Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 224 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 10/10/2023

Project Features

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Field Officer Rose Serete was visiting with a friend a few months back and asked her about where she gets her water. She told me about the nearby Lishenga Spring where more than 220 people from Rosterman Community also got their water. It was immediately clear that the spring is a viable water source that needs to be protected.

Lishenga Spring provides water throughout the year. During the dry season, it is overcrowded since people who fetch water from other seasonal springs come here to fetch water instead. A pipe affixed to the spring to make it easier to collect the water is now rusted, making the water unsafe for drinking. Waterborne diseases caused by drinking the water lead to many families spending a lot of money on medication.

"This pipe was inserted on this spring many years ago and I am worried because it has rusted, and this might cause health problems," said Victoria Anyona, a community member who uses the spring.

Rosterman Community is a rural area with a variety of houses ranging from mud-walled to permanent structures. It is highly vegetated with large areas covered in a variety of indigenous trees. All of this contributes to an overall peaceful community.

Most of the men are employed as bodaboda (motorcycle taxi) drivers. Some people work as public servants, like teachers. Others undertake informal jobs working as farmhands or on construction sites to make a daily income.

On a typical day here, women wake up around 6:00 am and prepare breakfast before going to fetch water. Children wake up at around the same time to prepare for school. The men wake up at around 7:00 am, take breakfast, and prepare themselves to go to work. After the men and children leave, the women perform household chores, such as cleaning the house and washing clothes. In the afternoon, they prepare lunch and go to look for firewood. The children will return for lunch at home before going back to school. In the evening, they go to fetch more water before cooking dinner. The men come back in the evening and have supper before retiring 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 a task predominantly 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

December, 2020: Through Their Eyes: COVID-19 Chronicles with Emmanuel Lishenga

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 Rosterman to conduct a COVID-19 prevention training and monitor their water point, Lishenga 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 25-year-old university student Emmanuel Lishenga shared his story of how the coronavirus is impacting his life and his community.

Emmanuel stands next to his family's handwashing station at home.

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

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

"Since the installation of this water point, we are at peace with our neighbors. Having enough water from this water point, we have started small hotels which have created employment for youth, making this community well-developed."

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

"Having a clean water point has been of great importance to this community. We are able to practice hygiene and sanitation like washing hands, which requires a lot of water during this pandemic."

Emmanuel fetches water from Lishenga Spring

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?

"Yes. In the past, we used to touch the discharge pipe and fetch water without a mask, but nowadays, you are not allowed to touch the discharge pipe and you have to put on a mask while fetching water at the spring."

Physical distancing at the spring

How has COVID-19 impacted your family?

"My family was affected because, my mother being the breadwinner, had a stroke and it was difficult to take her to the hospital due to our financial crisis. So, we are nursing her at home. My siblings have been affected psychologically; it has been hectic to handle them being at home since a lot is needed."

Emmanuel with his mother outside their home

What other challenges are you experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

"There are inadequate job opportunities as many working places shut down. Many unemployed youths are idle, leading to an increase in the death rate as some relatives and friends engage them in certain behaviors such as drug and substance abuse."

Washing his hands using clean water from the spring

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

"My community has installed a handwashing facility with clean water and soap in every home. They also try their best to stay one and a half meters away during ceremonies. And, finally, every community member has to put a mask on when outside their home."

Masked up

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

"The most helpful part was how to wash hands by the ten steps using clean water and soap. This was helpful because you need to wash your hands before entering any premises."

March, 2020: Rosterman Community, Lishenga Spring Project Complete!

Please note, all photos in this report were taken before social distancing recommendations went into place.

Rosterman Community now has access to clean water! Lishenga 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.

"We are pleased to have such a project in our community. We have nothing to give in return but to say thank you. We are now sure we are safe and free from diseases such as diarrhea and other horrible diseases. May God bless you," said village elder Nashon Asasala.

Community members celebrate flowing water at the completed spring with Nashon Asasala in center

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, and women and men lent their strength to the artisan to help with the manual labor, too. This community was particularly committed to the construction process, our team noted, with large numbers of people showing up every day to help the artisan any way they could.

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 pipe was fixed low in place through the headwall to direct the water from the reservoir to the drawing area.

Community members formed an assembly line to mix concrete and pass it down to the artisan building the spring's 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 pipe.


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.

Artisan sets the tiles before water is allowed to flow through the discharge pipe

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.

"It is a pleasure to see clean water flowing down the spring. We can now access clean, safe water and we are happy. I thank God for you people and I pray for God's blessings to descend upon your hands in Jesus' name. Amen," said community member and farmer Beatrice Aliebi.

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.

Kids stand proudly with their family's new sanitation platform

New Knowledge

Community member and village elder Nashon Asasala helped organize the training in coordination with our team and the community's health volunteer. 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, Lead Field Officer for the project Rose Amulavu deployed to the site with a team of facilitators.

Some 25 people attended the training including local and government leaders and many children! It was a cold and cloudy morning. We did the training under a tree outside of an attendee's homestead since it was a conducive environment for training and central to many attendees' homes.

Trainer Rose demonstrates the 10 steps of handwashing

We covered several topics including community participation in the project; 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. 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 participant practices handwashing next to Trainer Rose

Handwashing was a key topic that the participants were taken through and a particularly memorable. The facilitator asked for a volunteer from the group to demonstrate to others how handwashing is done. A female participant came forth and did as requested but she did it casually. The facilitator then demonstrated the 10 steps of handwashing and the training participants were astonished because they had been doing it without following any sort of steps to ensure their hands really were getting clean.

They vowed to adopt the correct steps of handwashing immediately. The facilitator emphasized the critical points of handwashing including before after visiting the toilet; before and after attending to a sick person; before and during food preparation; after handling waste or chemicals; and before and after eating.

A young volunteer demonstrates toothbrushing

The discussion on safe water handling and storage was also memorable as the participants revealed that they typically would not change the water in their containers until it was gone. Some said this could take up to a month at a time! The facilitator advised them to change stored water and especially drinking water after every 3 days. Overall the training went on smoothly and the participants were very attentive. The questions they asked showed a lot of willingness on their part to learn more.

Village Elder Nashon Asasala stands proudly at the spring

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.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

February, 2020: Rosterman Community, Lishenga Spring Project Underway!

Dirty water from Lishenga Spring is making people in Rosterman 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: Rosterman Community, Lishenga Spring

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Rosterman 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!

"I used to draw water from the unprotected using dirty containers. This led to contamination of the water point. In addition, the crowding and queueing was a major issue when we came to draw water."

"It is now easier to get water from the protected spring. It takes a shorter time to draw water from the spring. Crowding and queueing are no longer experienced at the spring."

"Access to clean and safe drinking water has reduced incidences of waterborne diseases."

"In addition, I have more time to concentrate on my academic work and my general hygiene standard has greatly improved."

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 Rosterman 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 Rosterman 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.