Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 280 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/08/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Recently, a member of Imbinga community visited the home of Mr. Khaika's compound to see the transformation done at Arunga Spring after it was protected, earlier this year. The man then reached out to us and asked for help protecting the spring located near his home - Imbinga Spring.

The water at the spring is consistently available, but it is exposed to many contaminants making it unsafe for drinking. Cases of diarrhea and other waterborne diseases are common due to drinking water from the spring. The cost of drinking dirty water is immense. Families end up spending a lot of money on medical treatments. Students miss school when they are sick and adults lose days working - which directly impacts the financial wellbeing of a family.

People here are mostly farmers and practice large scale maize and sugarcane planting to make an income. Others grow small crops like traditional vegetables, bananas, and avocados on a small scale for family consumption. Many households also keep livestock for milk and for selling the meat to butchers.

Imbinga is a rural community with a few modern bricked homes. Most of the houses are made of mud walls with iron sheet roofs. The place is peaceful but one will not fail to hear children having fun. Farms make up the majority of the landscape with a few rock outcrops that are noticeable as one moves around the area.

In Imbinga, a normal day begins with the women making breakfast and ensuring there is water for use throughout the day. Many women will visit Imbinga spring first thing in the morning and again later in the day to meet all of their needs. Everyone then disperses to their different places of work and children to school.

Some engage as manual laborers, others head out with their motorcycles and work as bodaboda (taxi drivers) but the largest number of people head out to their farms and spend the better part of the day tilling and ensuring that their crops are in good shape. The children also help take care of livestock on their days off and when not in school. Men gather up in small groups toward the evening and engage in small talk as the women prepare dinner. Dinner is the most important meal as everyone is expected to be present to eat as a family.

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

June, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Imbinga Community, Imbinga 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.

Making a leaky tin

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 Imbinga, Kenya.

We trained more than 19 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.

Handwashing demonstration

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.

Showing the COVID-19 informational pamphlet received at training

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.

Homemade mask tutorial

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.

Air greetings recommended

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.

A community leader shows how they were taught to use the elbow for coughing and sneezing

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.

February, 2020: Imbinga Community, Imbinga Spring Project Complete!

Imbinga Community now has access to clean water! Imbinga 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.

A girl smiles while fetching water from protected Imbinga 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. In fact, this community had more women than men actively involved in the construction process, which was a really good sign of their commitment to the project. The women never let anything go amiss and they worked closely with the rest of the group.

Passing stones and bricks to the artisan during construction

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 checks the headwall measurements and pipe placement

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.

Assembly line of community members help pass large stones for backfilling

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.

Planting grass on top of backfilled spring box

It took about 2 weeks of patience for the concrete to dry. 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. The women, in particular, expressed that their gratitude for the project and their hope that more projects like it would continue to be done in the area so that more people could benefit from clean water.

A child smiles at the spring

"Now we have access to clean water. We have been using water which we were not sure of. Sometimes we would find animals and insects in it but right now, there is not even a leaf in it. I wish to express my gratitude to you and wish you all the best. May God bless you," said Francis Ziporah, a farmer in the community.

Enjoying the spring 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.

Proud new sanitation platform owners

New Knowledge

Community member Joel Mbakaya Cheto, who is both the village elder and a Community Health Volunteer, 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.

16 people attended training, which was a lower turnout than we had hoped. As it happened, most people had decided to go to their usual work stations for the day instead of attending the training. Nevertheless, the participation level was high and most of the participants responded to questions raised and extended their own questions for clarity of information. There were no challenges faced in the training. The only interruptions were from the little babies who came with their mothers, which is to be expected.

A volunteer demonstrates toothbrushing during the dental hygiene session

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 discussed water treatment methods, personal care like handwashing, environmental hygiene, hygiene promotion, and many other things.

In our conversation on primary healthcare and personal hygiene, one of the participants argued that he cannot openly dry his inner clothes after laundering them. Everyone burst out in laughter, but he continued to explain that to him, it was shameful to expose them and it would bring embarrassment of the highest rating. Most of the participants did not even expect such a question, so we had a good conversation on the importance of fully drying clothing in the sunlight. This made the lesson memorable.

Smiles during the handwashing session

During the leadership and governance session, we culminated with the election of the water user committee leadership positions. One participant nominated her friend to be a leader and she, in turn, nominated her friend back. Each of them defended herself leaving everyone at the training cracking their ribs. This was indeed a good-humored group and they made the election process special.

"This training has been an eye-opener and it really has shown us where we go wrong as community members. Thank you for this initiative and may you continue teaching others to be better," said Teresa Lasike, a local teacher in the community.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

January, 2020: Imbinga Community, Imbinga Spring Project Underway!

Dirty water from Imbinga Spring is making people in Imbinga 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: Imbinga Community, Imbinga Spring

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Imbinga 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 spring protection, getting water was not that easy. This is because it forced one to come along with a small jar that could facilitate fetching water. There were no staircases which could help us access water easily."

"Getting water right now is so easy and very fast enabled by the stairs, the discharge pipe, and also the conducive environment for safe and clean water."

"The plans that I had were to up my academic goals since before, part of the problem that made it not achievable was insufficient safe water."

"I am glad that since the protection of this spring, I have quality time to study."

Ruth waves from 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 Imbinga 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 Imbinga 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.


1 individual donor(s)