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: 06/06/2024

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

Emusanda Village is inhabited by the Wanga people of the Luhya Tribe.

A typical day begins with the adults going off to work. Farming is the main occupation here, with sugarcane planted as the main cash crop.  Most people earn income from selling their sugarcane to a sugar factory 15 kilometers away from the village. Maize, groundnuts and beans are also grown as food for the family. In addition, some villagers have ventured into making their own bricks to sell for construction projects in the area.

Water Situation

Walusia Spring serves a community of 1260 people. (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. To learn more, click here.) Walusia is an unprotected spring, meaning it is contaminated by surface runoff, open defecation and erosion.  The water could be treated by boiling or with chemicals, but these are expensive and time-consuming for these farming families living in Emusanda. Many community members cannot afford either of these water treatment methods, and must drink the contaminated water raw.

Because the spring serves so many people, there is often quite a line to collect water!  To avoid congestion and wasting a lot of time, many opt to get water at odd hours - around 4am or 8pm (while it is dark) which is risky, especially for women.

The people of the village have placed a small iron sheet directly where the water flows, making it easier for them to draw water. Instead of dunking containers into the muddy pool, people just need to hold their container under the sheet.

Most people in Emusanda have suffered from waterborne diseases such as typhoid, diarrhea and amoebiasis. "We have a problem with water," reports Angelia Shisia, a village elder. "I have spent most of my time and money in the hospital to treat my grandchildren who have been having diarrhea."

Sanitation Situation

A surprising number of households here have pit latrines - around 75%. The floor and walls are constructed of mud and the roof is an iron sheet.  They are often rickety structures that offer little privacy, but fortunately they give families a proper place to dispose of waste. Unfortunately, 25% of a population over 1,000 means there are still a lot of community members practicing open defecation, meaning they relieve themselves in bushes or fields. This endangers the rest of the community, as feces can be spread by animals, insects, and rainwater.

Nobody has a hand-washing station, but most households have dish racks and clotheslines. Garbage is thrown into a pit or burned in an "out-of-the-way" place.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Community members enthusiastically look forward to participation in the two-day hygiene and sanitation training. This training will ensure participants are no longer ignorant about healthy practices and their importance in cleanliness and good health.

The facilitator plans to use PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation), CLTS (Community-Led Total Sanitation) and 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

The community will select five of its families for the new latrine platforms.  They will be located next to the spring and will be families who are needy or do not have good toilets.  The families must prepare by digging a pit over which the sanitation platforms will be placed.

Plans: Spring Protection

"Thank you so much for coming to our community. Indeed, God has remembered us," said Wellington Muyemba. "We just wish you can come and start protecting the spring for us tomorrow. This water has been the same since my childhood up to now. I have a family - almost getting grandchildren and no one has ever had a heart of helping us. We are glad that you have come and so as a community we promise to cooperate and give the necessary support to see the spring protected."

The community in will provide local materials such as sand and bricks, and neighbors to the spring will provide accommodation and food for the work team. A number of people will participate directly by providing unskilled labor in fencing the spring, planting the grass around the spring, supervising construction work and monitoring the progress.

Construction will keep surface runoff and other contaminants out of the water.

Protecting the spring will ensure that the water discharged from its pipe is clean and secure with an increased flow rate. Less waiting - more time for work and education. Less sickness - more energy to develop skills and interests.  Just consider the possibilities!  The folks in Emusanda are now doing just that!

Project Updates

July, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Emusanda Community, Walusia 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 Kayi distributes informational pamphlets on COVID-19 during training

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 Emusanda, Kenya.

Trainer Jacky emphasizes soap in handwashing to help fight the virus.

We trained more than 13 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.

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.

Trainers review the prevention reminders chart before installing it at the spring

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.

Homemade mask tutorial

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 check

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.

December, 2018: A Year Later: Emusanda Community, Walusai Spring

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to protect Walusai Spring for Emusanda 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...

January, 2018: Emusanda Community Project Complete

Walusia Spring in Emusanda 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

The village elder, Mrs. Omumia, worked hard with our training officer to prepare for training. They agreed on specific days best for the community, and then the village elder went house to house inviting people to attend. She also wrote a notice and pinned it to a tree at the spring to remind the community members as they fetched water on a daily basis. Mrs. Omumia also agreed to host training at her homestead, since it's got a lot of good ground and shade for people to sit comfortably.

There was a total of 19 participants, most of which were women. This is because women are traditionally seen as those most responsible for water, hygiene and sanitation for their families. These women all promised to not only share what they learned with their husbands (convincing them that yes, this information is applicable to them too) but share healthy practices with their neighbors who didn't attend.

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 near the spring, we could run through hands-on management and maintenance demonstrations.

Walking to the spring from Mrs. Omumia's homestead.

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.

As we visited the community throughout the construction process, we visited households to check their uptake of hygiene and sanitation practices. There was an increase in latrines, dish racks, and bathing shelters. Some households had dug deep garbage pits, and many women had begun practicing kitchen gardening which will yield good vegetables for their families' meals.

Beatrice Machembe said, "I want to thank you so much for bringing us power through knowledge. What you have taught us is not something we could get easily unless we went for a seminar or payed some amount to go to a school to get this information. The general hygiene practices you have taught us will help us reduce costs, for when we follow the teaching we will be safe, and so we are very grateful."

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.

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.

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.

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.

Throughout this process, there was a young man who was particularly interested in the artisan's work. This boy dropped out of school and currently has no work, and he realized this is something he could do with his life. The artisan was patient and worked alongside the boy to teach him some of the techniques used in brick and concrete work.

All this has transformed Walusia Spring into a flowing, clean water source. People arrived right away to fetch their first jerrycans of that clean water. There were smiles all around! 36-year-old Christine Andega said, "You have really done me and my family well. I have been spending most of the time in the hospital treating my children from typhoid which came as a result of dirty water, but now I am a happy mother for I will use this money to boost their nutrition and also do other development work."

November, 2017: Emusanda Community Project Underway

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

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: Emusanda Community, Walusai Spring

December, 2018

“I want to sincerely pass my gratitude to you for reaching out to us.” – Angelina Omumia, village elder

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Emusanda Community, Walusia 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 Walusai Spring for Emusanda 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 Jemmimah Khasoha with you.

For change to occur in any place, there should be commitment, sacrifice, and a willingness. These values are possible now that Emusanda Community has clean, reliable water from Walusai Spring. Since they have the water they need, they can be the change they want to see in their community.

"The biggest changes we have experienced as a community at large is clean and safe drinking water," said Village Elder Angelina Omumia during our recent visit to the spring.

Angelina Omumia

"For many years we suffered from diarrhea as a result of not drinking clean water, but I want to sincerely pass my gratitude to you for reaching out to us. Many people had come promising that they will help us, but in vain. Thank you so much for keeping the promise."

The community has taken wonderful care of Walusia Spring. They are also using this water to practice what they learned during last year's hygiene and sanitation training. The hygiene standards of this community are good. They have pit latrines, dish racks, compost pits, and clotheslines. This is a clear indication that they are embracing hygiene.

Protection of this 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 Emusanda is changing many lives.

"Since the inception of this project in my community, my life has changed," Clare Musilivi told us.

Clare Musilivi

Clare no longer has to worry about going to school in a dirty uniform. Her school uniform is clean each time she wears it because she has clean water in her home to use for laundry. The easy water access allows her to shower each day and spend less time fetching it. Clare says that all the time she's saved is used for studying.

"I take this opportunity to thank you for thinking about us," Clare said.

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 Emusanda Community, Walusia 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 Emusanda Community, Walusia 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.


KALBARRI Anglican church
Commonwealth Club of the Riviera
Monmouth University
9 individual donor(s)