Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 330 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/04/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

"I am a child from this community, and the issues that I have been experiencing from this water point are really making my soul not happy to stay in this community. The poor health state is really a big problem that contributes to poor performance in school. As a pupil, I lack proper sanitation facilities [at home]. The spring has also wasted time and contributed to absenteeism among pupils as a result of collecting water due to overcrowding during the morning hours and evening. This is caused by the lack of a pipe to access water. Lastly, it's because of the waterborne infections which also affects our own parents in terms of financial constraints as the little money they have is being used on medication."

Teenager Chrisiston, quoted above, is very concerned for his future and that of the rest of his community due to their reliance on the dirty water from Reuben Endeche Spring. In the Luyeshe North Community, 330 people depend on this spring as their main water source, but they are consuming contaminated water.

"Water is life, and personally it has taken time to accept that I am using this source. One reason is that I lack alternative ways of acquiring safe water for consumption. This affects my family as we dig in our pockets to cater to medication and being the fact I am the breadwinner, it becomes a challenge in supporting my family," said 46-year-old farmer and father Soita Lukoye.

The spring was once partially protected but it was not done to standard and it quickly fell apart. Today, remnants of old concrete and stonework remain, but water escapes down the entire face of the access point. Plants have totally encroached on the spring, covering where people must press a small jug up against the wall to collect water, then pour that into their larger jerrycan. Below, the ground is a constant pool of water, mud, and slippery rocks which community members try to stand on to avoid the pooled water. Sometimes, they slip into the water anyway.

Because the spring was not fully protected and water now runs down the open wall, the water is highly contaminated. The primary pollutants include farm chemicals, animal waste, and soil that mix with the spring water as runoff seeps into the ground. Additionally, sometimes the vines growing down the spring dip into people's jugs as they press them against the wall. Animal waste was visibly scattered around the water source at the time of our visit, and the water coming from the spring gave off a bad odor.

It is clear enough that the water from Reuben Endeche Spring is not safe for either consumption or domestic use in chores like washing dishes or watering animals, but there is no other water source nearby. Community members reported a high rate of water-related illnesses among families who depend on this spring, especially among children and the elderly. Malaria is also common due to the stagnant water at the spring which serves as an excellent breeding ground for the mosquitoes that carry the disease. Even skin rashes have been reported, which is why some people forego daily baths with this water - and as a result among students, prevents them from attending school due to their poor state of personal hygiene, as Chrisiston mentioned.

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: Reuben Endeche Spring Project Complete!

Luyeshe North Community now has access to clean water! We transformed Reuben Endeche 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.

"Life will improve, and many people will have access to clean water hence living a healthy life without sickness. Being a farmer in the community, water from this spring will enable me to supply vegetables and fruits throughout the year," said Leonida Imisa.

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

"The standard of hygiene will improve especially washing clothes and taking baths frequently. I will get more time to do my studies without missing school looking for water. The water point will empower community members to venture into agribusiness activities to be self-employed," said Dennis L., student.

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 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.

When the community members 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! 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. 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 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 the 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, 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 directly following training to mark the community's ownership of the water point. Happiness, thanksgiving, and appreciation were the order of the day flowing in all directions.

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 Victor Musemi, Janet Kayi, and Catherine Chepkemoi deployed to the site to lead the event. Twelve people attended the training, including village health workers and community-based leaders. We held the training outside in the open air for practical demonstration purposes and considering COVID-19 measures. The weather was hot and cloudy in the morning, which favored us.

The turnout was good, as the majority of the participants were willing to learn new ideas about hygiene, and there was much excitement about the new project constructed in their community.

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.

The leadership and governance session was powerful. Participants, especially men, believed women should not have any leadership position according to cultural tradition. After learning all the leadership qualities needed for the chairperson of the water user committee, an elderly, energetic woman won the position. She became the first woman to have a leadership role in the community.

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.

"The training was very successful to me and the entire community. We gained more skills concerning hygiene and sanitation standards which I will practice and even teach others. With that, we shall live a healthy life," said Leonida Imasa, a community health volunteer and local female farmer.

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 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: Reuben Endeche Spring Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in the Luyeshe North 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 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: Better Health and Improved Relationships!

August, 2022

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Luyeshe North 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 we protected Reuben Endeche Spring last year, procuring water was an everyday struggle for Brian. His family had a hand-dug well that failed to yield water for most of the year, so he was left dunking jerrycans at the unprotected spring, collecting nearly as much dirt as water.

"Getting water was not that easy for me, despite the fact that we had hand dug well, which, most of the time, could get dry, forcing me to walk several kilometers just to get water," said 16-year-old Brian S.

Now, though, all Brian has to do is place his container beneath the water's flow.

"Getting water is so easy and quick," Brian said. "I spend [a] minimum [amount of] time acquiring water for drinking and also for other domestic use. Water [is] also available in plenty at any time of need, and also, the availability of the stairs has made the accessibility to be even more easy. And the land it stands on is so spacious, too."

David Munialo (66), the chairperson of the local water user committee, feels great pride in the spring and the collaborative effort it represents. "I feel motivated and [like] a hero when I walk around because of the great vision we achieved together in joining hands. I always narrate stories to my grandchildren [about] how we used to draw water, and they laugh. We have really improved and reduced water contamination from [the] source to [the] final destination."

Brian said the spring even improved relationships within the community. "[The spring] has created a better bond between me and my grandmother, whereby she no longer struggles getting water because I get her water within a short time whenever she requests it, thus creating [a] good relationship. Secondly, [I have] been able to plant flowers around, which I also water frequently, thus beautifying our home."

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 Luyeshe North 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 Luyeshe North 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.


Deshanie's Campaign for Water
1 individual donor(s)