Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Program: Kenyan Spring Protection

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2015

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/07/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water and Sanitation Forum. Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).


This unprotected spring is located in Muraka village, Muraka sub-location, Ilesi location, Isukha west ward, Kakamega-East sub-county, Kakamega County. The spring is serving a total population of 1027 individuals comprising of community members and pupils from Muraka primary school which does not have access to safe drinking water at the school. It serves 610 community members of which 285 males and 325 females and 417 pupils of which 210 are girls and 207 are boys.

(Editor's Note: While this many people may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only support a population of 350-500 people.  This community would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)

The community uses water for drinking, cooking, watering animals, and irrigation on the farms especially during the dry period. The spring is a good candidate for protection because it has a continuous supply of water even during dry season when other sources are completely dry. The community members and pupils of nearby school congest at the spring.


This unprotected water spring is located in a low area and is also surrounded by bushes, thus susceptible to contamination. Many people who lack latrines use the bushes for privacy and defecate close to the water point. During the rainy season the surface run off carries the waste into the water.

The community members reported that they have suffered from water borne diseases such as typhoid. This is a result of drinking water from the unprotected spring. Since the spring is unprotected, it is open to contamination by surface run off, people stepping into the water as they fetch, passersby drinking the water directly from the source, and animals also drinking from it.

A lot of time is also wasted by the women, children and also pupils from Muraka primary school queuing in order to fetch water.

Sanitation is also a big problem as many people do not have good latrines and others even use bushes. During the rainy seasons, the waste is washed into the spring leading to contamination of the water.

The community members are in dire need of support and are urging WEWASAFO and The Water Project to consider them and protect the spring so that they can reduce cases of water borne diseases and also reduce time wasted in order to engage in other economic activities.

Results of the Project: spring protection

Protection of Aliuba spring is now complete and in use.

The water is used for drinking, cooking, watering animals and irrigation on the farms especially during the dry period. The discharge from the spring is good and does not dry during dry seasons when other sources around the area are completely dry.

Cases of water borne diseases like typhoid which the community members reported to have suffered initially as a result of drinking unsafe water are expected to reduce because of the protection of the spring. Again, cases of contamination by surface run off, people stepping into the water as they fetch, passersby drinking the water directly from the source and animals drinking from it are all now a thing of the past after protection. The trained water Sanitation and management committees around the spring came up with the rules and regulation to govern the use of the spring so as to ensure its sustainability.

The community members around Aliuba spring are happy with the project and urged Wewasafo to protect other unprotected springs in the area so as to increase access to safe, adequate, clean drinking water.

Household sanitation platforms

The sanitation platforms (cement slabs for latrine construction) for the beneficiaries around Aliuba spring have been cast, installed and are now in use serving a total number of 46 people of which 21 are male and 25 are female. The community members admitted that it is comfortable using the slab because the floor is safe, easy to clean and maintain. They added that there are more community members who are in need of the slabs.

Project Updates

December, 2020: Through Their Eyes: COVID-19 Chronicles with Celestine Adora

This post is part of a new series by The Water Project meant to highlight the perspectives and experiences of the people we serve and how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting them. We invite you to read more of their stories here.

"If you love your life, it is better to follow what the health officials advise: to protect ourselves by wearing a mask, keeping distance, not shaking hands, and avoiding crowded places."

This is the message of Celestine Adora, a mother and resident of Muraka, Kenya where she works as the local Community Health Volunteer. Used to her typical work of promoting improved health, hygiene, and sanitation behaviors among her neighbors, Celestine never thought she would have a pandemic to contend with. Now, she implores her neighbors to stay safe by following the advice of health officials such as herself and the national Ministry of Health - their lives depend on it, she is certain.

Our team recently visited Muraka to conduct a COVID-19 prevention training and monitor their water point, protected Aliuba Spring. Shortly after, we returned to check in on the community, offer a COVID-19 refresher training, and ask how the pandemic is affecting their lives. It was during this most recent visit that Celestine shared her story of how the coronavirus is impacting her life and her community.

Celestine Adora

Field Officer Olivia Bomji met Celestine outside her home to conduct the interview. Both Olivia and Celestine observed physical distancing and other precautions throughout the visit to ensure their health and safety. The following is Celestine's story, in her own words.

What is one thing that has changed in your community since the completion of the water project?

"The water point gives us clean and safe water for drinking and this has made me and my family healthy because we no longer get sick from waterborne diseases."

Fetching water from Aliuba Spring

How has having a clean water point helped you through the pandemic so far?

"I never knew that there will be a point in our lives where a pandemic could affect us. But so far, access to clean water has been our savior because we use water to wash hands, for consumption, and general cleanliness to protect ourselves from COVID-19."

Celestine at the spring

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Kenya, has fetching water changed for you because of restrictions, new rules, or your concerns about the virus?

"Life changed completely to me because I use more water now in my house than before. Washing hands frequently consumes a lot of water but we thank God we have adequate clean water. We used to gather at the spring with other community members while fetching water but now we are scared to meet because of COVID-19."

Celestine helps her youngest daughter put on her mask.

How has COVID-19 impacted your family?

"COVID-19 has made my family bond more. Now we know each other well - though supporting them has been a struggle - but we thank God because we have never slept hungry. My children are bored staying indoors for months, sometimes they fight but later they embrace each other. The greatest challenge here is solving all the issues they fight about every time, though sometimes they learn how to tolerate each other."

Helping her youngest daughter wash her hands using water from the spring

What other challenges are you experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

"I used to work as a community health volunteer and I was paid my allowances monthly. Things changed since the emergence of COVID-19 because our allowances were stopped and this made life so hard. I pray that it will be over soon and we will go back to our normal lives where we could hustle and provide for our families."

Celestine and her three daughters at home

What hygiene and sanitation steps have you and your community taken to stop the spread of the virus?

"As a community health volunteer, I personally moved from house to house to help the community members make handwashing stations. After the COVID-19 training, we ensured that each one of us should wear a mask while going out and this has helped us a lot."

Masked up

Like most governments around the world, the Kenyan government continues to set and adjust restrictions both nationally and regionally to help control the spread of the virus.

What restriction are you still looking forward to being lifted?

"I am looking forward to the curfew to be removed so that we can move from one place to another freely. This will help me do other jobs to support my family."

Doing laundry using water from the spring

What has been the most valuable part of the COVID-19 sensitization training you received from our team?

"The most helpful part was handwashing and mask-making. This is because we kept on washing hands and wearing masks as we were told and so far we are safe from COVID-19."

June, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Muraka Community, Aliuba 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.

Facilitators explain the prevention reminders chart

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 Muraka, Kenya.

We trained more than 10 people on the symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention of COVID-19. Due to public gathering concerns, we worked with trusted community leaders to gather a select group of community members who would then relay the information learned to the rest of their family and friends.

Handwashing demonstration

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.

Handwashing demonstration

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.

Observing social distancing at training

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.

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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!