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: 03/07/2024

Project Features

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The village of Kalenda B, being distinct from Kalenda A, is separated from its sister village by an access road. Kalenda B is entirely of the rural setting, with homes scattered all over the place. Houses are mud-walled and thatched by grass or use iron sheets as the roof. The area is very green thanks to the many trees, large plantations, and the thick grass cover. Kalenda B is very calm, quiet, and peaceful.

Children are seen as a source of pride in this community. All the adults are expected to bring something to the table as they majorly depend on agriculture as a source of income. All mothers take care of their children and the entire family. People here are mostly engaged in farming. Some of the crops include sugarcane, maize, kale, groundnuts, and cassava.

Here, the women are the ones who start off the day as they get up as early as 6:00 am to prepare children for school, prepare breakfast, clean their home, and later get the other home chores tackled. The gents get up later and take breakfast as they leave for their daily activities. Homes are usually unoccupied during the day as almost everyone is away save for the holidays, when the children stay at home with the supervision of an adult. Otherwise, people start showing up at home again at around 5:00 pm to settle the day down and have dinner at around 7:00 pm around a central news point like the radio.

Community members here support each other well. Any function that requires communal attendance is well observed. These functions ranging from church functions, fundraising, weddings, and funeral ceremonies, which are always attended to the max like it is an unwritten rule. This encourages and promotes peace, love, and unity in the community.

Lumbasi Spring located in Kalenda B is used by 280 very friendly, happy people. They are seen talking to each other while doing their laundry close to the spring, while others engage in farming on the lands surrounding it. They are happy and feel honored for being considered for a project like this and have promised to work hand in hand with the organization to ensure that the project becomes a success and benefits everyone in the area.

Field Officer Betty Majani was the first of our team to see the water at Lumbasi Spring.

"Clear water, plants, moss, insects, contamination. My eyes ran through all the things that were visible in the water reservoir. It wasn't [as] appealing as the community members saw it. Most of them did not see past the clear water," she reported, sharing her first gut reaction to the water source.

Lumbasi Spring is quite easily accessible from the homes around and the terrain is favorable for both children and adults to get to the spring. The water is in plenty and can be accessed at any time of the day and by anyone. However, the collection point is rather small and can only be accessed by one person at a time.

Observing how the water is fetched from the spring, one is quickly discouraged from drinking the water by the way it is handled on the go. The more people fetch water, the more it gets dirty and once it is dirty, people have to wait for it to settle and become clear so that they can start fetching it again. This wastes a lot of time. Water must be scooped from the spring's natural reservoir using different containers. Some people use jugs but a central container can be spotted by the side of the spring, left for anyone to use. This jug is visibly aged, and we spotted moss growing on its interior.

Due to the scarcity of clean water in Kalneda B, the health of the community members is at stake, especially for children. The young and the elderly are more prone to waterborne diseases like cholera, typhoid, and bilharzia. Families spend a lot of money on treatment and on transportation from home to the hospital with the aim of seeking medical attention. When adults fall sick, their farming is affected which is their main source of income.

At times, people overcrowd at the spring and they end up fighting because each person wants to be the first to fetch water. Though the fights are not common, they cause tension and disrupt the pleasant social life people here otherwise enjoy.

Elphas Lumbasi is a 21-year-old farmer and student in Kalenda B. He is also related to Mr. Absolomon Lumbasi, the spring's landowner. Elphas depends on Lumbasi Spring for his daily water needs.

"Making many trips to the clinic due to stomach upsets and fear of contracting a chronic disease like typhoid is one of the biggest challenges we face concerning lack of clean water," he said. "It is a huge financial burden on smaller families."

Adding to community members' poor health is their lack of sanitation facilities and knowledge on hygiene best practices. Only about 71-80% of families have latrines, which are typically wooden logs balanced over a pit dug into the earth.

"[These] sometimes have not been a very effective method. Some children are afraid of falling into the pits and end up defecating on the floor instead," explained Jackline Angatia, a 27-year-old farmer and mother in Kalenda.

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

March, 2020: Kalenda B Community, Lumbasi Spring Project Complete!

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

Kalenda B Community now has access to clean water! Lumbasi 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.

"This is so great. We now have clean water and an easy way to collect water. Thank you so much for your help in this spring's protection," said Linet Lumbasi, who works as a local trader.

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.

Everyone had a role to play, including the children who wanted to help carry bricks to the construction site

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 assembly lines to help pass materials to the construction site; here, they pass concrete to the artisan working on 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.

Artisan cements the interior of the headwall

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.

Backfilling the catchment area with stones

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.

"Lumbasi Spring users are now a happy lot," reflected the Lead Field Officer for this project, Ian Nakitare.

"Most of them worked tirelessly to ensure that the project did not stall or get delayed. The men would sit down to breakdown the hardcore (stones) and the women would be seen carrying sand in buckets and also ensured that everyone was well fed. It felt nice seeing such passionate people and they were not short of words to say thank you to the donors for their efforts. They also promised to take care of their 'new' water source at all times."

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.

Owners of a new sanitation platform

New Knowledge

Community member and spring landowner Mr. Absolom Lumbasi 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, facilitators Ian Nakitare, Amos Emisiko, Mitchell Patience, and Isabella Sharon deployed to the site.

Ian Nakitare leads site management training at the spring

22 people attended training, which was not quite as expected as we had hoped for a larger number. Most of the community members had already set out to their workplaces, however, which made the turn out relatively low. The training was held on a hot Tuesday mid-morning with the sun glaring upon us. The training was done outside at Mr. Lumbasi's compound but under the shade of the trees which provided a cool atmosphere conducive for learning. The participation level of this group was over the roof. Everyone had a good time and offered to answer questions as well as ask whenever there was not enough clarity.

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.

There were many good questions, answers, and reactions at training

During the leadership and governance session, we held an election for the leaders of the newly formed water user committee. This group was built differently from most, reflected our team on the election. It so happened that most of the contenders for the leadership titles were the women. To make it more interesting, they were backed up by the men, something not commonly seen in many traditional settings. It was nice seeing them take this direction, thought the facilitators.

Ian teaches the 10 steps of handwashing

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.

Participants practice and demonstrate handwashing

Under environmental health, the facilitator touched on the importance of using and caring for latrines. At this point, one of the community members shot up and asked the attendees to warn their fellows and desist from using their sugarcane plantations as a toilet. He caught everyone unaware and made the entire session memorable with his good humor and passion for the topic.

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 participant demonstrates toothbrushing

Overall the training was well-received, reflected our team. The group was open-minded and grasped a lot of information quickly. They particularly enjoyed the practical sessions which by the end of each they all knew how to do each without being helped.

"I think this training was very important. Today we have learned about group formation and that has really helped put things together. Had we not known this, we would probably have failed to come to a better conclusion today...Thank you for this training and we hope to see you sooner for more of this," said village elder Charles Chimuchi Sukha.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

February, 2020: Kalenda B Community, Lumbasi Spring Project Underway!

Dirty water from Lumbasi Spring is making people in Kalenda B 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 B Community, Lumbasi Spring

February, 2021

A year ago, your generous donation helped Kalenda B Community in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Shinell. 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 2.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kalenda 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!

"Before the project, it was difficult to fetch water due to the lack of safe stairs, causing fear of falling into the water."

"All the wastes from the community would often find themselves into the water point, thus contaminating it."

"God is really so wonderful. We are now able to access water through the pipe which means it's safeguarded from external contaminants. The staircases have made it easy for us to access water, thus I have no fear of sliding back into the water."

"My hygiene standards have actually improved as I am able to take a shower regularly, wash utensils, and clean my clothes."

"Due to the easy access to the water point, I am now able to make many trips within a short time and then create time for my studies and also to play with my friends."

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 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 Kalenda 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.