Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 100 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/04/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Osanya spring is located in the quiet village of Indulusia, known for its sugarcane farming. The area is well vegetated, and the climate is cool with a natural breeze.

Some 100 people in Indulusia Community depend on Osanya Spring for all of their daily water needs, but the spring does not meet those needs in its unprotected state. The water from Osanya Spring is contaminated, and the access area is in an abysmal state.

Having insufficient clean and safe water in a community locks people in poverty for generations. This is because instead of using the money for productive things, like investing in their businesses, farms, or their children's education fees, people are forced to use their money in hospitals seeking care and medication for their waterborne diseases. The 100 people in Indulusia relying on Osanya Spring are no exception to this.

The lack of safe and clean water here leads to community members visiting the hospital at least once a month to be treated for typhoid due to consuming contaminated water. The medication for typhoid is incredibly expensive, and community members report, yet they risk their lives if they do not pay for it.

"We are not sure of the water we are consuming. This is because the water source is open to contamination. Sometimes I wonder if we are still living because of the spring's state," said Mr. Wycliffe Osanya, a 30-year-old farmer and the spring's landowner.

"I am now sure that your team will change our lives, after many promises that were not fulfilled by others," Mr. Osanya added optimistically.

Accessibility is the other major issue at Osanya Spring. Community members have tried to force the water to flow instead of pooling by building a wall of mud and stones in front of the spring's source. They then inserted a plastic jug with the bottom cut out to force the water through its bottleneck.

But this makeshift system misses a lot of water the spring produces, slowing the fill time for each person's jerrycan. Because of the spring's low-to-the-ground eye, they could not build the wall very high without doing a significant excavation of the area, which they do not have the tools or expertise to do. As a result, the jug sits close to the ground below it, and only small jugs and teapots can be placed directly below its flow. People must then transfer the small amount of water they collect with these first containers and pour it into their larger jerrycans.

The mud and rock wall sometimes fall, especially during the rainy season when there are many washouts. The spring area is always muddy and wet, requiring people to stand in the pool of water below the jug while they fetch water. Regardless of the season or circumstance at the spring, however, fetching water here is extremely time-consuming and frustrating. It only gets worse as lines form when everyone needs water simultaneously for their daily routines, wasting more of their productive hours.

"Having access to clean and safe water is a blessing, but children here have suffered a lot because fetching water from the source that is open is very risky. Sometimes we cannot fetch water because we fall and injure ourselves every time," reported teenager Lillian.

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. Therefore, protecting the spring and offering training and support will 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 training 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 a representative group of people to attend the training, which 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 to alter their practices at the personal, household, and community levels to affect change. This training will help ensure participants have the knowledge they need about healthy practices and their importance to make the most of their water points as soon as the 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 handling, storing, and treating water. Having a clean water source will be extremely helpful, but it is useless if water gets contaminated by the time it is consumed. The community and we firmly 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 training 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 spring's operations and maintenance. 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.

Project Updates

March, 2021: Osanya Spring Project Complete!

Indulusia Community now has access to clean water! We transformed Osanya Spring into a flowing source of water thanks to your donation. Our team protected the spring and trained the community on improved sanitation and hygiene practices, including COVID-19 prevention.

Florence Osanya (right) and another woman pose at the completed spring.

"Our lives will change positively because our children will no longer be coughing because of consuming dirty water from the unprotected spring. They will live healthy lives because, from today, they will be drinking clean and safe water from the protected spring," said Wycliffe Osanya, part of the spring's landowning family.

"All the money that I used to buy cough syrup for my four children will now buy them fruits and other things that they need."

Wycliffe Osanya celebrating clean water at the spring.

Children were just as excited as the adults about the new water point.

"I will no longer be stepping on dirty water to fetch water; rather, I will be fetching water directly to the container through the pipe, which also takes less time than using a jug," remarked Evason, a primary school-aged boy in the community.

Evason at the spring.

"I am sure suffering from waterborne diseases will be a forgotten past. We will enjoy clean and safe flowing water that is not contaminated. We will no longer queue at the spring because every community member has enough space to fetch water, which means even children can fetch water from the spring without fear of falling inside the water and fetching dirty water."

Evason makes a splash.

Preparing for Spring Protection

Community members worked together to source and carried all locally available construction materials to the spring. These included bricks, sand, stones, and fencing poles. Some people also chiseled away at large stones to break them down into the gravel. Because people have to carry most items by hand, the materials collection process can take anywhere from a few weeks to months.

When everything was prepared, we sent a lorry to the community to deliver the rest of the construction materials, including the cement, plastic tarps, and hardware. Then, our artisan and field officers deployed to the spring to begin work. Individual households provided meals throughout each day to sustain the work team.

From Open Source to Protected Spring: A Step-by-Step Process

At last, it was time to dig in at the spring! Women and men lent their strength to the artisan each day to help with the manual labor. First, we cleared and excavated the spring area. We dug a drainage channel below the spring and several surface runoff diversion channels above and around the spring. These help to divert environmental contaminants carried by the rains away from the spring.

Excavation begins.

To ensure community members could still fetch water throughout the construction process, we also dug temporary diversion channels from the spring’s eye around the construction site. This allowed water to flow without severely disrupting community members’ water needs or the construction work.

Pouring the foundation.

Excavation created space for setting the spring’s foundation made of thick plastic tarp, wire mesh, concrete, and waterproof cement. After setting the base, we started brickwork to build the headwall, wing walls, and stairs.


Next, we began one of the most crucial spring protection steps to ensure a fully functional water point: setting the discharge pipe. The discharge pipe has to be low enough in the headwall so that the water level inside never rises above the spring’s eye, yet high enough to leave eighteen to twenty inches between the pipe and the spring floor to allow room for the average jerrycan (a 20-liter container) to sit beneath the pipe without making contact.

Setting the pipe

If the discharge pipe were placed too high above the spring’s eye, too much backpressure could force the flow to emerge elsewhere. Too low, and community members would not be able to access the water easily. We embedded the pipe using clay (or mortar when the clay is in short supply) and placed it at a slight incline to ensure water flows in the right direction.

Plastering the stone pitching.

In coordination with brickwork, we pitched medium to large stones on both sides of the spring’s drainage channel. We then cemented and plastered each stone group into place, forming the rub walls. These help to discourage people and animals from trying to stand on that area, which could cause soil erosion and thus a clogged drainage area.


With brickwork and stone pitching completed, we turned to cementing and plastering both sides of the headwall and wing walls. These finishing layers reinforce the brickwork and prevent water in the reservoir from seeping through the walls. In turn, enough pressure builds in the reservoir box to push water out through the discharge pipe.

Setting the tiles

As the headwall and wing walls were curing, we cemented and plastered the stairs and installed four tiles beneath the discharge pipe. The tiles protect the concrete from the falling water's erosive force while also beautifying the spring and facilitating easy cleaning of the spring floor.

Backfilling with clay

We transitioned to the final stages of construction with the tiles in place - backfilling the reservoir box. First, we cleared the collection box of any debris that may have fallen in since its construction, such as dead leaves or other items. Then we redirected the temporary diversion channels back into the reservoir box, channeling water into this area for the first time. We closed off all of the other exits to start forcing the water through the discharge pipe only.

Backfilling with soil

With much help from the community, we filled up the reservoir area with the clean and large stones they gathered, arranging them in layers like a well-fitting puzzle. We covered the stones with a thick plastic tarp to minimize potential contamination sources from aboveground, followed by a layer of soil. We piled enough soil on top to create a slight mound to compensate for the backfill’s future settlement.

Erecting the fence

Community members transplanted grass onto the backfilled soil to help prevent erosion. Finally, the collection area was fenced to discourage any person or animal from walking on it since compaction can lead to disturbances in the backfill layers and potentially compromise water quality.

Planting grass

The entire construction process took about two weeks of work and patience to allow the cement and plaster to finish curing. As soon as it was ready, people got the okay from our field officers to fetch water.

With the help of the area member of the county assembly who visited the spring, we had an opportunity to hand over the protected spring to the community members following a brief meeting with the group. This event marked the community's ownership of the water point. Happiness, thanksgiving, and appreciation were the order of the day flowing in all directions.

Celebrating clean water at the spring.

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

Due to the ongoing challenges and restrictions amidst the pandemic, we worked with both local leaders and the national Ministry of Health to gain approval for a small group training about health, hygiene, and COVID-19 prevention.

Together with the community, we found their preferred date for training while considering other community calendar events such as the agricultural season and social events. We requested a select yet representative group of community members to attend training, relaying the information learned to the rest of their family and friends. When the day arrived, facilitators Olivia Bomji, Patience Njeri, and Sam Simidi deployed to the site to lead the event.

Trainer Sam demonstrates how to build a tippy tap handwashing station.

16 people attended the training in including political and community-based leaders. We held the training outside under the trees in Wycliffe Osanya's home compound. The trees brought good shade and a cool breeze which made the participants more attentive. We also considered good lighting, easily accessible toilets, space where we could have good physical distancing, and all the demonstrations could be done without any problem.

Toothbrushing demonstration

Perhaps the most important topic of the day was our session on COVID-19 prevention and control. Due to the rampant spread of misinformation about COVID-19, we dedicated time to a question and answer session to help debunk rumors about the virus and provide extra information where needed.

Everyone follows along with the ten steps of handwashing.

We covered several other 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 ten steps of handwashing, and how to make and use a tippy tap and leaky tin. We held an election for the newly formed water user committee leaders during the leadership and governance session.

Trainer Olivia demonstrates how to properly put on and wear a mask.

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 and a cooperative lending group to enable members to develop their own small businesses.

Kitchen gardening was the most memorable topic. The trainers showed participants new techniques of making their own kitchen gardens using locally available materials like used water bottles and sugar sacks. These small gardens will enable people to plant and get fresh produce, including vegetables, at home with little effort required and little to no expense. The women especially showed interest in this topic and promised they would take it up.

Sam shows how to build a simple kitchen garden using recycled materials and drip irrigation.

"The training was so valuable to me because I have learned so many things today, and kitchen gardening touched my heart. I will make my own kitchen garden that will enable me to get fresh vegetables basic for nutrition. I will do this so that my grandchildren will learn from what I am doing because they will know the importance of fresh green vegetables," said Mama Florence Osanya.

Florence Osanya

"The training was valuable and educative compared to what we listen to from the radio. With what I have learned today, I have learned to protect my family from COVID- 19 by following all the government's guidelines," said Moses Khamoi, a farmer in the community.

"The most helpful part of the training was handwashing. I learned that our hands transmit all sorts of bacteria to our bodies when they are dirty. So, keeping them clean as many times as possible is very important and hygienic too," Moses added.

Moses Khamoi

Moses said that before the training, "we were putting on masks, especially when going to the market to protect ourselves from the virus." After training, he added that they "will ensure that we put on our masks when going out. We will also install leaky tins to every household, and this will help them to wash their hands more frequently."

"I no longer fear the virus as I did before because now I have learned how to protect myself and my family. I no longer worry because I know we will live with it for some time," he said.

Mama Osanya at the spring.

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 field officers' team to assist them. Also, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our ongoing monitoring and maintenance program.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

February, 2021: Osanya Spring Project Underway!

Dirty water from Osanya Spring is making people in Indulusia, Kenya 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!

A Year Later: Academic Improvement and a Bright Future!

April, 2022

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

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Indulusia Community 2.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Indulusia Community 2 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!

We asked ten-year-old Hero C what his life was like before the local spring was protected. "Access to clean water was a challenge. Time-wasting was there due to queuing for water. [Also,] contamination of water, especially [during] rainy seasons, contributing to water diseases such as typhoid, cholera, and other waterborne diseases."

But now, Hero doesn't have to worry about water.

"I can wash clothes, clean the house, and also our parents use clean water for cooking. This has contributed to high standards of hygiene with minimal sickness experienced. Our parents [are] no longer spending money in seeking medication, thus it has contributed drastically to development."

With the standard of living increasing around him, Hero now has his eyes trained toward his upcoming goals.

"[I] am also happy I [am not] absent looking for water and this has enabled me to improve academically," Hero concluded. "As a pupil, my focus will be concentrating on academics for [a] better future."

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 Indulusia Community 2 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 Indulusia Community 2 – 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.


Magic Charitable Foundation