Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Project Phase:  Reserved
Estimated Install Date (?):  2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

The 156 people who call Alufu Community home rely on a small, contaminated, unprotected spring to meet their daily needs. Collecting enough water is nearly impossible because it is such a tedious, time-consuming task.

"The community members are fetching water from an unprotected spring using different types of containers; some are dirty, and some are clean. They used to use a scooping jug, and they felt like it was taking a lot of time for each person to fill a container. They decided to collect water by immersing their containers inside the water. This has been a problem because using a container to fetch water directly from the spring makes [the] water dirty, and this makes them wait for hours for water to be clean before another person collects [it]. This has led to overcrowding at the spring," said field officer Olivia Bomji.

"[I] am very scared to come [to] fetch water from the spring because I once fell inside the water, and I almost drowned. Fetching water directly with the container is tiresome and risky because sometimes the container is dirty, and [I] am sure any dirty container contaminates water," said 6-year-old Syllus M., shown collecting water below.

"Fetching water during the rainy season is another nightmare according to the community members because all the dirty water is washed down [into] the spring and the water becomes more dirty and contaminated [so] that no one can use [the] water to wash white clothes because of the color of [the] water," continued Olivia.

Understandably, their time being consumed and having to use dirty water to do laundry is frustrating, but those are not the only issues the spring creates for the community members in Alufu. The water consumed also makes them ill with water-related illnesses that leave them physically and financially depleted.

"The children cough a lot, especially during the rainy season when all the dirty water is washed down to the spring. This has been so bad that some children miss school because of severe coughing, and sometimes [they] do [have] diarrhea a lot. The interviewees also talked about typhoid, which has become persistent in adults. They were told to be treating [the] water before drinking [it] by a doctor. They admitted that sometimes they boil water, but they get tired along the way, and they drink water without treating [it], and this affects them so much," said Olivia.

Farmer Christine Olesi testified to suffering from waterborne illnesses. "I was sick some weeks ago, and I was told it was because I drank contaminated water from the spring. After I was tested, the results came out, and I had typhoid. I had abdominal pains and [a] headache, but I thank God I am fine now. But my question is, for how long? I hope and pray that the spring will be protected so that the money we are using in hospitals will be used to support our families."

"The water looks dirty and full of insects, and part of the spring [is] covered with algae. I will not drink water from this water point unless the spring is well protected. Clean and safe drinking water is vital for human health and can reduce the burden of common illnesses, such as diarrheal diseases, especially in young children. Protecting this spring will bring back life and good health to this community," Olivia concluded.

Protecting the spring will mean community members like Christine and Syllus will be assured that the water they are consuming is safe to drink and allow them to regain their health and time to focus on improving their daily lives.

"I believe the spring will be protected, and I will comfortably fetch clean water without fear of falling or taking home contaminated water," concluded Syllus.

The Proposed Solution, Determined Together...

At The Water Project, everyone has a part in conversations and solutions. We operate in transparency, believing it benefits everyone. We expect reliability from one another as well as our water solutions. Everyone involved makes this possible through hard work and dedication.

In a joint discovery process, community members determine their most advantageous water solution alongside our technical experts. Read more specifics about this solution on the What We're Building tab of this project page. Then, community members lend their support by collecting needed construction materials (sometimes for months ahead of time!), providing labor alongside our artisans, sheltering and feeding the builders, and supplying additional resources.

Water Access for Everyone

This water project is one piece in a large puzzle. In Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Uganda, we're working toward complete coverage of reliable, maintained water sources that guarantee public access now and in the future within a 30-minute round trip for each community, household, school, and health center. One day, we hope to report that this has been achieved!

Training on Health, Hygiene & More

With the community's input, we've identified topics where training will increase positive health outcomes at personal, household, and community levels. We'll coordinate with them to find the best training date. Some examples of what we train communities on are:

  • Improved hygiene, health, and sanitation habits
  • Safe water handling, storage & treatment
  • Disease prevention and proper handwashing
  • Income-generation
  • Community leadership, governance, & election of a water committee
  • Operation and maintenance of the water point

Chlorine Dispensers

Installing chlorine dispensers is an important piece of our spring protection projects. Protecting a spring provides community members with an improved water source, but it doesn’t prevent contamination once the water is collected and stored. For example, if the water is clean and the container is dirty, the water will become contaminated.

We ensure that each chlorine dispenser is filled with diluted chlorine on a consistent schedule so that people can add pre-measured drops to each container of water they collect. That way, community members can feel even more confident in the quality of their water.

Project Updates

March, 2024: Alufu Community Spring Protection Canceled!

When we attempt to install new water projects, sometimes we hit a roadblock and are unable to complete the original plan due to factors outside of our control. Sadly, this project has been canceled because there has been a land dispute in this area.

If you have any questions, please know we are happy to discuss this change further. And we hope that a notice like this, although unexpected, is actually further proof your gifts are being carefully used towards a water project that lasts.

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!