Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 152 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/07/2023

Project Features

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Tubula Spring is located in the village of Lumunyasi, a peaceful and rural area. The land is predominantly vegetated with trees, grass, and community membres' crops including sugarcane, potatoes, arrowrots, bananas, and vegetables. Most houses are mud walled and iron sheet roofed with a few permanent buildings. Generally, the roads are inaccessible with vehicles during the rainy season. Only motorbike riders familiar with the area can sometimes dodge the washed out and muddy terrain. To get to the spring is no exception; one must walk through the sugar plantations and muddy paths to reach it.

152 people in Lumunyasi depend on Tubula Spring as their closest and only year-round water source. Women and children here have to make several trips to the spring to fetch water each day. Early int he morning, everyone tries to be the first at spring so that they can fetch the cleanest water possible of the day. After several fetchings, or if someone tries to fetch water too quickly, the water becomes dirty and everyone must wait for it to settle again for they can resume fetching it.

Tubula Spring looks like a medium sized puddle intersected by a few logs community members placed to offer a sort of bridge to stand on while fetching water. Since the logs are slippery and prone to turning, however, most people end up fetching water at the spring's edge anyway. Fetching water requires two containers: one small jug, bowl, or cup to scoop water up, and a larger jerrycan to fill with the scooped water.

This fetching process is time-consuming and imprecise; long lines and wait times are daily occurrences at the spring, sucking time away from community members' other daily activities and work. Mornings, evenings, weekends, and holidays are the busiest times at the spring. The time currently wasted at the spring could be time spent on other more productive or income-generating among community members. For children, they could be better spending their time playing or doing schoolwork.

Because it is completely open, multiple contaminants easily flow into the spring. Runoff from the rains carries farm chemicals, residues from animal waste, and soil directly into the pooled water. Sometimes there is so much washout that community members have to dig out the soil to access the spring again, followed by waiting for the water to settle. Animals can walk, drink, and defecate directly in the spring. Freshwater crabs, algae, insects, and rotting leaves all call Tubula Spring home.

Community members report that cases of diarrhea and typhoid are rampant in this area because of the consumption of the spring's dirty and unsafe water. Malaria is also common due to the stagnant water around the spring, which serves as a prime breeding ground for the mosquitoes that carry the disease.

"I have been praying to God to bring to us genuine people to protect our spring and I am glad our prayers have been answered. We have had people who come and promise to protect this spring only to disappear forever," said Rose Amukonyi, a 58-year-old farmer in Lumunyasi.

"My children, grandchildren, and I suffer from waterborne and water-related diseases like typhoid, diarrhea, malaria, and bilharzia frequently. We end up spending the little money we get on buying medication and hospital bills. I am eagerly waiting for this spring protection so that we can finally have clean and safe water."

Not only do these illnesses drain families of their financial resources, but they also keep adults home from work and kids home from school. Everyone's potential is being limited by the unprotected spring.

Accessibility is the other major concern at the spring. In addition to finding a tricky spot to perch at the water's edge while fetching, either on the logs or rocks, the area is slippery. Sometimes people's shoes and toes accidentally slip into the water, further contaminating it along with the scooping jugs they dip into the water.

"This water is dirty yet we have to drink it daily since we have no alternative source. Accessing the spring is difficult, especially when it rains; it gets slippery and sometimes I fall and hurt myself in the process," explained primary school-aged student Ernest.

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.


Project Updates

August, 2021: Tubula Spring Project Complete!

Lumunyasi Community now has access to clean water! We transformed Tubula 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.

Rose Amukonyi, a 59-year-old local farmer, also served as our field officers' guide during their tour of the completed spring. When asked how the new protected spring will affect her life, she said: "My family and I will no longer suffer from waterborne and water-related diseases like typhoid, stomachache, and diarrhea. Time that was wasted scooping water will now be channeled to income-generating activities in the community to improve our livelihood."

Rose fetching clean water!

About her plans for the future now that her community has ready access to clean water, Rose added: "Since I love farming, I will use this water to water my vegetables and other crops, especially during dry seasons. This will ensure a supply of fresh vegetables throughout the year."

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

Enoch T., a 9-year-old student, told us that the new protected spring - and its concrete stairs - will make his life easier. "Fetching water is now easy and faster than before, when I had to stand on a log as I fetched water. It was a very dangerous process, especially for us kids."

And how will Enoch use all this new spare time? "Now I have more time to play and also study rather than queuing at the spring to wait for my turn to fetch water."

Preparing for Spring Protection

Community members worked together to source and carry all locally available construction materials to the spring.

These included bricks, sand, stones, and fencing poles. Some people also chiseled away at large rocks to break them down into gravel. Because people have to carry most items by hand, the materials collection process can take anywhere from a few weeks to months.

Site clearance.

When the community members had prepared everything, 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! Locals lent their strength to the artisans each day to help with the manual labor. First, we cleared and excavated the spring area. Next, 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.

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.

Excavation created space for setting the spring's foundation, which is 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. This allows room for the average jerrycan (a 20-liter container) to sit beneath the pipe without making contact.

If we place the discharge pipe 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 clay is in short supply) and placed it at an incline to ensure water flows in the right direction.

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. This helps discourage people and animals from standing in that area, which could cause soil erosion and thus a clogged drainage area.

We then 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.

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 beautifying the spring and facilitating easy cleaning of the spring floor.

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.

With much help from the community (as you can see in the photo below!), 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 rocks with a thick plastic tarp to minimize potential contamination sources from aboveground, followed by a layer of soil.

We piled enough dirt on top to create a slight mound to compensate for the backfill's future settlement.

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.

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. We officially handed over the spring to mark the community's ownership of the water point. Happiness, thanksgiving, and appreciation were the order of the day, flowing in all directions.

The community members were very excited that finally their spring was protected. Many people promised to protect the spring in the past, but it never came to pass.

Alfred Ingweti, a 60-year-old local farmer (as well as the water user committee's organizing secretary), said, "I am impressed with the commitment and professionalism that you have towards this project. We are very grateful for making our dreams come true. Please continue to serve other communities so that they can also benefit from this project like us. God bless you."

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

Due to the ongoing challenges and restrictions amidst the pandemic, we worked with 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 representative group of community members to attend training to relay the information learned to the rest of their family and friends.

When the day arrived, facilitators Christine Masinde, Christine Luvandwa, and Samuel Simidi deployed to the site to lead the event. Fifteen people attended the training, including 7 females and 8 males. We held the training at Rose Amukonyi's compound.

Perhaps the most crucial 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.

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; dental hygiene; the ten steps of handwashing, and how to make and use a tippy tap and leaky tin. In addition, we held an election for the newly formed water user committee leaders during the leadership and governance session.

We also brainstormed income-generating activities that community members can use to start a group savings account for any future minor repairs to the spring and a cooperative lending group to enable members to develop small businesses.

"When I was asked to attend the training, I thought It was all about the spring," said Alfred Ingweti, "but to my surprise, it covered different topics that touch our lives on a daily basis. We have gained more knowledge about water, sanitation and hygiene, Covid-19, maintenance of the spring, soap making, and leadership skills which will improve our lives positively."

When an issue arises concerning the spring, 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 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!

July, 2021: Tubula Spring Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Lumunyasi Community drains people’s time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this community through the introduction and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation, and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!

Project Videos

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.

A Year Later: Clean School Uniforms!

August, 2022

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Lumunyasi 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!

Before Tubula Spring was protected last year, collecting water was not easy for community members living in Lumunyasi, especially for a little guy like seven-year-old Enock L.

"We were drawing dirty water because the spring was open to contamination, hence when it [rained], the water became dirty," Enock said.

"After the completion of the spring, you can get clean water anytime, even if it rains. I take [a] short time to draw water from the protected spring," Enock said. "The water is now readily available and of good quality."

Now that Enock can easily and quickly access water, he can wash his school uniform and take drinking water to school.

"I take clean water now to school when there is no water in school. In addition, I can now afford to wash my school uniform daily," concluded Enock.


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 Lumunyasi 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 Lumunyasi 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.


38 individual donor(s)