Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 320 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/05/2024

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

Mr. Christopher Omasaba and his family own the land that "Christopher Omasaba Spring" runs through. This family leads a life that can depict what a normal day in Ebuhando Community looks like for most. Every morning, children wake up to do dishes before they leave for school, while the elderly like Mrs. and Mrs. Omasaba sweep their compound with thick banana tree stalks. Christopher’s daughter, Miss Christine Sayo, will start her day thinking how to better her tailoring school to attract more clients.

The rest of the family attends to the needs of domesticated animals such as poultry and cows before leaving to work on their farm.

Besides bananas, there are also maize crops grown for subsistence purposes and a few yams planted on wet portions of the land.

Mr. Christopher and his wife are enjoying their old age together with renewed love. "I was married to my dear husband in 1952 and for the last 65 years God has been good to both of us. We have enjoyed our marriage, celebrated our youth and now we are living in our bonuses together," she said. Both of them are physically active, alert in the mind and indeed so friendly. They both make and receive phone calls with much ease. Their eyes can still locate a needle dropped onto the ground. And they walk around and I guess they can dance too, if country songs played in their youth are played again.

He also applied for the spring to be protected and used by his fellow community members.

Water Situation

Christopher Omasaba Spring was discovered in 1960 by Mr. Omasaba himself. He settled there because he and his family needed water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and watering crops and animals. Immediately after they built their home, more families were attracted to this area for the same reason. Now, there are 37 households who all rely on Christopher Omasaba Spring.

They've placed a plastic pipe to help funnel the water into containers. The water is dirty, as the spring is unprotected and vulnerable to many different contaminants. There are farms that use fertilizers and chemicals in close proximity. When it rains, those substances and many others are washed to the water that flows through the plastic pipe.

The spring users also report that fetching water is a dangerous task because of the terrain. They say that sliding and falling is just an inevitable fact of fetching water.

Community members report that Christopher Omasaba Spring's is especially dirty during the dry season, when even more people from neighboring communities bustle about to fetch water, since their own water sources dried up.

Sanitation Situation

Ebuhando Community has done well with what they've been given. The majority of homes have a pit latrine, and most of those are clean and well maintained. They even clean the floors and pits with ash to deodorize and keep flies away.

However, there are no hand-washing stations for after using the latrine or before eating. Some households are also still lacking simple yet helpful sanitation tool like dish racks and clotheslines.

People are hopeful and ready to learn, though. As we visited their homes, they were able to demonstrate what they had already put in place to help keep their homes clean. For example, most people have built good pens to keep their animals in overnight. They're eager to learn about what else they can do, too!

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 latrine floors.

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

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.

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.

As we left, Mr. Christopher Omasaba told us, "I am confident that the current initiative will see the light of day because the community has suffered for so long because of water shortages. I will ensure that this spring is protected and that it is well maintained so that my formative dream of making villagers access safe drinking water is realized during my lifetime..."

Project Updates

June, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Christopher Omasaba 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.

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 Ebuhando, Kenya.

We trained community members 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

November, 2018: A Year Later: Ebuhando Community

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to protect Christopher Omasaba Spring for Ebuhando 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...

December, 2017: Ebuhando Community Project Complete

Christopher Omasaba Spring in Ebuhando 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

Our contact person for this community was Mrs. Christine Sayo. Through her, we were able to reach most of the people living here to invite them to hygiene and sanitation training. We met at Mr. Christopher Omsaba's homestead, and attendance was good even though it was the election season.

Two of our facilitators 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.

Training on solar disinfection of water

Demonstrations were some of the most popular parts of the training, with participants enjoying getting their hands involved. We did this with hand-washing, teaching the 10 steps of washing with soap and running water. And since we were already near the spring, we were able to teach about proper spring use, management, and simple maintenance. After training, the children gathered together and did their first thorough cleaning of the spring protection, just as they were taught.

Children practicing cleaning the spring the way they were taught during training.

36-year-old farmer Zaphania Onyine said, "You made us know how to live healthy well. We will do what we can to kick waterborne diseases and diseases associated with poor hygiene. The talk about agri-business also helped a great deal; there are three people who have started it and they promised to help the rest get started."

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.

Casting the sanitation platform as it's still in the mold.

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. Community members then helped us plant grass and dig cutoff drains to direct surface water away from the spring box.

Men building a fence to protect the spring box area behind the discharge pipe.

This process has transformed Christopher Omasaba Spring into a clean water source, whereafter people immediately gathered to fetch their first containers of clean water. They were so proud of the transformation that they stuck around just to admire the construction. When we arrived to take completion pictures, someone told us "There has already been a great education on treatment of diseases that are waterborne as well as those caused by staying in a dirty environment. We now see the benefits of treating water before drinking it. My wife boils the water and puts it in a clean container that is well covered."

A little girl rinses out her container before filling it with clean water from the spring.

Two local men have already decided to become water vendors - they've bought ten 20-liter jerrycans and a cart to help them sell clean water to different hotels in the area. These men and the rest of their community are overjoyed by the transformations they've already seen in Ebuhando, and feel empowered to seize this unlocked potential. Mrs. Catherine Ayuma said, "We are very glad to have been given the opportunity of having our spring protected. This has enabled us to have clean and safe water, which makes us safe from waterborne diseases like diarrhea. We have put measures to ensure that this spring will serve us for long."

October, 2017: Ebuhando Community Project Underway

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

November, 2018

Protection of Christopher Omasaba Spring has brought hope to Ebuhando Community – a fact made evident by our recent visit.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Ebuhando Community, Christopher Omasaba 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 Christopher Omasaba Spring for Ebuhando 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 Samuel Simidi with you.

The people living in Ebuhando are appreciative of the spring as it has brought hope to the community. After protection of the spring, the community members can access clean and safe water for their personal use and chores at home.

"We used to fetch water from a contaminated source which was a risk on our health," Lai Baraka said to us in a recent interview while visiting the spring.

Lai Baraka

A visit to the various homes here says it all. We spotted at least one and often all of the sanitation facilities required in homes, such as clotheslines, dish drying racks, and latrines. These positive changes are due to the sanitation and hygiene training conducted in the area during the spring protection.

"During the sanitation and hygiene trainings, we did learn quite a number of things which actually we are implementing," confirmed Mrs. Baraka.

"Before, a majority of us never considered both environmental and personal hygiene seriously. Now we are one hundred percent into it."

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 Ebuhando is changing many lives.

"Before implementation of the project, I used to spend much time at the spring as it was not easily accessible and also drawing water from it was a bit hectic. But now I am able to spend minimal time there and this has helped me spend more time on my studies," explained 16-year-old student Susan Ojwang.

Susan Ojwang

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 Ebuhando Community, Christopher Omasaba 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 Ebuhando Community, Christopher Omasaba 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.


St. Marks Presbyterian Church
Carmel High School
1 individual donor(s)