Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 335 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/09/2024

Project Features

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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

A majority of Wanzuma community members are peasants who rely on farming, small business enterprises and casual labor to make ends meet. Wanzuma Village is unique in that there are people involved in tea farming, even though there are no tea factories around the area.

Water Situation

Wanzuma Spring is dangerous because the catchment area is exposed to contaminants either as a result of human interference or runoff from storm waters. When it rains, chemicals, feces, and other waste washes into the water.

Women and children dunk small containers into the water pooled there, because it's too shallow for their buckets, pots, and jerrycans. The small jar or cup has to be continuously dunked in order to fill the larger container! When it is delivered back home, it is separated for use between the kitchen, latrine, and living room. Water stored in the living room is covered because it is intended for drinking. After drinking Wanzuma Spring’s water, community members suffer from waterborne diseases like typhoid.

Sanitation Situation

A little over half of households have their own pit latrine. These are made of wood floors and banana leaf, plastic, or mud walls. The families who don’t have their own pit latrines either share with neighbors or seek the privacy of bushes.

Some other households have bathing rooms, and a couple hand-washing stations were observed. Most families throw their garbage near the garden to be composted and used as fertilizer. Any waste that doesn’t decompose is burnt.

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. One of the most important topics we plan to cover is open defecation and its dangers, as well as having and using a pit latrine.

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. Participants will even learn about other important topics like family planning!

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. Mr. Jackson Ososi, the village elder, said "A protection of this spring will enable the community members access clean and safe drinking water. This will help eradicate spread of waterborne diseases as was experienced [in the outbreak] some years back."

Project Updates

May, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Wanzuma Community, Wanzuma 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.

Trainer Shigali passes out informational pamphlets

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 Wanzuma, Kenya.

We trained more than 23 people 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.

Team Leader Catherine Chepkemoi leads a handwashing demonstration

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.

Handwashing demonstration

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.

Handwashing demonstration

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.

Trainer Shigali reviews the prevention reminders chart

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.

Installing the sign at the spring

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.

Observing social distancing

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.

October, 2018: A Year Later: Wanzuma Community

A year ago, generous donors helped protect Wanzuma Spring for Wanzuma Community in 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...

August, 2017: Wanzuma Community Project Complete

Wanzuma Spring in Wanzuma 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 organized by going door to door urging community members to attend. We held training at the spring, since construction was finished and allowed us to demonstrate care and maintenance.

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Community members listen and watch as the trainer demonstrates how to clean the concrete around the spring.

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.

We brought poster paper and illustrations that facilitated discussion 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.

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Illustrations of good and bad hygiene practices present a great focus for discussion groups!

Mr. Douglas Ndega was one of the men who stepped up and made time for this important training. "The training has been of much benefit to us because we have gained more and more information which will rescue our community from poor health and sanitation standards" he shared.

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.

6 kenya4723 sanitation platform construction

Sanitation platforms are fortified with layers of mesh and concrete to give people a safer, cleaner latrine floor.

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.

5 kenya4723 spring construction

Community members delivering materials to the spring protection artisan.

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.

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Preparing to place the discharge pipe.

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.

The only challenge to this project was the weather; it rained as community members were trying to transport materials to the construction site. Having success just took a bit more perseverance in this case! The village elder, Mr. Jason, was a huge encouragement to the community; they could have lost heart during challenges, but he bolstered them and led them to give this project their all.

Mr. Justus Kisali is one of the community members who lives closest to Wanzuma Spring, and was able to watch the transformation from beginning to end. "What a great project in our community! We can now access clean and safe water for our personal use," he said.

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: Wanzuma Community

October, 2018

“Hope was indeed realized in our land as many of us never imagined that such a wonderful project could ever be implemented here.” – Mr. Abisaye

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Wanzuma Community, Wanzuma 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 Wanzuma Spring for Wanzuma Community in 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 – and we’re excited to share this one from Samuel Simidi with you.

People in Wanzuma Community can now access clean, safe water for their personal use. It is an improvement from the days when they used to access water from an unprotected source which put their health at risk.

"Ever since the implementation of Wanzuma Spring we have gained a lot and we do appreciate our donors for the mighty project implemented in our land," Mr. Abisaye, chairman of the water user committee, said.

Mr. Abisaye

"As a community, we now enjoy using clean, safe water... Hope was indeed realized in our land as many of us never imagined that such a wonderful project could ever be implemented here."

Our women and children are able to fetch water more efficiently due to the spring's protection and accessibility.

Protection of the spring is only one step along the journey toward sustainable access to clean water. The Water Project is 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 spring in Wanzuma is changing many lives.

"Accessibility to the spring is now easy compared to the days when the spring had not been protected. We now use the stairs to access the water point and this has been much faster," said Faith Emere.

Faith Emere

"My performance at school has improved as I am able to create sufficient time for my studies."

This is only possible because of the web of support and trust built between The Water Project, our local teams, 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 Wanzuma Community, Wanzuma 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 Wanzuma Community, Wanzuma 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.


Baby Cake Lane
Lloyd Garrison School
River Bluff Middle School Yellow Block Myah G - Mr. Hensgen's Advisory
Baughman United Methodist Church
North Dunedin Baptist Church
4 individual donor(s)