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The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Sanitation Platform
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Sanitation Platform
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Construction
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Construction
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Construction
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Construction
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Construction
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Training
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Training
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Training
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Training
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Training
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Little Girl Shows Her Latrine
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Latrine
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Latrine
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Mr Sakwas House
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Kitchen Garden With Mosquito Net Fence
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Wheat Drying
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Mr Sakwa
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Carrying Water From Spring
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Spring
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Omar Sakwa Spring
The Water Project: Eshiakhulo Community -  Woman Drawing Water At Omar Sakwa Spring

Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 112 Served

Project Phase:  Installed - Jul 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/09/2018

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Community Profile

This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water and Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO). Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).

Welcome to the Community

This region is inhabited by the Wanga sub-tribe of the Luhya Community. Some of these people practice small scale farming of food crops such as maize, but a good number focus on growing sugarcane to sell to a local sugar factory.

Water Situation

Omar Sakwa Spring was discovered when we were doing a project at Eshiakhulo Primary School. We interviewed students and learned that though a rainwater catchment tank would be great to have on school grounds, they were still returning home and having to use the dirty water from this spring.

The people of Eshiakhulo Village wake up early each morning, and the first thing they do is walk to fetch water. That’s difficult enough if it’s clean water they’re collecting. But, it’s not. It’s dirty water from an unprotected spring.

Locals have fixed a short pipe into the eye of the spring so that it directs water into their buckets and jerrycans.

Regular and numerous cases of diarrhea from this water result in lost income, lost school time, medicinal expenses and needless suffering.

Omar Sakwa Spring serves 16 households with 112 people who use the water for drinking, irrigation purposes, and household chores. “People in this community suffer a lot from diarrhea and typhoid due to drinking contaminated water at the spring. We will really appreciate if you help us protect it,” stated Mr. Sakwa.

Sanitation Situation

Less than half of the homes here have their own pit latrine. Most of these don’t have doors for privacy. Logs are suspended over the pit inside, and users have to balance on them while they relieve themselves. Because of these low numbers and poor conditions, open defecation is a big issue in Eshiakhulo Community. These latrines are especially difficult for the young and old to use, and they most commonly prefer using the privacy of bushes.

There are a no hand-washing stations, and only a few homes have helpful tools like dish racks and clotheslines. Garbage is disposed of by the kitchen garden, making that area very smelly. Mr. Sakwa told us that “most of the people in this area do not wash their hands after using latrines, and they go on to cook with the same dirty hands, then later on their families start suffering from diarrhea.”

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least two 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.

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, and trainers will teach community members how to keep that water clean until it’s used.

Project Updates

07/25/2017: Eshiakhulo Community Project Complete

Omar Sakwa Spring in Eshiakhulo Community, 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, want to do a bit more? 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 outside under the shade of a tree. Mr. Omar Sakwa, the landowner, walked around Eshiakhulo telling everyone about this spring protection project and the training to be held for two days. He urged them to make time for this training, to learn about various health and hygiene issues and also how to manage and maintain Omar Sakwa Spring.

10 participants attended on behalf of their households, all who actively participated and discussed topics with the trainer.

4 kenya4714 training

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, watering animals, farming with fertilizers, and open defecation in the vicinity.

Mr. Sakwa said, “The efforts of The Water Project have not only brought us many sanitation platforms, but also the new technique of water purification that is very cost effective to most of us. We know this could not have been possible without sacrifices… Thank you for the quality training, more for the concept of solar disinfection of drinking water.”

2 kenya4714 training

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.

11 kenya4714 sanitation platform

Two beneficiaries proudly stand behind their new sanitation platform.

Project Result: Spring Protection

Community members provided all locally available construction materials, e.g bricks, wheelbarrows of clean sand, wheelbarrows of ballast, fencing poles and hard core (crushed rock and gravel). Accommodation and food for the artisan were provided and a few people volunteered their services as laborers.

The spring area was excavated to create space for setting the foundation of polythene, wire mesh and concrete. After the base had been set, both wing walls and the head wall were set in place using brickwork. The discharge pipe was fixed low in place through the head wall to direct the water from the reservoir to the drawing area.

7 kenya4714 construction

The artisan is packing the area behind the spring with different materials that filter the flowing water.

As the wing walls and head wall were curing, the stairs were set and the tiles were fixed directly below the discharge pipe. This reduces the erosive force of the falling water and beautifies the spring. The process of plastering the head wall and wing walls on both sides reinforces the brickwork and prevents water from the reservoir from seeping through the walls and allows pressure to build in the collection box to push water up through the discharge pipe.  Lastly, the base of the spring was plastered and the collection box was cleaned. The source area was filled up with clean hardcore and covered with a polythene membrane to eliminate any potential sources of contamination. Finally, grass was planted and cutoff drains dug to direct surface water away from the spring box.

10 kenya4714 construction


The fact that only five sanitation platforms are constructed for each project actually presented the biggest challenge here. When it came to spring construction and collecting the sand and stones needed, several locals refused to help. They justified this by mentioning how they did not receive sanitation platforms, while their neighbor did. These facts are sometimes difficult to handle when everyone in a community is in great need; our leadership had to convince people that not helping protect the spring would only hurt them in the long run. After these discussions, many more community members were motivated to help bring clean water to Eshiakhulo.

19 kenya4714 clean water

Mr. Omar Sakwa lets clean water from Omar Sakwa Spring run over his hands.

People were there waiting with their containers immediately as the spring was finished. Mrs. Afimin Malala is 73 years old and has been drinking from contaminated sources her entire life. She said, “Am glad we as a community are going to get access to safe drinking water and l believe there will be minimal reports about waterborne diseases… This spring which will serve us well.”

The Water Project : 15-kenya4714-clean-water

04/26/2017: Eshiakhulo Community Project Underway

Eshiakhulo Community will soon have a clean, safe source of water thanks to your donation. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from Omar Sakwa 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 maps.

The Water Project : 1-kenya4714-woman-drawing-water-at-omar-sakwa-spring

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 leads to a concrete spring box and collection area. Safe water typically flows year-round and there is very limited ongoing maintenance needed!