Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 350 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2023

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/09/2024

Project Features

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The 350 community members of Indulusia are familiar with spring protection, or at least attempted spring protection. Unfortunately, their previous experience was disappointing, with shoddy construction work by another entity that failed to protect Chisaina Spring. Since then, their spring has not functioned as it should, putting everyone's health at risk and community members' patience to the test.

Understandably, at first, they were reluctant to welcome us to protect their spring. They hesitated because they were convinced this could be another waste of materials, time, and resources. But with further clarification and examples of other springs we've protected in the area, we were able to win their trust.

Almost all community members are farmers who grow sugarcane, bananas, maize, beans, and sweet potatoes. Currently, they have to plan their day well to accommodate the hours needed for fetching water from the spring and still be able to farm successfully. Many of them fetch water in the very early hours of the day to avoid long lines, but some prefer the evening hours after they can be sure they've given dedicated time to their farms.

Violet Nasimiyu (in the photo above), 71, said, "With my advanced age, it's not easy to access the spring. The stairs are damaged. When it rains, it becomes slippery. I have to carry a much smaller container so that I don't stumble and fall. This makes me make several trips to the spring. It's tiresome."

The spring looks partially protected but is exposed to contamination. The staircase is crumbling, making it hard for the community members to access the water, and the floor is eroding. The drawing point is dirty and muddy, and the pipes placed for water collection are too small and have already begun to rust.

With the spring damaged from the first protection attempt, water seeps from several areas it shouldn't, not just the small pipe fixed in the wall. This has caused a reduction in the discharge speed, slowing collection times and causing crowding at the spring.

Kelvin J., in the photo above collecting water from the spring, 11, shared, "We sometimes fight at the spring with my fellow children simply because everyone wants to fill their container, yet the water from the pipe is not plenty. A lot of water is wasted oozing from the damaged spring walls."

Thankfully. the community members of Indulusia are willing to trust us to protect their spring. They need the confidence of a safe water source they can rely on for the future, and we are happy to make this possible.

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

February, 2023: Indulusia Community Spring Protection Complete!

Indulusia Community now has access to clean water! We transformed Chisaina 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.

"The reliability of safe, clean water would impact my life positively because there will be no more waste of time queuing because now the spring discharges highly," said Joseph Chisaina.

Joseph at the spring.

"As the oldest man in this community, my plan or goal is to ensure that my home hygiene and sanitation practice is highly improved because water is available all the time," Joseph continued. "Secondly, other community members also to improve their hygiene so they [keep diseases] at bay."

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

Victoria, right, fetches water with other girls.

"The availability of water from this water point would impact me in many ways," said 14-year-old Victoria L. "Firstly, by drinking safe clean water I [will] no longer be affected by water-related ailments. Secondly, [we will have] no [more] wastage of time queuing at the spring because now the spring is discharging highly, thus I [will] no longer be punished by my mother for going to fetch water for a long time."


"My plan is to improve in hygiene practices because water would be available all the time and also the knowledge gained during the training would help me a lot. Secondly, in [my] academic performance, my mom promised that she would no longer send me to the water point to fetch water on weekdays because there be no more queuing, thus she will be fetching water, which [will] help me to concentrate on my studies."

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.

Community members bring stones 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.

Backfilling with stone.

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. Everyone gathered at the spring to say a prayer of thanks, and some community children even recited a poem they'd learned in school to mark the occasion.

"[The] implementation of Chisaina Spring was a dream for many community members," said our field officer, Nelly. "They were all very grateful to [us]. An old-aged woman gave a word of prayer for the almighty God to bless [everyone] for protecting their spring."

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 Jonathan and Nelly deployed to the site to lead the event. 32 people attended the training, including 20 women and 12 men. We held the training at under a shade tree at Mr. Chisaina's homestead.

Joseph speaks during the training.

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.

Watching soap being made.

The participants' favorite topic was soap-making, during which they took detailed notes on the ingredients and method. This turn of events was particularly interesting to our facilitators because participants started the handwashing lesson by asking why anyone would need to use soap while washing their hands. After a lesson on bacteria and how soap cleans hands, everyone agreed that washing with soap was much better, and therefore they were eager to understand how it was made in order to keep a steady supply in their households.

"The training has impacted me positively," said 52-year-old Victoria Luvisha. "I have gained important information, especially about hygiene practices, which I have never known at all. I really appreciate and promise to pass on all that we have learned to my sister and brother so as to improve the hygiene and sanitation practices in every household. Secondly, about the maintenance of the spring, I would ensure that what we have learned has been practiced for the spring to serve [us] for a long period of time."


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!

January, 2023: Indulusia Community Spring Protection Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Indulusia 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: Reliable, Safe Water Makes Life Easier!

April, 2024

Your generous donation helped the Indulusia Community in Kenya access clean water a year ago, creating a life-changing moment for Diana. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Indulusia Community 7.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Indulusia Community 7 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!

Diana, 10, recalled what life was like in the Indulusia Community before her community's spring was protected last year.

"It was hard because the area around the waterpoint was so bushy with shrubs and tall papyrus reeds; this was considered unsafe because it was infested with dangerous snakes and insects," Diana shared.

Collecting water is now much safer for Diana and the other community members in the Indulusia Community.

"It is easier, reliable, and safe because the bushy surrounding is no more, and this has given me full confidence when [I am] sent [from] home to go and fetch water," she continued.

Having ready access to water from the spring has made a difference for Diana, allowing her to collect clean water fearlessly. Since the spring was protected a year ago, she has had time for the things that matter and had the opportunity to enjoy her childhood.

Diane joyously splashing in the protected spring!

"It has helped me have enough time for studies and household chores. [I] also have enough playtime with my fellow friends since [water] is readily accessible," Diana concluded.

Diana watering the garden with water easily collected.

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 Indulusia Community 7 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 Indulusia Community 7 – 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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