Mukoko Spring Protection Project

Regional Program:
Western Kenya WaSH Program

Latitude 0.27
Longitude 34.71

285 Served

Project Status:

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Stories and Community Profile

Welcome to the Community

For a normal day in Lwesero Community, women and girls wake up at 5am to prepare breakfast for the rest of their family members. At around 6:30am, they leave for Mukoko Spring to fetch water for the rest of the household chores. On average, a local must make 8 -10 trips in a day to collect enough water for watering animals, cooking, cleaning, and drinking.

At around 8am people head over to their farms tend sugarcane and maize, while others take their animals to graze. Others try to make a living selling goods as petty traders.

After preparing lunch, women and men have separate community meets; women have women’s group, and men have men’s group until about 5pm. When women return home, it’s time to go to the river again to fetch water for preparing supper.

Water Situation

On learning that Emuyokha Spring in a neighboring village is protected and sparing people their time and health, the leadership at Mukoko Spring sent in their own application for a project. They know that as long as their Mukoko Spring is still unprotected, they will continue to suffer from waterborne disease. Some locals even decided to start making the trek two kilometers away to Emuyokha, since they heard it was safe. This very long journey back and forth for water wastes a huge amount of time for women and children, and has resulted in a greater conflict at home.

After visiting Mukoko Spring for ourselves, it was easy to see the need for a spring protection project. Locals dunk a small container directly in the spring to fill a larger jerrycan, which normally holds 20 liters. Small children can start with a five-liter jerrycan, but the bigger the better! More water means less trips to the spring. But more dirty water isn’t good – Due to a lack of awareness about water pollution, many locals wash clothes, water animals, and even bathe in the spring. Farming is also done very close to the water, resulting in various chemical fertilizers and pesticides washing into the spring’s water during rains.

Once a woman or child totes their full container back home, it is consolidated in a larger 100 to 200-liter barrel.

The village leader, Alfred Makuba, speaks about this situation:

“We are very happy for what WEWASAFO is doing in our community; they protected Emuyokha Spring and the beneficiaries have increased, as well as resulted to reduced rates of waterborne diseases. Beneficiaries from Mukoko Spring have been walking over 2km to access safe water at Emuyokha Spring!

Due to the distance most people, especially children, opt for the water from Mukoko Spring though it’s unprotected. This has caused rampant cases of diarrhea diseases and especially stomachaches, typhoid and amoeba.”

A lot of money is spent on treating complications from drinking Mukoko Spring’s water, and is probably a key reason for poverty in this village. And if women and children want to find a source of cleaner water, a lot of time and potential is wasted that could have been used economically.

Sanitation Situation

No more than half of households have a pit latrine. Open defecation is a huge issue in this area! Any latrines that we saw are in a dilapidated and dangerous state. Women and children fear using these latrines, and thus opt for relieving themselves in the open. Mary Makovi (picture can be found in the “See Photos & Video” section), a mother who lives near Mukoko Spring said that “We don’t have a toilet, as our toilet collapsed so we go to the bush. We go at night and during the day it’s difficult to hide from people. It would be much better to have toilets here as women we shall have our privacy and have a sense of dignity. It would be a lot cleaner and the children would suffer from diarrhea a lot less.”

No more than half of households have useful tools like dish racks or clotheslines to help safely dry their belongings. We saw that indeed a few people know a little about good hygiene and sanitation, but the majority needs to learn.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training and Sanitation Platforms

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 community 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.

By the end of training, participants will also have identified five needy families to benefit from sanitation platforms. Sanitation platforms are concrete floors for latrines that are safe and easy to clean. Five new places to use the bathroom will help create a cleaner living situation for the entire community. One of those needy families may be Mary’s!

Plans: Spring Protection

Locals are eagerly preparing for this spring protection project. They have agreed to gather the local materials needed for construction, which include sand, ballast, hardcore, bricks, fencing poles, and even a few helpful hands! Mukoko Spring’s yield is already fairly high, so now we will work on protecting this reliable source to make it a clean source, too!

Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

12/14/2017: A Year Later: Mukoko Spring

A year ago, generous donors helped build a spring protection and sanitation platforms for the community surrounding Mukoko Spring in Kenya. 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 from our partner, Amadaro Allan, with you.

The Water Project : 4574_yar_4

10/12/2016: Mukoko Spring Protection Project Complete

We are excited to report that the project to protect Mukoko 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 Photos & Video” tab to enjoy!

Project Result: New Knowledge

Community members attended hygiene and sanitation training at the spring landowner’s homestead. His house is only 300 meters from the spring, so it was a good location for learning about how to implement, maintain, and oversee the project. The community members who attended this training either belong to the water user committee who will take direct responsibility for the spring, or are community health workers who will promote healthy practices in the area.

The first day of training begun around 9:30 am with the community eager to learn about health and hygiene. They left all their daily chores just to attend, inspired by the construction progress they’d seen on Mukoko Spring. By lunchtime, nobody wanted to leave since the training contents were getting more and more interesting.

2 kenya4574 training

On the second day, participants arrived as early as 8 am ready to tackle the day’s sessions. We started out with review of lessons taught on the first day, and it was interesting to see that the community could clearly present every detail. Before we left, the participants requested more days for training. They wanted to learn as much as they could!

The most important, applicable topic for this community was proper water handling. When we first arrived in this village, we noticed the improper ways people were fetching, transporting and storing water. Even if water was protected at the source, it would be contaminated by the time it reached home. Containers were dirty, uncovered, and hands were dipped into the drinking water. Proper water handling is key in preventing disease. At one point, a lizard dropped from a tree onto the lap of one of the participants. Everyone jumped up and move out from under the tree; there was no way anybody could concentrate with the potential for raining lizards. It took about 15 minutes for training to start back up, and our facilitator seized the lizard opportunity and turned it around to teach about handling water. Without proper handling and storage, lizards could drop in your drinking water, too!

We also highlighted ways to prevent diarrhea. This included the topic of hand-washing, which we demonstrated for participants. Each person then had a chance to practice. We also encouraged everyone to not only wash with water, but to always use soap or ash as a cleaning agent.

1 kenya4574 training

Finally, we spent time describing how to manage and maintain Mukoko Spring. Locals will minimize farming around the spring as well as build a fence around the spring. Records will be kept about activities seen going on, and small fees will be collected to fund any repairs needed in the future.

We could see direct impact after training. One of the participants was so convinced by the need for a dish rack that he built one for his family immediately! We also observed some of the participants scrubbing the containers they use for fetching water.

A 64-year-old village elder, Alfred Makuba, attended each session. He couldn’t hide his gratefulness for what he learned! He told us, “My wife had been placing leaves in the water container to keep the water from spilling over. Hand-washing with soap was only done after eating meat to prevent hands from smelling like meat. No wonder we continued suffering from diarrhea diseases! We were ignorant of the contamination routes!”

3 kenya4574 Alfred Makuba .

Project Result: Sanitation Platforms

A total of five sanitation platforms (concrete floors for pit latrines) were constructed and installed for beneficiaries around Mukoko Spring. These five families are happy about this milestone and are optimistic that there will be much less open defecation. People without proper latrines would opt to use the bushes and privacy of sugarcane crops, 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 pollution of the environment.

4 kenya4574 materials collection

Project Result: Spring Protection

Construction for protecting Mukoko Spring began on September 9th.

Community members helped us by preparing the area for building. They cleared all brush and leveled the ground. They excavated up the spring until three feet of water was flowing in the open. They packed hard core, then reinforced and casted the foundation slab using a mixture of sand, cement, ballast, and water. The head walls are built up from the foundation with bricks, sand and cement. The walls and foundation were then plastered with mortar.

5 kenya4574 construction

The entire structure was left for several days to ensure that it properly dried. The spring is then back-filled using hard core. The community finishes protecting the area by planting grasses that prevents erosion and evaporation, building a fence, and digging good drainage.

Community members were united in their efforts to see this project successful. They collected all local materials and helped our artisans with actual construction. Local women took turns cooking meals for all of the workers.

On the final day of construction, locals were so excited that they came to watch the others work. They sat around in large numbers, anxiously awaiting the moment water would begin flowing from the discharge pipe. At this first sight, there was lots of dancing as community members expressed their joy!

8 kenya4574 protected spring

Farmer William Kwesa Kanyaga helped as much as he could. When the spring protection project was complete, he said “This is an answered prayer for this community! We initially had to talk to Emuyokha Spring, protected by WEWASAFO in 2015, but it’s two kilometers away!” Now, Mr. Kanyaga has safe water in his own community.

The Water Project : 10-kenya4574-protected-spring

08/15/2016: Mukoko Spring Protection Project Underway

We are excited to share that work around Mukoko Spring has begun. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from this spring, and often suffer physical illnesses after doing so. Our partner in the field 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 Mukoko Spring Thank You for giving the hope of clean water and good health!

The Water Project : 1-kenya4574-fetching-water

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Protected Spring
Location:  Kakamega, Lwesero
ProjectID: 4574
Install Date:  10/12/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 01/23/2018

Visit History:
11/03/2016 — Functional
12/04/2016 — Functional
07/07/2017 — Functional
08/17/2017 — Functional
01/23/2018 — Functional

A Year Later: Mukoko Community

September, 2017

“The community members now have access to clean, safe and adequate water. The spring discharges water at a speed of 41 seconds to fill a 20 Liter containers. Women in this community now draw water easily from the spring as water trickles from a pipe. It saves them time compared to the previous years where they would spend a lot of time scooping dirty, contaminated water at the spring.”

A year ago, generous donors helped build a spring protection and sanitation platforms for the community surrounding Mukoko Spring in Kenya. 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 from our partner, Amadaro Allan, with you.


The community around Mukoko Spring continues to experience changes with their protected water source.  Alfred Makuba, an elder in the village shares, “The water at this spring is clean and safe for drinking unlike how it was before the protection. Women and children can now easily fetch water at the spring and at the same time save time for other chores.”  Alfred claims that the number of disease cases arising from water are now very minimal in the community.

The children in the community are also noticing a difference.  Beatrice Makovi, age 13, says, “Life has changed for us as it is now easy for us to fetch water at the spring.”  The time Beatrice initially spent fetching water has been reduced and she says it has helped her concentrate more on her books and school work as she finishes her chores early.


WEWASAFO will continue supporting the Mukoko community to ensure that clean water is consistently available.  WEWASAFO also teaches the community how to keep the water clean until it is used or consumed. In addition WEWASAFO trains and challenges the community to build and maintain clean latrines. Mr. Makuba reports the collective work in their village: “The spring’s and household’s sanitation status has been upheld by community members with the trained community health volunteers making rounds in the village ensuring households are clean.”

While it may seem like one spring is just a drop in the bucket, Mukoko Spring continues to provide safe drinking water and many people are freed to pursue their own vision for a flourishing life.  We are excited to stay in touch with this community and to report the news as they continue on their journey with clean water.

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 4 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.