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The Water Project: Buyangu Community, Osundwa Spring -  Mud Latrine
The Water Project: Buyangu Community, Osundwa Spring -  Clothes Drying
The Water Project: Buyangu Community, Osundwa Spring -  Drinking Water Pot
The Water Project: Buyangu Community, Osundwa Spring -  Getting Drinking Water
The Water Project: Buyangu Community, Osundwa Spring -  Water Storage
The Water Project: Buyangu Community, Osundwa Spring -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Buyangu Community, Osundwa Spring -  Emonyangwa Family
The Water Project: Buyangu Community, Osundwa Spring -  Tyson Emonyangwa
The Water Project: Buyangu Community, Osundwa Spring -  Joyce Carrying Water Home
The Water Project: Buyangu Community, Osundwa Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Buyangu Community, Osundwa Spring -  Joyce Osundwa
The Water Project: Buyangu Community, Osundwa Spring -  Current Water Source
The Water Project: Buyangu Community, Osundwa Spring -  Household
The Water Project: Buyangu Community, Osundwa Spring -  Household
The Water Project: Buyangu Community, Osundwa Spring -  Household
The Water Project: Buyangu Community, Osundwa Spring -  Cow Relaxing
The Water Project: Buyangu Community, Osundwa Spring -  Market Stall
The Water Project: Buyangu Community, Osundwa Spring -  Community Landscape

Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 175 Served

Project Phase:  Under Construction
Estimated Install Date (?):  10/31/2019

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Osundwa Spring is located in Buyangu Village, a serene and rural area. Vegetation is dominant with trees, sugarcane, maize, and banana plantations. Arrowroots are also grown, especially along the river and near the spring because arrowroot requires a lot of water for its sustainability. The houses are mud-walled and roofed with iron sheets.

Farm produce is used as food for the family first, and then some of it is sold in order get money to take care of other family needs. Some people also own dairy cattle. Many young men here have motorbikes that they use to ferry people from one place to another at a cost.

An average day for people in this region starts at 5:30 am when women wake up to prepare young children for school and prepare breakfast. Many men leave their homes early to find someone who is willing to hire them for manual labor. They most often end up working on other people’s farms or at the large sugar factory. Children go to school at 6 am as women do general cleaning of the house. They wash utensils and go to the spring to fetch water to be used during the day. The number of trips is determined by the needs of the day including bathing, washing clothes and utensils, drinking water for family members, and drinking water for the domestic animals. After fetching water, the women go to the farm and leave the young children with the elderly who stay at home. They come back at noon to prepare lunch for the whole family and do other chores around the house. At 2 pm they go the forest to gather firewood to be used for cooking dinner, and then go to the posho mill to grind maize or millet into flour to be used for dinner also. At around 5:30 pm they start to prepare supper as their family members return. Many families eat super at 6:30 pm and then chat with each other until 7:30 pm bedtime.

The main water source for 175 people living in Buyangu is Osundwa Spring. As one approaches the spring, the path becomes steep and poses danger to the people going to fetch water. The steep hill also allows more contaminants into the water, especially when it rains. Once a person makes it down the hill, they dunk their container directly in the water until it’s full. Getting back up the hill with a heavy container of water is a difficult task as well.

“Water from this spring is not clean, but we just have to take it because we don’t have an alternative. We get sick often due to consumption of unsafe water and we use a lot of money on hospital bills. I went somewhere and I saw a protected spring and I wished ours could be protected too, but we cannot afford the cost of protecting it [ourselves],” said Mr. Emonyangwa.

What we can do:

Spring Protection

We will protect the spring to 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.


“Most people go for days without taking a bath and brushing their teeth,” admitted Mrs. Osundwa.

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.

In this community, people store their drinking water in a traditional pot known as ‘esongo’. The pot keeps the water cold and the pot is used in place of a fridge. It is believed that the water from this pot has a pleasant taste. Water from the pot should be emptied frequently, the pot cleaned, and replaced with fresh water. However, most people just refill the pots without cleaning them and this leads to them drinking even more contaminated water that causes waterborne diseases.

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

At least half of the households here have a pit latrine made of mud. Those without a latrine of their own share with their neighbors. The mud pit latrines we observed are difficult to clean, and water cannot be used. Water, especially when it rains, erodes the mud and endangers the use who stands on the platform to use the latrine.

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

10/09/2019: Buyangu Community, Osundwa Spring Project Underway!

Dirty water from Osundwa Spring is making people in Buyangu Community 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!

The Water Project : 9-kenya19156-fetching-water

Project Photos

Project Type

Protected Spring

In many communities, natural springs exist as water flows from cracks in rocky ground or the side of a hill.  Springs provide reliable water but that doesn’t mean safe. When left open they become contaminated by surface contamination, animal and human waste and rain runoff. The solution is to protect the source. First, you excavate around the exact source area of the spring. Then, you build a protective reservoir for water flow, which pours through a reinforced pipe in a concrete headwall to a paved collection area. Safe water typically flows year-round and there is very limited ongoing maintenance needed!


1 individual donor(s)