Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 140 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/08/2024

Project Features

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Most families in Tumaini Community are Luyha tribe, Kabras sub-tribe. Many families have single parents either widowed or divorced. Many households have extended families living together with the grandparents, the parents, and children all living on the same land. Tradition here sees the role of women as birthers, and thus they are not allowed to use any family planning method. This means each family has between five to seven children.

The 140 people living in this area survive on farming. Whatever they harvest is used for the family first, while any excess is sold or traded in the local market. Some keep dairy cattle so that milk can be sold every morning and evening. A few men have been able to afford motorbikes that they use to taxi others for a fee.

However, the daily busyness to provide for the family or attend school for those living in Tumaini is often disrupted by illness. That is because people use dirty water from Ndombi Spring.

Ndombi Spring is open to all sorts of contamination and is not safe for human consumption. There is a lot of farming activity going on near the unprotected spring, and animals like dogs are seen around the area and they too must come to the spring to sate their thirst.

People dunk their containers directly under the water's surface to fill them. Many of these containers are dirty and further contaminate the spring. And as more people fetch water, the dirt at the bottom is stirred and muddies the water.

Most people using Ndombi Spring believe that water is clean as long as it is clear. They rarely treat the water before drinking and need to learn about how and why to do so. Most people have suffered from waterborne diseases and some have even lost a loved one because of the dirty water.

"We have suffered from diarrhea and typhoid as a result of drinking this contaminated water. By protecting this spring, our community will be protected from waterborne diseases in the future," said Emmanuel.

What we can do:

Spring Protection

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.

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.


People living here are not taking good care of themselves by washing their hands, and many readily admitted that.

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

Less than a quarter of households using Ndombi Spring have a place to use the bathroom. When a family doesn't have a latrine, they try to share with their neighbor when they can. Others use the bathroom outside in the privacy of bushes. It is dangerous when waste is not disposed of properly like this, and it can affect the entire community.

The latrines we observed are made of mud and have sugar sacks hanging as a door.

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

March, 2020: Tumaini Community, Ndombi Spring Project Complete!

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

Tumaini Community now has access to clean water! Ndombi 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.

"Finally the unimaginable has happened. I never thought of a day when I would draw water flowing from a pipe. I am so grateful and very happy," said Mathews Majoni, a farmer in the community.

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.

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.

Artisan sets the discharge pipe in 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.

Stair construction and plaster work

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. We had no challenges during construction because the community members had mobilized the locally available materials before construction work started and there were always volunteers there to support the artisan's work.

Community members help out with clay works in backfilled area

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

The community members shared their thanks for this project and were also requesting our team to extend such kindness to their neighbors in other communities to experience the joy they have now. They asked God to abundantly bless everyone who made this project possible.

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.

New Knowledge

Community member Wycliffe Aradi, who would later be voted Treasurer of the water user committee, 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 Betty and Amos deployed to the site.

20 people attended training, which was more than we expected. The fact that the schools were on holiday meant that more people were found at home and as a result, we had more attendees. The attendance was comprised of all age brackets which was so healthy for all to acquire the knowledge that was to be imparted to them from facilitators and for each generation to hear thoughts and questions from the others. Everyone was fully open and dedicated to the session. It was a bright and sunny morning when facilitators arrived at the venue for the training. The facilitators found the attendees already gathered under a tree that had a very thick shade that provided them with a very conducive environment for learning. Participation for all present was top-notch with many questions, responses, and eager participation the whole day.

Trainer Betty leads the site management session at the spring

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.


A participant demonstrates 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.

A community member shares a response with the group

"The community members were wonderful," reflected the Lead Field Officer for this project, Betty Muhongo.

"Each participant portrayed the readiness to learn and acquire more information on how they are going to uplift their hygiene and sanitation standards and maintain the spring well. The concept of proper maintenance of the spring came out clearly and they appointed individuals who will be responsible for the spring who promised to take care of it. Monitoring and evaluation will help so much and will tell when the community can be called upon for a refresher on the management of the facility."

A participant demonstrates toothbrushing

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.

"From today's training, I have learned that my children have always been eating with dirty hands since we all wash our hands in one basin with water that is not running. I will always use running water to ensure that we eat food with clean hands," said Mourine Mboga, a farmer and mother in the community.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

February, 2020: Tumaini Community, Ndombi Spring Project Underway!

Dirty water from Ndombi Spring is making people in Tumaini 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: Tumaini Community, Ndombi Spring

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Tumaini 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, a lot of time was wasted queuing for water because you were forced to wait for the water to settle if the first person was not careful when drawing."

"It's so easy to draw water now and you are very sure that the water you are carrying home is clean and safe for human consumption."

"Since the spring was protected, we as pupils have enough time to do our homework revisions...We are also able to help our parents at home."

Noah with Field Officer Betty 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 Tumaini 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 Tumaini 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.


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