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The Water Project: Masera Community -  Collecting Water From Protected Spring
The Water Project: Masera Community -  Posing Around Protected Spring
The Water Project: Masera Community -  Posing With New Sanitation Platform
The Water Project: Masera Community -  Sanitation Platform Dries
The Water Project: Masera Community -  Clean Water Flows
The Water Project: Masera Community -  Spring Nearly Done
The Water Project: Masera Community -  Spring Protection Nearly Complete
The Water Project: Masera Community -  Preparing Bricks
The Water Project: Masera Community -  Digging Out Spring Bottom
The Water Project: Masera Community -  Mixing Cement
The Water Project: Masera Community -  Community Members Pose After Training
The Water Project: Masera Community -  Community Members At Training
The Water Project: Masera Community -  Handwashing Demonstration
The Water Project: Masera Community -  People Participate In Training Demonstration
The Water Project: Masera Community -  Trainer Speaking To Community Members
The Water Project: Masera Community -  Village Elder Stands By His Latrine
The Water Project: Masera Community -  Mosquito Nets Being Used As Fences
The Water Project: Masera Community -  Household
The Water Project: Masera Community -  Household
The Water Project: Masera Community -  Cow Grazing
The Water Project: Masera Community -  Bananas
The Water Project: Masera Community -  Water
The Water Project: Masera Community -  Water Containers
The Water Project: Masera Community -  Women Doing Laundry By The Spring
The Water Project: Masera Community -  Current Water Source
The Water Project: Masera Community -  Current Water Source

Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 280 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2018

Functionality Status:  Water Flowing - Needs Attention

Last Checkup: 09/05/2019

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Community Profile

The people of Masera Community wake up very early in the morning to help their children get ready for school and work on their farms. The community is special because they are able to pay for their children’s education through their farming and dairy work. It is a community that not only works hard, but works smart.

People keep dairy cattle, grow maize, groundnuts, cassava, bananas and other vegetables. Making bricks is another economic activity that is vibrant in the area, owing to many construction work projects nearby. A good number of households also have wood on their properties. They harvest and then sell this resource for a great price.


The people living in Masera find their water at springs that have flowed to the surface. These sources are entirely open to contamination from the surrounding environment.

Ernest Mumbo Spring is one of these. Each day, hundreds from the area bring their containers to dunk under the water’s surface, filling them with dirty water to use for drinking, cooking, and cleaning.

This water is getting people sick, especially the young children and elderly who suffer most from dehydrating diarrhea.


Quite a large number of homes still don’t have their own pit latrines. People are forced to share these facilities. When sharing isn’t appropriate, people look for privacy in dense vegetation. This improper waste disposal is endangering the health of all community members.

There are no hand-washing stations here, and there’s only an occasional dish rack or clotheslines to dry things safely off the ground.

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. The building and usage of new latrines and hand-washing stations 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

07/24/2018: Masera Community Has Safe Water!

Masera Community now has clean water! Ernest Mumbo 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

Mrs. Josephine Oyemba was our contact person as we planned for hygiene and sanitation training in Masera. She mobilized the local people to attend the training by going door to door to explain its importance. The participants for the training were drawn from the area in which the spring is located.

The cold weather conditions affected the turnout for the training. There were 13 people there, but only one of them was male.  The youthful women were the most active, asking many questions to get more information about water and sanitation. The demonstration sessions were the most interesting because they allowed the participants to actively participate. Overall, the demonstration sessions like handwashing and toothbrushing enhanced understanding of the basic principles in water and sanitation.

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.

People participate in the training demonstration

After seeing the high level of participation of the participants, it is expected that the knowledge and skills gained will cause people here to give a lot more attention to personal hygiene. We are also confident that they will share what they learned with their families and neighbors.

Handwashing demonstration

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 main challenge was rain, which made the artisan and local men take multiple breaks, thus extending the period allocated for construction.

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.

“Many people had visited the area promising to protect the spring but all in vain. However, at last, the spring has been protected and we are assured of clean and safe water for our uses”, Mrs. Irene Makokha explained.

The event celebrating the completion of the spring was marked with prayer and thanksgiving from one of the participants. The community leaders thanked God for using all of us to protect this spring. They are absolutely confident that the protected spring will greatly improve health and hygiene standards in the community.

The Water Project : kenya18111-posing-around-protected-spring

04/27/2018: Masera Community Project Underway

Dirty water from Ernest Mumbo Spring is making people in Masera 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!

The Water Project : 2-kenya18111-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!


Phair Girls
11 individual donor(s)