Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 175 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/03/2024

Project Features

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The 175 people of Siekuti avoid fetching water from contaminated Waluvoga Spring when they can. Whenever it rains, they collect rainwater from their rooves. But during the dry season, everyone lines up for water, their shoes and feet sucked deep into the mud surrounding the spring.

While the rainy season replenishes the spring, it causes more problems than it solves. Because the water point is so shallow, the rain stirs up sediment from the bottom of the spring, making the water opaque with brown dirt. The spring is also situated at the end of a hill, which means all the contaminants from nearby households and farms flow into the spring along with the rainwater.

"During the rainy season, we cannot fetch water from this water point," said 59-year-old farmer Julius Luvayo (carrying water in the foreground of the above photo). "This is because all the contaminants have been washed into the spring, which makes the water unsafe for human consumption."

But too often, the community members don't have another choice for water, so they must drink the water even though they know it's unsafe. Julius told us that whenever he gets any income from his farm, it all goes to medication for his family, who constantly suffer from water-related illnesses.

"The water from the source is not safe for drinking, especially during [the] rainy season," said 13-year-old Dian W (in the photo below). "This has really impacted my life negatively because I mostly missed going to school due to water-related ailments and spending more time at home, thus leading me to poor academic performance."

With a protected spring in their community, Siekuti's people will have more time, energy, and money to improve their own lives and provide for their families.

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 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. 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

December, 2022: Siekuti Community Spring Protection Complete!

Siekuti Community now has access to clean water! We transformed Waluvonga 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.

"Access to reliable, safe, clean water means a lot in my life," said 52-year-old farmer Julius Waluvoga. "Firstly, [the water means we will have] no wastage of time fetching water [like] before the water point was constructed. Secondly, [we will have] good health for me and my family, which will bring [me] peace of mind because we will no longer be affected by water-related diseases and waterborne [illnesses] attributed by the contaminated water. This will impact my life positively because I will no longer waste my resources seeking medical [treatment for] my family and myself. Thus, my life standards will improve."


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

"Now that we have access to clean, safe water, I will no longer miss school because my family will no longer be affected by water-related ailments. Besides that, the challenge of fetching dirty water and wasting of time at the water point has been made easier through [the] protection of the spring," said 13-year-old Trinah O.

Trinah O.

She continued: "Thus, [we will be] paying my school fees early, which will enable me to concentrate in my studies, which will translate to good [academic] performance."

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.

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 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.

After work was completed, the community members assembled at the water point to give prayers of thanksgiving to God and to the donors for considering their spring's protection. The community members were very grateful, saying those who protected the spring were God-sent partners.

The water point has attracted several people from different villages who've visited just to see the good work done at Waluvoga Spring. It was noted that the spring's protection has brought about unity and love amongst different villages, and people have been reminded of the importance of coming together as a team to achieve a goal.

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, Joel, Christine, and Nelly deployed to the site to lead the event. 15 people attended the training, including 11 women and four men. We held the training under shade trees at the homestead of Julius Livayo.

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.

Installing a leaky tin handwashing station.

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 most memorable training session was on environmental hygiene, where participants learned the importance of planting trees from Julius Waluvoga, a community member who is an environmental conservator in Hamisi sub-county. He was able to educate the participants on the importance of trees as they attract rain, purify the air, and can be a source of income. At the end of the session, he distributed tree saplings to the participants in remembrance of the training session and the implementation of Waluvoga Spring.

Learning how to make soap.

"The training was of great value to me," said Trinah, quoted earlier. "I have learned a lot, especially in hygiene practices, which will improve my life positively as a young girl. Moreso, I will be able to teach my age-mates on the importance of hygiene practices. Additionally, [the] soap-making process was one of the topics I will never forget because I have gotten an opportunity to acquire knowledge on how liquid soap is made. This will impact my life positively because I will be able to make soap for handwashing and for income-generating."


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!

October, 2022: Siekuti Community Spring Protection Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Siekuti 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: A Milestone Achieved Collectively!

April, 2024

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Siekuti 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!

Julius Livayo, 59, recalled what life was like in the Siekuti Community before his community's spring was protected last year.

"Since the waterpoint was very open [before], crowding was the order of the day. I used to wait in line for those in front of me to fetch water. Scooping the water from the source was tedious and very strenuous; I had to bend with a jug [in] my hand and a 20-liter container [in] the other hand," Julius shared.

Collecting water is now much faster and less physically challenging for Julius and the other community members in Siekuti.

"To me, having this waterpoint in this state is a milestone that could not be achieved by an individual or community alone. You have brought smiles and hope to many people in our community. This spring is easy to access because now we have stairs, which are spacious [enough] to allow for people to move in and out with ease as well as discharging water at a fair speed, which saves on time and is not causing any pain while fetching the water," he exclaimed.

Having ready access to water from the spring has made a difference for Julius, allowing him to painlessly and efficiently collect water, making time for important daily activities and passions.

"[I] am a lover of trees and [the] environment in general. Therefore, my seedlings and grown trees will always have sufficient water for growth, especially during times of drought. With this, I will be able to plant more seedlings and irrigate other plants, thus helping me to earn a living," Julius concluded.

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 Siekuti 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 Siekuti 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.


Project Sponsor - Christ United Methodist Church