Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 12/17/2022

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

Welcome to this village of 570 residents who begin their day at 6am by heading out to their farms. Many engage in small-scale dairy farming, raising poultry and growing bananas. Sugarcane is also planted as a cash crop to be sold to factories and markets. Their subsistence farming consists of vegetables, maize, beans and ground nuts.

The Maragoli tribe have lived here peacefully without internal conflict amongst themselves using water from this unprotected spring for a long period of time.

Water Situation

Saina Spring looks like it's just a pool of water at the bottom of a slope. It is contaminated by surface runoff, improper waste disposal, bacteria and soil erosion. During a visit to the spring, a WEWASAFO staff even saw rotten blue gum leaves inside the water. Also, when one of the community members was fetching water, drops of water were falling on her bare feet and dropping back into the spring. The children have been suffering from coughs, stomachaches and rashes on their skin which result from bathing with water from this unprotected spring.

The shortage of safe water results in many people spending resources to acquire it from vendors.  When they cannot, there are waterborne diseases to deal with.

"Many people in this area fall sick, but do not seek medical attention. Most of these people rely on painkillers as the only way of controlling unknown sickness as ailing people do not go for medical test(s) to find out the cause of (an) ailment," reported Albert Mahadana Anyika, a community farmer.

(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

Over 75% of the households here have pit latrines which are semi-permanent, made of wood floors, walls of mud, old iron sheet roofs and doors often made of old bedsheets or iron sheeting. They are often rickety structures that offer little privacy and can become unsafe after years of use. The wood floors cannot easily be cleaned and decay to the point of collapsing, oftentimes while in use.

Many households have dish racks and clotheslines, although most are of a rudimentary nature. Many people heap up their solid garbage and allow it to decompose, and later use it as organic farm manure. Some households have hand-washing stations, but most do not.

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 objectives will be on how to access safe clean drinking water, to educate the community on proper hygiene and sanitation practices, to have safe and sound sanitation facilities and to also provide a wider knowledge on health issues affecting them.

Plans: Sanitation Platforms

On the final day of training, the Elunyu Village members will select five of their families to benefit from new latrines. The five families must prepare by sinking a pit over which the sanitation platforms will be placed.

Plans: Spring Protection

Saina Spring could well serve the entire community of 80 households, since it does not dry up - even during times of drought.
The community will provide the local materials such as crushed rocks and gravel, clean sand, poles for fencing, unskilled labour and accommodation and food for the work team.
Protecting the spring will ensure that the water is safe, adequate and secure, and allow the community to invest more of their time and energies in economically productive activities as well as family relationships.

"Our spring has been in existence for over 70 years," said Albert Mahadana. "We have been trying to reach out to our elected leaders to try and help us protect our spring... Thanks to you for considering our unprotected spring from among the many needy communities."

Project Updates

06/22/2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Elunyu Community, Saina 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 Wilson shares informational pamphlets on COVID-19

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 Elunyu, Kenya.

We trained more than 37 people on the symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention of COVID-19. Due to public gathering concerns, before there were any confirmed cases in the area 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.

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.

Coughing into elbow 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.

Installing the prevention reminders chart at the spring

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.

How to build a leaky tin demonstration

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.

Social distancing at the training

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.

12/11/2018: A Year Later: Elunyu Community

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to protect Saina Spring for Elunyu Community in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local 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...

01/19/2018: Elunyu Community Project Complete

Saina Spring in Elunyu 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

Mr. Albert Madahana lives in Elunyu and is a very active member of his community. He was our contact person, and was the one who reached out to every single community member to invite them to hygiene and sanitation training. Training was held on Mr. Saina's land so that we could do on site training for spring management and maintenance. There were a lot of trees to shade the 14 participants from the sun.

We covered several topics including 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, hygiene promotion, and many others. Since we were right by the spring, we could run through hands-on management and maintenance demonstrations.

We spent an entire session on hand-washing and its importance. When, how, and why should one wash their hands? We also taught participants how to construct their own hand-washing stations with local and affordable materials.

Beyond hand-washing stations, we taught how to build latrines, dish racks, clotheslines, and proper home ventilation.

Mrs. Herman Khaongeli said, "We are very grateful and thankful to you people for taking your time just to impart knowledge to us. Truly I am not the way I was before today's training; I am leaving this place more enlightened. May God bless you and your organization at large for being concerned with community welfare!"

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 are continuing to encourage families to finish building walls and roofs over their new latrine floors.

Once the pit and superstructure are ready, the sanitation platform will act as the 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 we asked a few people to volunteer their time and strength to help the artisan with manual labor.

Women transporting materials to the construction site.

The spring area was excavated to create space for setting the foundation of polyethylene, wire mesh and concrete. After the base had been set, both wing walls and the headwall 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.


The above step was what presented a challenge; we did what we could to build up pressure behind the discharge pipe, but just a trickle of clean water came out. Thus, we decided to alter the discharge pipe itself by both moving it lower and installing a tap.


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 polyethylene membrane to eliminate any potential sources of contamination.

This process has transformed Saina Spring into a flowing source of clean water. Mr. Albert Madahana said, "I am grateful that we are now accessing safe clean water not only for drinking but also for household chores. Waterborne diseases that had hindered progress in this community I am sure are now things of the past. We have to invest our resources in the right way!"

11/21/2017: Elunyu Community Project Underway

Elunyu Community will soon have a clean, safe source of water thanks to your donation. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from Saina 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.

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 pours through a reinforced pipe in a concrete headwall to a paved collection area. Safe water typically flows year-round and there is very limited ongoing maintenance needed!

A Year Later: Elunyu Community

December, 2018

The community members are really happy about the project and hope that the donors and their partners will reach out to other needy communities.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Elunyu Community, Saina 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, your generous donation enabled us to protect Saina Spring for Elunyu Community in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local 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 local team member Wilson Kipchoge with you.

When visiting families in Elunyu, you are welcomed by clean yards and the presence of tippy taps (handwashing stations) near the latrines. Their environment is very clean and green with flowers and trees that make the entire community attractive.

The people here now consume very safe water unlike before, when they used to drink contaminated water from the unprotected spring. Many households now have safe sanitation facilities compared to the past when they risked their lives by using unsafe latrines.

All these changes are attributed to fact that Saina Spring was protected and the corresponding hygiene and sanitation training done a year ago.

"Since last year, I drink safe water from the spring since it is free from any kind of contamination. I normally take a bath using safe and pure water which makes me feel so fresh after playing with my friends," said 9-year-old Maximila Nekesa during a recent visit to the spring.

Maximila Nekesa

The community members are really happy about the project and hope that the donors and their partners will reach out to other needy communities. Their water looks very clean and safe for human consumption, and there are no traces of impurities or particles.

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 project in Elunyu Community is changing many lives.

"Previously, we used to drink water which was contaminated with frogs and other aquatic animals. We believe that contributed to the majority of cases of waterborne diseases. Since the project was done in our community, we now consume safe and pure water from the spring," said Herman Kaongeli.

Field Officer Wilson Kipchoge and Herman Kaongeli

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 Elunyu Community, Saina 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 Elunyu Community, Saina 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!


1 individual donor(s)