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Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 350 Served

Project Phase:  Installed

Functionality Status:  Functional

Community Profile & Stories

Emabungo Village is located in a heavily populated area near Maseno University. People here do anything they can to make ends meet. For example, many men have added on to their families’ homes so that they can rent rooms to university students.

Thus, there are both local families and university students who rely on water from Bondeni Spring. The water here is visibly contaminated as it flows through areas of heavy traffic; so much so that we met 17-year-old Alfred Anuko who said he would never imagine drinking the water without filtering out the chunks of waste first! There’s no question why families and students constantly suffer from waterborne diseases and stomachaches.

With your support, we can now begin providing the tools and skills this community needs. Most importantly, Bondeni Spring is being transformed into a protected source of clean drinking water.

Welcome to the Community

Emabungo Community is home to 350 people from about 30 different households. The majority of adult residents survive on small scale farming, small businesses, and casual labor. Supplementary income pours in from Maseno University’s students who choose to rent rooms in local households. Emabungo Community is located on the Kisumu-Busia highway, making it a convenient place from which to commute.

Mr. Nanjero is one of the many who have added on to their homes to accommodate students. He said, “This is a thriving business. We thank God for Maseno University that has since increased student intake beyond her capacity to cater for their residential needs.” Locals are extremely conscious of how they utilize their space here. They’re close to the highway in a valley, and land is scarce. The valley is thus packed with clusters of households.

Water Situation

Valleys are also home to natural water springs. Bondeni Spring is nearby, but is unprotected and open to contamination. Local families use the water to drink, cook, clean, and bathe.

Over ten years ago, these community members tried protecting Bondeni Spring on their own, but they lacked the technical know-how. After constructing their own system, the spring’s yield decreased significantly and thus became overcrowded as people waited to fetch its water. Because of overuse, the construction wore out rapidly and began leaking at different points. “In no time, the spring users could wade into a pool of water as they fetch that same water to meet their daily needs,” said Mr. Nanjero.

The users have now improvised by adding half of a container to act as a spout supported by stones. This entire catchment area is affected by storm waters that bring waste to the open spring.

After drinking its water, people suffer from constant stomachaches that are often accompanied by diarrhea. Many people like Alfred filter out the flakes, but still suffer. The cost of fuel for boiling the water is out of reach for many, and families cannot afford to take this precaution. The majority here just has to drink raw, polluted water.

Sanitation Situation

Most households have at least one helpful sanitation tool, like either a dish rack or clothesline. Many people are sharing latrines because they can’t dig one on their own; it is either too expensive, or the soil is too loose and the water level too high. Around a quarter of families have a hand-washing station available.

Sanitation standards are relatively high in this area, since university students are choosy when it comes to accommodations. They want their residences to be tidy and comfortable.

Mr. Nanjero told us that “Bondeni is uniquely situated in a manner that health-wise, I can say we are not scaring badly. We have not had major ill-health issues like outbreak of communicable diseases, thanks to our proximate location to Maseno Hospital. With university students in our midst, the only challenge to the attainment of good health is the shortage of clean, reliable and safe water.”

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least three days. This training will ensure participants are no longer ignorant about healthy practices and their importance. The facilitator plans to use PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation), CLTS (Community-Led Total Sanitation), ABCD (Asset-Based Community Development), group discussions, handouts, and demonstrations at the spring.

Training will also result in the formation of a committee that will oversee operations and maintenance at the spring. They 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.

Plans: Sanitation Platforms

On the final day of training, participants will select five families that should benefit from new latrines.

Training will also inform the community and selected families on what they need to contribute to make this project a success. They must mobilize locally available materials, such as bricks, clean sand, hardcore, and ballast. The five families must prepare by sinking a pit for the sanitation platforms to be placed over. All community members must work together to make sure that accommodations and food are always provided for the work teams.

Beyond these five, even more families will be motivated to build their own latrines to safeguard the water point from fecal contamination.

Plans: Spring Protection

Fetching water is predominantly a female role, done by both women and young girls. Protecting the spring and offering training and support will therefore help empower the female members of the community by giving them more time and efforts to engage and invest in income-generating activities.

In addition, protecting the spring will ensure that the water is safe, adequate and secure. Construction will keep surface runoff and other contaminants out of the water.

Recent Project Updates

04/27/2017: Emabungo Community Project Complete

Bondeni Spring in Emabungo, Kenya is now a protected, clean source of water thanks to your donation. The spring is protected from contamination, five sanitation platforms have been provided for the community, and training has been given in sanitation and hygiene. Imagine the changes that all of these resources are going to bring for these residents! You made it happen, now help keep the water flowing! Join our team of monthly donors and help us maintain this spring protection and many other projects.

We just updated the project page with the latest pictures, so make sure to check them out! And please enjoy the rest of the report from our partner in Kenya:

Project Result: New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was held at Mr. Nanjero’s home because his yard had enough shade for everyone. And since he’s the spring’s landowner, it was an ideal place to hold demonstrations of how to manage and maintain the water source.

Training was attended by a total of 19 community members, all who were very excited to learn about clean water and sanitation and hygiene.

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Training topics included but were not limited to leadership and governance; operation and maintenance of the spring; healthcare; family planning; immunizations; the spread of disease and prevention. We also covered water treatment methods, environmental hygiene, and hygiene promotion. We also took a session to emphasize proper maintenance of the spring protection project. The community should refrain from washing clothes, water animals, farming with fertilizers, and open defecation in the vicinity.

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By the end of the two days, participants formed a water and sanitation committee to oversee and maintain the spring protection. Other participants were equipped with the knowledge to become community health workers. These workers will be responsible for sharing what they learned with the rest of their community by making door-to-door visits. They will continue to keep their neighbors accountable so that the overall community can experience improved health.

Mr. Nanjero’s wife Grace encouraged her neighbors to attend. On behalf of her community, she said “The training has been rich on various health promotion tips and full of ideal knowledge and skills that help in spring maintenance. We have been shared so has to sharpen others and stand out when it comes to hygiene and sanitation campaigns in this village!”

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Project Result: Sanitation Platforms

All five sanitation platforms have been installed and are ready for use. These five families are happy about this milestone and are optimistic that there will be much less open defecation. People without proper latrines would often use the privacy of bushes, but now have a private place of their own. It is expected that proper use of latrine facilities provided by the sanitation platforms will go a long way in reducing environmental pollution here. We will continue to encourage these five families to build walls and roofs to protect their new platforms.

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Project Result: Spring Protection

Construction to protect Bondeni Spring began on March 23.

Before the actual construction could start, community members had to gather rocks and sand and deliver the materials to the spring site. They also helped our artisans clear the brush around the site. This first step brought a bit of discord to the community; certain locals pointed their fingers at others, saying they should be the ones to help with manual labor. Those selected argued that this was unfair. Why should they have to carry materials and level the ground while others got to earn a living on their farms? The village elder brought these folks together and explained how this disagreement was portraying their community in a bad light. After this intervention, our artisan received enough help to get the project started.

In fact, our artisan called the office to rave about how well the community helped him. “I am so happy about the spring you took me to work on, Bondeni Spring. The community members were united and well organized. They availed all the required locally available material when I needed them and in the right quantities. They helped me a lot in doing the work and made my work easier.”

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After our artisan works with the community to clear the site, the ground is excavated up from the spring eye. Ballast is then mixed with cement and sand to make concrete. A wire mesh is lain on the excavated space before the concrete is added in order to create a strong foundation. This foundation is left to cure overnight.

On the second day, the walls are raised with brick. The artisan then installs a pipe low in the collection wall to direct water from the reservoir to a concrete or plastic spring box. He then backfills the spring source with hardcore until water is flowing from the discharge pipe. The area around the spring is then landscaped, fenced, and drainage is dug.

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We met Alfred Anuko once again, the young man who relies on Bondeni Spring as he studies nearby. “I remember coming to the spring with a sieve to filter water before it is taken home. That has become a forgone case because the spring has been protected and rejuvenated to quench the thirst of the majority of Bulako-Emabungo villagers. We are very grateful because even people who have ventured into residential units business can now attract many occupants because of the availability of safe, clean and sufficient spring water!” He and the rest of Emabungo rejoice at this huge development.

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02/15/2017: Emabungo Community Project Underway

We are excited to share that work in Emabungo Community has begun. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from Bondeni Spring, and often suffer physical illnesses after doing so. Our partner conducted a survey of the area and deemed it necessary to protect the spring, build new sanitation platforms (safe, easy-to-clean concrete floors for latrines), and conduct sanitation and hygiene training. Thanks to your generosity, waterborne disease will no longer be a challenge for the families drinking the spring’s water. We look forward to sharing more details with you as they come! But for now, please take some time to check out the report containing community information, pictures, and GPS coordinates. Check out the tabs above to read more about this project!

The Water Project and Emabungo Community Thank You for giving the hope of clean water and good health.

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Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Protected Spring
Location:  Vihiga, Ebulako, Emabungo
ProjectID: 4702
Install Date:  04/27/2017

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 06/30/2017

Visit History:
06/30/2017 — Functional


Gracie Meloni and Isabella Wilton
The Smalls
2 individual donor(s)

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Country Details


Population: 39.8 Million
Lacking clean water: 43%
Below poverty line: 50%

Partner Profile

Western Water and Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO) works together with less privileged and marginalized members of communities in Western Kenya to reduce poverty through harnessing and utilization of local resources for sustainable development.