Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 210 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Oct 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/02/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Maji Mazuri Spring is located in Burachu B Village of Kakamega County. It serves more than 200 people from 30 households in the area.  The community is mostly from the Banyala group of people from the Luhya tribe.

A normal day for individuals living in this community entails different activities such as farming, child rearing, food production, often done by women, and the running of a small business to supplement daily income.

The field officer was passing on the way from a training in the nearby school when she saw women carrying water on their head and a small container in the hand. She stopped out of curiosity to ask where they get water.

Despite the fact that the name of the spring means "good water" in Swahili, the officer found that it is unprotected and unsafe for drinking.

The negative effects of unsafe water are waterborne diseases, such as cholera and typhoid.

"The health status of our community can be ranked at 30%. The reason being that most of our women visit hospital more often than they visit other places like school," Mr. Boniface Masinde said.

"This is because our children suffer stomachaches and diarrhea frequently due to the water. We hope this situation will change once this spring is protected."

The water comes from underground. The spring has stones arranged in an orderly manner for people to step on and gather water using a small container. If an individual mistakenly steps into the water it stirs up the mud at the bottom. As a result, the people must wait for about 30 minutes for it to settle so that they can draw water again.

The containers used to get water are 20-liter jerrycans, carried by adults. Children carry smaller 5 to 10-liter containers. The containers do not have covers because community members think it is easier to empty the containers and immediately back to the spring for another round of water collection.

The water gathered is stored in 20-liter jerrycans, which at the same are used to gather water. Water is also stored in open buckets mostly for bathing and washing clothes.

Fewer than half of households have latrines.  One toilet sometimes serves 3 households, totaling 21 people who use it.

The latrines for most members of this community are in bad shape and it is no better than having to answer the call of nature in the bush. The superstructure and the floor are made of mud and the roofs are of rusted iron sheets.

The large holes in the ground are not favorable to children. It puts them at risk of falling in - leading them to practice open defecation in order to avoid the risk.

This community is special in that its members are cheerful givers. This is apparent by the fact that some people who draw water from this spring come from the neighboring village. In some other areas, this sharing does not happen since community members are selfish.

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.

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

July, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Burachu B Community, Maji Mazuri 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.

Distributing COVID-19 informational pamphlets to participants

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 Burachu B, Kenya.

Handwashing session

We trained more than 17 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.

Reviewing the prevention reminders chart

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.

Handwashing session

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.

Community Health Volunteer Linet Akinyi demonstrates handwashing

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.

Linet shows how to air dry hands after washing, the preferred method

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.

The tippy tap handwashing station set up at training

"They were happy to be reminded of how to wash hands following the 10 steps. Some of them had started to forget the right procedure of washing hands but they were happy to have received that refresher. They also thanked our team for teaching them how to keep social distance and the need to avoid crowded places, like busy markets, as much as possible," recalled Trainer Karen.

Homemade mask tutorial

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.

Linet tries on a mask sewn at training

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.

October, 2019: Giving Update: Burachu B Community, Maji Mazuri Spring

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

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

October, 2018: Burachu B Community Project Complete

Burachu B Community is celebrating their new protected spring, so celebrate with them! Maji Mazuri Spring has been transformed into a flowing source of 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.

Spring Protection

"We had been drinking water from this spring for a long time and the negative effects were many. You would find most of the time water was dirty and you could not even draw," remembered Mrs. Jackline Anyona.

"I am very grateful and so happy because now my children and I will get clean and safe water. No more struggles, fights, and misunderstandings from my fellow users."

Construction Process:

Community members provided all locally available construction materials, e.g bricks, wheelbarrows of clean sand, wheelbarrows of ballast, fencing poles and gravel. Community members also hosted our artisans for the duration of construction.

Ernest Opiyo working to collect enough stones to backfill the spring.

The spring area was excavated with jembes, hoes, and spades to create space for setting the foundation of polyethylene, wire mesh and concrete.

Our artisan working on the foundation slab for the spring.

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 five days. With this spring now handed over to the community, we will continue to follow up with the water user committee to make sure everything runs smoothly.

The community has put in place various measures to make sure that the spring serves them for a long period of time. They have built a fence and planted grass around the catchment area. They have appointed an individual on the committee who will be in charge of the spring sanitation, ensuring the spring is clean and drainage is cleared.

On completion of the project, the community members all gathered together and sang songs of thankfulness. It was so nice seeing beautiful smiles on different faces coming together for a celebration.

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.

New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was organized several days prior, as community members were gathering sand and stones for our artisan to protect the spring. Attendance was as expected, although there were much fewer men there and willing to learn.

The day was bright and the weather was good, making it a wonderful day to have training outside. Someone neighboring the spring volunteered to host, and they have a lot of rocks on their land so we just used those as seats.

Participation and involvement were on point, although participants kept shifting us from one topic to the other. The women were keen on topics like family planning, women empowerment initiatives, personal hygiene, and dental hygiene. The sessions were all highly interactive with everyone having something to say.

We covered several topics including but not limited to leadership and governance (participants started a water and sanitation committee); 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, and hygiene promotion. These participants will become ambassadors of healthy living among their own families and their greater community.

Learning about spring management and maintenance

During the personal hygiene session, people were encouraged to use the materials they already have to live healthy lives. For example, people have everything they need to make handwashing stations. If someone can't afford a toothbrush, they can use a chewed stick to brush their teeth.

Handwashing demonstration

We were also able to address the misconception that every teething baby will have diarrhea. The thought is that diarrhea is just a symptom of teething. However, babies are getting sick because the objects they grab to suck on are dirty. Now, women know how to keep their babies from suffering diarrhea.

"I am really enlightened and very grateful for this training. I am an individual who is really affected by an economic crisis. Because of the training, I am now a happy person," shared John Wakhungu, a local farmer.

"The general and personal hygiene topics really opened up my eyes and now I can take good care of my children."

August, 2018: Burachu B Community Project Underway

Dirty water from Maji Mazuri Spring is making people in Burachu B Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we have begun installing 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 soon.

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!

Giving Update: Burachu B Community, Maji Mazuri Spring

October, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Burachu B Community in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Elias Masinde. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Burachu B Community 2.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Burachu B Community 2 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!

"The [water] project spiced life [up] in this community," reported Field Officer Jemmimah Khasoha reflecting on her recent visit to Maji Mazuri Spring in Burachu B.

"With the water project, the people are able to easily access clean and safe water without worry. From the outward observation, the members of this community have clean compounds, bathrooms, toilets, and kitchen gardening [is] doing well. All this happened as a result of the training conducted during the implementation of the project. There is no negative change in this community for all the changes are positive," Jemmimah noted.

Joan Nasike, a community member in Burachu B who depends on Maji Mazui Spring for her daily water needs, shared what life has been like since the spring's protection last year:

"The biggest changes that have occurred is that we have access to clean and safe water. I remember...people visiting me in my home and [they] would ask [me], "Where do you get your drinking water?" If you happened to say Maji Mazuri [Spring], they would not drink and that was the end of the meeting," she said.

"They felt the water was very dirty and indeed it was...for it was open to anything and anyone. These statements used to torture me and [I] was praying that one day we will have...clean water."

"This came into reality and [I] am glad that God answered the prayers. We now receive many visitors [and] they can strongly drink water without asking questions because they knew we have been reached out to. The sanitation platforms that we received also have helped us to keep hygiene and this has improved our health."

Field Officer Jemmimah Khasoha with Elias Masinde at the spring

18-year-old Elias Masinde met us at the spring and shared what the spring protection and training have meant to him as a young person and former-student in the community.

"My life has changed in different ways. When our spring was protected, it was my joy and brought some victory. I was by then a [school] candidate and so I used to suffer getting to school late [because I would] need some water to use and before you [could] get it it is already dirty...The suffering came to an end when the water was protected and my life had a turnaround, I had enough time to study [and] my health improved for flu was my friend no more."

"I happened to have attended the training and this is what has made me who I am now. I learned to be responsible and so I noted things that can make you a great person. Now that [I] am out of school, I involve myself in planting vegetables that I sell and this brings income. All these changes came as a result of [the] project and I am very grateful [to you] for thinking about us."

Elias with friend Ibrahim Okumu at the spring

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 Burachu B Community 2 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 Burachu B Community 2 – 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.


28 individual donor(s)