Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 210 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Apr 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 08/13/2023

Project Features

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There are 210 people living in Rosterman who rely on dirty water from Kidiga Spring.

You take a left from a small shopping center down a small footpath until you reach the spring. These dirt paths get muddy and slippery when it rains. The area is overgrown, but you're able to glimpse a few mud homes along the path.

The water at Kidiga Spring is open to contamination. Since the spring is within walking distance of the shopping center, there are shopkeepers who also come here to fetch their water. The heavy use of the spring further dirties the water, since people dunk their water containers directly under the surface.

There are disease outbreaks among those who drink water from Kidiga Spring. People constantly contend with diarrhea. They even battle skin infections after bathing in the dirty water.

"A lot of money has been spent on medication. Three years ago, we lost our father-in-law who had typhoid and the family members could not raise money for treatment," said Beatrice Kidiga.

"It's our prayer that the same will not repeat again."

Rosterman has always been known as a mining community. Most people living here earn their daily bread from mining the gold pocketed in the land. Many families have lost a loved one in a mining accident, but the young people still choose to mine.

There are others who have purchased a motorbike so that they can run motorbike taxi businesses.

But when the key breadwinners fall ill from drinking dirty water, the entire family suffers.

What we can do:


Most of the households have a pit latrine but they need to be taught about washing hands after visiting the toilet.

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, since handwashing is one of the most efficient ways to keep germs from spreading.

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

While most people have latrines, these latrines are made of mood and have dangerous wooden floors. The wood is prone to rot, which puts the user in danger of falling through into the pit.

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

December, 2020: Through Their Eyes: COVID-19 Chronicles with David Kidiga Odeno

This post is part of a new series by The Water Project meant to highlight the perspectives and experiences of the people we serve and how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting them. We invite you to read more of their stories here.

Our team recently visited Rosterman to conduct a COVID-19 prevention training and monitor their water point, Kidiga Spring. Shortly after, we returned to check in on the community, offer a COVID-19 refresher training, and ask how the pandemic is affecting their lives.

It was during this most recent visit that David Kidiga Odeno, who earns a living second-hand clothes, shared his story of how the coronavirus is impacting his life and his community.

David washing his hands at home

Field Officer Rose Serete met David outside his home to conduct the interview. Both Rose and David observed physical distancing and other precautions throughout the visit to ensure their health and safety. The following is David's story, in his own words.

What is one thing that has changed in your community since the completion of the water project?

"Since the installation of this water point, our community has improved on the standards of hygiene and sanitation. This is the result of having enough water."

How has having a clean water point helped you through the pandemic so far?

"The water point has been of great help because we have enough water for washing hands and also, we are able to do home activities using the water from this water point. Without it, we would have suffered a lot."

David fetches water from the spring

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Kenya, has fetching water changed for you because of restrictions, new rules, or your concerns about the virus?

"Yes, in the past community members used to crowd at the spring while fetching water, but now they have to stay one and a half meters away from each other."

Physical distancing at the spring

How has COVID-19 impacted your family?

"My family has been impacted by COVID-19 because, due to a lack of finances, I am not able to provide fully for my kids and our standard of life has changed. Secondly, because they are not going to school, this has affected the kids as they spend the whole day in the house."

David and his wife at home

What other challenges are you experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

"Firstly, I run a business of selling second-hand clothes to earn a living. During this pandemic, the clothes are scarce because clothing bales have not been transported into the country as usual. This has largely affected my business as my stock is out and there is nothing to survive on."

What hygiene and sanitation steps have you and your community taken to stop the spread of the virus?

"Handwashing stations at every shop and gathering places have been put in place, wearing of masks at public gatherings, and every home has a handwashing facility with water and soap."

Giving his cow a fresh drink from the spring

Like most governments around the world, the Kenyan government continues to set and adjust restrictions both nationally and regionally to help control the spread of the virus.

What restriction were you most excited to see lifted already?

"The schools reopening in January."

What restriction are you still looking forward to being lifted?

"The nighttime travel restriction."

David outside his home

What has been the most valuable part of the COVID-19 sensitization training you received from our team?

"COVID-19 is real, it's not a myth, and it affects all age groups regardless of the previous rumors where we thought it only affects old people. We were also trained on how to make masks."

April, 2019: Rosterman Community, Kidiga Spring Project Complete

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

"We went through a lot in the past when this spring was unprotected. Members spend a lot of money on medication but at the moment we have a reason to say 'Thank You Lord!' We shall make sure the spring is well taken care of," said Mr. Yakhama.

"Now I can proudly and confidently welcome visitors in my home and give them a glass of water without any doubt or fear that they will be affected by the waterborne diseases," added Mr. Enock.

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 pipes were 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 pipes.

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.

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.

We went as a team to meet the community at the spring to do an official handing over ceremony. 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. That committee has already led the community in building a solid fence to protect the area behind the discharge pipes.

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

We recruited participants for hygiene and sanitation training with the help of Mr. Alusa, who went around and notified community members who draw water from Kidiga Spring. We met together outside under a tree because it was such a hot day.

They learned about:

– Leadership and governance
– Management and maintenance of the spring
– Family planning
– Personal hygiene, including handwashing

– Dental hygiene

– Waterborne and water-related disease, along with water treatment methods

An eye-opening session on water contamination: It gets dirty when it's not handled properly

The facilitator covered this topic with the aim of helping the community identify ways that their food and water gets contaminated, which can result in disease. Being aware of the routes of contamination, the community was then able to brainstorm ways to build barriers by practicing good hygiene and sanitation.

"Most people have no idea on sanitation matters and water handling and as a result, they have suffered from diarrhea," said Mr. Shitichi.

"I am grateful for this training that will lead to improved health."

Thank You for making all of this possible!

February, 2019: Rosterman Community, Kidiga Spring Project Underway

Dirty water from Kidiga Spring is making people in Rosterman 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 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.

Giving Update: Rosterman Community, Kidiga Spring

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Rosterman 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!

"We experienced long queues before when drawing water from the spring before its protection. We were not assured of the water's quality."

"After its protection, it is now very convenient and it takes a short time to draw water from the protected spring."

"In addition, the quality of the water is good."

"It is now possible to rush quickly to the protected spring, draw water, and be back home for other domestic work and also my academic work."

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 Rosterman 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 Rosterman 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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