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The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Sanitation Platform
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Covering The Source Area With Plastic
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Filling Up The Source Area With Stones
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Building Stairs
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Spring Protection Construction
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Delivering Helpful Materials
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Excavating The Spring
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Digging Drainage
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Sanitation Platform Construction
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Sanitation Platform Construction
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Group Picture At The Spring
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Esther Nyongesa
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Training
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Training
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Training
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Training
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Training
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Training
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Shelter Made Of Iron Sheets
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Household
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Nearby Vegetable Garden
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Maurine Carrying Water
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Fasilia Hassan Fetching Water
The Water Project: Matsakha C Community -  Current Water Source

Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2018

Functionality Status:  Water Flowing - Needs Attention

Last Checkup: 06/05/2019

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Community Profile

It’s in the wee hours of the morning when you can spot Maurine and other women balancing their yellow water containers as they rush to the spring.

They have to go early to beat the others to the spring. The water becomes murky as people dunk their containers under the surface for collection. Any water fetched later in the day can’t be used for drinking or cooking due to the problem.

As they brave the morning chill, they traverse neighbor’s sugarcane plantations to make the first of several trips that will be needed throughout the day.

Maurine and these other women are among hundreds of people in Matsakha who rely on dirty water to meet all of their needs. (Editor’s Note: While many people may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only support a population of 350-500 people. This community would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)


A huge portion of Matsakha population depends on Mbakaya Spring, a source dirtied by nearby farming, people, animals, and other types of waste. The community built a short wooden dock to help keep people from slipping on the mud around the spring. The water is always a cloudy color but just gets worse as the day goes on.

People need to fetch water on a daily basis because it can’t be stored for long. Women report that water’s smelly after storing it for just one evening. That’s indicative something else is going on with this water, and it’s proven by the fact Matsakha people are constantly fighting waterborne diseases.


Most latrines in the community are made of mud walls and floors. These latrines get particularly dirty and dangerous during the rainy season, since they’re not waterproofed at all. Women report that it’s not easy to clean their latrines, having to deal with the mud during the rainy season and the dust during the dry season. What’s worse, more than half of households are even missing this kind of facility.

There are even fewer sanitation tools like dish racks, clotheslines, and hand-washing stations.

“It would be much better to have toilets here, along with clean, safe water. Children would suffer from diarrhea a lot less,” Mrs. Maurine Wakoli admitted.

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. 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.

Sanitation Platforms

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

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

08/09/2018: Matsakha C Community Project Complete

Matsakha C Community now has clean water! Mbakaya 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

We planned for hygiene and sanitation training through our contact person Mrs. Medlyne Lihanda. We agreed on a date and time and she promised to inform other community members about it. The attendance was good, though the community member didn’t arrive at our agreed time and we had to go to their homesteads to find them. Once we finally gathered they seemed excited to learn.

The training participants pose together after a management and maintenance session at the spring.

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 were most interested in the personal hygiene topics like washing hands, bathing, and oral hygiene. They were especially interested when we introduced how often to brush teeth. Everyone came to training thinking they only had to brush their teeth on special occasions, but we countered that with strong advice to brush at least twice a day.

“The training was very educative and you have enlightened us about the organization, the project, and we have also learned how to take care of our bodies and the environment,” Mrs. Esther Nyongesa said.

“We will surely practice what you have taught us and teach others too. Thank you so much and God bless you as you serve other communities.”

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

This project was supposed to have been done by the end of June, but the community members were not willing to gather any local materials like sand and stones. They kept on referring us from one person to the next, and at some point, they were not even picking up our calls until one day after the completion of a nearby spring, we paid them another visit in person.

We showed them pictures of the nearby Handa Spring project and all of the delighted community members getting water from there. These pictures really inspired Matsakha Community! They said the next time a project is proposed in their community, they will take it seriously because now they believe that there are organizations out there like us – who are committed to serving communities.

Community members finally provided all of the locally available construction materials, e.g bricks, wheelbarrows of clean sand, wheelbarrows of ballast, fencing poles and gravel to supplement or concrete and iron. 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. The community members put up a fence around the spring box area to protect their water. They have also been strongly encouraged to grass and indigenous trees in order to enhance the spring’s functionality and sustainability.

Covering the source area with plastic to help protect water from contamination.

As soon as the spring protection was ready for use, the field officer made a visit to officially hand it over to the community. Several people along with the village elder met us there to celebrate.

“We are happy that this spring has finally been protected,” Mr. John Barasa said.

“The open source of water was dangerous to all of us, especially children since one of them almost drowned after falling in the unprotected spring. In addition, the water is now clean and safe to use.”

The Water Project : 25-kenya18123-clean-water

05/16/2018: Matsakha C Community Project Underway

Dirty water from Mbakaya Spring is making people in Matsakha C 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 : 3-kenya18123-fetching-water

Project Videos

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 leads to a concrete spring box and collection area. Safe water typically flows year-round and there is very limited ongoing maintenance needed!