Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 350 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Apr 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/05/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

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.

Project Updates

June, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Bondeni Spring

Our teams are working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Join us in our fight against the virus while maintaining access to clean, reliable water.

We are carrying out awareness and prevention trainings on the virus in every community we serve. Very often, our teams are the first (and only) to bring news and information of the virus to rural communities like Emabungo, Kenya.

We trained community members on the symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention of COVID-19. Due to public gathering concerns, we worked with trusted community leaders to gather a select group of community members who would then relay the information learned to the rest of their family and friends.

We covered essential hygiene lessons:

- Demonstrations on how to build a simple handwashing station

- Proper handwashing technique

- The importance of using soap and clean water for handwashing

- Cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces including at the water point.

We covered COVID-19-specific guidance in line with national and international standards:

- Information on the symptoms and transmission routes of COVID-19

- What social distancing is and how to practice it

- How to cough into an elbow

- Alternative ways to greet people without handshakes, fist bumps, etc.

- How to make and properly wear a facemask.

During training, we installed a new handwashing station with soap near the community’s water point, along with a sign with reminders of what we covered.

Due to the rampant spread of misinformation about COVID-19, we also dedicated time to a question and answer session to help debunk rumors about the disease and provide extra information where needed.

We continue to stay in touch with this community as the pandemic progresses. We want to ensure their water point remains functional and their community stays informed about the virus.

Water access, sanitation, and hygiene are at the crux of disease prevention. You can directly support our work on the frontlines of COVID-19 prevention in all of the communities we serve while maintaining their access to safe, clean, and reliable water.

August, 2018: A Year Later: Emabungo Community

A year ago, generous donors helped protect Bondeni Spring for Emabungo Community in Western Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories. Read more...

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: Emabungo Community

August, 2018

“I love to come to the spring to help my mother to fetch water because she needs a lot of clean water to care for our young baby.” – 12 year-old Angel Makokha

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Emabungo Community, Bondeni Spring 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!

A year ago, generous donors helped protect Bondeni Spring for Emabungo Community in Western Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from our partner, Erick Wagaka, with you.

"The project has really fostered peaceful coexistence among spring users. Initially, people would quarrel with each other when they went to the spring because it was time-consuming to fetch water, the rest on the queue would become so impatient leading to scandals," Mr. Maurice Acheka, a spring committee member, said.

"The spring protection eased the congestion and reconciled members one to another."

The spring beneficiaries now boast of stable income due to increased venture in rental social enterprises. The spring water supports owners of residential units to attract students from Maseno University, who find Ebulako-Emabungo Village to be friendly for them, free from noise disturbance, and suitable for their studies. Bondeni Spring is a pulling factor because tenants get free water from the spring.

Consequently, small-scale business owners have increased sales because of students who are reliable buyers of their goods such as tomatoes, kales, onions and cooking oil to name a few.

"Personally, I love to come to the spring to help my mother to fetch water because she needs a lot of clean water to care for our young baby," Angel Makokha, a 12-year-old girl, said.

Protection of this spring is only one step along the journey toward sustainable access to clean water. The Water Project and WEWASAFO (our trusted local partner) are committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by donors like you, allows us to maintain our relationships with communities by visiting up to 4 times each year to ensure that the water points are safe and reliable.

This is just one of the many ways that we monitor projects and communicate with you. Additionally, you can always check the functionality status and our project map to see how all of our water points are performing, based on our consistent monitoring data.

One project is just a drop in the bucket towards ending the global water crisis, but the ripple effects of this project are truly astounding. This functional spring in Emabungo Community is changing many lives.

The community was quick to notice the stroke of fortune brought by protecting Bondeni Spring. It is a unique selling point for the community, attracting many tenants who in turn make recommendations to their friends. 

This is only possible because of the web of support and trust built between The Water Project, WEWASAFO, the community, and you. We are excited to stay in touch with this community and support their journey with safe water.

Read more about The Water Promise and how you can help.

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 Emabungo Community, Bondeni Spring 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 Emabungo Community, Bondeni Spring – 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.


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