Mang'ang'a Spring

Regional Program:
Western Kenya WaSH Program

Latitude 0.05
Longitude 34.72

302 Served

Project Status:

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"This spring is a symbol of unity, strength and oneness for the villagers who always come to quench their thirst from here."

Aggrey Orumbe

Explore The Project

Stories and 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

Mang’ang’a Spring is found in Mang’ang’a Village of Kidundu, Central Maragoli of Vihiga County. It is near the town of Marengo and is next to the Kakamega-Kisumu Highway. Mr. Nahason Lugalia is the owner of the land the spring flows through, and he generously allows his entire community to use its water.

The people here either work on their farm or at the market to earn enough money for food.

Water Situation

This spring quenches the thirst of both children from Nalea Education Center (a community school started to meet education demands of children born out of wedlock as a result of prostitution at Majengo Town) and the other adult community members.

The spring was named after Mang’ang’a Village because of the people’s love their home.

The spring supplies water to over 35 households in Mang’ang’a and the 57 children who attend Nalea Education Center (30 girls and 27 boys). During the dry seasons, people from Majengo Town also resort to Mang’ang’a Spring because it flows no matter what the circumstances.

Mang’ang’a Spring is an open water point to all forms of contamination including but not limited to human contamination, surface runoff, animals, and agricultural activities. The community draws the water by dipping their containers in a pool they dug which helps make collection easier. Some members were spotted doing laundry at the spring and some aired out their clothes in the vicinity. “Once the spring is protected,” said 68-year-old Joyce Muguza, “we will ensure it is fenced and that we enforce rules prohibiting anyone from washing at the spring. We cannot afford to contaminate the spring any longer.”

Sanitation Situation

The majority of the homes in this village do not have sanitation facilities of their own. “Personally I lack a latrine,” said Joyce, “I cross to my neighbor even in the night whenever I want to go for longs calls. I will be so grateful if I get one of the latrine slabs!” The families who have latrines of their own fear using them because a local woman fell in her latrine pit and died on the spot.

Community member Nicholas Lugalia said, “Most of the residents around this place lack adequate knowledge about use of mosquito nets and its relationship to malaria prevention. Messages on waterborne diseases and their control should be emphasized to help the community in disease prevention.” Malaria is one of the more common diseases that the community battles, apart from sexuality transmitted infections. The community suffers from the negative consequences of prostitution promoted by commercial sex workers from Majengo Town.

Though there are a lot of areas that need improvement, the community is very excited about the prospect of hygiene and sanitation training. We expect there to be a good turnout of people who want to learn about tools and practices that can help them lead healthier lives.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Community members will be trained for two 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. It will also result in the formation of a committee that will oversee and maintain their new spring protection system. They will take up activities such as digging extra drainage and fencing out wild animals. Other training participants will take up the gauntlet of health promotion; they will be community health workers responsible for teaching others about the good hygiene and sanitation practices they learned during training.

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.

Plans: Sanitation Platforms

The five families (most likely Mama Joyce Muguza’s family will be one) chosen by the community 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!

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.

Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

12/15/2017: A Year Later: Mang'ang'a Spring

A year ago, generous donors helped build a spring protection and sanitation platforms with the community near Mang’ang’a Spring in Western Kenya. Because of these gifts and contributions from our monthly donors, partners can 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, Samuel Simidi, with you.

The Water Project : 4583_yar_5

11/14/2016: Mang'ang'a Spring

We are excited to report that the project to protect Mang’ang’a Spring in Mang’ang’a Village, 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 spring protection 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! And please enjoy the rest of the report from our partner in Kenya:

Project Result: New Knowledge

After consultation with the landowner and our community contact, we decided to hold hygiene and sanitation training in an open field adjacent to the spring. Participants made themselves comfortable by sitting on boulders under trees lining the field.

Mrs. Joyce Lugalia, our contact, had recruited 13 community members from different age groups. Children also accompanied their parents. Both men and women were very interested in the topics we covered, including: Leadership and governance, operation and maintenance of the spring, healthcare, family planning, immunizations, and the spread of disease. We also covered water treatment methods, environmental hygiene, and hygiene promotion. Every participant is encouraged to share what they learned with everyone they meet! The transect walk really hit home; as we walked among the trees and bushes and encountered human feces, participants were ashamed. They agreed to build latrines, practice proper waste disposal, and start hand-washing.

3 kenya4583 training

By the end of the two days, participants formed a water user committee to oversee and maintain the spring protection. Other participants were equipped with the knowledge to become community health workers. These workers will be responsible for sharing what they learned with the rest of their community by making door-to-door visits.

It seems that training has changed the overall community attitude towards health. It’s no longer an inconvenience, but is something tangible and practical that will make a difference. Immediate behavior change was obvious; for example, many homes now have clotheslines, dish racks, and pit latrines. They have also dug cutoff drainage at the spring and built a fence.

Nicholas Lugalia, a kindergarten teacher and water user committee member, was happy with what he learned. “I agree fully that learning is a continual process where one must unlearn obsolete data and relearn new things. Time is long gone when people could afford to tolerate ignorance; blaming disease on gods. We must accept the hard fact that God has given man dominion over His creation, but how man relates with nature will be the central producer of either ill health or real health,” he shared.

5 kenya4583 training

Project Result: Sanitation Platforms

All five sanitation platforms have been installed and are ready for use. These five families are happy about this milestone and are optimistic that there will be much less open defecation. People without proper latrines would often use the privacy of bushes, 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 environmental pollution here.

One of the five was an elderly woman who could not dig her own latrine pit to prepare, nor could she afford to hire help. It took a while, but she finally found the financial help she needed to hire manual labor. It’s so sad when we find that though we meet the community halfway, some can’t afford their half. But this gives the community the opportunity to work together, and it’s worth seeing that!

Mrs. Joyce Lugalia, our contact person for this project, was overjoyed with her family’s new latrine. “My visitors will have a place to ease themselves; it was so shameful to direct them to a neighbors’ latrine that is far from my compound,” she said. “Little children and the old would just look for a hidden place around the house to urinate rather than struggle all the way to the next compound with a full bladder.”

18 kenya4583 sanitation platform

Project Result: Spring Protection

Construction for this spring protection began on July 15th.

The process began with site clearance, using machetes to remove shrubs and trees. The land was excavated to make a level place for casting the foundation. This was made using wire mesh, concrete, and waterproof cement. During this construction, spring water was diverted to flow on either side. After the foundation dried, we could built up the brick walls. These walls build up enough pressure to raise the water level up to a discharge pipe that runs through the wall. Tiles are then placed to protect the floor from erosion.

6 kenya4583 construction

The spring box is filled with hardcore that will act as a filter and coolant to the spring water. A polythene membrane helps stop external contamination. Finally, landscaping and drainage work is done. The community is encouraged to build a fence to protect their water source from intruders, whether they be animal or human!

The community helped by gathering sand, bricks, hardcore, and fencing poles. They also cooked for and housed our work team during their two-week stay. Local farmer and father Aggrey Orumbe began using the spring protection system as soon as it was finished. “Before this mighty gesture of love, we had suffered for a long time as a result of drinking dirty water from Mang’ang’a Spring. It is very kind of the donor to have sympathized wish us and protected our only water source in this village. This spring is a symbol of unity, strength and oneness for the villagers who always come to quench their thirst from here. Therefore, we shall not allow anybody to damage it!”

15 kenya4583 protected spring

Since Mang’ang’a Spring’s protection, households that use the spring have increased from 44 to 55. There are also dozens of little students who attend the nearby Nalea Kindergarten that now enjoy clean water from Mang’ang’a Spring! The school’s head teacher, Mr. Lugalia, has already noticed a decrease in absences. “I believe it is because of the adequate, clean and safe spring water that these pupils drink and carry from home that has reduced the former cases of stomach distress and discomforts,” Mr. Lugalia shared. Below is a picture of Mr. Lugalia smiling in front of the protected spring!

17 kenya4583 protected spring

The spring was officially handed over to the community. Villagers celebrated by singing songs and dancing; they invited local musicians and Isikuti dancers. Handing over this clean water source was a special moment for these people who suffered from dirty water for so long!

The Water Project : 14-kenya4583-protected-spring

10/26/2016: Mang'ang'a Spring Protection Project Complete

We are excited to inform you that work to protect Mang’ang’a Spring is ongoing. 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.

Community members have come alongside our artisans in Kenya to construct the spring protection and five sanitation platforms, and things are going smoothly.

Thank You for caring for the thirsty!

The Water Project : 1-kenya4583-construction

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Protected Spring
Location:  Vihiga, Maragoli, Kidundu, Mang'ang'a Village
ProjectID: 4583
Install Date:  11/14/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 02/25/2018

Visit History:
11/16/2016 — Functional
12/01/2016 — Functional
04/06/2017 — Functional
04/30/2017 — Functional
02/25/2018 — Functional

A Year Later: Mang'ang'a Spring

November, 2017

Since the spring was protected, the community members have not witnessed any member being sick because of taking spring water. Time wasted is now a thing of the past as villagers are now able to draw water efficiently and safely.

A year ago, generous donors helped build a spring protection and sanitation platforms with the community near Mang’ang’a Spring in Western Kenya. Because of these gifts and contributions from our monthly donors, partners can 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, Samuel Simidi, with you.

The spring has been well maintained and in good working condition. The environment is clean –  an indicator that the villagers are observers of good hygiene and sanitation except for a few members who are still struggling.  Since the spring was protected, the community members have not witnessed any member being sick because of taking spring water. Time wasted is now a thing of the past as villagers are now able to draw water efficiently and safely.

Community member Antony Mugasani is eager to share all the positive changes since the water project was installed. “1: community members have been able to save on time while at the spring. 2: our members have been able to observe proper sanitation and hygiene compared to those days when hygiene was never taken seriously. We do have some of our members who do not have toilets or a basic facility. We are encouraging them to try and build one.

“I have been able to observe personal cleanliness,” boasts 14-year-old Ziporah Buguza. “There have been many positive impacts like my performance has improved. This is because I have been able to devote much time in my studies and also I learned more information on hygiene and sanitation training.”

The staff will continue doing monitoring and evaluation to ensure that the project is in good condition and serving the community as expected. We will plan more WaSH training to help this community with hygiene and sanitation as well.

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.