Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 140 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2016

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/05/2024

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

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!

Project Updates

May, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Elufafwa Community, Alphonce Mukoshi 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 Elufafwa, Kenya.

We trained more than 12 people on the symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention of COVID-19. Before there were any reported cases in the area, we worked with trusted community leaders and the Water User Committee to gather community members for the training.

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, 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.

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: Alphonce Mukoshi Spring

October, 2017

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

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Elufafwa Community, Alphonce Mukoshi Spring.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Elufafwa Community, Alphonce Mukoshi 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, 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!"

4564 YAR 2

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.

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 Elufafwa Community, Alphonce Mukoshi 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 Elufafwa Community, Alphonce Mukoshi 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.