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Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 140 Served

Project Phase:  Installed

Functionality Status:  Functional

Community Profile & Stories

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

Most residents of Elufafwa Community are farmers. They grow sugarcane at a large scale, selling their crops to the nearby West Kenya sugar millers. Some also keep dairy animals that provide them with milk, which they also sell in local markets. Between the two, farmers are normally able to raise enough money to feed their families. At every household, a small garden can be seen that yields enough fresh produce for families.

A normal day in this community is spent between the farms and homesteads, with a few community members venturing to the markets in the afternoons. During cane harvest season, farmers spend their entire days on the farm, supervising their harvest and then delivering their crop to the sugar processing factory.

The community sent in their project application after hearing about another community that benefited from a spring protection project. After our initial visit, we deemed the spring protection, latrine, and training initiatives as necessary for Elufafwa Village!

Water Situation

The main source of water for this community is an unprotected spring that is located alongside the road. It draws a great number of travelers, and also serves the nearby Elufafwa Primary School.

There are numerous reasons this spring’s water is contaminated! It is located at the bottom of a slope, so it’s prone to surface runoff. The rainier it is, the more dirt and waste will wash down the slope into the water. There is also a lot of farmland in the vicinity, which doesn’t help the situation. Whatever farmers choose to use on their crops will eventually find its way into the main water source. Open defication was also observed in the area; training will emphasize to go in a latrine, not the spring!

Locals know that this water is unsafe, and choose to boil or filter it before drinking. Nonetheless, repeated cases of typhoid and diarrhea-related diseases are reported by spring beneficiaries.

Women and children who fetch their water at the spring tote plastic jerrycans. These are rarely covered, but they do a good job keeping them clean by scrubbing with a soapy cloth. Unfortunately a clean container doesn’t transform dirty water.

Sanitation Situation

Under a quarter of households have their own latrine. Any latrines observed during our initial visit turned out to be pit latrines made of mud. Many didn’t have doors, either! Thus, human waste is not disposed of properly and poses a huge risk to this community.

During training, we will take this community on a transect walk to sensitize them to some of the more serious health threats. The transect walk will teach locals to watch for practices that go on and facilities that are present related to good health and hygiene. Sometimes, a participant feels shame when the group arrives at their household and points out things that are unhealthy or unhygienic; but in Kenya, this affects people to make a positive change. Training participants will also vote on and decide the families that should benefit from the five new sanitation platforms.

Farmers make sure to compost biodegradable garbage, but tend to pile up solid waste. When the pile grows to large, they burn it down! This includes polyethylene and other materials.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Community members will be trained for three days on a variety of health, hygiene and sanitation topics. This training will result in community members donning the roles of health workers and water user committee members. The training facilitator plans to use PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Training), CLTS (Community-Led Total Sanitation), and ABCD (Asset-Based Community Development) methods to teach community members, especially the women and children who feel the burden of household responsibility. Training will equip each person with the knowledge needed to practice viable and effective health solutions in their homes and at the spring.

Plans: Spring Protection

Locals are eagerly preparing for this spring protection project. They have agreed to gather the local materials needed for construction to begin, which include sand, ballast, hardcore, bricks, fencing poles, and even a few helpful hands! When asked about the upcoming construction efforts, Reverend Enoch Abwalaba said, “Protecting this spring will really benefit us, especially Elufafwa Primary School that also uses its water. Just tell us when, and I will personally give the 250 bricks from the ones I recently baked!”

Plans: Sanitation Platforms

Community members will decide on the five families most in need of a new latrine. These families will receive a sanitation platform, which is a concrete floor that makes a great foundation for a safe and clean latrine. These families will prepare by sinking a pit that the concrete slab can be placed over. These five new latrines will go a long way in reducing the level of open defecation in this community!

Recent Project Updates

11/15/2017: A Year Later: Alphonce Mukoshi Spring

A year ago, generous donors helped build a spring protection system and sanitation platforms for families living around Alphonce Mukoshi Spring. Because of these gifts and our monthly donors, partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one with you.

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07/26/2016: Alphonce Mukoshi Spring Protection Project Complete

We are excited to report that the project to protect Alphonce Mukoshi Spring in Kenya is now complete. 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 help keep the water flowing. Join our team of monthly donors and help us maintain this well and many other projects.

We just updated the project page with the latest pictures, so make sure to open the “See Pictures & Video” tab to enjoy!

Project Result: New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was held at the homestead of Mrs. Gaudencia Awinja, who lives right across the road from the spring.

After the community realized their need for training, the spring’s management committee members arranged for the venue and confirmed dates convenient for as many community members as possible. Total attendance was 10; three male and seven female. Though few, the participants were very passionate and serious about the health and sanitation information they gained, and were ready to share it with their families and neighbors. They actively participated and asked lots of questions about what they learned. Some of the topics included but were not limited to:

  • Community contribution and responsibilities
  • Leadership and governance
  • Group dynamics
  • Forming an effective water user committee
  • Mangement and maintenance of the spring
  • Water pollution
  • Water-related diseases
  • Building disease transmission barriers
  • Proper handling of food and water
  • Importance of having and using a latrine

We consider trainings a success. This was evident from great appreciation from the participants, and their commitment to put into practice proper hygiene in their households and the greater community. They are also committed to sharing the knowledge with others in order to enhance community health for all residents of Elufafwa.

When one of the participants was told to close her eyes, and then was given a cup of dirty water to drink, Gaudencia was quick to assume the water would be clean. When she was told to open her eyes and see the water, she was so disgusted and had this to say: If this represents the contaminated water we’ve been drinking as a result of open defecation, I will be the first to sink a pit latrine and boil my drinking water!

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Project Result: Sanitation Platforms

The installation of sanitation platforms for beneficiaries around Alphonce Mukoshi spring is complete, and they are now in use. They are happy with these sanitation platforms, realizing that they are safer and easier to clean. Open defecation that was previously evident has been greatly minimized and is near zero, as the community members have adopted good hygiene practices and encourage each family to have their own latrine. Building proper sanitation facilities has been made a priority in this community, since they’ve decided they want to achieve open-defecation-free status. These community members are very satisfied and happy with the project and say thanks!

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Project Result: Spring Protection

Construction for this spring protection began on April 1st.

Spring protection involves conducting a water quality test; clearing the site, excavating the land uphill from the spring discharge until three feet of water is flowing; packing hard core; reinforcing and casting the foundation slab, building the main and wing walls; fitting the delivery pipes, inlets, draw off pipe, overflow, and inlet screen; backfilling; installing a pipe low in the collection wall to direct the water from the interception reservoir to a concrete or plastic spring box; landscaping and drainage; fencing the area; digging drainage.

Though the pictures might fool one into thinking not much goes into protecting a spring, that list proves it a misconception! When the spring protection was complete, community members like Mary Reginah expressed their gratefulness. “You have really helped us a lot, and I lack the best way to say thank you. It now only takes a minute or so to draw water from the spring, and we no longer waste time waiting for the water to clear first, because it’s already clean when discharged. Thank you!” The time Mary saves can instead be used to serve herself, her family, and her community.

Community members were also taught how to chlorinate or boil this water before use, ensuring that all drinking water is safe water.

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06/01/2016: Alphonce Mukoshi Spring Protection Project Underway

We are excited to share that work around Alphonce Mukoshi Spring has begun. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from this 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 GPS coordinates.

The Water Project and the community of Alphonce Mukoshi Spring Thank You for giving the hope of clean water and good health.

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Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Protected Spring
Location:  Kakamega, Elufafwa
ProjectID: 4564
Install Date:  07/12/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 09/11/2017

Visit History:
10/21/2016 — Functional
11/07/2016 — Functional
03/28/2017 — Functional
05/30/2017 — Unknown
08/31/2017 — Functional
09/11/2017 — Functional

A Year Later: Alphonce Mukoshi Spring

October, 2017

“The protection of this spring is the best thing that ever happened to us.”

A year ago, generous donors helped build a spring protection system and sanitation platforms for families living around Alphonce Mukoshi Spring. Because of these gifts and our monthly donors, partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one with you.

Field Officer Karen Maruti observed a lot of improvements on her way to Alphonce Mukoshi Spring – the community surrounding this clean water source is made up of clean homes that have helpful sanitation facilities like dish racks and clotheslines. And as she began talking to community members fetching their water at the spring, she learned that health has also improved; beneficiaries say that they aren’t getting waterborne diseases anymore.

Mr. Alphonce Mukoshi was right there waiting for us, and he had a lot of good things to say. “We are happy that when our facility had issues with the spring box, the organization came in and repaired it on time. Since the project came in, we are healthier…” But this clean water has also drawn a lot of extra attention. He added that “Since the spring is close to the road, there are many passersby who stop by to drink water from this spring. This increased demand has added pressure, and if other springs can also be protected then we shall not have pressure on this one!”

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We also met 8-year-old Clinton at the spring. He said, “The protection of this spring is the best thing that ever happened to us. I am particularly excited, as fetching water in the past was so risky for me and I used to fear fetching water… and I would slip and fall into the open unprotected spring! Now I can go to the spring as many times as I can, even when it has rained, without slipping in the water.”

This is all wonderful news! We will continue to look for nearby locations for potential water projects to help alleviate the busyness around Alphonce Mukoshi Spring.

The Water Project and our partners are committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by monthly donors, allows us to visit communities up to four times a year. Read more about our program and how you can help.

Country Details


Population: 39.8 Million
Lacking clean water: 43%
Below poverty line: 50%

Partner Profile

Western Water and Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO) works together with less privileged and marginalized members of communities in Western Kenya to reduce poverty through harnessing and utilization of local resources for sustainable development.