. After teaching people the routes of contamination, the landowner promised to cut all the sugarcane that was planted near the spring to avoid contamination from fertilizers and other things. The community members are very grateful for the support they received and they promise to take good care of the project so that they will never go back to where they were.

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.

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. The committee already worked with the rest of the community to fence in the area, keeping out wild animals that could damage the construction.

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

During delivery of hardware materials, we met with community officials and were able to discuss a number of things concerning construction work and training. We requested our contact person to help us mobilize participants for training sessions.

It was a sunny day when we started our training at a spot close to Visenda Spring. All of the participants were very active during the training, but men were more active than women. We realized this when they were the only ones asking clarifying questions. The facilitator told them that it should be stored for three days maximum. More than three days, and the water can become harmful for human consumption.

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 really enjoyed the lesson on contamination. It was surprising to learn how easily germs spread around the community, including a family's food and drinking water. If a person goes to the bathroom outside instead of in a latrine, there is a chain of contamination that leads right back to food. The germs are spread easily by flies and wild animals. Not washing hands is also a big spreader of germs.

Children were on school break, so they were able to participate in training as well

The community promised to do all it takes to avoid all contamination routes. We shall continue to advise them during our monitoring visits to the site.

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

"On behalf of my community members, I want to appreciate [you] so much for the great work. According to the lessons, we have learned that we have been doing the opposite of the right sanitation matters. We thank God for your coming, for you have served this community," said Mr. Kombo.

Thank You for making all of this possible!

January, 2019: Masera Community, Murumba Spring Project Underway

Dirty water from Murumba Spring is making people in Masera 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: Emasera Community, Visenda Spring

October, 2019

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

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Emasera Community 2.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Emasera Community 2 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!

Emasera community members are very happy because they are now drawing clean water from well-protected Visenda Spring, protected last year (previously mislabeled as Murumba Spring in Masera Community). This WaSH project has created more awareness on good hygiene practices thus leading to improved living standards.

The community members have improved their way of living. The majority of them have pit latrines with improvised leaky tins outside the latrines. Protection of this spring has made the community save their time and money as opposed to what it used to be before, where they could use their money to seek medication to treat waterborne illnesses.

"Since protection of this spring, community members have formed a group called Tuinuwane," said Violet Nabwanya, a member of the water committee and also of this new self-help group.

"The main aim of this group is to assist one another in good and bad times. Members come together and raise money or help in carrying out other activities. For instance, during funerals, they will come and help in splitting firewood, drawing water, and cleaning the compound."

Joseph Musiomi, Field Officer Betty Mwangi, and Violet Nabwanya at the spring

This newfound unity and teamwork have been ignited by the presence of the protected spring, which is helping community members come together since they are no longer quarreling over drawing water.

12-year-old Joseph Musiomi was at the spring with Violet and shared his perspective on the project as a young person and student in his village.

"Since completion of the spring, fetching water here has been [more] enjoyable than before. This is because the spring is fitted with a discharge pipe [so] we no longer wait for [the] water to clear up. I carry water from this spring and use it during lunchtime at school and [I] am raised assured that the water is safe for consumption. I have no worries at all."

(We are also working with Joseph's school to see if we can help improve their access to clean and safe water so that students like Joseph no longer have to carry water to school at all!)

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 Emasera Community 2 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 Emasera Community 2 – 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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