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The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Flowing Water
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Flowing Water
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Flowing Water
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Flowing Water
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Flowing Water
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Flowing Water
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Sanitation Platform
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Shaping The Path To The Spring
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Preparing To Mix Cement
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Delivering Sand To The Spring
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Spring Excavation
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Beatrice Musimbi
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Training
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Training
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Training
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Training
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Training
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Training
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Training
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Training
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  A Lady Washing Her Households Cloths
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  A Maize Plantation
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Alice Stands Beside Her Househols Latrine
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Banana Plantation
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Banana Trees
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Beatrice Musimbi
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Boy Carries Heavy Jerrycan Full Of Water Up Hill
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Boy Fills Up Jerrycan With Water
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Clothes Dry Laid Out On The Lawn
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Community Children Washing Next To The Spring
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Community Members Preparing A Fish Pond
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Dish Rack
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Drawing Water At The Spring
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Filling Jerrycan At The Spring
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Latrine Floor State
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Mwashi Water Source
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Sample Latrine
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Spring
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  Woman Brings Jerrycan To Spring
The Water Project: Musutsu Community -  A Cow Grazing

Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 400 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Oct 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 09/08/2019

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Mwashi Spring is located in Musutsu Village of Vihiga County.

A normal day begins at about 6 in the morning. Children, together with their parents, wake up to prepare for the day’s activities.

As the children go to school, the older members, who are mostly casual laborers in the nearby Shamakhokho Town, report to their duties as some remain behind to tend to their farms.

Members of the village practice small-scale farming, this being due to lack of sufficient land to carry out large-scale farming. They farm crops such as maize, beans, bananas, sweet potatoes, and also a few members in the village grow tea which is sold to the nearby Mudete Tea Factory.


We were referred to the spring by the principal of Imusutsu Secondary School. We came to realize that some students and staff at school draw water from the spring.

We did find that the spring is a permanent water source which serves quite a large number of members. The spring mainly serves nearby households. The secondary school especially depends on it during the drought seasons.

We could see a member of the village immersing a jug in the pool of water then pour the water into a 10-liter jerrycan. A few minutes later, two boys come carrying 20-liter jerrycans, they immersed the jerrycans in water till full then carried them home.

The water fetched from the spring is used almost immediately. Unused water is stored in the jerrycans. When we inquired why we were told that the community has sufficient water which is available at all times so there is no need invest in storage containers for homes.

We could see that the water catchment area is left exposed, leaving it open to contaminants. During our visit, members were positive and willing to take part in its protection process since they knew the dangers it poses to them.

A shortage of safe drinking water leads to a widespread of water-related diseases that include cholera and typhoid.

“Last year we did have cases of Typhoid in our village an indicator that our water was not safe for use as it was exposed. Members of the village were infected but were able to get treatment. Thank God no one died,” Mrs. Beatrice Musimbi said.

“Currently, we have not had anyone sick due to waterborne disease.”

Mrs. Jane Ambani, a village resident recalled an incident where an old woman slipped and fractured her leg while approaching the spring to fetch water, due to a lack of stairs. She is now grateful that the spring will be protected and that there will be no injuries in the future.


More than 75 percent of households have latrines. Most of the toilets structures are thatched and the floors made of wood. A majority of the toilets are not well cleaned, as we could see during our visit. We were able to spot at least one form of sanitation facility at each home we visited. That includes simple pit latrines, clotheslines, and dish racks.

Mrs. Musimbi did tell us that a majority of the village members have small gardens where garbage is disposed and later used as manure.

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

10/08/2018: Musutsu Community Project Complete

Musutsu Community is celebrating their new protected spring, so celebrate with them! Mwashi 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 are grateful for the wonderful project installed in our village,” Japheth Asogo, a teacher at Musutsu Primary, said.

“We, the community of Musutsu have faced challenges for quite some time now… due to [water] inaccessibility especially when it rains. Mwashi Spring not only serves the members of the village but also, Musutsu Primary, especially during drought seasons.”

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.

The spring area was excavated with jembes, hoes, and spades 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 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 committee has already worked with community members to build a fence to protect the area from the spring eye to the discharge pipe. Since the spring is at the bottom of a hill, men have already worked to make the path an easier, safer climb. They have shaped steps where needed, and have cut down unnecessary trees to make more space.

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 latrine of their own. We are continuing to encourage families to finish building walls and roofs over their new latrine floors.

New Knowledge

Mrs. Beatrice Musimbi walked door to door encouraging people to attend our scheduled hygiene and sanitation training. The young and the old, male and female were all encouraged to attend.

We met 18 participants at Mrs. Musimbi’s homestead, with the majority both children and women. This was expected since women are seen as most responsible for water-related chores at the household level.

The main challenge encountered during training was language. Some of the older participants spoke a local dialect and did not understand English or Kiswahili. One of the younger women helped translate.

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.

While of course having heard of handwashing, participants had not heard that there were particular steps for proper handwashing. To be thorough, there are 10 steps to follow, including interlacing fingers and scrubbing wrists. People were surprised to learn that a quick rinse was still leaving them with germy hands. The same thing happened when presenting on dental hygiene, too!

“We are indeed happy for having benefitted a lot from the entire training. We promise to be hygiene ambassadors in our homes and the village at large. Sometimes, we neglect very small details about personal hygiene that we already know,” admitted Mrs. Musimbi.

“We want to thank our facilitators for reminding us about proper handwashing by emphasizing the adverse effects that negligence has on our health and environment…”

The Water Project : 18-kenya18136-flowing-water

08/07/2018: Musutsu Community Project Underway

Dirty water from Mwashi Spring is making people in Musutsu 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 : kenya18136-woman-brings-jerrycan-to-spring

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!


11 individual donor(s)