Our spring protection projects, funded by WWF through its corporate funding, have seen 23 springs being protected, with a total of 5397 households and over 27 000 people within a 1km radius of the springs having access to improved water quality.
Spring protection entails building a structure around a perennial spring, with the aim of blocking out all the surface runoff/contaminants flowing towards the spring, connecting pipes to the spring, building a storage unit (tank) in order for the water to accumulate and be readily available and having the water be accessible via a tap. This helps to keep livestock and other animals out of the water, the spring design has an overflow unit, so when the storage unit (tank) fills, the water channels back to the overflow and releases water back into the environment, thus the ecology around the spring remains the same pre and post spring protection.
Protecting springs has a direct impact on the quality, with the quality of water in protected springs improving compared to the water before the spring was protected. Respecting and acknowledging the spiritual element that water has in the African culture is very important and integrating this into some of the spring designs is important.
Spring protection means access to safe, reliable water, employment is created for some of the community members, improved quality of life, children spend less time fetching water, women have more time to spend with their families and go to work. People have more time to be productive and do other things as a result of spending less time when collecting water at a spring.
Integrating WASH (water access, sanitation, and hygiene) with the spring protection work is very important, it ensures that any threats to the quality of water are addressed, and healthy hygienic practices are promoted and practiced in these communities. Raising awareness about WASH, waste management and sanitation is very important, and this is an ongoing element of water supply.