Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 140 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/10/2024

Project Features

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Andanje Spring is the primary water source for the community of Malimali, but it can't currently provide enough water for the community of 140 people.

In its current state, it is a small dug hole that only one person can safely navigate at a time, surrounded by bush. It is easy to see it is contaminated with algae and leaves floating in the cloudy water. There have been many reported cases of water-related illnesses like diarrhea, amoebas, and cholera from drinking the water leaving people weak and unable to perform their normal daily duties or go to school.

To collect water community members must take their time and carefully crouch down to scoop water while trying not to stir up more debris. This leads to long lines, leading to quarrels amongst community members who do not want to waste valuable time.

Enoche Andanje (shown above), 70, a farmer and the spring's namesake, said, "My grandchildren are very young, and I have to prepare them for school every day. This means I have to fetch water very early in the morning to help in the preparation. Many times they have had to be late for school because of the long queue at the water point."

"After school, it is my responsibility to help my mother with some of the house chores and this includes fetching water. Most times I end up staying at the water point 'til late at night because of the queue. This, in turn, affects my study time at home," said Elizabeth N., 12, shown above.

The people of Malimali need Andanje Spring to be protected so they can regain their valuable time to do other important tasks, improve their lives, and live at peace with one another once again.

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.

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.

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

Project Updates

September, 2022: Malimali Community Spring Protection Complete!

Malimali Community now has access to clean water! We transformed Andanje Spring into a flowing source of naturally filtered water thanks to your donation. Our team also trained the community on improved sanitation and hygiene practices. Together, these components will unlock the opportunity for community members to live better, healthier lives.

"Now, there will be no more time wasted in the spring because of the congestion of people. Now I can find more time to work on my vegetables and other crops I plant. I am a happy woman!" said 35-year-old chairperson of the water committee and farmer, Faith Andanje.

Faith drinks water from the spring.

Children were just as excited as adults about the new waterpoint.

"I have had to quarrel, sometimes even fight at this spring just to be able to fetch water. This was due to congestion in the spring. Now I look forward to a peaceful time coming to fetch water, with no need to fight and argue," said 11-year-old Francis W.

Francis collects 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 material-collection process can take anywhere from a few weeks to months.

When the community was ready, we sent a lorry to deliver the remaining construction materials, including cement, plastic tarps, and hardware. Then, our construction 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

First, we cleared and excavated the spring area. Next, we dug a drainage channel below the spring and several runoff diversion channels above and around the spring. These help to divert surface contaminants away.

To ensure community members could still access water throughout the construction process, we also dug temporary channels from the spring's eye around the construction site. This allowed water to flow without disrupting community members' tasks or the construction work. Excavation created space for setting the spring's foundation, made of thick plastic tarp, wire mesh, concrete, and waterproof cement.

Laying the foundation.

After establishing the base, we started brickwork to build the headwall, wing walls, and stairs. Once the walls had grown tall enough, we began one of the most crucial steps: setting the discharge pipe. The discharge pipe needs to be positioned low enough in the headwall so the water level never rises above the spring's eye, yet high enough to allow 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, backpressure could force water 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.

Setting the discharge pipe.

In coordination with brickwork, we pitched stones on both sides of the spring's drainage channel. We then cemented and plastered each stone, forming the rub walls. These walls discourage people and animals from standing in that area, which could cause soil erosion and a clogged drainage area.

Building the rub walls.

We then cemented and plastered 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 cured, 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.

Placing tile to help prevent erosion.

The final stage of construction is backfilling the reservoir box behind the discharge pipe. We cleared the collection box of any debris that may have fallen during construction. 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 water through the discharge pipe only.

We filled up the reservoir area with the large, clean stones community members had gathered, arranging them in layers like a well-fitting puzzle. We covered the rocks with a thick plastic tarp to minimize potential contamination sources, then piled enough dirt on top to compensate for future settling.

Backfilling with stones.

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. 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 the spring was ready, people got the okay from their local field officers to fetch water.

A prayer of thanksgiving was offered by the community, and 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.

Training on Health, Hygiene, and More

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 and relay the information learned to the rest of their family and friends.

When the day arrived, facilitators Patience Njeri, Mildred Mboha, Emmah Oopat, and Brenda Cheptoo deployed to the site to lead the event. 23 people attended the training, including 12 women and 11 men. We held the training at one of the community members' households, under a tree that provided shade from the sun.

We covered several topics, including community participation in the project, leadership, governance, personal and environmental hygiene, water handling and treatment, spring maintenance, dental hygiene, the ten steps of handwashing, disease prevention, and how to make and use handwashing stations.

During the leadership and governance session, we held an election for the newly formed water user committee leaders, who will oversee the maintenance of the spring. We also brainstormed income-generating activities. Community members can now start a group savings account for any future minor repairs to the spring and a cooperative lending group, enabling them to develop small businesses.

Practicing dental hygiene.

During the discussion on dental hygiene, an interesting misconception came to light. At least three participants confessed to using soap instead of toothpaste to brush their teeth which led to laughter in the group. The facilitator leading the session corrected the misconception and told participants if they have no toothpaste, they can use salt instead to brush their teeth. People were happy with the newfound knowledge, which is sure to be safer than using soap.

"I have benefitted from the lessons of today," said Faith, who was quoted above. "Now I can make soap on my own. I hope to make this a side business and train even other people."


This project required a substantial collaboration between our staff, our in-country teams, and the community members themselves. 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 their local field officers to assist them.

Also, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program. We walk with each community, problem-solving together when they face challenges with functionality, seasonality, or water quality. Together, all these components help us strive for enduring access to reliable, clean, and safe water for this community.

With your contribution, one more piece has been added to a large puzzle of water projects. In our target areas, we’re working toward complete coverage of reliable, maintained water sources within a 30-minute round trip for each community, household, school, and health center. With this in mind, search through our upcoming projects to see which community you can help next!

Thank you for making all of this possible!

August, 2022: Malimali Community Spring Protection Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Malimali 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: "I also have enough time to bond and play with my friends."

January, 2024

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

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Malimali Community 3.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Malimali Community 3 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!

Monica J, 13, recalled life in the Malimali Community before its spring was protected last year.

"Fetching water from this spring was very hard because I could waste a lot of time queuing or even fetching water since I used a scoop. I could not complete my assignments on time and got punished in school," she shared.

Collecting water is now much less challenging for Monica and the other community members in Malimali Community.

"I have been able to save my time, hence spending it on studies more. Due to this, I have improved greatly in school. I also have enough time to bond and play with my friends," concluded Monica.

Having ready access to water from the spring has made a difference for Monica, allowing her to spend more time learning and playing, laying the foundation for a brighter future.

Right now, people in neighboring communities desperately need safe water access. Your support will immediately go to work to provide a clean water project - and we can't wait to introduce you to the next person you'll help.

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 Malimali Community 3 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 Malimali Community 3 – 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.


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1 individual donor(s)