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The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Watering Her Cow
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  At Home
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Collecting Water
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Refilling Her Handwashing Station With Spring Water
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Sarah Fetches Water With Her Kids
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Sarah Wamalwa Mukeya
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Sarah Washing Her Hands
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Sarah With Her Kids
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Sarah With Her Mask On
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Sarah With Her Son At The Spring
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Fabian Mkea
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Mrs Sarah Wamalwa
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Woman Carrying Water
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Sarah And Fabian
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Kids At The Spring
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Woman With Her Child At The Spring
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Woman Filling Up
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Thumbs Up For Flowing Water
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Sanitation Platform
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Sanitation Platform
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Spring Protection Construction
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Spring Protection Construction
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Sanitation Platform Construction
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Spring Protection Construction
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Spring Protection Construction
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Spring Protection Construction
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Spring Protection Construction
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Spring Protection Construction
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Spring Protection Construction
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Spring Protection Construction
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Spring Protection Construction
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Spring Protection Construction
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Spring Protection Construction
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Spring Protection Construction
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Delivering Materials To The Spring
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Happy Helpers
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Bad Roads On The Way To The Spring
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Newly Built Handwahsing Station
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Group Picture After Spring Management Training
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Training
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Training
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Training
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Training
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Training
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Training
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Training
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Garbage Site
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Latrine
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Clothes Drying
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Household
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Household
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Sarah Wamalwa Carrying Water
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Mbande Community, Handa Spring -  Current Water Source

Project Status



Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 420 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/13/2021

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



“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.

Water

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.

Sanitation

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:

Training

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


01/15/2021: Through Their Eyes: COVID-19 Chronicles with Sarah Wamalwa Mukeya

This post is part of a new series by The Water Project meant to highlight the perspectives and experiences of the people we serve and how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting them. We invite you to read more of their stories here.

Our team recently visited Mbande to conduct a COVID-19 prevention training (read more about it below!) and monitor their water point, Handa Spring. Shortly after, we returned to check in on the community, offer a COVID-19 refresher training, and ask how the pandemic is affecting their lives.

It was during this most recent visit that Sarah Wamalwa Mukeya shared her story of how the coronavirus is impacting her life and her community. Sarah serves as the elected Treasurer of the spring's water user committee. At home, she is kept busy as a mother, especially with her two young school-aged children in grades one and four. Though both Sarah's daughter and son just returned to school full-time in January, they had been at home since March due to Kenya's national coronavirus-related school closures.

Sarah with her daughter and son at home

Field Officer Christine Masinde met Sarah outside her home to conduct the interview. Both Christine and Sarah observed physical distancing and other precautions throughout the visit to ensure their health and safety. The following is Sarah's story, in her own words.


What is one thing that has changed in your community since the completion of the water project?

"Protection of Handa Spring has been very beneficial to us since we now have clean and safe water which has reduced cases of typhoid, diarrhea, and other water-related diseases. Fetching water is easier and faster than before. "

Sarah fetches water from Handa Spring.

How has having a clean water point helped you through the pandemic so far?

"Clean water is available throughout the year and we use it for drinking, cleaning, cooking, and watering vegetables during dry seasons. We are able to wash our hands as many times as possible in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19."

Sarah refills her handwashing station at home with water from Handa Spring.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Kenya, has fetching water changed for you because of restrictions, new rules, or your concerns about the virus?

"When we go to fetch water, we have to keep social distance and we also have to wear masks. We take as little time as possible at the spring."

Sarah at the spring with her daughter and son to fetch water

How has COVID-19 impacted your family?

"As part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Kenya, all the learning institutions were closed down by the government in March. Since then, my children have been at home until recently, when my daughter, who is in Grade Four, went back to school. Now we have to provide masks and soap as part of school requirements. This is a burden to us since we have no source of income. "

Handwashing at home

What other challenges are you experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

"My husband was permanently employed before the COVID-19 pandemic, but now he is jobless. He was working as a hotelier but when the government put in place restrictions to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, the hotel was closed.
Life has not been easy; I had to seek assistance from my parents in order to put a meal on the table. The surplus food in storage was exhausted a long time ago. Therefore, we live from hand to mouth without any savings."

Giving her a cow a fresh drink from the spring

What hygiene and sanitation steps have you and your community taken to stop the spread of the virus?

"In order to curb the spread of COVID-19, We observe social distancing, wear masks when we go out, and wash our hands frequently with soap and clean water."

Sarah masked up

Like most governments around the world, the Kenyan government continues to set and adjust restrictions both nationally and regionally to help control the spread of the virus.

What restriction were you most excited to see lifted already?

"The partial opening of schools was the most exciting for me. My joy is to see my children in school because I believe their future will be secured through education."

What restriction are you still looking forward to being lifted?

"The government has announced that all learning institutions will be opened in January 2021. I can't wait for my son in Grade One to go back to school because he loves school. My wish is that things go back to normal so that the economy can open up; then, my husband will be able to find a job to support the family."

Since we spoke with Sarah, the Kenyan government fully reopened all school levels to in-person learning. Students' first day back was January 4, 2021.

What has been the most valuable part of the COVID-19 sensitization training you received from our team?

"Before the COVID-19 sensitization training, we never took information about COVID-19 seriously. But the TWP trainers took their time to explain to us about coronavirus, how it is spread, and how to prevent it. They emphasized social distancing, wearing masks, and washing hands properly and frequently with soap and clean water. We were also taught how to make a tippy tap (handwashing station) from locally available materials. We have put into practice what we learned and we are confident that no one from our community will contract the virus."


The Water Project : covid19-kenya18125-collecting-water


09/24/2019: Giving Update: Mbande Community, Handa Spring

A year ago, your generous donation helped Mbande Community in Kenya access clean water.

There’s an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water at Handa Spring in Mbande. Month after month, their giving supports ongoing sustainability programs that help this community maintain access to safe, reliable water. Read more…


The Water Project : 4-kenya18125-sarah-and-fabian


08/08/2018: Mbande Community Project Complete

Mbande Community now has clean water! Handa 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

During our supervision on the spring protection process, we talked to one of the community members, Mrs. Sarah Wamalwa, and decided on a suitable day for hygiene and sanitation training based on the season's activities. She then went around telling other community members about the planned training. Based on the population in this area, we expected around 20 people to come. However, we had 16 of which very few were men. It turns out most of the men had left the village in search of casual labor jobs.

We met in a field near the spring. The weather was favorable, though a bit sunny. Being the rainy season, we were lucky that it didn't start to rain while we were out there.

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.

Water pollution and water treatment were both memorable topics for the participants. They were asked to name ways of treating water, and they mentioned boiling water, chlorinating, and using waterguard.

In addition to the water treatment methods mentioned above, the participants were taught about solar disinfection. They were very impressed with it and promised to use this method because it is easy and doesn't need anything but a clear container, sun, and time.

Mrs. Ruth Shikuku is a community health volunteer says she learned a lot from the training.

"This training has come in handy for us as community health volunteers since it has emphasized what we teach the community members about water, sanitation and hygiene practices and their importance," she said.

"Now they will take it seriously and personally, I have acquired more knowledge about health. I promise to pass this information to other volunteers in other villages so that Malava becomes a healthy area free from preventable diseases."

The group posing for a picture after spring management training.

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

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. The women were especially helpful throughout the construction process, for many of the men refused to volunteer without getting paid an hourly wage. Women, however, said they would do whatever it takes to get clean water for their families.

Women carrying stones to the artisan working on the spring.

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.

Starting on the walls

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.

Plastering the spring walls

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 tree branches that had thorns over the spring box to prevent people from stepping on it and later put up a fence around the area. They have also planted grass and trees in order to enhance the spring's functionality and sustainability.

As soon as the spring protection was ready for use, the field officer made a visit to officially hand it over to the community.

"When my daughter-in-law Sarah told me about your organization and your intention to protect our spring, I didn't take her seriously because I have had different groups of people who had come and promised to protect the spring only to disappear forever!" Mr. Mark Handa said.

"This is a dream come true for us and I am glad my family and the community at large can now access clean and safe water. This will now minimize trips to the hospital since water-related diseases will be a thing of the past. I promise to take good care of this spring and I won't allow anyone to joke around with it."

Women gathered at Handa Spring to witness clean water flowing from the pipe.

"Our hard work has paid off," they exclaimed!


The Water Project : 41-kenya18125-clean-water


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 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!


Giving Update: Mbande Community, Handa Spring

September, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Mbande Community in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Sarah Wamalwa. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Mbande Community, Handa Spring.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Mbande Community, Handa Spring 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!

Give Monthly

Since the protection of Handa Spring in Mbande last year, community members here have had access to clean and safe water which has reduced waterborne diseases and infections that were caused by contaminated water before the spring was protected. They have also embraced personal and environmental hygiene as they were trained, which has reduced the spread of germs that cause communicable diseases.

The sanitation and hygiene training we had after the project was implemented has had a positive impact on the community members since they now have clotheslines, dishracks, and leaky tins near their latrines for handwashing. Their compounds are clean, as are their latrines. The spring is also well-maintained.

“Protection of Handa Spring has really improved our health since the water is free from contamination and safe for drinking,” said Mrs. Sarah Wamalwa, who serves as the Secretary of the water committee.

“We hardly get sick, unlike before where each day you could hear of people suffering from waterborne and water-related diseases. Fetching water is faster which gives me more time to spend on other productive activities like going to the farm since farm products are our main source of income.”

Sarah with Fabian

“We do not have major challenges as such concerning water since [the] protection of the spring solved most of our problems. A few community members sometimes don’t keep to the hygiene standards of their homes and bodies but we keep on reminding them that it is for their own good as a result with time they have seen positive results by realizing that they get sick less frequently.”

Fabian Mkea

Fabian Mkea, a 4-year-old  boy we met at the well, was not to be left behind in sharing how the spring protection has impacted his life as well.

“Fetching water from the spring is safer and easier for me and my siblings than before it was protected. I assist my mum to fetch water and still get enough time to do my homework and play with my friends too.”


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 Mbande Community, Handa Spring 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 Mbande Community, Handa Spring – 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!

Give Monthly