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

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The 140 people of Lishundu are subsistence farmers who eat what they grow and don't make much money, which is why their constant water-related illnesses are so devastating. When they are sick with typhoid or cholera, they can't work their farms, leaving them both without food and without any money for treatment.

When we visited, frog eggs floated on the entire surface of the upper pool where water drains down a piece of iron sheeting and into people's containers. Surrounding the spring are maize fields that use fertilizers, which leach into the water when it rains. And as the name implies, during Kenya's rainy season, this extra layer of contamination happens a lot.

Those we interviewed in Lishundu told us that the children of the community are the ones most affected by drinking the contaminated water.

“Children require more water (by weight) than adults, so their exposure to waterborne pathogens is much higher. Diarrhoeal diseases cause dehydration in children much faster than in adults. Children are more likely to develop severe infections and experience complications during recovery due to their small body size and their developing immune systems, which provide little natural immunity or resistance.” - UNICEF

"I always miss going to school during the rainy season," said 12-year-old Fred P (shown in the above photo). "We are affected by waterborne diseases, so I do spend much of my time at home as opposed to [at] schooling because of waterborne ailments."

"When it rains, we can't collect water for drinking because a lot of decomposition normally takes place [in the water], rendering [the] water dirty," said Grace Avomba, a 62-year-old farmer (in the below photo). "Besides that, we waste a lot of firewood in boiling water so as to be safe for drinking."

Protecting Fred Avomba Spring will curb the sources of contamination that are holding the people of Lishundu back from flourishing and allow them to finally start saving some money.

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: Lishindu Community Spring Protection Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Lishindu 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!


6 individual donor(s)