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Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 315 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

It is early in the morning at about 5AM in Ebung’ayo Village when a young girl known as Nafuma gets up and puts on her school uniform. Before she leaves the house, her mother requests her to run to the nearby spring to fetch one jerrycan of water. She obediently picks up an empty jerrycan and runs to the spring. She manages to fill her jerrycan and carefully lifts it to balance on her head. She takes her first step and while trying to take her next step away from the spring, she slips and falls backwards. Her only uniform is now soaked. Time passes as she waits for the sun to dry her uniform. She quietly sits under a tree worried of what punishment she will be given for missing school.

This is just one of many cases in this village for girls, women and other children who slip and fall as they fetch water. Some of them are even harassed and insulted by young men who bring their cows to drink water at the same spring. The young men let their cows step into the water before the girls and women can fill their containers. They have to either wait until the water is clean or go back home with empty containers and return later.

Ebung’ayo Village is located in Kakamega County, Kenya. It is home to 315 people from 45 different households.

There are a lot of young men in this village who have a very low level of education. These men are looking for any way to earn an income, roaming around the village hoping someone will hire them for manual labor. Despite the high unemployment rate and lack of education here, people are friendly and hospitable.

Water Situation

The people of Ebung’ayo Village rely on Murambi Spring for water. It’s close to all of the homesteads, and water doesn’t cease to flow even during the driest seasons.

The community has placed a large stone at the side of the spring on which they balance to fetch water. Each person brings a small cup that they can dip in the spring to bail water and fill their water container, which is normally as large as they can carry. The water is brought home and used for drinking, cooking, bathing, and watering animals.

When home, water is separated into different containers by use. Drinking water is kept in covered pots either in the kitchen or living room. The rest of the water is dumped in larger plastic barrels and saved for cleaning and watering animals.

We know that Murambi Spring is contaminated because of the numerous reports of waterborne disease. Our visit to the spring confirmed this fact; the water is out in the open with no barriers to protect it from erosion, surface runoff, and animals. Some people don’t even bother to balance on the rock, but step directly into the water as they fill their containers.

Sanitation Situation

Under half of the households in Ebung’ayo Village have a pit latrine. These are made of cracked mud walls and dirt floors. The same low number of people have bathing rooms for personal hygiene, hand-washing stations, dish racks, or clotheslines.

People here normally pick a spot in the back of their compound to throw garbage. This is separated into piles to burn and to compost. The compost will be used on the farm as a fertilizer.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least three days. This training will ensure participants are no longer ignorant about healthy practices and their importance. The facilitator plans to use PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation), CLTS (Community-Led Total Sanitation), ABCD (Asset-Based Community Development), group discussions, handouts, and demonstrations at the spring.

Training will also result in the formation of a committee that will oversee operations and maintenance at the spring. They will enforce proper behavior around the spring and delegate tasks that will help preserve the site, such as building a fence and digging proper drainage.

Plans: Sanitation Platforms

On the final day of training, participants will select five families that should benefit from new latrines.

Training will also inform the community and selected families on what they need to contribute to make this project a success. They must mobilize locally available materials, such as bricks, clean sand, hardcore, and ballast. The five families must prepare by sinking a pit for the sanitation platforms to be placed over. All community members must work together to make sure that accommodations and food are always provided for the work teams.

Plans: Spring Protection

Fetching water is predominantly a female role, done by both women and young girls. Protecting the spring and offering training and support will therefore help empower the female members of the community by giving them more time and efforts to engage and invest in income-generating activities.

In addition, protecting the spring will ensure that the water is safe, adequate and secure. Construction will keep surface runoff and other contaminants out of the water.

Recent Project Updates

12/19/2017: A Year Later: Ebung’ayo Village

A year ago, generous donors helped build a spring protection and sanitation platforms with the community surrounding Murambi 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, Catherine Chepkemoi, with you.

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01/13/2017: Ebung'ayo Community Project Complete

We are excited to report that the project to protect Murambi Spring in Ebung’ayo, 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

Hygiene and sanitation training was held near the spring at the home of Andrew Murambi, the landowner. During our first visits to the community, we began to involve local leadership in our training plans. Pastor Murambi helped spread the important news of this upcoming learning opportunity, moving door to door to encourage community members to attend. Women, men and children were all invited, but mostly women showed up since they are viewed as the ones responsible for fetching water and household hygiene. There was a total of 15 participants who all arrived early, all seated and ready to take notes by the time the facilitator set up!

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They asked questions, seeking clarification until they understood each hygiene and sanitation topic. Participants were so involved in what they were learning, their facial expressions and nodding assured us that they were listening. By the end of the third day, they were asking us to stay an entire week so that they could learn even more. Many of the women invited us to their homes later so that we could see in person the improvements they were making to their facilities.

Training topics included but were not limited to leadership and governance; operation and maintenance of the spring; healthcare; family planning; immunizations; the spread of disease and prevention. We also covered water treatment methods, environmental hygiene, and hygiene promotion. We also took a session to emphasize proper maintenance of the spring protection project. The community should refrain from washing clothes, water animals, farming with fertilizers, and open defecation in the vicinity. We encouraged positive activities such as building a fence and digging proper drainage, which will prevent water pollution.

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Hand-washing was both discussed and demonstrated. It is one of the most important barriers in preventing disease. Hands should be washed after visiting the latrine, before cooking, before and after eating, after shaking hands, and after handling garbage. We also taught locals how to build a hand-washing station out of sticks, rope, and plastic containers.

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By the end of the three days, participants formed a water and sanitation 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. They will continue to keep their neighbors accountable so that the overall community can experience improved health.

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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. We will continue to encourage these five families to build walls and roofs to protect their new platforms.

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Project Result: Spring Protection

Construction to protect Murambi Spring began on October 9, 2016.

After a spring is earmarked for protection, our artisan arrives to clear the construction site. All bushes and trees are felled with machetes. This is followed by excavating up the slope from the spring output. Ballast is then mixed with cement and sand to make concrete. A wire mesh is lain on the excavated space before the concrete is added in order to create a strong foundation. This foundation is left to cure overnight.

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On the second day, the walls are raised with brick. The artisan then installs a pipe low in the collection wall to direct water from the reservoir to a concrete or plastic spring box. He then backfills the spring source with hardcore until water is flowing from the discharge pipe. The area around the spring is then landscaped, fenced, and drainage is dug.

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The community helped by gathering sand, bricks, hardcore, and fencing poles. They also housed and fed our artisans as they worked there. With the great leadership of Pastor Murambi, the entire community was well organized and motivated to do everything they needed for success. Thus, there were no delays or challenges during construction.

Murambi Spring is no longer exposed to contamination from surface runoff, open defecation and other human and animal activities. It serves a great number of people that used to drink dirty water. Cases of waterborne disease have already decreased since our first visits to Ebung’ayo, and the massive amount of resources drained during treatment will now be saved for economic growth.

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Mrs. Jadidah Atswenje was there to celebrate as clean water flowed from the new discharge pipe. “Thank you for taking the initiative to protect the spring. The number of people fetching water from Murambi Spring has already increased, since people from the neighboring village are also coming to fetch clean and safe water from the same source.”

Pastor Murambi is now the chairman of the water and sanitation committee that will oversee the spring. He promises to always make sure that clean, safe water flows for all of his neighbors. People couldn’t hide their happiness. There was singing and dancing, and a prayer for continued blessing in Ebung’ayo Community.

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12/08/2016: Ebung'ayo Community Project Underway

We are excited to share that work in Ebung’ayo Community has begun. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from Murambi 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. Check out the tabs above to read more about this project!

The Water Project and Ebung’ayo Community 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:  Kenya, Kakamega, Ebung'ayo
ProjectID: 4589
Install Date:  01/13/2017

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 02/12/2018

Visit History:
02/24/2017 — Functional
05/25/2017 — Functional
08/31/2017 — Functional
02/12/2018 — Functional

A Year Later: Murambi Spring

November, 2017

“The biggest change is due to reduced water borne diseases, community members have channeled their resources towards serious farming.”

A year ago, generous donors helped build a spring protection and sanitation platforms with the community surrounding Murambi 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, Catherine Chepkemoi, with you.

Murambi Spring project has brought a great change in the community. Community members are now accessing clean, safe water for drinking as well as for general purposes and use. The rate of water borne and water related diseases has tremendously reduced. Much of their resources which they previously used while seeking medication have been saved. The money is now used for income generating projects like planting local vegetables which usually fetches high prices irrespective of the season thus more income for them. Household sanitation platforms have also awakened community members on the need of each homestead having a pit latrine. They have gone ahead and improvised containers just near their pit latrines for washing their hands after latrine visits as well.

Water User Committee member, Andrew Murambi shared what he has experienced since the spring was protected last year. “The biggest change is due to reduced water borne diseases, community members have channeled their resources towards serious farming. This is not only for subsistence but also pit for commercial as an agricultural business has emerged. We are so happy about this project.”

“I am now accessing safe clean water at any time I need it,” shared 5-year-old Joshua Matsakha. “I am happy drawing water from the pipe.”

Stepping at Murambi you could easily tell the changes that have been happening in this community since the project last year. The community members are very thankful for the safe clean water that are accessing now. Their environment looks neat, not only from farm plantation but also from flowers that they plant around their homestead. The community still needs improvement on how to store and handle their water on the way home after fetching and at home to ensure that water can’t get contaminated. Besides that, we will conduct monitoring and evaluation for the spring so that it serves the intended purpose of community.

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.


Swigert International School
Harrison High School
Sacajawea Middle School - 6th gr Student Council
2 individual donor(s)

Want to start your own campaign? Learn more »

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.