Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 280 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/02/2024

Project Features

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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

June, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Masera Community, Ernest Mumbo 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.

Passing out informational pamphlets

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 Masera, Kenya.

We trained more than 23 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.

A girl shows her pamphlet

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.

Trainer Shigali leads 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.

Face mask 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.

Installed caution chart at the spring after training; a field officer conducts a monitoring survey on their phone at the spring

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.

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.

July, 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.

April, 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!

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!


Phair Girls
11 individual donor(s)