Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 120 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/04/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

About 90 people live in this village in Kakamega County. They have small farms to grow maize, groundnuts, beans and sugarcane. Some people have ventured into large scale farming of sugarcane for the local sugar industry. Cows are kept for milk. Some villagers engage in small businesses at their local trading center.


Mwituwa Community relies on Nanjira Spring to get water for cooking, cleaning, and watering gardens. A small pipe has been pushed into the area where the water trickles out, under which they can hold their containers until full. It takes a while to fill a large container, and the water is contaminated by feces, farming chemicals, and other waste - all of which are washed down a steep slope when it rains.

Knowing how filthy this water is, many mothers travel quite a long distance to find clean water. Since Nanjira Spring has a great output and flows all year, it is a great candidate for protection! This will save these women the hours wasted traveling to other communities for clean water.


The situation here is not as bad as some other places. More than half of households have some sort of sanitation facilities. Some are better constructed than others, but they're there. Other than latrines, there are dish racks, clotheslines, and even a couple of hand-washing stations.

It's not that these facilities aren't there, but they are not maintained or cleaned on a regular basis. However, Grace Olei admits that there's still a long way to go.

"Our people need much training on sanitation and hygiene to enable them to take good care of their families especially the children to avoid falling sick," she said.

Here’s what we’re going to do about it:


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. Hand-washing 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.

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 (formatted and edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates

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

Trainer explains 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 Mwituwa, Kenya.

Handwashing with a tippy tap demonstration

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.

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.

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.

Mask making tutorial

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.

Showing how to put on and wear a mask properly

The participants were so happy to learn how to make masks, they said. Most of them had been stopped from working to earn wages and therefore could not afford to buy the face masks sold in the market. But after the training, every one of them promised to go and make their own face masks at home for protection against Coronavirus.

Social distancing check

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.

Showing how to cough and sneeze using the elbow

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, Nanjira 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 Nanjira Spring in Mwituwa. Month after month, their giving supports ongoing sustainability programs that help this community maintain access to safe, reliable water. Read more…

July, 2018: Safe Water for Mwituwa Community!

Mwituwa Community now has clean water! Nanjira 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

Local church deacon Moses Olei was our contact person as we planned for hygiene and sanitation training in Mwituwa. He was able to mobilize the community members to attend the training. Every community member was allowed to attend the training since there was no age limit. The participants for the training were drawn from the area in which the spring is located.

The attendance was affected by farm work. It is the farming season, and so many community members were on their farms and felt they couldn't sacrifice that time. But everyone that came participated fully since they were so happy with the spring protection that we had already been finished. At first, they thought we would stand there and lecture them, but they were happy to find out it was a participatory training.

Dish drying rack demonstration

The training was a success and there were no challenges. 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.

Tippy tap installation training

"I store my water for several days for future use and sometimes keep adding more whenever it rains. Little did I know that I am supposed to drain the container after three to four days, clean it and store fresh water. Now I understand why my family keeps on having health complications. I have truly got an insight here," Grace Oleyi said.

Sanitation Platforms

Laying cement for sanitation platform

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.

Digging drainage ditch

Men and women lent their strength to the artisan to help him with manual labor.

Laying brick at spring protection

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 were curing, 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. It took about two weeks of patience for the concrete to dry. In fact, patience was required throughout the process because of the bouts of rain every other day.

"It is so easy now to draw water. I can even my child to bring with me. The quantity of water from the spring has even increased. You have made work easier and our lives more comfortable," Mrs. Beatrice Opango said.

April, 2018: Mwituwa Community Project Underway

Dirty water from Nanjira 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, Nanjira Spring

September, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Mwituwa Community in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Grace Oleyi. 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.

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

Since the protection of Nanjira Spring in Mwituwa last year, there have been many changes tied to the spring. It has become a common habit for the community members to clean their containers for fetching water. This was observed during our most recent visit, which we made unannounced.

The containers found at Nanjira Spring were clean from the inside. This loudly points out that hygiene has improved due to the training that was done during the implementation of the project.

Mwituwa community members are still jubilating over the project. The sanitation and hygiene status in homes has fully increased, as we could see dishracks and bathrooms in homes that did not have them when we first visited the community.

"We can proudly say that we have clean water compared to what we used to have. It has been a bit tough during the past few months of [the] dry spell since the water quantity went down, but the little we had was still clean," said Grace Oleyi, Chair of the water committee for the spring.

"Our water is still safe even during this rainy season unlike before when the rain would make the water muddy and [the] rate of contamination would be very high. Cases of regular coughs among our community's members which we believe were due to the dirty water have gone down, especially among our children."

"The spring being protected saves us a lot of time when fetching water compared to the times when the spring was not protected. One would take more time at the spring making many people [have] to wait in the line."

Bravin Manyasa

Even for someone as small as 6-year-old Bravin Manyasa, the protection of Nanjira Spring is tangible. What has changed for him since last year?

"My mum allows me to fetch water at the spring. She says I won't have a hard time drawing the water," and indeed he no longer does.

Margaret, Bravin, and Field Officer Lillian Achieng

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 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 – 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.


Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
Faith Chapel
T House Cape Town
Harmony Endowment Foundation
42 individual donor(s)