Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 200 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/03/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

The 150 people who live in this community live on subsistence farming.  Each day both men and women can be seen cultivating their fields of groundnuts, maize, beans, and sugarcane. Some own cows and take them out to graze on grass, for milk production. Women have the added responsibility to care for the children and tend to household chores, including fetching water for the family.


The source of water for all community needs is Shikunyi Spring. The villagers sank a pipe in the ground where the water pours out so that people can more easily fill their containers.

This spring never dries up and is high-yielding - which is a good situation. However, it is at the bottom of sloping land and is contaminated by surface runoff carrying garbage, pesticides, insects, bacteria and whatever else is on the ground in that area - a bad situation.

There is no treatment of the water before use or consumption. Even though the community members clean their containers with soap, they suffer from waterborne diseases because of the water itself.

"We really need clean water so that we don’t spend much money treating waterborne disease," said Mr. Peter Odinga, a 23-year old farmer.


The majority of households have pit latrines. Some latrines are built with cement or mud blocks and covered with iron sheets or thatch. Some are well-maintained while others are dirty and covered with flies. However, about a quarter of families are sharing a pit latrine.

Presently, only 50% of the homes have tools like dish racks and clotheslines.  None have hand-washing stations. They try to keep their homesteads clean, yet, dispose of their garbage on the ground in their backyards and farms.

What we can do about it:


There will be a 2-day hygiene and sanitation training session requiring participation by community members.  The objective of this training is to empower them with skills and knowledge on sanitation and hygiene for effective and sustainable livelihoods and management of water sources.

PHAST, CLTS, ABCD, Group Discussion, Lecture, Handouts, Transect Walk, and demonstrations will all be used to train the community

Sanitation Platforms

Mwituwa village members will select five of their families to benefit from latrines and these will be installed in homes that are in dire need of them.

Spring Protection

The community stands prepared to provide the locally available materials such as crushed rocks and gravel, clean sand, poles for fencing, two unskilled laborers and accommodation and food for the skilled artisan.  After the installation of protective measures, the community will be responsible for the maintenance of the water source.

Protecting the spring will ensure that the water is safe, adequate and secure and allow the community to invest more of their time and energies in economically productive activities as well as family relationships. These villagers are eager to step into healthier and happier lives!

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 clarity) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates

July, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Mwituwa Community, Shikunyi 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.

Reviewing the prevention reminders chart at training

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 Mwituwa, Kenya.

We trained more than 13 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.

Highlighting the importance of soap in handwashing

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.

Building a tippy tap handwashing station

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.

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.

Handwashing demonstration

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.

Homemade mask tutorial

Participants were particularly surprised to learn that the fine people are being charged for not wearing face masks is Kshs. 20,000 as they said no one in that training could afford such a huge amount. If anyone in their midst was caught without wearing a face mask in a public place, the only option was for them to be imprisoned for a period of 6 months which happens to anyone found without a face mask who cannot afford to pay the money.

Demonstration on how to properly put on and wear a face mask

Therefore, the community members said that they would try their best to ensure that they make and wear face masks to avoid being arrested and also to avoid contracting the coronavirus.

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.

Social distancing check

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.

September, 2019: Giving Update: Mwituwa Community, Shikunyi Spring

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

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

August, 2018: Mwituwa Community Project Complete

Mwituwa Community is celebrating their new protected spring, so celebrate with them! Shikunyi Spring has been transformed into a flowing source of 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

We worked closely with our contact person Mr. Peter Odinga to plan a hygiene and sanitation training in Mwituwa Community. It was a chilly, cloudy morning on our way to teach but by the time we got there, the sun had come out. There were 15 community members there, only one of which was a man. We anticipated many more people, but there was an unexpected funeral that morning. We are accustomed to there not being many men since they traditionally view women as most responsible for getting water and hygiene-related chores done.

Wait for me, I'm just a little late!

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, personal care like handwashing, environmental hygiene, hygiene promotion, and many other things.

We talked a lot about water pollution. Community members were educated on what water pollution means, the elements that make water unsafe for human consumption, and the effects of consuming water that is polluted. They were able to learn ways to stop water pollution, like constructing latrines away from water sources, carrying water in covered containers, and not sitting on water containers while waiting their turn!

Women were so invested in this topic, wanting to learn why, despite their hardest efforts, children were falling sick.

People have already started building their own versions of the leaky tins we introduced, which are used to wash hands with a conservative amount of water.

Mrs. Selfah Onyango standing by the leaky tin she put up outside her latrine.

"With the training we received, we will be able to take care of our spring because now we have learned about things that make our spring get dirty or even run dry," said Mrs. Selfah Onyango.

"This information will see this spring serve several generations to come."

Sanitation Platforms

All five sanitation platforms have been installed and make wonderful, easy to clean latrine floors. 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.

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.

As the wing walls and headwall cured, the stairs were set and ceramic tiles were fixed directly below the discharge pipe. This protects the concrete from 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 stones and sand and covered with a polyethylene membrane to eliminate any potential sources of contamination. The concrete dried over the course of two weeks.

Shikunyi Spring was a total success despite the challenges that came with heavy rains. The artisans were rained on but they endured. The community members were very supportive and provided any help we asked for.

The young children could not hide their excitement and would just sit around watching our artisan work.

We were left in laughter when two girls ran home to bring jerrycans to get water simply because they had seen some flowing from the discharge pipe. The water was muddied since construction was underway, so one of the local community members named Martin asked them to stop and wait a little longer. Indeed, the project is a dream come true for this community.

"We and our children are safe now because we used to share this water even with the animals! We would get different diseases," said Jane Osundwa.

"So far it's still like a dream. I never imagined that there could come a day when we could have this kind of clean water to use in our homes."

June, 2018: Mwituwa Community Project Underway

Dirty water from Shikunyi Spring is making people in Mwituwa Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know your community through the narrative and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!

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!

Giving Update: Mwituwa Community, Shikunyi Spring

September, 2019

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

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Mwituwa Community 2.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Mwituwa Community 2 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!

After the protection of Shikunyi Spring brought Mwituwa community members together last year, they are so willing and ready to work together in unity on any issue that affects them. Previously, it was not easy to mobilize the community members to come together for any purpose, but no so today.

Mwituwa community members have embraced their project and are still happy about it.

Thanks to the protected spring, women can attend to other business unlike before, when much time was spent on fetching water and caring for their coughing babies who got sick from the dirty water. Instead, the women have been able to channel the recovered time and finances from the money spent on medication and hospital visits into more valuable and productive things. Today, they have time, energy, and money to work on merry-go-round funds within their village and their own small businesses.

"The spring area has become much cleaner compared to when the spring was not protected. The place used to be so muddy, especially during the rainy season, but nowadays we can access the spring even during the rainy season. The steps the artisan placed have really helped us in accessing the spring," said Margaret Wangare, a community member who depends on Shikunyi Spring for her family's daily water needs.

Margaret with Christine Mugala

"There used to be some water animals [such as leeches, insects, and others] in our spring that could stick on one fetching water. These animals could penetrate through your skin and onto your body and could cause death. Since the spring was protected, these animals have not been seen around and such cases are unheard of."

"Sanitation in our homes has [also] improved since my very own mother-in-law had no dish rack but after the training, she constructed one and she dug one more compost pit," Margaret said.

Christine Mugala

9-year-old Christine Mugala was also happy to share how the project has impacted her personally.

"The spring is so near my home, [so] I fetch water so easily when I come from school with my friends. Before it was protected, my mum used to fear that those water animals could enter me so she rarely used to send me to fetch water. I am really enjoying [it now]," she said.

Field Officer Lillian Achieng with Margaret and Christine

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 Mwituwa Community 2 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 Mwituwa Community 2 – 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.


Town School for Boys
Harmony Endowment Foundation
Campaign for Water

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2 individual donor(s)