Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Program: Kenyan Spring Protection

Impact: 464 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Oct 2015

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 12/14/2023

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).

Background Information

This unprotected spring is located in Mukhuyu Village, Mwitumbwi sub-location, Mukhalakhala location, Mwivona Ward of Luanda Constituency in Vihiga County. The spring serves 58 households, totaling 464 people. 200 of these are men and 264 are women. The water is used for drinking, cooking, watering animals, and farm irrigation.


Community members report high levels of waterborne illnesses like typhoid, cholera, and dysentery.

The spring has a continuous flow of water even during the dry season, and persists even when other springs are completely dry. Although this seems positive, the spring's persistence has a negative result: other communities make use of Mukwambo spring, creating more congestion and contamination during the dry seasons.

When Mukwambo is too dirty, it is the women and children who make the trek to find clean water. They spend hours carrying buckets to remote mountain springs far away from the village. This is a loss of economical time that could otherwise be used for farming and other activities.

The spring water is often further contaminated from transportation in open buckets. After it arrives home, drinkers do not boil or treat is before consumption.

Regarding personal hygiene, many households have latrines that are in poor condition. Children and the elderly often do not use these latrines for fear of falling through the slats. Their only option is to use the privacy provided behind shrubs and buildings. During rainy weather, this waste is washed into the spring.

These are also very few hand-washing facilities and clotheslines. Those that have the opportunity to use these facilities lack the training on how to properly do so.

Mukhuyu Village is urging WEWASAFO to help them protect Mukwambo spring and build concrete sanitation platforms (sanplats). They are hoping to reduce the cases of waterborne illnesses and the time lost searching for clean water. This will provide greater leverage in the community's fight against poor health and poverty.

Water and Sanitation Management Committee

This training was held from September 29-30. A total of 16 people attended of which 10 were female and six were male. Training aimed to equip the committee with the skills needed to manage and maintain the spring protection project.

The facilitator familiarized the participants with what local materials would be needed by the start of construction. It is expected that the donor and organization provide 80% while the community meets them at 20%, which encourages the locals to invest and own the improvements made. This 20% includes hardcore, ballast, bricks, and clean sand. Beyond materials, the committee will find two local laborers willing to help build the spring protection system. Households should also be open to hosting the work team during the construction period.

The committee was responsible for choosing five family compounds that would most benefit from new sanitation platforms (easy-to-clean concrete latrine floors). These families will have to prepare by digging a latrine pit, and by providing clean sand, bricks, and wall materials.

The committee agreed on the following roles and responsibilities:

- Make repairs to the spring as needed

- Clean up garbage in the area

- Build a fence around the spring

- Monitor and evaluate the spring

- Write and then enforce rules for behavior

- Keep records of what goes on

The facilitator took the committee to the spring for a practical training session. There they discussed dos such as planting indigenous species, grass, and digging drainage, and don'ts such as bathing and washing in the water.

Protecting the spring is only one method to ensure that waterborne disease is reduced. The committee also brainstormed extra ways to practice good sanitation and hygiene:

- Boil or treat drinking water

- Clear bushes around homesteads (prevent pests from breeding)

- Drain stagnant water

- Cover stored water

- Always use sanitation facilities (latrines, dish racks, clotheslines, etc.)

The facilitator then closed by asking some evaluation questions. The training turned out to meet everyone's expectations to the point that the committee invited WEWASAFO back to do more. One of the participants expressed their thankfulness, saying, "I am happy today for taking your time to come and train us, at least I have now gained knowledge on water sanitation and management, thank you and God bless you together with WEWASAFO organization and more so to the donor."

Community Health Worker Training

Hygiene training was held at Mukwambo spring from October 1-2. The group included 14 adult participants. The purpose of this training was to equip community members with the skills to prevent illness, promote health, and evaluate hygiene.

Participants agreed on the following ways to improve their environment:

- Clear the bushes around homesteads

- Drain stagnant water

- Avoid using the bathroom outside

- Cover food

The facilitator also taught in-depth courses on washing hands, preparing water and food, and family planning.

Project Results:

Spring Protection

Protection of Mukwambo Spring is complete and now in use by community members. They are very happy to be getting clean water for drinking, cooking, and farm irrigation!

Contamination from surface runoff is no longer an issue, so cases of waterborne diseases are expected to greatly decrease. Women and children no longer spend hours carrying buckets of water from remote streams many miles from their village. The saved time is now invested in more productive activities like farming. And now that the women have received training, the water is also safe on the way home. These women know how to properly fetch water from their protected spring and how to safely store it at home. They also know how to both boil and treat water to ensure even greater purity.

Household Sanitation Platforms

The sanitation platforms have been installed and are now in use by beneficiaries. Children and elderly are no longer afraid of falling through old, weak flooring slats. These more vulnerable community members now have safe and easy-to-clean concrete floors to stand on.

Thank You for making all of this possible!

Project Updates

May, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Mukhuyu Community, Mukwambo 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.

Demonstration on how to make and use a leaky tin

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 Mukhuyu, Kenya.

We trained more than 11 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.

A moment of joy at training while social distancing

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.

All eyes on the trainer

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.

Forced to move inside due to a storm, reviewing the prevention reminders chart

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.

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!


5 individual donor(s)