Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 180 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/09/2024

Project Features

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"We try to sieve water from this spring but it doesn't help in treating the contamination of the water. We get sick frequently and we suffer a lot, especially the children. We earn very little money from farming that hardly caters for our basic needs and yet we have to spend more on hospital bills," said Mrs. Miriam Ndevera.

180 people living in Malava rely on dirty water from Ndevera Spring. The water is visibly dirty and unsafe for human consumption, but since the community members have no alternative they drink it and use it for other activities around their homes.

The community members contract waterborne diseases from drinking this water. This weakens their bodies and decreases their productivity throughout the day. They also spend a lot of money on hospital bills that could otherwise be used in the development of their livelihoods.

The community members in this region are mostly farmers, getting their income from selling sugarcane, maize, sweet potatoes, and dairy products. Motorbikes are the most common mode of transport, and the young men in the community have taken advantage of this by purchasing motorbikes of their own to provide taxiing services for a fee.

What we can do:


"I am a pastor and I preach to the congregation that cleanliness is next to godliness, but most people in my community don't keep their bodies and environment clean. They need to be trained more on proper sanitation and improved hygiene so that they can improve their hygienic standards," said community members and pastor Isaac Mwanzo.

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

Less than half of the households relying on Ndevera Spring have a pit latrine of their own.

The condition of the latrines we observed is poor since they are dirty and smelly. Their floors are made of mud, and women or children use their bare hands to smear cow dung on the floor as a way of cleaning it. There is no water kept near the latrines, meaning they don't wash their hands after using the latrines.

On the final day of training, participants will select five families that should most 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

Mrs. Ndevera, the landowner where the spring is situated, lost her husband many years ago and took care of her children single-handedly. The children are now adults, married and with their own children. Her wish is to have the spring protected so that it can provide safe and clean water not only to her family, but also to other community members.

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.

"The protection of the spring will be a dream come true for me since I have been wishing for this for so many years. My children have suffered a lot from waterborne diseases, especially when they were young," said Mrs. Ndevera.

"My grandchildren don't have to go through the same suffering... We will forever be grateful."

Project Updates

May, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Malava Community, Ndevera 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 Janet Kayi in masks and gloves kicks off training

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 Malava, Kenya.

Trainer Christine Masinde shows how to make a leaky tin handwashing station

We trained more than 27 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.

Christine demonstrates handwashing

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 community member practices the handwashing steps

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.

Handwashing demonstration

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.

Facilitators hold the prevention reminders chart

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.

An elder came to training prepared by wearing her own face mask

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.

Trainer Janet emphasizes the importance of social distancing

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.

June, 2019: Malava Community, Ndevera Spring Project Complete

Malava Community is celebrating its new protected spring, so celebrate with them!

Ndevera 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 Ndevera Spring was successful and water is now flowing from the discharge pipe.

"I have taken part in the construction of this spring and I am pleased with the professionalism that has been used to protect it. On behalf of the community, we are grateful for considering us for this project since now we can access safe and clean water," said Mr. Chitala.

"I am sure that money used on hospital bills will be reduced since water-related sickness will be eliminated. The money saved can now be used in the economic development of our community,"

The Process:

Construction went on well without challenges since the community members were cooperative in providing local sand and stones for the artisan to use, and were always there to help with manual labor.

Bringing bricks down to 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. Cement, waterproof coating, ballast, and sand were mixed together to make a very strong foundation.

Brickwork started whereby the artisan took all of the required measurements of the spring structure before proceeding with the work. Construction of the superstructure continued with discharge pipes fixed in the brick wall.

Stairs were built on one side of the spring to allow in and out movement by users.

Stone pitching along the lower part of the spring was done to prevent soil from eroding and blocking the outlet drainage. Finally, the plastering of the walls and the floor was done, and tiles were placed below the discharge pipes to keep the falling water from hitting the cement.

The spring was then left for two days to undergo curing and hardening before being backfilled using stones.

Polythene was stretched across the top and covered with soil to allow clean water to flow from the pipe. Community members promised to dig cut-off drainage at the slope of the spring to divert surface water from entering the spring and to also plant grass over the protected area to prevent erosion.

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 will continue to encourage them to finish building walls and roofs over their new latrine floors as we visit for monitoring and evaluation.

New Knowledge

"There had been many cases of people in our community suffering from water-related diseases because of consuming unsafe water. Through this training, we have learned how to treat water before drinking it so as to minimize sickness. Our hygiene standards will also increase tremendously because we will put into practice proper hygiene practices that we have been taught," said Mrs. Ndevera.

"Thank you so much for educating us for free!"

We were set to start hygiene and sanitation training in the morning, but we had to wait an extra hour because we arrived to find community members still working on their farms. They knew about the training but had a hard time tearing themselves away from their work. Once they heard we had arrived, people started coming one by one.

Participants learned about topics including:

– Environmental hygiene
– Waterborne and water-related disease, along with water treatment methods
– Leadership and governance for the spring committee

We discussed qualities of a good leader and leaders were elected to head the water user committee that will oversee the spring's management and maintenance activities.

Committee leadership

We were actually surprised to find that the community members had already appointed some of the leaders in advance. These leaders promised to take good care of the spring and also make sure the community members put into practice what they learned during the training.

– Management and maintenance of the spring

– Family planning
– Personal hygiene, highlighting handwashing and dental hygiene

One of the activities was the 10 steps of handwashing. First, the facilitator demonstrated how to wash hands properly and then two participants were also asked to do the same. This activity was special because the participants were open about how they always wash their hands and one of them went ahead to demonstrate how he wipes his hands with his shirt after washing. However, he was advised by the facilitator that there is no need for wiping his hands dry, but they should instead be left to dry on their own.

The participants were keen to wash their hands the right way and each and every one of them promised to make leaky tins (handwashing stations) in their homes. They also promised to brush their teeth well and change their brushes every after three months since most of them said that they have had their toothbrushes for more than two years!

Thank You for making all of this possible.

April, 2019: Malava Community, Ndevera Spring Project Underway

Dirty water from Ndevera Spring is making people in Malava Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to solve this issue by building 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 again with news of success!

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: Malava Community, Ndevera Spring

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Malava 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!

"I used to be scared of going to the spring before it was protected because it was open and difficult for us to get water. Sometimes, children could fall in the water while trying to get water. The water was visibly dirty with algae all over."

"Nowadays, I go to the spring alone without any fears of drowning since, before protection, the water source was open and risky."

"I was very happy when the spring was protected because the water is safe and clean for drinking. I hardly get sick."

"Water from the spring is safe and clean water to drink which has improved our health."

"Less time is spent at the spring to get water; as a result, we get time to study, play, and still help our parents to do house chores."

Leon with Field Officer Christine Masinde (pre-pandemic)

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 Malava 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 Malava 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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