Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/04/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

There are 560 people living in this part of Imbinga Community who have to use dirty water on a daily basis.

Their main water source is Arunga Spring - an open, unprotected water source. Community members bring a small cup along with their large containers because the drawing point is so small. Water is continuously bailed with the cup until the larger jerrycan is full.

There is a dispenser that is supposed to be full of chlorine, but there was none there during our visit. Community members now use this dispenser to help raise their containers up onto their heads for the walk home.

"I have to be at the spring before everyone so that I can draw drinking water since I cannot afford firewood to boil it," said Mrs. Caro Ambetsa.

That's because the more people fetching water, the more the mud at the bottom of the spring rises up and contaminates the water.

Caro and her neighbors suffer from typhoid, cholera, and other waterborne illnesses. The most common complication is bilharzia (schistosomes), a neglected tropical disease caused by parasitic worms. The water users report that they can suffer from bilharzia just from stepping in Arunga Spring to fill their containers.

The community here is in dire need of safe and clean drinking water. They were eagerly awaiting our first visit. Many children die prematurely because of waterborne diseases. Protecting the spring will allow the children to grow up healthy.

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.

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

Only a third of the community members using Arunga Spring have a good place to use the bathroom. The families that do not have a pit latrine use the privacy of bushes.

"Most of us go to the bush especially at night since we do not have latrines," Anne Murenga admitted.

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

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 Imbinga Community, Arunga 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.

Facilitators use prevention reminders chart at 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 Imbinga, Kenya.

We trained more than 35 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 shows a sample mask made 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.

Trainer uses installed tippy tap for 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.

A girl demonstrates handwashing

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.

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.

Cough and sneeze into the elbow

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: Imbinga Community, Arunga Spring Project Complete

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

"I take this great opportunity to sincerely thank you for helping us protect our spring. The community is now full of joy as we know that the waterborne diseases we have been suffering from will be no more," said Mrs. Manyonyi.

"The money which was wasted for treatment of the waterborne diseases will now be used to improve our living standard. The water from this water point will also be used for income-generating activities like fish farming and irrigation during dry spells, hence boosting the food security and economy in our community."

The Process:

The construction process went so well because all of the community members who draw water from the source came to support our artisan. They began by clearing the bushes around the water catchment area and some of them carried over local materials like sand and stones to help. Community members also hosted our artisan for the duration of construction and provided him with meals.

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 beautify 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.

Children carrying leaves to cover the cement as it dries

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.

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

We worked with village leadership to plan the best time and place for hygiene and sanitation training. We then prepared the training materials and met community members at the spring construction site. After we taught about how the spring protection works and how the community can best care for it, we moved to a homestead where there was shade to sit under.

During the entire training session all the participants were very active. They asked questions and were willing to demonstrate whenever the instructor asked them to. They took notes on the notebooks we provided as well.

Participants learned about:

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

The community members agreed to formulate some rules that will govern the spring, and whoever is found going against these rules will be fined. They also unanimously agreed to use the extra water to construct a fish pond and do other income-generating activities. This will increase food security and improve their living standards.

– Family planning
– Personal hygiene, including handwashing

– Dental hygiene

During the activities for handwashing and dental hygiene, every participant wanted to take part in the demonstrations since we had brought toothbrushes and toothpaste along.

The session was very interesting when one man demonstrated how mothers usually rush their kids to wash their hands before eating. They use water poured in a basin, and every child dips in their hands without changing the water until everyone has rinsed.

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

"I'm so grateful today to be part of this training. I have postponed my work to attend this training and it's worth it. I am thankful for our instructors today. They have come to teach us many things that will change our lives positively," said Mr. Sibidari.

"Initially I did not know the ten steps of handwashing, and I also did not know that brushing teeth in up-down or left-right motions is harmful to the gums, I now know how to brush my teeth properly. The training on operation and maintenance will help us to take good care of the spring so as to ensure even the future generations benefit from the spring."

Thank You for making all of this possible!

April, 2019: Imbinga Community, Arunga Spring Project Underway

Dirty water from Arunga Spring is making people in Imbinga 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: Imbinga Community, Arunga Spring

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Imbinga 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!

"The hole where we used to scoop water was so big and I was always afraid of fetching water, especially during the rainy season as it normally got slippery."

"Now, I can fetch water any time without fear."

"It's now very easy and enjoyable to fetch water."

"I thank God that as a result of the spring, my mother has planted greens that she sells, and she thus buys me books and other school requirements."

"I long to study hard pass my examinations and excel in life."


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 Imbinga 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 Imbinga 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.


Imago Dei Community