Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 189 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/05/2024

Project Features

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There are 189 people living in this part of Kambiri who do not have regular access to clean and safe water. Instead, they fill their buckets with the dirty water found nearby at Sachita Spring.

This water is entirely open to contamination and gets especially dirty when it rains. Animals are free to come and go as they please, contaminating the water further. Nonetheless, containers are dunked under the surface and filled with water used for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and many other things.

People suffer from waterborne diseases like typhoid.

"We are tired of visiting the health facility every now and then because of waterborne diseases. At first, we didn't know the cause of sickness and now that we know we will be grateful if this spring is protected so as to reduce money spent on treatment of preventable disease through taking clean and safe water," said Mr. Sachita.

This makes it so much harder for community members to make a living and care for their families. Sickness keeps them off of their maize farms.

Sachita Spring is near Kakamega Forest, which is the only existing indigenous equatorial forest in Kenya with over 360 birds species and is known for the blue monkeys that live within. The community members take pride in the existence of the forest since it is a big reason why springs in this area don't run dry at all. This forest also acts as a tourist attraction center that has led to the economic growth of the area, providing employment opportunities for people who act as tour guides.

What we can do:

"Our people need to be taught about proper sanitation and improved hygiene. A simple act like washing hands with soap after using the latrine is not practiced because people think it doesn't much affect someone's health - yet it a major cause of health problems experienced in our community," said Mrs. Ayuma.

Some community members have dish racks and clotheslines, but only a few have garbage pits since they prefer throwing waste on their farms, which acts as manure. The biggest area that needs improvement is practicing handwashing after using the latrine and dental hygiene.


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

Less than half of households have a pit latrine, so those who don't have one most often share with their neighbor. Latrines are made of mud, making them extremely hard to keep clean.

On the final day of training, participants will select five families that should most benefit from new latrine floors.

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 Kambiri Community, Sachita 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 Jacky emphasizes the importance of using soap of any kind when handwashing

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 Kambiri, Kenya.

We trained more than 15 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.

Making a leaky tin

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.

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.

Sample mask made during the tutorial at training

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.

Reviewing prevention reminders chart

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: Kambiri Community, Sachita Spring Project Complete

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

"Thank you for making it possible for us to access clean and safe water. Before, we used to take contaminated water which made us get sick frequently - especially children. Now we can take water without worrying about waterborne diseases," said 72-year-old Berida.

The Process:

The community worked alongside our artisan to make spring protection successful. People living closest to the spring made meals for the work team, and several community members shuttled supplementary materials directly 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.

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.

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

The community members were informed of the importance of hygiene and sanitation training as we supervised construction work, and a convenient date and time were chosen. The community members who were there with us then went house to house to inform others about the training.

The participants were very involved throughout the training, asking many questions for clarification about the topics that were covered. They also volunteered to help whenever there was a demonstration.

Participants learned about:

– Leadership and governance for the spring committee

Under this topic, the water user committee leaders were elected in order to oversee the maintenance of the spring and to ensure that proper sanitation is observed by everyone in the community. They were also asked to form and register a group that works to do income-generating activities so that economic standards improve.

This was special because participants asked many questions about how they can form, manage, and register their group to get additional support from the local government. The facilitator informed them that they should not only form a group but also have a plan for what activities they should engage in together. They need to embrace unity and work hard in order to succeed.

– Management and maintenance of the spring

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

Dental hygiene was discussed in detail. Participants were informed that they need to brush after meals and that they need to replace their brushes after three months. A demonstration about the right way to brush, highlighting the amount of toothpaste to be used, was done.

This activity was special because the participants said that they had never learned the proper way to brush. If they cannot afford a new toothbrush every three months, they were advised to improvise by using a clean, chewed stick instead. They can also use salt or charcoal in place of toothpaste.

The community members really liked learning about handwashing as well. They appreciated learning how to make their own handwashing stations by using jerrycans, string, and sticks.

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

Discussing the possibility of solar disinfection. All someone needs is a clear container, the sun, and some time.

"This training was very educative. Now we know more about the project and we have also learned how to keep ourselves and the environment clean in order to reduce infections, diseases, and improve our wellbeing," said Mrs. Shikuku.

Thank You for making all of this possible!

April, 2019: Kambiri Community, Sachita Spring Project Underway

Dirty water from Sachita Spring is making people in Kambiri 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: Kambiri Community, Sachita Spring

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kambiri 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 spring was protected, I could waste a lot of time queueing for water, thus wasting my precious time."

"Since the spring was protected, my health status has improved and I am ready to concentrate on my academic work."

"Since the implementation of the spring, my academic performance has improved and with that, I promise to be the best in my class."

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 Kambiri 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 Kambiri 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.