Spring protections

Unprotected srping.

Spring protection under construction.

Generally springs are protected to increase spring water yield and reliability, protect the spring from pollution as well as water contamination during water draining by users. It also facilitates improved access to the spring.

The improvement for villagers collecting their water is enormous. Before a spring is protected, villagers usually have had to cope with a muddy hole with steep slippery banks, where filling of containers is extremely difficult. You can imagine the difficulties of lifting, and the risk of slipping with a 20 kg container of water out of such a location! With the spring protections villagers can now walk down concrete steps, place their container under the discharge pipe and then walk out with their load in safety. Water quality of course is greatly improved by the elimination of surface contamination.

Villagers take great pride in looking after their new spring protections, often planting flowering shrubs to beautify the area. A fence is built to keep stock out and the grass surrounding the spring is kept well trimmed. A Village Committee who have been elected to represent all sections of the community including women, will coordinate the village firstly to apply for help, then to assist in construction and finally to be responsible for maintenance through appointed and trained caretakers.

Unimproved springs are often shallow ponds or a stretch of soggy ground. These are sources of contamination in which mosquitoes can breed - malaria is a real problem throughout Kenya!

The following steps are followed when spring protection is done:

  1. Obtaining approval by the community
  2. A preliminary assessment is undertaken
  3. The spring is sketched for planning and costing
  4. Necessay materials are procured and collected
  5. The spring eyes are opened and excavated
  6. Embankment walls and the spring box are constructed
  7. After spring components are constructed