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The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Jane Mandela
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Nathan With Betty
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Nathan Jane And Betty
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Jacklne Okunyanyi Fetching Clean Water
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Rinsing The Steps Down To The Spring
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Sanitation Platform
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Spring Protection
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Spring Protection
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Spring Protection
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Spring Protection
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Spring Protection
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Spring Excavation Foundation
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Sanitation Platform Construction
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Sanitation Platform Construction
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Abuneri Atswenje
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Onsite Training
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Training
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Training
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Training
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Latrine Floor
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  A Girl Stands By Her Latrine
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Children
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Thomas Abwayo Drinks Water From Mwichina Spring
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Ann Achango Meeting Samuel Simidi
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Mr Abuneri Atswenje
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Washing Clothes At Spring
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Current Water Source
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Current Water Source
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Current Water Source
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Current Water Source
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Current Water Source
The Water Project: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring -  Current Water Source

Project Status



Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/04/2019

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



Community Profile

A normal day in Mwichina begins at 6am. Parents get their children ready for school so that they can get to the farm before the late day’s heat. From our interactions with the members of this village, we realized that a large number of people are primary school dropouts. On asking why, we learned that it was because of scarce resources here. It is difficult for parents to get their children all the way to secondary school. A number of boys drop out of school to engage in the “boda-boda” business (motorbike taxi) as the girls often marry into another family at a young age.

Water Situation

Community members rely on Mwichina Spring to meet all of their water needs – drinking, cooking, and cleaning. A person aims to carry as much water as possible to limit the number of trips made to the spring. Most often, an adult carries a 20-liter jerrycan and a smaller container to bail water. Jerrycans are dunked under the surface and the cup is used to fill the difference.

Mr. Elisha Abuneri reported that “this spring has been existing ever since I was born. My grandparents used it and our children are also using it.”

Mwichina Spring is unprotected and open to all forms of contamination, especially during the rainy season. It’s even convenient for animals that come to sate their thirst. After drinking this water, community members suffer from waterborne disease. Thomas Nabwayo told us, “Our village has been faced with water-related diseases. Cholera and typhoid have been our visitors, with a few succumbing to it. We are encouraging our members to treat their water before drinking and to put up sanitation facilities in their homes, as it is vital.”

Sanitation Situation

Over half of the households in this area have a basic pit latrine made out of thatched mud with timber floors. Many of these are very rickety, putting users at risk of falling through. Most households that don’t have a pit latrine share with a neighbor or extended relative, but there is also a chance that open defecation occurs. There are no hand-washing stations set aside for personal hygiene. Community members report that they most often grab some of the water they boiled in the kitchen to rinse their hands.

What we can do:

Training

Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least two days. This training will ensure participants have the knowledge they need 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. One of the most important topics we plan to cover is the handling, storage, and treatment of water. Having a clean water source will be extremely helpful, but it is useless if water gets contaminated by the time it’s consumed. Handwashing will also be a big topic.

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. The fence will keep out destructive animals, and the drainage will keep the area’s mosquito population at a minimum.

Community members have already told us that they’re extremely excited for the chance to learn new things.

Sanitation Platforms

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

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 chosen for sanitation platforms 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.

Spring Protection

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. With the community’s high involvement in the process, there should be a good sense of responsibility and ownership for the new clean water source.

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.


This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water And Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO). Our team is pleased to provide the reports for this project (edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates


09/25/2019: Giving Update: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring

A year ago, your generous donation helped Mwichina Community in Kenya access clean water.

There’s an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water at Mwichina Spring in Mwichina. Month after month, their giving supports ongoing sustainability programs that help this community maintain access to safe, reliable water. Read more…


The Water Project : 1-kenya18092-nathan-jane-and-betty-2


05/14/2018: Mwichina Community Project Complete

Mwichina Community now has clean water! Mwichina Spring has been transformed into a flowing source of clean water thanks to your donation. The spring is protected from contamination, five sanitation platforms have been provided for the community, and training has been done on sanitation and hygiene.

New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was held at Mr. Abuneri Atswenje’s homestead since he lives so close to the spring. There was a positive response to our invitations, with a total of 34 community members in attendance. Most of these participants were women since the people here are accustomed to the traditional view that women should be most responsible for water, sanitation, and hygiene.

However, we will continue to encourage men to take equal responsibility, for these things directly affect the health of their families.

We covered several topics including 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, hygiene promotion, and many others. Since we were near the spring, we could run through hands-on management and maintenance demonstrations.

Most of the training participants followed us to the spring to learn about important upkeep.

We spent an entire session on handwashing and its importance. When, how, and why should one wash their hands? We also taught participants how to construct their own handwashing stations with local and affordable materials.

Everyone kept engaged throughout training and asked questions whenever they didn’t understand.

”I wish this training could go on and on. We are gaining more and more information on things some of us had no idea about,” Elder Ochango said.

Sanitation Platforms

All five sanitation platforms have been installed. These five families are happy about this milestone of having a private latrine of their own and are optimistic that people will no longer leave waste outdoors. We are continuing to encourage families to finish building walls and roofs over their new latrine floors.

Spring Protection

Community members provided all locally available construction materials, e.g bricks, wheelbarrows of clean sand, wheelbarrows of ballast, fencing poles and gravel. Accommodations and meals were provided for the artisan, too. Men and women lent their strength to the artisan to help him with manual labor.

The spring area was excavated to create space for setting the foundation of polyethylene, wire mesh and concrete. After the base had been set, both wing walls and the headwall were set in place using brickwork. The discharge pipe was fixed low in place through the headwall to direct the water from the reservoir to the drawing area.

The spring’s water was diverted so that a solid concrete foundation could be lain.

As the wing walls and headwall were curing, the stairs were set and the tiles were fixed directly below the discharge pipe. This reduces the erosive force of the falling water and beautifies the spring. The process of plastering the headwall and wing walls on both sides reinforces the brickwork and prevents water from the reservoir from seeping through the walls and allows pressure to build in the collection box to push water up through the discharge pipe.

The source area was filled up with clean hardcore and covered with a polyethylene membrane to eliminate any potential sources of contamination. Community members were prepared to get water as soon as they knew the concrete was dry. We met them there as they filled their plastic containers full of clean water.

“We promise to take good care of the spring and encourage all our members to be a part of the group (water committee) we are forming,” Mr. Abuneri said.

“This will help us improve economically as a community.”


The Water Project : 19-kenya18092-clean-water


02/26/2018: Mwichina Community Project Underway

Mwichina Community will soon have a clean, safe source of water thanks to your donation! Community members have been drinking contaminated water from Mwichina Spring, and contend with the consequences on a daily basis. 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 here. Please take some time to get to know your community through the narrative and pictures posted to this page. We look forward to reaching out again with good news!


The Water Project : 1-kenya18092-current-water-source


Project Photos


Project Type

Protected Spring

In many communities, natural springs exist as water flows from cracks in rocky ground or the side of a hill.  Springs provide reliable water but that doesn’t mean safe. When left open they become contaminated by surface contamination, animal and human waste and rain runoff. The solution is to protect the source. First, you excavate around the exact source area of the spring. Then, you build a protective reservoir for water flow, which pours through a reinforced pipe in a concrete headwall to a paved collection area. Safe water typically flows year-round and there is very limited ongoing maintenance needed!


Giving Update: Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring

September, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Mwichina Community in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Jane Mandela. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring maintain access to safe, reliable water. Together, they keep The Water Promise.

We’re confident you'll love joining this world-changing group committed to sustainability!

Give Monthly

There has been peace and harmony in Mwichina since the protection of Mwichina Spring last year.

Before the protection of this spring, women could come and start gossiping about one another as they waited a long time for the water to clear up before fetching it, and while they waited their turn in line. Now the source is well protected and no more than two minutes are wasted at the spring to fill up.

A year later, the spring is well-maintained and the community has even proactively collected money from each household, just in case repairs may be needed. Nathan Mbaye, a community member in Mwichina, shared some of his thoughts on how the WaSH projects have impacted his life over the last year.

“Some of us didn’t have our own latrines and we used to share the same latrine with our in-laws which is against the culture in this place. But since the introduction of [the] sanitation platform, we now own a latrine and this has enhanced respect amongst ourselves.”

20-year-old Jane Mandela also met us at the spring. Jane, along with the rest of her family, depends on Mwichina Spring for their daily water needs.

“Personally my life has really changed because I could spend a lot of time at the spring waiting for the water to clear up and yet I had homework that I was to do,” Jane explained.

“Nowadays we have every reason to smile because we can access the source and draw water immediately and the water is very clean. We are not worried at all. ”

Nathan, Jane, and Field Officer Betty at the spring with Jane’s son


Navigating through intense dry spells, performing preventative maintenance, conducting quality repairs when needed and continuing to assist community leaders to manage water points are all normal parts of keeping projects sustainable. The Water Promise community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring maintain access to safe, reliable water.

We’d love for you to join this world-changing group committed to sustainability.

The most impactful way to continue your support of Mwichina Community, Mwichina Spring – and hundreds of other places just like this – is by joining our community of monthly givers.

Your monthly giving will help provide clean water, every month... keeping The Water Promise!

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