Loading images...
The Water Project: Maraba Community, Nambwaya Spring -  Carrying Water From Nambwaya Spring
The Water Project: Maraba Community, Nambwaya Spring -  Collecting Water From Nambwaya Spring
The Water Project: Maraba Community, Nambwaya Spring -  Collecting Water From Nambwaya Spring
The Water Project: Maraba Community, Nambwaya Spring -  Collecting Water From Nambwaya Spring
The Water Project: Maraba Community, Nambwaya Spring -  Collecting Water From Nambwaya Spring
The Water Project: Maraba Community, Nambwaya Spring -  Current Situation Of Nambwaya Spring
The Water Project: Maraba Community, Nambwaya Spring -  Landscape Around Nambwaya Spring
The Water Project: Maraba Community, Nambwaya Spring -  Landscape Around Nambwaya Spring
The Water Project: Maraba Community, Nambwaya Spring -  Leaving The Spring
The Water Project: Maraba Community, Nambwaya Spring -  Wading Out Of The Spring Water
The Water Project: Maraba Community, Nambwaya Spring -  Water Storage Containers
The Water Project: Maraba Community, Nambwaya Spring -  Carrying Water From Nambwaya Spring
The Water Project: Maraba Community, Nambwaya Spring -  Irene Ayuma
The Water Project: Maraba Community, Nambwaya Spring -  Beverline
The Water Project: Maraba Community, Nambwaya Spring -  Animal Pen
The Water Project: Maraba Community, Nambwaya Spring -  Bathing Shelter
The Water Project: Maraba Community, Nambwaya Spring -  Clothesline
The Water Project: Maraba Community, Nambwaya Spring -  Dishrack
The Water Project: Maraba Community, Nambwaya Spring -  Home Compound
The Water Project: Maraba Community, Nambwaya Spring -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Maraba Community, Nambwaya Spring -  Latrine And Bathing Shelter
The Water Project: Maraba Community, Nambwaya Spring -  Preparing A Meal Inside The Kitchen
The Water Project: Maraba Community, Nambwaya Spring -  Farming The Major Activity
The Water Project: Maraba Community, Nambwaya Spring -  Farming The Major Activity
The Water Project: Maraba Community, Nambwaya Spring -  Some Food For Their Livestock

Project Status



Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 350 Served

Project Phase:  Under Construction
Estimated Install Date (?):  12/23/2020

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



Please note: original photos were taken before the COVID-19 pandemic.

350 people in Maraba depend on Nambwaya Spring for all of their daily water needs. Those who fetch water – predominantly women and children – mostly come to the spring in the morning and in the evening. Regardless of how people try to space out their time fetching water, however, they spend a lot of time queueing at the spring. The consequent crowds that form are especially concerning during the pandemic, when community members are trying to avoid groups and limit their time spent in public.

Though the spring is located on a slope, there is a great deal of standing water at the drawing point. People are forced to wade through the water to get to the main collection point, which is dangerous both to their health and safety. For young kids especially, the standing water can reach above their knees. For everyone, standing in the water can lead to cases of Bilharzia and pneumonia since the water is quite cold.

“Stepping in the water in the morning while fetching it is always a risk as there was one time a snake that was hiding in the stagnant water. The water sometimes also stings when people wash arrowroots in it,” said young teenager Beverline.

There was once a contractor who came and promised to help this community protect Nambwaya Spring, but after collecting the community’s money, he did little to the water source. The community members were forced to get a plastic container that they cut into a makeshift discharge pipe, enabling them to draw water from the spring. But the container inevitably misses some of the spring’s water, creating a slow discharge rate and adding to the lines and crowds.

“Sometimes we come to fetch the water and discover that the plastic container is missing. This forces one to go and get one from home, so sometimes you are forced to give up and fetch water later or call off the whole exercise till later,” explained 52-year-old farmer Irene Ayuma Indakwa.

There are many contaminants in this water, ranging from dirty surface runoff to harmful parasites and bacteria, and even animals drinking directly from the source. Community members report that they at times find their neighbors bathing directly in the stagnant pool, especially at night, adding contaminants to the water everyone else has to stand it. The water’s cloudy nature and surrounding bushes also provide favorable habitats to dangerous animals such as snakes – a big concern for those who have to spend so much time there daily.

Time lost at the spring means time lost at work, on the farm, at the market, and at home for adults. For children, it means they often spend their evenings at the spring instead of doing their homework. Everyone’s opportunities for productivity are hurt by this unprotected water source.

What We Can Do:

Spring Protection

Protecting the spring will help provide access to cleaner and safer water and reduce the time people have to spend to fetch it. 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 and their education.

Training on Health, Hygiene, COVID-19, and More

To hold trainings during the pandemic, we work closely with both community leaders and the local government to approve small groups to attend training. We ask community leaders to invite a select yet representative group of people to attend training who will then act as ambassadors to the rest of the community to share what they learn. We also communicate our expectations of physical distancing and wearing masks for all who choose to attend.

The training will focus on improved hygiene, health, and sanitation habits in this community. We will also have a dedicated session on COVID-19 symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention best practices.

With the community’s input, we will identify key leverage points where they can alter their practices at the personal, household, and community levels to affect change. This training will help to ensure participants have the knowledge they need about healthy practices and their importance to make the most of their water point as soon as water is flowing.

Our team of facilitators will use a variety of methods to train community members. Some of these methods include participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation, asset-based community development, group discussions, handouts, and demonstrations at the spring.

One of the most important issues 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 and the community strongly believe that all of these components will work together to improve living standards here, which will help to unlock the potential for these community members to live better, healthier lives.

We will then conduct a small series of follow-up trainings before transitioning to our regularly scheduled support visits throughout the year.

Training will result in the formation of a water user committee, elected by their peers, that will oversee the operations and maintenance of the spring. The committee 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 unwanted waste, and the drainage will keep the area’s mosquito population at a minimum.

Sanitation Platforms

At the end of the training, participants will select 5 families that should benefit from new concrete latrine floors called sanitation platforms. 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. Our trainers then instruct them on how to build superstructures over their new platforms. These 5 sanitation platforms will serve as examples for the rest of the community to replicate.

All community members must work together to make sure that they continuously provide accommodations and food for the work teams throughout all stages of spring and sanitation platform construction.

Project Updates


11/19/2020: Maraba Community, Nambwaya Spring Project Underway!

Dirty water from Nambwaya Spring is making people in Maraba 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 : kenya20015-collecting-water-from-nambwaya-spring-1


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!