Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 210 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Apr 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/08/2024

Project Features

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The village of Busokha in Western Kenya is home to Luvale Spring, the primary water source for the 210 people of this community. It is a community that relies on farming and small businesses to survive.

The spring is located in a flat, rocky, grassy area surrounded by farm plots. It is open to various types of contamination, including people, animals, and runoff from the nearby farms.

Many community members end up visiting the hospital as a result of using unclean water. Abigail Kaya (37) shared her concern, "This water source has costed us. There was a time when each household had a patient to attend to [at the hospital]. After doing a follow-up, it was discovered that the main issue was water."

She went on to share how this spring protection gives her hope: "You coming in to protect the spring, it's an answered prayer."

Since the spring is an open pool, community members need to stand in the water to draw and take turns because if they all dip their containers in the water at once, they will have to wait for the water to clear up before drawing from it again. The waiting can cause impatience with one another as valuable time is wasted.

Zekariel N., a 14-year-old student from the community, shared the challenges he encounters when trying to collect water: "Children have been looked down [upon] at this spring. There are times when the spring is overcrowded. Very few women will allow children to draw water before them. The majority do not allow that to happen. If the children use force, they are seen as disobedient."

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

April, 2022: Busokha Community Spring Protection Complete!

Busokha Community now has access to clean water! We transformed Luvale 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.

"I have always been keen not to use this water before it's boiled because if I happen to drink it before boiling I will end up in the hospital. [I] am grateful that all contamination routes have been closed, and the rate of waterborne diseases will reduce," said Julius Baraza, a 59-year-old teacher.

She continued, "Now that we have access to clean and sufficient flow of water, my initiative is to begin a soap-making business, which will help in getting income. This income will help meet my daily needs."

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

Consolata at the spring.

Consolata A., 14, said, "Before the spring was protected, I use to spend a lot of time waiting for water to settle, but now we can get water right away from the pipe and the water is clean and safe for human consumption."

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

At last, it was time to dig in at the spring! Locals lent their strength to the artisans 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 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. 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.

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.

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. Community members provided extra local materials to increase the number of stairs to make access easier. Then we 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.

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.

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.

Community members helping.

The community practiced teamwork throughout the entire process. Our field officer commented that even the very old men from the community contributed by working and lending moral support to others.

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 our field officers to fetch water.

The completed spring.

Training on Health, Hygiene, COVID-19, 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 to relay the information learned to the rest of their family and friends.

When the day arrived, facilitators Betty Muhongo and Stella Inganji deployed to the site to lead the event. Ten people attended the training, including four women and six men. We held the training in the shade under the trees a community member's home.

We covered several topics, including community participation in the project, leadership and 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.

Training participants.

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.

69-year-old farmer Joab Tubula shared his thoughts on the training. "[The] leadership discussion was key as it plays a significant role to achieve projects' objectives. This information has [been] imparted positively as [now I] am able to relate well with others."


The session on how soap making was popular. Community members thought that soap could only be made using huge machines and that soap contained chemicals harmful to human beings. They were pleased to learn differently and acquire their own soap-making skills.

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!

March, 2022: Busokha Community Spring Protection Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Busokha 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: Enough Water for Everyone!

July, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Busokha 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!

Bilha M., 13, recalled what life was like in Busokha Community before her community's spring was protected last year.

"This place was very slippery during the rainy season or when spillage occurred on the way. It was [an] open source with no stairs, and we used tins to collect water," Bilha shared.

But life is much safer for Bilha and the other community members in Busokha now.

"I feel okay because getting water is easy. The spring is well constructed with nice stairs. After construction, [a] chlorine dispenser was brought [to the spring], and we treat our drinking water after fetching," she continued.

Farmer Jonathon Luvale, 77, agreed. He said," Fetching water here is now very easy. I have a granddaughter who is about three years old; she comes here very quickly to get water to wash utensils and for bathing. This has changed my life unlike previously, [when] I couldn't [have] sent such a small child."

Having ready access to water from the protected spring has made a difference for Bilha, allowing her to safely and effortlessly collect the water her family needs.

"We access clean water for use at home. I get enough water for my parents and grandparents. My sister and I can fill every pot in our home, collect[ing] enough water for sanitation activities," Bilha concluded.

Thank you for helping Bilha access clean water. She can collect enough water for her household without fear of injury, enjoy her childhood more and build a brighter future for herself.

Right now, there are others just like her in neighboring communities that 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.

Bilha splashing water.

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 Busokha 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 Busokha 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.


2 individual donor(s)