Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 245 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/04/2024

Project Features

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It was a cold and rainy day when we visited Khayati Spring. This place became a candidate for protection when one of the community members visited a friend from Udi Spring, which we protected recently. He saw the protected spring and was very much impressed and inquired who did it. The man contacted us and we visited Khayati Spring to see for ourselves.

It is an open spring that is easily contaminated, thus making it unsafe for human consumption. Also, the community members have not cleared the area around the source and members use the bush around the spring to go to the bathroom. As a result, people contract diseases from consuming the water. Our team determined that the spring is definitely in need of protection.

"We have no other source to fetch water from that is protected," said James Lukalia, a local farmer.

The rate of poverty here is high. Protecting the spring will give community members the opportunity to spend healthy time and resources on income-generating activities that will help improve their lives.

Some 245 people from Bukhakunga Community use the spring as their primary source of water. Most households practice farming and sell their extra produce in the local market. Some raise local cattle and sell the milk that they collect. A few of the men work as boda boda riders (motorcycle taxis) for income. Often it is the women who must care for the family farm. Others work as teachers for a living.

It was the rainy season during our recent visit to Bukhakunga, so the area was green. The area is rural and peaceful. The maize was planted and about to be harvested. The roads were wet and muddy because they are not paved. Indigenous trees are around the area and we saw avocado and other local trees.

Some houses have been constructed using bricks while most households are grass-thatched muddy houses. Sanitation facilities, such as latrines and dish drying racks, are few and far between. We intend to train community members on the importance of handwashing at critical stages of their day and introduce leaky tins (improvised handwashing stations) near the latrines in their homes. We want all community members to practice good hygiene to improve their health.

The average day for community members starts around 6am when the sun rises. The women and girls fetch water, milk the cow, and prepare breakfast for the family. Children go off to school and men leave for work. Women take care of other household needs before going to work the fields. They break midday to prepare lunch for the children and tend to other needs, such as collecting firewood, getting more water, and washing clothes before it is time to make and eat dinner. The sun sets by 6pm and the family readies for bed and another day.

What we can do:


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

June, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Bukhakunga Community, Khayati 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.

Reviewing prevention reminders chart

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 Bukhakunga, Kenya.

We trained more than 14 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.

Trainer Jacky leads 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.

A girl following the 10 steps of handwashing keenly

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.

Homemade mask tutorial

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.

Social distancing check

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.

March, 2019: Bukhakunga Community, Khayati Spring Project Complete

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

"Before protection, we used to take dirty water because it was an open water source. The banana stem outlet also made it worse because it would rot and contaminate the water," remembered Mr. Isindu.

"We are very grateful that you have considered our spring for protection. Now, we are accessing safe water not only for drinking but also for general house chores."

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.

A woman pours out a bucket of stones at the construction site.

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 pipes were fixed low in place through the headwall to direct the water from the reservoir to the drawing area.

Building up the walls around the spring

As the wing walls and headwall cured, the stairs were set and ceramic tiles were fixed directly below the discharge pipes. This particular spring has so many users that the community requested a second set of stairs. The ceramic tiles installed under the discharge pipes protect 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 pipes.

Working on the stairs

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.

Some families have already started building privacy walls around their new latrine floors.

New Knowledge

"This training will help my family to live healthy lives because as a mother, I will practice and teach my family about good hygiene practices," said Mrs. Akosa.

We planned for these training sessions with the help of Mr. Muhongo, the village elder. After we agreed on a date he went ahead and informed his community. We arrived early and found only a few people gathered at Mr. Muhongo's homestead.

Eagerly waiting for training to start

An elderly lady by the name of Lonita arrived on time and helped us gather the rest of the community. She went around whistling and calling to everyone in their native language. People started arriving thanks to Lonita, about 20 in all.

Training with the Khayati Spring users was one of a kind. Every single participant was very active throughout the training, and the group particularly enjoyed the question and answer sessions after each topic.

They learned about:

- Leadership and governance
- Family planning
- Personal hygiene, including handwashing

- Dental hygiene
- Waterborne and water-related disease
- Management and maintenance of the spring

People loved talking about what rules to establish for behavior around the spring. They planned out activities that will preserve the spring protection such as planting grass around the spring box, fencing in the area, and planting indigenous trees. They also discussed the need to decommission a latrine that they think is too close to the water source.

Participants pose for a group picture after training

The training was an overall success with great appreciation shown for what was taught.

Thank You for making all of this possible!

February, 2019: Bukhakunga Community, Khayati Spring Project Underway

Dirty water from Khayati Spring is making people in Bukhakunga 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: Bukhakunga Community, Khayati Spring

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Bukhakunga Community 3.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Bukhakunga Community 3 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!

"Initially, before protection, getting water from this spring was not always easy."

"There was a huge snake that always scared us away. The water was also dirty and contaminated."

"The spring is now safe for drinking. We no longer fear the big snake as after protection it went away."

"Fetching water has been fun and enjoyable to me."

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 Bukhakunga Community 3 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 Bukhakunga Community 3 – 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.


Imago Dei Community