Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 200 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/04/2024

Project Features

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The day we visited Namarambi Village, it was cold and rainy and this made getting down to Iddi Spring very slippery and muddy. Iddi Spring has a lot of water, but it is open to contamination because there is no cut off drainage above the spring to redirect dirty runoff. It is a water source that community members here have depended on for years. Even during one of the driest seasons on record this last year, Iddi Spring served more than fifty households and it never dried.

To access water from the spring, community members have improvised a spout using a banana stem to direct the water directly into their containers. Most households store water in a traditional clay pot but believe that when water is inside the pot, it is treated naturally by the clay and has no further need for treatment.

Even with Iddi Spring's reliability, however, there are times when its yield decreases due to several eyes that feed the spring, which is currently not directed into the same discharge pipe. When this happens, water scarcity contributes to lower crop yields and the death of livestock, which can quickly lead to food shortages. It also leads to conflict among the community members because when queuing to access clean water, some people will fight to get water by force, leaving others who can not fight to either wait for a long time or go without water entirely.

Because Iddi Spring is the main source of water for Namrambi, some 200 community members are forced to consume contaminated water, thus leading to different types of diseases like typhoid, cholera, dysentery, and Bilharzia. The two leading causes of death in Namarambi Community are Typhoid, which is caused by consuming contaminated water, and Malaria, carried by mosquitos which can easily breed in the standing water around the spring.

"Water is everything that every human being must have access to," said Shaban Musa, a local farmer.

"When we lack clean water, we stagnate because instead of developing ourselves we are busy going to the hospital because one of us has typhoid or diarrhea. We really need our spring to be protected so that we reduce the money that we use to visit the hospital every time to do other things that will benefit our families. I am so happy that you have finally come to our rescue because we will be able to access clean and safe water for consumption and our lives will not be the same again."

The surrounding area is well vegetated because the community members practice farming. They plant maize, sugarcane, vegetables, bananas, and some, including Shaban, keep bees for honey. It is a rural area so it is peaceful. The community members still live in traditional houses where some are grass-thatched houses with mud walls and others are roofed with iron sheets and are also mud-walled.

Families in Namarambi live together, both extended and nuclear families in the same compound but different households. Men are considered to be the head of their families and they are supposed to provide for them because they earn money, while women are supposed to take care of the children.

Namarambi Village is unique because both Muslims and Christians live together as one family and they do farming and business activities together. People of both faiths have intermarried and they gather together for weddings and birth ceremonies without having any boundaries about some people coming from different religions.

The most common source of livelihood in this community is selling farm produce. People plant sugarcane which they take and sell to Butali Sugar Company, but because sugarcane takes some time to mature, they plant maize which takes 6 to 7 months to be harvested. Besides farming, men do taxiing using owned and hired motorbikes which earns them their short-term, daily income.

The average day in Namarambi starts at 6:00 am when families wake up, children get ready for school, women prepare breakfast for their families, and others who are not working go to the farm. After the children are off to school, women will take breakfast to those on the farm before coming back home because they have to do all the house chores, including fetching water, as they plan to prepare lunch. By 1:00 pm, the children and those on the farm will be expected back home for lunch.

After lunch, most adults take a rest as some go out to fulfill other duties as parents. At 6:00 pm, families gather together for dinner as they share how their experiences have been during the day. At 9:00 pm, the pray together and retire to bed.

What we can do:

Spring Protection

Protecting the spring will help provide access to cleaner and safer water. 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 task carried out by women and young girls. Protecting the spring and offering training and support will, therefore, help empower the female members of the community by freeing up more of their time and energy to engage and invest in income-generating activities.


Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least 2 days. This training will ensure participants have the knowledge they need about healthy practices and their importance. The facilitator plans to use Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST), Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD), 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 is consumed. We will also emphasize the importance of handwashing.

Training will result in the formation of a committee that will oversee the operations and maintenance of 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 channels. The fence will keep out destructive animals, and the drainage will keep the area’s mosquito population at a minimum.

Sanitation Platforms

Only about 20 percent of households in Namarambi have latrines, meaning most neighbors share their facilities. The latrines are cleaned once per week, and residents use cow dung to smear the floor. There is no water kept nearby for handwashing or more frequent cleaning.

"Many households in this community do not have a bathroom [or] a compost pit. This is because they believe that dropping garbage in the farms makes their farms fertile because it is a natural manure to the farm," said Leonard Hassan, a farmer in the community.

"If [you] will be able to train and educate this community on sanitation and hygiene, especially insisting on having toilets, bathrooms, and garbage pits, I believe our lives will not be the same. Rather, we will be more informed about what to do."

On the final day of training, participants will select 5 families that should benefit from new concrete latrine floors. Training will inform the community and selected families on what they need to contribute to make this project a success. They must mobilize locally available materials, including bricks, clean sand, and gravel. The 5 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.

Project Updates

January, 2021: Through Their Eyes: COVID-19 Chronicles with Asman Iddi

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 Namarambi to conduct a COVID-19 prevention training (read more about it below!) and monitor their water point, Iddi 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 Asman Iddi shared his story of how the coronavirus is impacting his life and his community. Asman is a 58-year-old farmer, small business owner, and a member of the spring's water user committee. He also carries the spring's family namesake.

Asman Iddi

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

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

"Before this water point was installed, accessing the spring was not easy and queues at the spring were the order of the day. But, since its protection, stairs were installed on both sides of the spring and the three pipes have made fetching water easier and faster than before. "

Asman enjoying the spring's flowing water

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

"We are lucky to have safe and clean water throughout this pandemic that is used for washing hands, bathing, washing clothes and utensils, and for overall body and environmental hygiene. "

Asman's wife washes dishes using spring water.

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?

"People have to keep social distance while at the spring as they wait for their turn to get water. Wearing masks is mandatory in order to prevent the spread of the virus."

Asman masked up

How has COVID-19 impacted your family?

"I have a big family, comprised of two wives and several children of different age groups and grandchildren. Caring for my family is not easy since we no longer have enough food. I had a thriving shop business before the COVID-19 pandemic, but now I hardly make sales because community members only buy the most essential items and some are barely surviving. Jobs have been lost, therefore most of them buy items on credit and they do not pay me back on time or don't pay their debts at all. There is a fear of my business collapsing."

With family at home


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

"We wash our hands well with clean water and soap, wear masks when we go out of our homes, and keep social distance while in crowded places."

Asman's son washes his hands at home

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?

"When the inter-county partial lockdown was lifted I was happy because one of my sons had lost his job, yet he could not come home. It had become my responsibility to support him financially. Now he is at home and we share whatever we get in a day."

What restriction are you still looking forward to being lifted?

"Most restrictions have been lifted, except for curfews and the reduced number of people who can attend functions. This has increased the number of new infections per day all over the country. But we hope that the virus will be eradicated soon through the vaccine."

Asman washing his hands at home

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

"The most helpful part of the training was learning how to wash our hands using the ten steps of handwashing and making masks. Now, we make masks and distribute them to members of the family for us."

May, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Namarambi Community, Iddi 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 wear masks and gloves 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 Namarambi, Kenya.

We trained more than 49 people on the symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention of COVID-19. Before there were any reported cases in the area, we worked with trusted community leaders and the Water User Committee to gather community members for the training.

Trainer Christine Masinde 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.

Handwashing demonstration

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.

Community elder 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.

Trainer Masinde installs the prevention reminders chart at the spring

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.

Community elder demonstrates handwashing

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.

Women at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19

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, 2020: Namarambi Community, Iddi Spring Project Complete!

Namarambi Community now has access to clean water! Iddi Spring has been transformed into a flowing source of water thanks to your donation. We protected the spring, constructed 5 sanitation platforms for different households in the community, and we trained the community on improved sanitation and hygiene practices.

A little boy enjoying the spring water

Reflecting on the changes that have occurred at Iddi Spring since protection, spring landowner Mr. Ali Iddi said, "Getting water from the spring was so hectic. The path was impassable and the water was dirty most of the time. We are now able to get water from our spring at all times when it rains or not. We are so happy and we thank you for bringing this project to our community. We promise to take good care of it."

Men celebrating completed Iddi Spring

Spring Protection

Community members provided all locally available construction materials, including bricks, wheelbarrows of clean sand, stones, and fencing poles. Accommodations and meals were provided for the artisan by Mr. Iddi and his family, and women and men lent their strength to the artisan to help with the manual labor, too.

The Process

First, the spring area was cleared and excavated to create space for setting the foundation of thick plastic tarp, 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 - 3 in this case due to the spring's naturally high yield - were fixed low in place through the headwall to direct the water from the reservoir to the drawing area.

Community member passes concrete to artisan to work on spring foundation

As the wing walls and headwall were curing, the stairs were set and ceramic tiles were fixed directly below the discharge pipe. This protects 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.

Artisans work on cementing and plastering the spring

The only pause during the construction period was when the artisan was ready to fill up the source area with clean stones. The amount the community had originally sourced quickly ran out, so they had to locate more and bring them to the site. Once they did, however, the process resumed smoothly. The stones were then covered with sand and a thick plastic tarp to prevent potential sources of contamination. Then soil was layered on top of the tarp so that community members could transplant grass to prevent erosion. Finally, the collection area was fenced in.

Women celebrate the new spring

It took about 2 weeks of patience for the concrete to dry. As soon as it was ready, people got the okay from our field officers to begin fetching clean water. We met them there to celebrate this momentous occasion. A few remarks were made by officials of the water user committee and our staff as well. A prayer was then made and the spring was officially handed over to the community. Happiness, thanksgiving, and appreciation were the order of the day flowing in all directions.

Happy day at the spring

Sanitation Platforms

All 5 sanitation platforms have been installed. These 5 families are happy about this milestone of having a private latrine of their own and are optimistic that people will no longer leave waste outdoors. We are continuing to encourage families to finish building walls and roofs over their new latrine floors.

New owners of a sanitation platform

New Knowledge

Community member Jevine Bandea, who would be elected Secretary of the spring's water user committee, helped organize the training in coordination with our team. Together we found the community’s preferred date for training while considering other events in the community calendar such as the agricultural season and expected gatherings. When the day arrived, Facilitator Jacky Chelagat took the lead and deployed with a team to the site.

Trainer Jacky Chelagat kicks off training

25 people attended training including several local leaders. During the day of the training, it was a bit chilly but as the day progressed it became warm and later on hot. Training was conducted in Mr. Charles Wasike's compound. His compound was ideal for the training since it was adjacent to the spring. Mr. Wasike is well known in the community and it was therefore easy for participants to access his home. Participants were well-motivated and participated actively throughout the whole day. They answered questions well, participated in demonstrations, and were eager to learn more and more.

Jacky demonstrates how to set up a hands-free tippy tap for handwashing

We covered several topics including community participation; leadership and governance; personal and environmental hygiene; water handling and treatment; operation and maintenance of the spring and sanitation platforms; dental hygiene; the 10 steps of handwashing, and how to make and use a tippy tap and leaky tin. During the leadership and governance session, we held an election for the leaders of the newly formed water user committee.

Little boy learns to handwash using a tippy tap

The group decided the Chair of the water user committee was empowered to collect fines from any member of the community who they found misusing the spring. The committee's leaders were also empowered and mandated to create a rota assigning each household a week to clean the spring and to ensure that the spring is in its proper state.

We also brainstormed income-generating activities that can be used to start both a community savings account for any future minor repairs to the spring, as well as a cooperative lending group to enable members to develop their own small businesses. This group immediately took up the idea of a merry-go-round-style savings and loan group. Each participating household was expected to contribute 100 Ksh (~$1) which would to be given to 1 member household on a rotating basis. Participants were so excited by the idea of the merry-go-round. Some members already had ideas of the projects they would start with that money.

Site management session while spring was still under construction

When an issue arises concerning the water project, the water user committee is equipped with the necessary skills to rectify the problem and ensure the water point works appropriately. However, if the issue is beyond their capabilities, they can contact our team of field officers to assist them. In addition, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our ongoing monitoring and maintenance program.

A woman gives thumbs up for flowing water

"We have learned a lot and we hope that the information we have acquired will help us to transform our lives positively. We thank the organizers of this training and we want to assure them that we shall ensure that this information gets to those who were not able to attend the training," said Margret Wasike, a local farmer.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

January, 2020: Namarambi Community, Iddi Spring Project Underway!

Dirty water from Iddi Spring is making people in Namarambi sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install 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 news of success!

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. Learn more here!

Giving Update: Namarambi Community, Iddi Spring

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Namarambi 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!

"Before the project, I would be so scared to come to the spring since it was bushy, and reaching into the spring to draw water used to be so hard for me."

"It's much easier now! There is so much water and it is fresh!"

"All I have to do is pick up my container and run downhill to the spring, place my container at the drawing pipe, wait for it to fill, get a chlorine drop into it, and carry it home."

"I am able to help my mom a lot. I feel so satisfied as a child when I help my mum by fetching water from the spring."

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 Namarambi 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 Namarambi 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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