Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 490 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Nov 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/05/2024

Project Features

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On the day of visiting Bungaya Village's main water source Charles Khainga Spring, we were welcomed by a young, energetic, and hardworking young man named Kevin Omondi who was busy collecting charcoal. He took us to the spring for vetting and afterward explained to use that he is involved in keeping dairy cattle, pigs, poultry, fish farming, and farming of maize, sugar cane, beans, groundnuts, vegetables, sweet potatoes, and cassava. He also sells cattle as a business.

The people of Bungaya Village wake up very early in the morning, as early as 4 am to work on their farms and prepare their children for school. The men go out to find an income while women are seen as those most responsible for domestic duties and childcare.

Mr. Omondi took us to visit with Charles Khainga, the man who lives on the land by the spring. Charles Kainga Spring is unprotected and entirely open to all sorts of contamination. Nearby farming fertilizers and other debris dirty the water, especially after it rains. Animals are also free to come and go as they're thirsty.

The 490 people living in this area prefer to avoid the spring because of its dirty water, which is certainly too dangerous to drink. They put out buckets and barrels to collect rainwater, but it's not enough for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. This forces people to resort to the dirty water at Charles Khainga Spring, where they continuously dunk a small container to fill their larger 20-liter container.

A lot of time is spent fetching water from the unprotected spring, valuable time that could have been used for other economic activities. People get sick after drinking the water from Charles Khainga Spring. Treatment of waterborne diseases also costs this community money that could have otherwise been used for investment.

"For a long time, we have waited eagerly for our spring to be protected but to no avail. However, we are grateful to God that you people have come to rescue our community," explained an expectant Charles Khainga.

What we can do:

"On some occasions, the members of the community have thought of protecting the spring but lack the necessary expertise or skills. We are glad that you have come to our assistance. This will greatly help improve the status of hygiene and sanitation in the community. In addition, if sanitation platforms are installed then this will significantly increase the hygiene and sanitation of the local community," explained Mr. Kevin Omondi.

Spring Protection

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.

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. There will be stairs down to the collection point and a pipe that can easily fill water containers. 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.


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

Not every family in the village has a pit latrine of their own. Instead, they're sharing with neighbors or going in the privacy of bushes. The pit latrines we were able to observe are in poor condition and not cleaned regularly. Cleaning is particularly difficult because of the traditional materials used for construction: wood and mud rot away if cleaned with water, which puts the users in danger of falling through the floor to the pit.

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

Training will also inform the community and selected families on what they need to contribute to make this project a success. They must mobilize locally available materials, such as bricks, clean sand, hardcore, and ballast. The five 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

November, 2019: Bungaya Community, Charles Khainga Spring Project Complete!

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

Child feeling the spring water

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.

Working as a team to clear the site, construct the rub walls, and continue bricklaying

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.

Pipe setting

The source area was filled up with clean stones and sand and covered with a thick plastic tarp to prevent potential sources of contamination. It took about 2 weeks of patience for the concrete to dry. The only challenge experienced during the entire construction process was the heavy rains due to the season, but despite this, the construction process went on smoothly.

Field Officer Mary Afandi supervising work

It was observed during construction that the area is suitable for fish farming. Some parts of the area are characterized by rocky terrain, and these rocks can be converted into ballast and building stones for building fish ponds using drainage water from the spring. This could increase the incomes of the community members and in effect, improve the livelihood of people here. We were sure to discuss this idea with community members while we worked with them.

Grass planting over 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. A meeting was held to mark the occasion and to commission the protected spring. The event was characterized by prayer and thanksgiving. Community leaders thanked God for using The Water Project to protect their spring.

Happy spring users

"I would like to take this time to thank our facilitators who have taught us about hygiene and sanitation. I also appreciate The Water Project...for considering this community for such [a] facility [as the spring]. Thank you for your concern for communities and service to humanity. God bless you all," stated an excited Fridah Akoth, a local businessperson.

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.

Proud new sanitation platform owners

New Knowledge

Kevin Khainga, and local businessperson and son of Mr. Charles Khainga, the spring's landowner, was tasked with organizing the training. He gave us the community’s preferred date for training, for he was very much aware of the community calendar when it comes to planting season and other big events.

A groupd of training participants

Some 17 people attended the training which was held at the spring. The attendance was not as strong as we had expected. As it turns out, many members of the community had gone to their farms to harvest maize and plow for the second short rainy planting season. For those that came, however, their level of participation was good.

The training was participatory and the women were more active than the men. The women appeared to take seriously the information they were receiving on matters of water and sanitation. The members of the community who attended the training were to become trainers to those members of the community who did not attend the training.

Group teamwork exercise

We covered several topics including leadership and governance; operation and maintenance of the spring; healthcare; family planning; immunizations; and the prevention and spread of disease. We also covered water treatment methods, personal care like handwashing, environmental hygiene, hygiene promotion, and many other things.

Handwashing practice

During the primary health care session, the facilitator urged the members of the community to be taking baths at least twice a day, to shave their hair short, and to keep their nails short. This topic was very special in that one of the community members lifted his hand and wanted to check the facilitators' fingernails, insisting that a teacher should act as an example. This created a lot of laughter during the training session. It was also a positive challenge to the facilitators that the community expected a lot from them and they ought to lead by example.

Happy spring user fetching water

"The training has been an eye-opener to me. I have learned many things that I had not known. Now as I go back home, I promise to share with the other members of my family. I will also put in to practice what I have been taught today," explained Mrs. Everlyne Misiku, a farmer who attended the training.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

November, 2019: Bungaya Community, Charles Khainga Spring Project Underway!

Dirty water from Charles Khainga Spring is making people in Bungaya 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: Bungaya Community, Charles Khainga Spring

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Bungaya 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 disastrous fetching water from this point. The water was dirty and the environment was messy."

"Since the spring was protected, my heart is always filled with joy. Seeing my children and my grandchildren accessing clean water crowns it all."

"I no longer think about the well-being of my family because we are now drinking clean water, which means we are living a healthy life."

"My family no longer gets sick of waterborne diseases and this has helped me to save money for other things."

"Since the spring was protected, our lives changed for the better."

Charles with Field Officer Olivia Bomji at 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 Bungaya 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 Bungaya 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.