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The Water Project: Mbande Community -  Garbage Site
The Water Project: Mbande Community -  Latrine
The Water Project: Mbande Community -  Clothes Drying
The Water Project: Mbande Community -  Household
The Water Project: Mbande Community -  Household
The Water Project: Mbande Community -  Sarah Wamalwa Carrying Water
The Water Project: Mbande Community -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Mbande Community -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Mbande Community -  Current Water Source

Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 420 Served

Project Phase:  Under Construction
Estimated Install Date (?):  08/31/2018

Project Features

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Community Profile

“My name is Sarah, and I have been married in this community for the last 12 years. The greatest challenge in this community is accessing safe, clean drinking water. I cannot count the number of times that I have had to take my children to the health center for treatment. At times, they are suffering from typhoid and other times bacteriological infection.”

In Mbande Community, both the women and men are seen going down to the spring to fetch water. A person makes an average of 5-10 trips per day, depending on what their family needs to accomplish. There will be several trips on laundry day, and fewer when they just need to drink and cook. These water trips begin as early as 6am.

Most people farm and then sell their extra produce at the local market. Lots of farmers choose to specialize in sugarcane since there’s a nearby sugar factory that buys it. Each morning after getting water, cleaning and taking breakfast, some of them have to travel to Malava Town for their jobs.


The main source of water for Mbande Community is Handa Spring. The water is entirely open to the surrounding environment and gets particularly dirty after it rains. The water is always a cloudy color, which darkens are more and more people stir up the water as they dunk their containers to fill them. They submerge their jerrycans to dodge insects and other things floating on the surface.

The community uses this water to meet all of their needs, even drinking. They’re constantly suffering from diarrhea, stomaches, and headaches. If they make it to a health clinic, they’ll often find out it’s typhoid.


Less than half of households have a pit latrine, most of which are old and full. Because so many households are still missing this important facility, they’re using the bushes. There are no opportunities for handwashing, nor many helpful tools like dish racks or clotheslines.

Sarah Wamalwa is a 48-year-old housewife. She recounts the greatest challenge she has had to face each day regarding lack of proper sanitation.

“It’s a shame that I have a latrine that is not in a very good state. I wish I had a toilet that is structurally good so that I can wash with water when it’s dirty and also proudly show my visitors when they need to use the latrine,” she said.

“My children fear falling in the latrine due to the big hole, hence they opt to use the banana plantations. When my in-laws come, I ask my neighbor so that they can use her toilet. But for how long will my good neighbor allow me to share her toilet?”

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

Project Updates

05/18/2018: Mbande Community Project Underway

Dirty water from Handa Spring is making people in Mbande 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-kenya18125-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!