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The Water Project: Ataku Community, Ngache Spring -  Garbage Thrown In Farm
The Water Project: Ataku Community, Ngache Spring -  Dangerous Latrine Floor
The Water Project: Ataku Community, Ngache Spring -  Irine
The Water Project: Ataku Community, Ngache Spring -  Water Storage
The Water Project: Ataku Community, Ngache Spring -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Ataku Community, Ngache Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Ataku Community, Ngache Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Ataku Community, Ngache Spring -  Current Water Source
The Water Project: Ataku Community, Ngache Spring -  A Traditional Home
The Water Project: Ataku Community, Ngache Spring -  Household
The Water Project: Ataku Community, Ngache Spring -  Children
The Water Project: Ataku Community, Ngache Spring -  Farming

Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 140 Served

Project Phase:  Under Construction
Estimated Install Date (?):  08/31/2019

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Ataku Community sits at the end of a rough dirt road full of potholes. It is a rural and peaceful area located about 16 kilometers from our main office. The community has filled the land with farms that yield maize, beans, sugarcane, and various vegetables.

A normal day begins as early as 5am when parents wake up to prepare their children for school. Women take responsibility for house chores, making breakfast, and washing up after. If the family owns animals, they will feed them or take them out to graze. The rest of the morning hours are spent on the farm.

Several trips to fetch water are made in preparation for lunch. The 140 community members living in this part of Ataku Community walk to Ngache Spring to get their water. There’s lots of water at the spring, but the water is dirty.

”During the evenings when the children are back home from school, getting clear, clean (visibly clean, but contaminated nonetheless) water is hard since the children step directly inside the spring because they might be in a hurry to go home and finish chores,” said Mrs. Mukhati. The kids carelessly stir up mud from the bottom that makes it harder for others to fetch their water. But they have no other choice.

People drink this dirty water and then suffer from waterborne sicknesses. Typhoid and many other illnesses keep community members off their farms and in their beds, and they keep children from attending school. Families spend any of their potential earnings on buying the medication they need to treat typhoid and cholera.

Mrs. Irine Mukhati’s Passion

Irine Mukhati is a resident who fetches water from Ngache Spring. She told us that her community had never liked any kind of development, believing that anyone who comes from their village does not have the ability to be successful. There was one time Mrs. Irine tried to help the community get electricity, but when they were told to sacrifice a few inches of their land for electricity poles to pass through they completely refused. They were not even taking education seriously, thinking that a child can learn up to to class 8 and that’s all as long as he or she knows how to write and read. Mrs. Irine persisted in talking with her community, telling them to look at neighboring villages and see how people around them are developing. They allow their children to get a higher education and give back to their communities. Some have clean water. It’s through her hard efforts of encouraging and mobilizing the community that the people around her have a transformed perspective; they now see the importance of education and development projects such as spring protections.

What we can do:

“Some of the people in the community have latrines but not good quality, while others have no latrines so they share with neighbors. These latrines during the rainy season sink, and there is even a case where one of the latrines sank while someone was inside but gladly people were around and they immediately rescued her,” recounted Mrs. Weka.

“The majority of the community members throw their garbage in the shamba (farm).”


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

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

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. 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.

Project Updates

07/11/2019: Ataku Community, Ngache Spring Project Underway

Dirty water from Ngache Spring is making people in Ataku Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to solve this issue by building a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this community through the community profile and pictures we’ve posted, and learn more about this water, sanitation, and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out soon with news of success!

The Water Project : 6-kenya19179-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 leads to a concrete spring box and collection area. Safe water typically flows year-round and there is very limited ongoing maintenance needed!


Henniker Congregational Church
Henniker Congregational Church
SNHU World Water Day Celebration
2 individual donor(s)