Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 400 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/06/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Mushianda Spring is located in Ivinzo Village, in Shibuli sublocation within Kakamega County.

A normal day involves waking up every morning as early as 5am. Both men and women have their daily routine and activities lined up for the day.

Since the area is near a market center, the men, who are mostly motorbike operators and small-scale farmers, prefer to start farm work as soon as the first light hits the ground. The women prepare the children for school.

The farm work is done for two hours by the men. They then proceed to the market center to start the motorbike business. The women take over the farm work after sending the children to school. Most women are also involved in other household chores such as fetching water, cooking and washing clothes.

Other women are employed either as teachers or run a small business. In such cases, the farm work is delegated to relatives or neighbors.


This particular spring serves a population of about 400 people, with more people opting to fetch their water there during the dry season. At that time, other sources run dry or the water levels are too low to serve the ever-increasing population of the village.

A water shortage for this community means the women have to travel to other villages to get water for drinking. The people of this community already started mobilizing some of the materials needed to protect the spring in order to reduce cases of water-related diseases among them.

This spring was referred to us by the beneficiaries of a similar project from a neighboring village who saw how their neighbors are having a hard time getting clean and safe water.

"We have really desired to get clean water for a very long time. We have been suffering from diseases all along wondering where our refuge would come from," Mr. Daniel Asila said.

They were so happy to have us visit their spring, as they had initially been stuck trying to raise money to complete the protection on their own.

Since the water source is on a rock, there is a sort of a water basin where the water flows in and is allowed to settle before one can fetch it using a small plastic container or a jug. The water is then poured it into bigger jerrycans.

The gathered water is stored at home in bigger plastic containers or basins, depending on the purpose of use. Drinking water is either stored in 5-liter plastic water jerrycans or clay pots inside the house.

The current water source is contaminated, the water is open and there are no measures in place to block pollutants from infecting the water - surface runoff washes into the source and animals drink from it.

"Several times we have had upset stomachs due to the dirt flows that into this water, but now God has listened to our cries. Many people have had their children admitted to our nearby health clinic due to water-related diseases, but now we are sure all these will be eliminated," Mr. Asila said.


More than half of households have latrines. Most of the latrines are mud-thatched. The foundations are also made of wood and mud. The roofing in most cases is done by iron sheets.

In some cases, the latrine structure is made of polythene bags, with no doors and no roofs. The smell of these latrines is not so good.

With this kind of latrines, the children opt to help themselves outside due to the fear that they may hurt themselves or even fall into the pit.

A majority of the people dispose their garbage at their farms. When the pits are full the compost dirt is picked up and papers are burnt. That then turns into manure to use with the crops.

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.

Project Updates

July, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Ivinzo Community, Mushianda 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.

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 Ivinzo, Kenya.

We trained more than 12 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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: Ivinzo Commuity, Mushianda Spring

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

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

February, 2019: Ivinzo Commuity, Mushianda Spring Project Complete

Ivinzo Community is celebrating their new protected spring, so celebrate with them! Mushianda 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.

New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was planned with the help of our main contact person on the ground, Mr. Asila. He went around the community inviting anyone who uses water from Mushianda Spring.

Attendance was not as great as we had anticipated. We had expected at least 20 participants who initially confirmed attendance, but we had 12 show up. We realized that a good number of them had gone out to town to conduct small business.

Community members brought out chairs from the nearby homes

It started out as a cold morning, but as we went on with the training it started getting hot so we had to keep moving under the shade that trees could provide. This was the trend until the end of training.

Several topics were covered during the training, such as personal and environmental hygiene, common local diseases and their prevention, and care of the water point. The ten steps of handwashing were demonstrated, along with demonstrations for dental hygiene and water treatment.

During one of the activities, we were able to look at hygiene practices that are common in local households. We also introduced all of the tools and facilities a healthy household should have. Some confessed to not having some of the facilities, mostly being drying racks for utensils and clotheslines. They promised to work on them after realizing that such items can contribute to the wellbeing of their family members.

The community members were very honest about their current hygiene practices and how they handle their food and water at home. There was a laughing moment as some who previously lied about having good latrine structures and other things were later on embarrassed when their neighbors started pointing out that they had never seen those things there.

"This training has enlightened me more on issues of sanitation and how the hygiene of my home affects that of the entire village as well. I am now going to work towards ensuring that the health of my household and that of my neighbors is secured," said Mrs. Nanjala.

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.

Spring Protection

Construction at Mushianda Spring was successful and water is now flowing from the discharge pipe.

The only challenge was that there weren't enough people to help our artisan to get the work done. The young people were not willing to sacrifice their time at the local market as they earned their daily bread. The elderly men and women, therefore, tried their level best to help out. The artisan had to do extra work in order to complete the spring in good time.

"I am particularly very happy to have this project implemented at this time. We now have clean water for use and nothing can now prevent us from engaging in other economic activities that would help us save money," said Mr. Asila.

Some of the community members plan to divert the extra water flowing from the spring to fill fish ponds. They are so excited that they've already registered as fish farmers!

The Process:

Community members provided all locally available construction materials, e.g bricks, wheelbarrows of clean sand, wheelbarrows of ballast, 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 committee to make sure everything runs smoothly. The community members have built a fence to ensure the water point is protected from destruction from people and large animals, and they have a schedule to plant grass to prevent erosion and some traditional trees to conserve water.

January, 2019: Ivinzo Commuity, Mushianda Spring Project Underway

Dirty water from Mushianda Spring is making people in Ivinzo Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to build 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!

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: Ivinzo Commuity, Mushianda Spring

October, 2019

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

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Ivinzo Commuity.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Ivinzo Commuity 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!

Field Officer Georgina Kamau shared the following reflection from her recent visit to Mushianda Spring in Ivinzo, where she checked up on the spring and interviewed community members about the project's impact in its first year since completion:

"Since water is now easy to access, the members of Mushianda Spring spend very little time collecting the water which means the children are to free to invest in their education and careers while the adults focus and improve on farming, among other things. The cost of living has decreased considering food crops such as vegetables are now fresh and healthier which has resulted in improved health as well."

"The people of Mushianda Spring remain grateful for this project. They are very happy about the clean water which has improved their health and sanitation in their community."

Truphena Amwayi, a young woman in Ivinzo, shared how the protected spring has impacted her life in the last year.

"We have enjoyed clean water since the spring was constructed," she said.

"We [were] drinking water full of pathogens and sand particles, but now we can see that the water is clean and we are very grateful for this development. Our gratitude returns to The Water Project for making this great change for us."

Rose watches as Truphena fetches water

10-year-old Rose Nanjala has also felt a change in her life as a child and student in her community.

"When I come back from school, I don't spend so much time fetching water like before. I get some time for myself to play games with my age mates. I don't get worried when my mum sends me to the spring because I know it will take me a few minutes to get enough water for her and I also get my time to mingle with my fellow mates," Rose said.

Rose and kids fetch water

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 Ivinzo Commuity 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 Ivinzo Commuity – 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.


1 individual donor(s)