Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 140 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Oct 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/09/2024

Project Features

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The 140 community members in Emulomonye have faced the challenges of using dirty water from the local spring, their only water source, for a very long time.

Since they have no other water to consume, they drink the dirty water from the spring and get sick with waterborne illnesses (like typhoid). The repeated diseases cause them to have poor health, leaving them with limited energy and strength.

Another side effect is missed opportunities for development, work, and growing food. Because of this, they have insufficient income since they spend money on repeated medical treatments. As a result, many in the community suffer from hunger and poverty.

"Consumption of dirty water has rendered me underdeveloped, as most of the time [I] am [too] weak to engage in development activities due to being sick," said Grace Masambai (pictured above), a local farmer.

Children are also missing valuable time in school, limiting their futures. "Drawing water from [the] unprotected spring has resulted in the contraction of waterborne disease which most times forced [me] to stay at home and miss class lessons," said Sedrick (pictured above), age 15.

Community members walk to the spring, where they find long lines because of overcrowding, wasting time they could use to do other essential tasks. People often quarrel while trying to collect water first before it gets stirred up, which would mean waiting even longer for the water to settle before collecting again.

The improperly protected spring is in a low-lying area at the bottom of a steep slope surrounded by indigenous trees and farmland whose runoff contaminates the water. Community members must stand in the water to collect it, which makes it dirtier. The improperly set water pipe is too low, so people must lay their containers in the water to fill them, leading to even more contamination.

The spring needs to be correctly protected so the water will be clean and quicker to access. Those relying on this water source need to have time to get on with activities that support a healthier life.

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

October, 2022: Emulomonye Community Spring Protection Complete!

Emulomonye Community now has access to clean water! We transformed Andati Musungu 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 will spend [a] very short time at the water point, and this will enable me to have time for my family and friends," said 34-year-old farmer Nelly Kadenge. "Good health is my portion. I will not spend a single coin on medication for treating waterborne diseases. Instead, I will buy fruits to help me fight other diseases."


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

15-year-old Sedrick, who we spoke with when we first visited Emulomonye, is excited to have more peace in his life. "Since the water is direct from the pipe, I will spend the shortest time possible at the spring, and there will be no conflict between me and my mother. [Our] good relationship has been restored."


"Because of the long queue [at the spring], I always got to school late," Sedrick continued. "Nowadays, the teachers have been wondering whether we have piped water at our doorstep, since [I] am always at school at the right time, and [I] am also clean because water is available throughout."

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.

A community member brings grass to the construction site.

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.

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 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.

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 bringing rocks to the construction site.

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.

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.

Community members carry their first jerrycans full of water home.

"The landowner, Mr. Andati, talked to a pastor from within [the community] to come and officially dedicate the spring before God and the community," said our field officer, Betty. "The pastor started by saying that water is life, and so there's a need to take good care of [the spring]. After prayers were made, the project was handed over to community members, and the staff in charge assured them that they will be visiting the site frequently just to make sure all is well."

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 Betty and Stella deployed to the site to lead the event. 14 people attended the training, including ten women and four men. We held the training at the spring landowner's house.

Practicing handwashing.

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.

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.

The community members' favorite training topic was soap-making. Several of them confessed to never having used soap prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"One of them openly said that she has been seeing the soap in supermarkets and at no given time had she imagined buying or using it at home," Field Officer Betty said. "According to her, the soap was made for rich people. Upon seeing how it was made, she did not believe her eyes. It was a miracle!"

A group photo of the training participants.


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: Emulomonye Community Spring Protection Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Emulomonye 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: "The Waterborne Diseases have Now Reduced."

November, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Emulomonye 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!

Businesswoman Nelly Amatasi, 36, recalled what life was like in the Emulomonye Community before her community's spring was protected last year.

"Before the completion of the project, the water point was open to contamination. The water was not good for human consumption," said Nelly.

But the water Nelly and the other community members in Emulomonye Community can access now is much safer.

"The water point is protected, and there is a nice fence that secures it. In addition, after fetching water, we add chlorine," said Nelly.

Having ready access to water from the spring has made a difference for Nelly, allowing her safe water to drink and improved health.

"The waterborne diseases have now reduced. To me, I was using a lot of money for medication because of typhoid outbreaks. I no longer use a lot of money for medication because I now take safe and clean water," concluded Nelly.

Right now, there are others 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.

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 Emulomonye 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 Emulomonye 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.


National Assoc. of University Women North Jersey Branch
St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School
Sandcastle Giving Fund
The Campbell High School Fundraising Page for 2021-2022
4 individual donor(s)