The Water Project : 19-kenya4716-rebecca-sayo-demonstrates-how-easy-it-is-to-clean-the-new-sanitation-platform
The Water Project : 18-kenya4716-community-fenced-in-their-spring
The Water Project : 16-kenya4716-clean-water
The Water Project : 15-kenya4716-clean-water
The Water Project : 14-kenya4716-clean-water
The Water Project : 13-kenya4716-building-the-stairs
The Water Project : 11-kenya4716-mr-anziva-helping-the-artisan
The Water Project : 9-kenya4716-getting-ready-to-mix-cement
The Water Project : 12-kenya4716-covering-the-walls-during-rain
The Water Project : 10-kenya4716-artisan-excavating-the-spring
The Water Project : 8-kenya4716-a-drying-latrine-floor
The Water Project : 7-kenya4716-artisan-casting-the-sanplat-for-alice-imali
The Water Project : 6-kenya4716-alice-imali-helping-the-artisan-to-set-the-place-for-casting-her-latrine-slab
The Water Project : 5-kenya4716-nazan-mafao-a-village-elder-in-attendance-of-the-training
The Water Project : 4-kenya4716-children-who-wanted-to-show-off-their-hand-washing
The Water Project : 3-kenya4716-patrick-vudoti-explains-how-the-community-cleans-water-jerrycans
The Water Project : 2-kenya4716-training
The Water Project : 1-kenya4716-training
The Water Project : 19-kenya4716-mr-david-chagusha-isabwa
The Water Project : 18-kenya4716-mr-nazan-mafao
The Water Project : 17-kenya4716-lupita-recovering-from-sickness
The Water Project : 16-kenya4716-lupita-and-sister
The Water Project : 15-kenya4716-more-clothes-drying-on-ground
The Water Project : 14-kenya4716-dog-kennel
The Water Project : 13-kenya4716-cow-shed
The Water Project : 12-kenya4716-dring-clothes
The Water Project : 11-kenya4716-dish-rack
The Water Project : 10-kenya4716-dish-rack
The Water Project : 9-kenya4716-bathing-shelter
The Water Project : 8-kenya4716-latrine
The Water Project : 7-kenya4716-homestead
The Water Project : 6-kenya4716-elizabeth-agiza
The Water Project : 5-kenya4716-man-carries-water-with-leaf-lids
The Water Project : 4-kenya4716-isabwa-spring
The Water Project : 3-kenya4716-isabwa-spring
The Water Project : 2-kenya4716-isabwa-spring
The Water Project : 1-kenya4716-morning-line-at-isabwa-spring

Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  Installed

Functionality Status: 

After that short but seemingly long wait, materials came and just within three days our spring is already protected; I wonder at how God works!

Rebecca Sayo

Community Profile & Stories

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

No one is seen lazing around in this village, as all must do whatever they can to ensure life goes on. Some men bake bricks to sell while others fetch water to sell in Majengo. Women engage in small-scale farming, growing maize sold for a price that fluctuates every season.

Animals are also raised, and their milk sold to other villagers who don’t have their own livestock. However almost everyone has at least one cow, so many women travel to other markets to sell their milk.

Water Situation

Isabwa Spring has a lot of water, but it has remained unprotected for as long as the landowner Mr. Isabwa can remember. Using it in such a poor state predisposes its users to many dangerous diseases, lowering productivity of the locals and also lowering performance of children in schools as a result of absenteeism.

This water source serves 800 people, including students at St. Joseph’s Teacher Training College. “Seeing and talking to representatives of an organization that promises to help them get clean water is like a miracle,” says Elizabeth Agiza. “Please help us. We need clean water.”

There are so many people relying on Isabwa Spring that people are there lining up as early as 8am. The first come first serve rule applies here, with the others lining up their buckets and sitting as they wait their turn.

(Editor’s Note: While this many people may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only support a population of 350-500 people.  This community would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)

Sanitation Situation

A good number of homesteads in this village have sanitation facilities that are not properly maintained. Constructing latrines with wood floors and walls poses danger to the users. A woman fell inside a pit latrine after its floor became too weak to bear her weight, and she died. Nor are these latrines properly roofed, so rain falls and further weakens the wooden floors.

Most dish racks are dirty, which means utensils that are washed and placed on them get dirty before use. A good number of homesteads have clotheslines, but unfortunately most people still spread their clothes on the ground to dry, especially the heavy garments which they fear would break their feeble wire lines. There are no hand-washing stations here, nor does a single homestead have a compost pit. Instead, garbage is piled up behind the home and burned.

Nazan Mafao said, “We suffer diseases because we do not know how to prevent them. Come and teach us so that we get to understand hygiene in a deeper way, and by so doing you will have helped the whole community to avoid diseases…” The landowner of Isabwa Spring, Mr. David Chagusha Isabwa added, “It is good for the village to be enlightened on matters of sanitation and hygiene.”

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.

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.

“I have suffered for years until my body got adapted to this water. I detest seeing and using it in that state but I have no choice. That is how hard life has been, but we have always prayed God to protect us from diseases and He has been faithful to me. That is why He directed you here. Please help us, we need clean water,” pleaded Mr. Isabwa.

Thank You for coming alongside Mr. Isabwa and Wamuhila Community!

Recent Project Updates

09/14/2017: Wamuhila Community Project Complete

Isabwa Spring in Wamuhila 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

We worked with Village Elder Nazan Mafao to get people to attend training. He insisted that at least one person from every household be there, but three ended up not being able to make it because of a death in the family. One of these families had lost their teenage daughter who misused birth control pills, and were burying her on that very day (Editor’s Note: We desperately wish we had been in time for her to attend our training on family planning). However, Elder Mafao was so zealous about hygiene and sanitation that he committed to meet with them at their return and relay all of the information.

A cluster of trees nearby Isabwa Spring provided comfortable shade for the participants to sit under. They used some of our poster paper to spread out on the ground to protect them from the dew. Normally, we carry a table from a local home to use as an easel for our flip charts, but it was much too steep where we met. Instead, we pinned our pictures and posters up on trees.

2 kenya4716 training

Everyone including the children arrived on time, with the children most excited to be involved. They always scrambled to be the first for demonstrations, and even stayed behind to get extra time with our trainers. They followed us after, asking to be photographed showing off their mastery of hand-washing! They ran back to the village bragging that their pictures would be sent back to America.

4 kenya4716 children who wanted to show off their hand-washing

These children are excited to show you their hand-washing skills!

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.

Our poster paper and illustrations facilitated presentations on healthy and unhealthy behaviors. Group discussions were also very effective in helping participants take responsibility for what they were learning. And since we were at the spring, we could easily show the group how to manage and maintain their new clean water point.

3 kenya4716 Patrick Vudoti explains how the community cleans water jerrycans

Little Patrick explains how his mom currently washes out their water containers.

28-year-old Rachael Ambuso said that “this is the kind of knowledge we have lacked for so long! The funny thing is that we did not even know that there were a lot of very important messages we were lacking, henceforth we shall welcome whoever comes to our village with the intention of educating us, no matter the area of interest.”

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 finish building walls and roofs for privacy.

8 kenya4716 a drying latrine floor

This sanitation platform now needs walls, a door, and a roof! The family will build the superstructure with materials that are affordable for them.

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.

11 kenya4716 Mr. Anziva helping the artisan

Mr. Anziva spent a couple of days helping the artisan protect Isabwa Spring.

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.

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.

13 kenya4716 building the stairs

The artisan working on stairs for easy access to clean water.

Heavy rains continuously interrupted construction; whenever working with cement, the artisan had to get traps to cover things up. This added a few extra days to the process. But perseverance soon gave the community a reason to celebrate: They now have clean water.

14 kenya4716 clean water

Rebecca Sayo was there, and she explained that she was shocked. “We have struggled and prayed for long to have clean water in our village, but hope was lost along the way after being disappointed several times. But when you reached here and said that we should look for the local materials (sand, stones, and bricks) I tended to believe them as they wanted us to participate – that is the only hope I hanged on to. You disappeared after doing the baseline for about two months and I started thinking to myself that you were just like the rest. After that short but seemingly long wait, materials came and just within three days our spring is already protected; I wonder at how God works! Thank you for supporting us, we cannot make you understand the depth of our gratitude, but God who sees our hearts really knows that this is a rescue to many!” she exclaimed.

There are dozens more people now coming to get clean water from the spring than the we anticipated. It appears that some families were evading us so they wouldn’t have to help gather materials and help our artisans. They were walking many miles just to fetch water from another community. The water user committee is standing up for their water point, telling these truants that they are not allowed to draw water from Isabwa Spring until they contribute 300 shillings to save for spring protection maintenance. The account already has 1,800 saved! We share this with great joy as this is evidence the community will jealously protect and maintain their new source of clean water. This is sustainable development!

The Water Project : 16-kenya4716-clean-water

06/22/2017: Wamuhila Community Project Underway

Wamuhila Community will soon have a clean, safe source of water thanks to your donation. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from Isabwa Spring, and often suffer from waterborne diseases. 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 : 2-kenya4716-isabwa-spring

Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Project Data

Project Type:  Protected Spring
Location:  Vihiga, Wamuhila
ProjectID: 4716
Install Date:  09/14/2017


Nandansons Charitable Foundation
1 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.