Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 140 Served

Project Phase:  Under Construction
Estimated Install Date (?):  02/17/2023

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Linet Wechuli Spring is unprotected and open to contamination, making the water unhealthy to consume for the 140 people living in Burundu.

Contaminated water can transmit diseases such diarrhoea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio. Contaminated drinking-water is estimated to cause 502 000 diarrhoeal deaths each year. - WHO Africa

During a recent visit, a community member shared sorrowful news with our field officer. "It is barely one week since I lost my nephew because of [a] waterborne disease, something that could have been prevented if known earlier," said Esther Anyera, 56. Esther is seen below collecting water from the very spring that harmed her nephew.

"[I] have been using this waterpoint since I got married here, and, truly speaking, it has caused more pain than harm. So please, we need your assistance to save more lives."

And even though contamination is the spring's most harmful flaw, its issues don't stop there. Those collecting water also waste their valuable time waiting in lines at the spring and risk injury collecting water due to the source's dangerous access area.

Community members must endure long queues because each individual must carefully climb into the collection area and scoop up water one small container at a time, dumping water into their larger container. It is painfully slow and eliminates the precious time they could use for other essential things like producing income. It is also risky, especially during the rainy season when the area becomes very slippery.

Children are not immune since they also contribute to water collection. Often, the time they could be at school or studying is reduced because of the slow process.

"This is our only water source which we use for all our water uses, so you will find we go to fetch water more than five times to try [to] meet our daily demand, and remember, we are not alone, which takes a lot of time queuing and waiting. If assisted, we will save on time used to fetch water," said Mitchelle M., a 14-year-old girl from Burundu shown above.

Everyone in Burundu eagerly awaits their spring's protection so they can drink water without fearing the worst and get back to tasks they need to accomplish for their daily lives to improve.

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

01/04/2023: Burundu Community Spring Protection Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Burundu 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

Protected Spring

In many communities, natural springs exist as water flows from cracks in rocky ground or the side of a hill.  Springs provide reliable water but that doesn’t mean safe. When left open they become contaminated by surface contamination, animal and human waste and rain runoff. The solution is to protect the source. First, you excavate around the exact source area of the spring. Then, you build a protective reservoir for water flow, which pours through a reinforced pipe in a concrete headwall to a paved collection area. Safe water typically flows year-round and there is very limited ongoing maintenance needed!


1 individual donor(s)