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The Water Project: Elutali Community, Obati Spring -  Clothes Hang On Flowers In The Compound
The Water Project: Elutali Community, Obati Spring -  Banana Plantation
The Water Project: Elutali Community, Obati Spring -  Water Source Of Obati
The Water Project: Elutali Community, Obati Spring -  Vincent Drawing Water At The Spring
The Water Project: Elutali Community, Obati Spring -  Sample Latrine
The Water Project: Elutali Community, Obati Spring -  Sample Household
The Water Project: Elutali Community, Obati Spring -  Poor State Of Latrine Floors
The Water Project: Elutali Community, Obati Spring -  Latrine
The Water Project: Elutali Community, Obati Spring -  Holding Up Bucket Of Collected Stagnant Water
The Water Project: Elutali Community, Obati Spring -  Farmers On Their Plots
The Water Project: Elutali Community, Obati Spring -  A Maize Farm
The Water Project: Elutali Community, Obati Spring -  A Farm In The Community
The Water Project: Elutali Community, Obati Spring -  A Bathroom Made From Growing Bushes

Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 210 Served

Project Phase:  Under Construction
Estimated Install Date (?):  02/28/2019

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Residents in Elutali Village are peasants who survive on small-scale farming, small business enterprises, making bricks, and casual labor to fend for their daily bread.

Elutali Community is special. Although the terrain of the land is hilly, they make good use of the land by planting thick grasses that act as terraces to conserve soil erosion and feed their cattle.

These people, living below the poverty line, are the ones drawing water from unprotected Obati Spring. The spring serves more than 30 households not only for their drinking needs but also for making bricks.

Users come to the open spring with their own containers. They squat and immerse the containers to fetch water and bring it home. The gathered water is then stored in larger pots and barrels.

The water source is contaminated. Each and every user pollutes the source by immersing their containers in the water. Also, this water source is open and exposed to agents of contamination, such as runoff water.

Water shortages force the community members to travel long distances in search of clean water. The unsafe source leads to the outbreak of waterborne diseases, making people spend their resources on medication rather than for development.

“The water source as you have seen is an open source that is exposed to contamination. Most of us have suffered from waterborne diseases after consuming this water,” Mr. Joseph Shisievo said.

Some middle-class people do have plastic rainwater harvesting tanks while others have wells but their compounds are fenced so that other community members can’t get access to their water facilities.

More than half of households have latrines. Most of the pit latrines are made of mud walls, tree log flooring, and roofs with corroded iron sheets. These pit latrines are in a poor structural state, making it risky for users.

Garbage is collected and disposed of in a compost pit, which is later dug and used as organic manure for their banana plantations.

Protecting Obati Spring will amount to saving lives in Elutali Village.

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

01/02/2019: Elutali Community Project Underway

Dirty water from Obati Spring is making people in Elutali 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!

The Water Project : kenya18167-vincent-drawing-water-at-the-spring

Project Photos

Project Type

Protected Spring

In many communities, natural springs exist as water flows from cracks in rocky ground or the side of a hill.  Springs provide reliable water but that doesn’t mean safe. When left open they become contaminated by surface contamination, animal and human waste and rain runoff. The solution is to protect the source. First, you excavate around the exact source area of the spring. Then, you build a protective reservoir for water flow, which leads to a concrete spring box and collection area. Safe water typically flows year-round and there is very limited ongoing maintenance needed!


1 individual donor(s)