Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 280 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/07/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Kalenda A community, distinct from Kalenda B village, is a mixture of an urban and a rural setting but leans mostly towards rural. The area is quiet and peaceful with the chirping of birds making it even better. Buildings in this area are made of mud walls and roofed with iron sheets. Some are decorated with various materials of different colors and some are plastered with cow dung.

More than 280 people make up this community where most families make money from farming. Women take care of all house chores as the men tackle the farm work. People in Kalenda practice farming on a large scale. Sugarcane and maize crops that are sold in local markets make up the majority of a family's income. Other crops like traditional vegetables, beans, and groundnuts also contribute.

For this community, a day begins at 6:00 am with the mothers up to make breakfast while the children prepare for school. The men and elderly people go to the farms and their various businesses. It is quite difficult to find people in their homes during the day. People start going back to their homes at about 3:00 pm for lunch and to travel to the market to sell their crops.

Webo Simali Spring is located in a central part of the village, so most of the households dependent on the spring can access it without interfering with their neighbors. The water is open and the community members have constructed a barrier to help build a reservoir to ease the collection of the water.

It is easy to see that the water is contaminated as evidenced by the numerous insects visibly wiggling through the water.

"Clean water is hard to find here," said Christopher Wambulwa Webo, a local mechanic who uses the spring. "And by clean water, I mean water that does not have insects or frogs inside."

Due to the presence of visible impurities to the water, community members have taken it upon themselves to sieve and boil this water before consuming it. But that only does so much in terms of eliminating waterborne infections. As a result, people here often fall ill from waterborne diseases.

Community members described to us that they endure costly trips to the hospital to care for family members. The financial toll of these infections has also caused a crisis in family finances and mental stamina. Some families have resorted to staying away from the hospitals - a decision that saves money yet increases the risk of long-term harm.

Protecting the spring would help community members access clean and safe water. The spring protection will ensure that the water from the spring is not contaminated by human activities. As a result, access to safe water will prevent the contraction and spread of waterborne diseases.

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

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

July, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Kalenda A Community, Webo Simali 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.

Reviewing the prevention reminders chart

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 Kalenda A, Kenya.

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.

Trainer Chelagat emphasizes the importance of soap in 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.

Handwashing volunteer

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.

Homemade mask tutorial

Charles Webo said that God loves them so much and that is why He sent to them our team of facilitators to train the village on how to prevent the spread of Covid-19. This is because God does not want them to die of the virus, he said. Mr. Webo emphasized that it was upon everybody to exercise what was learned in the training in order to stay safe from the virus.

Prevention tips sign installed at the spring

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.

An elder follows the training using an informational pamphlet on 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: Kalenda A Community, Webo Simali Spring Project Complete!

Kalenda A Community now has access to clean water! Webo Simali 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.

"When help arrives, it always arrives at the right time. Thank you for coming to help us get clean water. This spring will help most of us in very many ways that we do not see yet. May God bless you abundantly," said Priscah Anekha, a local trader in the community.

Kids celebrate the newly completed 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, too.

The Process

Women and men lent their strength to the artisan to help him with manual labor. The spring area was 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 pipe was fixed low in place through the headwall to direct the water from the reservoir to the drawing area.

Artisan sets the discharge pipe into the headwall

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 pipe.

Community members help pass clay to the artisan for backfilling as the first water begins to flow

The source area was filled up with clean stones and sand and covered with 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. It took about 2 weeks of patience for the concrete to dry.

Planting grass and adjusting fencing around the spring box

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. Happiness, thanksgiving, and appreciation were the order of the day flowing in all directions.

A woman takes a drink fresh from the source

Webo Simali spring users turned up in large numbers throughout the entire construction process, demonstrating their concern and commitment to improving their spring. They worked together with the artisans like they were a family, reflected our field team. The community expressed their appreciation for the work done and asked God to bless everyone involved in making this project a success, from the donors to the artisans and project staff.

Thumbs up for clean water

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.

A man poses with his new sanitation platform

New Knowledge

Community member Mr. Christopher Wambulwa, who works as a local mechanic, 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.

A whopping 62 women, children, and men attended the training which far exceeded the 20 we expected! Among the attendees were many elderly who came out in droves. It was a really hot day but we managed to secure a spot under the shade of some trees at Mr. Charles Webo's homestead. It was a little cooler and provided a better environment for training. Everyone in the training was actively involved throughout the entire day.

A child demonstrates proper toothbrushing technique

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.

Handwashing session

Our discussion on group dynamics was a particularly lively one. The facilitator took the group through the different aspects of forming a group and the stages it has to go through to make it a formidable one. This particular group was not going to shy away from expressing how they felt. They aired out their grievances with open minds and also listened to each other without being a bother. It was a pleasant surprise to have such a peaceful disagreement as opposed to the normally chaotic ones.

Site maintenance session held at the spring while under construction

The site maintenance session was also memorable. The group went to the spring to see how the spring is to be used and taken care of to ensure its sustainable longevity. It was nice to see how the community members laid out rules and regulations without making it seem like they were being too strict. The children were warned of bad behavior, and each of them contributed to what was to happen to any perpetrator breaking a rule.

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.

A child cools off in the spring water

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.

"This training should have had even the governor as part of it. It has been very informative and I think that in the future such people in the community should be part of it. But I am very grateful for this training. It has opened our eyes to the things we often overlook and negatively impact us," said village elder Charles Mulamba.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

February, 2020: Kalenda A Community, Webo Simali Spring Project Underway!

Dirty water from Webo Simali Spring is making people in Kalenda A Community 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 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: Kalenda A Community, Webo Simali Spring

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kalenda 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, it was really a hard time to fetch water from this spring."

"The surrounding area was bushy, leading to continued siltation by sand and contamination from rotten plant leaves. Waste products were more abundant on the water's surface."

"Furthermore, the water surface was a playing ground for the children, increasing the risk of communicable infections."

"The water from the spring can now be trusted for domestic use as the spring is protected."

"Getting access to the water has now been eased and this has reduced time wastage."

"Moreover, we are able to invest our finances in small income-bringing projects as water-prone infections have now gone down."

"I am doing agribusiness using water to empower myself and other generations."

"The spring also gives me time to concentrate on my studies as it's easy to access within a short time."


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 Kalenda 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 Kalenda 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.


Ziljkic Sisters