Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 150 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/04/2024

Project Features

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Imusutsu Village has 120 residents but is growing rapidly. More and more people are moving to Imusutsu because there is easy access down the road to large markets, banks, schools, and other places that people can work to earn a living. People also taxi others on their motorbikes and practice farming.

For example, a normal day for Mrs. Ruth Chogo begins at 5:30 am when she wakes up to prepare breakfast for her children who are learning at Musutsu Primary School. At about 7 am she leaves for the market where she runs a grocery kiosk. Chogo retires to her home at about 6:30 pm to make dinner and be with her family until bedtime.

But water challenges often interrupt the daily schedule. People don't have water at home so they have to go out into the community to find some. They most often use Ikosangwa Spring, but the water here is dirty and unsafe for drinking.

Being a large pool of water, people bring their containers and just dunk them under the surface until full. We met Mrs. Violet Nyangasi at the spring, who uses a large 20-liter container every time she fetches water. As we followed her home, we found out that she has no water storage. That means that she has to go back to the spring each time the 20-liter container is used up.

Mrs. Ruth Chogo said "This spring has remained unprotected since it started discharging water."

"I got married here and found it at this state and indeed it is dangerous to us community members who depend on it. Being exposed to contaminants means that the health of the members is at risk."

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.


There are quite a few community members who have a good idea about how to practice good hygiene and sanitation, but there are others who are lagging behind.

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

"As members, our state of hygiene is not bad and this can be evidenced by the various sanitation facilities in place. Even though we are trying our best, there are some of our members who are not informed and we will talk to them and encourage them to do so," said Mrs. Nyangasi. There are still a few households that need a pit latrine so that waste is properly disposed of, while some of the pit latrines we observed have unstable floors that endanger their users.

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

May, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Imsutsu Community, Ikosangwa 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.

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 Imsutsu, Kenya.

We trained more than 21 people on the symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention of COVID-19. Before there were any reported cases in the area, we worked with trusted community leaders and the Water User Committee to gather community members for the training.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

March, 2020: Imusutsu Community, Ikosangwa Spring Project Complete!

Imusutsu Community now has access to clean water! Ikosangwa 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 gives thumbs up for flowing water from protected Ikosangwa 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. 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 measures the headwall and discharge pipe

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.

Backfilling the spring with large stones

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. Being the rainy season, the rains did interfere with the construction process so that at times, construction work had to stop. Eventually, however, all phases were completed.

Planting grass inside the fenced-in 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. For Ikosangwa Spring, we did the official handing over of the new water point directly following the training. Happiness, thanksgiving, and appreciation were the order of the day flowing in all directions.

Making a splash at the spring

"For years, we have been drawing water from an unprotected spring and this has always put our health at risk. Today, we access clean, safe water from a protected spring thanks to our partners," said Ruth Chogo, who served as our main contact for this community throughout the project's implementation.

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.

A young boy poses with his family's new sanitation platform

New Knowledge

Community member Ruth Chogo 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. Field Officers Samuel Simidi and Victor Musemi led the day's activities.

Handwashing practice at training

13 people attended training, which was a good turnout considering the busy farming season. A cold morning would be ideal for someone to describe the weather of the day. It had rained through the night until the morning before our arrival at the village. On arrival, we were well received by the community members who anxiously were waiting in a homestead. The environment was conducive for training as it was convenient for all members and was spacious for us to conduct the entire process.

We covered several topics including community participation; 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.

Trainer Samuel explains dental hygiene

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.

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.

Ruth Chogo holds an illustrative poster while leading an activity at training

At Ikosanggwa Spring, the session on the maintenance of the spring was particularly interesting. The participants were surprised to learn that the spring has to be cleaned just as one's house to maintain good hygiene at the water point. We walked through tasks like washing off dirt from the steps, clearing the drainage, and sweeping the spring floor to ensure a tidy and hygienic collection point.

All smiles at Ikosangwa Spring

"This training has been timely. We have received much knowledge touching on hygiene and sanitation. From today, our lives will never be the same again as this training will impact positively in this community," said Geoffrey Alulu, who works as a local security officer.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

January, 2020: Imusutsu Community, Ikosangwa Spring Project Underway!

Dirty water from Ikosangwa Spring is making people in Imusutsu 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: Imusutsu Community, Ikosangwa Spring

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Imusutsu 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!

"In the past, getting clean water was not easy as we used to get the water contaminated by people and dogs stepping in it. Surface runoff whenever it rained would also carry all sorts of wast into the spring."

"Stomachaches and coughs were the order of the day. A week could not pass by before someone got ill. It was really a great burden to us that we never imagined one day, one time, we shall enjoy safe and clean drinking water."

"Now we have clean drinking water that is available any time of the day - wow!"

"I no longer fear drinking the water directly before treatment as it's clean and has a sweet taste. Outbreaks of waterborne and water-related cases have also reduced tremendously."

"We are really grateful to God for your help."

Ruth carries clean water from the spring home to use.

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 Imusutsu 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 Imusutsu 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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