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: 05/07/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Nalianya Spring is the primary place to get water for 210 people in Emulakha Community. People travel to the spring to fill large containers with water throughout the year.

"For a long time this spring has remained unprotected. It does not dry up during the dry season. It is a reliable source of water and serves many members of the community and pupils from the nearby Shibinga Primary School," explained Mr. Ruben Kweyu, a resident who lives near Nalianya Spring.

Most of the 210 people who use the spring have suffered from waterborne diseases such as diarrhea and typhoid, all from drinking contaminated water.

Emulakha Community is peaceful and rural. During our first visit we noticed that most of the land is planted with maize and bean crops. Most homes are made of mud and clay walls and iron sheets for roofing. Fewer than half of households here have latrines for going to the bathroom. The hygiene and sanitation standards are low and improvement is necessary, our teams report. In some cases, the toilets were infested with maggots.

Most people here make a living as farmers. Some people who can afford the materials and tools to make bricks do so. Bricks from this area are sold to the larger town of Kakamega to support its ongoing infrastructure development. Some other men wake up early to work as motorcycle taxi drivers while others work as construction day laborers in Kakamega.

Meanwhile, women wake up early to get water from the spring for doing chores. Then most women work in farms to earn a living. The children spend their days in school, but also have to help fetch water and complete other household tasks during the day.

Protecting this spring will go a long way in improving the hygiene and sanitation standards in this community. Access to water will be enhanced and women will be getting water easily, thus giving them time to undertake other economically viable enterprises.

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 concrete 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.

Project Updates

July, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Emulakha Community, Nalianya 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 Karen shows how to make a face mask

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 Emulakha, Kenya.

Social distancing check

We trained more than 25 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.

How to put on a face mask using the one completed at training

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.

Practicing the 10 steps of handwashing

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.

Trainer Gladys demonstrates handwashing with a tippy tap station

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.

Handwashing volunteer

Most participants said they did not know that if any of them shows Coronavirus symptoms, they can call a toll free number and wait for a government vehicle with health officials to come and pick them up to go get tested for Covid-19. They also said they did not realize that leaving home to go to the hospital on their own using public means would endanger those they come into close contact with on the roads, on bicycles, on the motorcycles, or in the vehicles.


Handwashing volunteer

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.

Trainers stand with the prevention reminders chart they installed at the spring

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.

May, 2019: Emulakha Community, Nalianya Spring Project Complete

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

"At least our lives will be better with this protected water. Our school children who usually fetch water here can now smile. We thank God for this intervention," said Aisha Murayi.

The community members held a meeting to mark the completion and commissioning of the protected spring. The event was marked with prayer and thanksgiving. They are sure that the protected spring will greatly help to improve hygiene standards within the community, and hence improve their quality of life. They appreciate that the households will spend less time fetching water and spend more time on other economic activities.

The Process:

Community members provided all locally available construction materials, e.g bricks, 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.

The ceramic tiles installed under the discharge pipe 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 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. After the backfilling was done at the reservoir area, the community members were already waiting and ready with poles and nails to help the artisan fence in the area. They have also planted grass around the spring box and cement catchment 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. While some families have entirely finished their new latrines, others still need to build a superstructure. 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

Our community contact presented the most convenient dates for us to hold hygiene and sanitation training, advising that we'd get the best turnout if we met in the morning. He also helped us recruit participants by going door to door inviting the families who use Nalianya Spring.

The attendees were all so active, but especially the men. They would speak up a lot about each and every topic, asking clarifying questions when they didn't understand.

Participants learned about:

– Leadership and governance for the spring committee
– Management and maintenance of the spring

– Family planning
– Personal hygiene, including handwashing

The facilitator began by asking the participants if they clean their hands. He requested a volunteer to illustrate how they wash their hands. A female participant volunteered and came up front. After she was done, the facilitator then demonstrated the proper way to wash hands, using the ten handwashing steps. Participants repeated each step as he went along. We also learned that nobody uses soap when they wash their hands, so the facilitator talked about its importance.

After the facilitator showed everyone how to build a leaky tin handwashing station, one older traditional man stood up and said that it is his wife's task to ensure that the leaky tins are always filled. Everyone burst into laughter when the facilitator challenged him on that: What would he do in case his wife went on a journey and the water ran out? The man bowed his head down at this point while the trainer urged the man to help his wife so they could all live a healthy, happy life.

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

Both handwashing and toothbrushing are new concepts for this group of people, so the facilitator plans to check progress during each monitoring visit in the future.

"We thank the organization for finding time to come and give us this long-awaited knowledge," said Mr. Kweyu.

Thank You for making all of this possible!

March, 2019: Emulakha Community, Nalianya Spring Project Underway

Dirty water from Nalianya Spring is making people in Emulakha 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: Emulakha Community, Nalianya Spring

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Emulakha 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!

"Before, the spring was open and we would fetch dirty water, which was bad for human consumption."

"Now, the water is clean and reliable. I take very few minutes to fetch water at the spring. There is no queue at the protected spring."

"The spring water has helped us to grow vegetables during the dry seasons, which we normally sell."

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 Emulakha 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 Emulakha 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.


The Pallante Family
1 individual donor(s)