Loading images...
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Sanitation Platform
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Sanitation Platform
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Sanitation Platform
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Sanitation Platform Construction
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Sanitation Platform Construction
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Sanitation Platform Construction
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Planting Around The Spring
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Building A Fence
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Filling The Spring Box
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Filling The Spring Box
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Women Carrying Construction Materials
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Man Delivering Stones To The Spring
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Participants Dug Spring Drainage Before Leaving Training
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Hand Washing Demonstration
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Training On Spring Maintenance
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Training On Spring Maintenance
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Training On Spring Maintenance
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Training On Spring Maintenance
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Zebedayo Idochi Shares What Was Discussed In His Group During The Focus Group Discussion Session
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Moses Ochieng Volunteered To Write Names And Other Details For Participants Since Almost All Of Them Were Illiterate
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Training
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Training
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Training
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Training
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Handing Out Notebooks
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Latrine
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  No Clothesline
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Mrs Ruth Mulei
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Girl Drawing Water
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Andrew Fetching Water
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Michael Sits On His Containers Waiting For Water To Settle
The Water Project: Lugango Community -  Meeting The Community

Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 224 Served

Project Phase:  Installed - Nov 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/01/2018

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

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

Everyone living in Lugango Village wakes up by 6am. Some men go out to milk cows because every house has at least one cow – but the irresponsible ones – especially drunkards, lay around as their wives struggle to multitask; from sweeping the houses to milking cows, preparing breakfast, watering vegetables, and fetching water among other duties.

A good number of men bake bricks to sell, but spend all of the money in alcohol. Others are touts at Mahanga bus stop while others are whispered to be selling bhang but nobody has evidence. A good number of homes, especially the youngest ones, only have women staying with children since their husbands do casual work in Nairobi.

Most women work on their farms after finishing domestic chores in the morning, but have to return to the house to prepare lunch at 11:30am because school children return for lunch.  At night every child, after helping their mothers to do household duties, do private studies with a tin lamp – but they miss this routine when there is no kerosene for the lamp. This is how life moves for the community, though it seems unfair for women who never dare contradict culture lest they attract wrath of the gods.

Water Situation

Throughout the day women are seen drawing water from Lugango Spring, and children join them in the evening after school to lessen the burden. Men seem not to bother about domestic work as none are seen helping women even as they fetch water. One woman confided to WEWASAFO staff that it is a taboo for circumcised men to fetch water from the spring; that even the young boys who help carry water from the spring will stop immediately after they undergo that rite of passage. After being declared men, they can only work on the farm, lay bricks, be touts, slash (clear bushes around) the compound, fence the compound, milk cows and build houses and sanitation facilities. Therefore, much work in this village is done by women and children.

Villagers report that open defecation is common here, and that rain washes that waste into their drinking water. We could visibly see sediments floating in the water, and locals confirm that it always looks this way. People wait in between uses of the spring because they want that water to settle as much as possible. This wastes a lot of time!

All kinds of containers are used to fetch water, but the most common is they yellow jerrycan. Containers are dunked under the water until full, and then raised up and supported with the head and an added hand for stability. Most young boys who help before manhood lug containers around with no support because they think carrying water atop the head is just for women. And these containers are filthy! A peep inside one reveals a mold-like substance growing there. This just further dirties the water.

Most children living here miss class because of typhoid, which has led to very low performance at nearby Mahanga Primary School. Adults also suffer from regular diarrhea, and everyone knows it’s because Lugango Spring is so contaminated. All of this sickness leads to low productivity in Lugango Community.

Sanitation Situation

Less than half of the households here have latrines. But if we were to hold all of these pit latrines to high standards, only three households would have them! Many of the others have broken walls and roofs that allow for rain to leak through to the wooden floors inside. These wooden slats are lain dangerously far apart, and are prone to termites and rotting because of the poorly constructed superstructure. In fact, two of these were so dangerous that we recommended those families immediately stop using them. We put them first on the list for new sanitation platforms! Because of these poor conditions, open defecation is a serious issue here.

Garbage is thrown on the farm. Dogs carry some of the litter around, while wind also blows it all over the farm and even carries it back to the homesteads. Children are seen touching trash on the ground and eating even before washing hands – no wonder many here complain of diarrheal diseases.

“We are suffering diseases because our spring is not protected. Even the NGO that distributes chlorine stopped bringing us help because they do not consider this to be a spring… A lot of money has been wasted in the hospital seeking medication after suffering diseases caused by such dirty water. Most people also defecate inside those big rocks and in bushes, therefore rain brings all that feces inside our water; no wonder sickness has become a normal thing here. Please protect for us this source because it will be the most important step towards healthy living in our village,” pleaded Mrs. Ruth Mulei.

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

Every project comes with the cement needed to make five sanitation platforms. We normally have the community vote to select five of the neediest families to receive new latrine floors. However, six families were put forward and we’ve had to ask the village elder to make the final decision.

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.

Those who will miss out on the platforms will be taught how to make good, durable floors and how to take care of the floors constructed using local materials like logs and  so that they last a long time.

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.

Project Updates

11/30/2017: Lugango Community Project Complete

Lugango Spring in Lugango 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 on the ground, Ruth Mulei, asked every household to send at least one person each. Every family did not manage to send a representative due to a funeral that befell the village, but there was still a total of 20 people there.

Everyone agreed to meet near the spring where there was plenty of room to sit down. The area is very rocky, and there was a big boulder on which we could display our poster paper. And since we were near the spring, we could easily take everyone over to hold onsite sessions on water source management and maintenance.

Everyone received a new notebook and pen to take notes with. Though many participants ended up being illiterate, they were able to draw pictures to help them remember hygiene practices.

The women ended up asking more questions than the men, since they are often the ones completing domestic chores for their families.

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. Many of the topics were decided while getting to know this community; we found that many of the men were abusing alcohol. Thus, the training also covered the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse.

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 by the spring, we were able to teach about proper spring use, management, and simple maintenance. People were so convinced of the importance of digging drainage for their spring that they did so before leaving after training.

Training participants digging drainage away from the spring.

In the days after training, we started hearing reports from grateful wives who say their husbands have tried to decrease their alcohol consumption and become more responsible fathers. Almost all households have dish racks and latrines, bathing shelters, and clean property.

70-year-old Jenpeher Kagonya admitted that despite her age, she still learned many new things. “I have learnt a lot of things that will safeguard us against diseases caused through fecal-oral routes. I assure you that this knowledge was timely, and our village is now changing for the better,” she 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 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 a few people even volunteered their time and strength to help the artisan with manual labor.

Women delivering bricks 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.

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.

Just as a death in the village had decreased the number of people attending training, the artisan had trouble finding the help he needed to finish construction. Two of the men that were helping him on the site had lost their brother could not help do the work properly. They promised to be strong and tried to work, but they could not even reach half the day without getting drained and very emotional – one of them started weeping. The village elder came and forcefully commanded them to go home for the rest of the day, even though the duo wanted to continue helping. Most other people were involved in consoling the bereaved throughout the day, as it is the culture there. As a result only two people remained to do the work: the skilled artisan himself and one other man. Thanks to their perseverance, construction took longer but was done with great quality.

This process has transformed Lugango Spring into a clean water source. People gathered to celebrate this transformation and fetch their first buckets of clean water. Since the transformation of this water source, people have even begun selling clean water to local hotels. They used to order water from very far away, and are happy to be getting their supply of water at a timely rate for less money. Moses Ochieng told us, “Before God brought us this angel, we suffered a lot because of use of contaminated water. There were diarrhea outbreaks almost every week because of that fact, and a lot of money used to pay up hospital bills. This spring is now very good and we are glad for the good work. We now have very safe water and the community is very clean now. May God bless you people for the good work you are doing.”

The Water Project : 30-kenya4852-clean-water

10/30/2017: Lugango Community Project Underway

Lugango Community will soon have a clean, safe source of water thanks to your donation. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from Lugango 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 : 4-kenya4852-girl-drawing-water

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 leads to a concrete spring box and collection area. Safe water typically flows year-round and there is very limited ongoing maintenance needed!


Deep Run Mennonite Church East
Globe Academy
Hampton Roads Irrigation & Landscape Inc.