Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 98 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/09/2024

Project Features

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"I have been drinking water from this source for more than 50 years. People are suffering from different types of waterborne diseases," said Mrs. Fatuma Shabani.

"Sometimes, we fear for what can happen to our health. I want my great-grandchildren to access clean and safe water now and in the future."

The 98 people living in this particular part of Mukoko rely on Mukoko Spring to meet all of their water needs. This natrual spring has a lot of water but it looks like milk. The source is completely open and unprotected, with animals coming and going to get a drink. Nonetheless, these people often have no other alternative for their drinking water. The water quality is not good, and we saw many small toads hopping in and out.

Mukoko Spring is located in a quiet, rural area that is well-vegetated. The community members farm to make a living, planting maize, sugarcane, beans, groundnuts, and sweet potatoes. The money earned from crop sales is always first applied to pay the children’s school fees. The buildings in this community are still very traditional, roofed with iron sheets and made of mud.

Community members wake up around 6am each morning. Women prepare children for school and prepare breakfast too, while men ensure that the compound is safe by walking around to ensure that nothing has been stolen. Breakfast is served at 9am and those who woke up and immediately go to the farm will come back to join the others.

Most people finish up their farm work by lunchtime at 1pm, leaving the afternoon to sell their crops at the local market or do chores at home. They freshen up for supper at 6pm, when the students are back home and able to help with fetching water for cooking.

Families here often work together to make sure their dirt roads are passable. They get a lot of traffic on these roads because they’re on the way to Rosterman, a big mining community.

Fewer than 10% of households have their own pit latrine. The latrines are dirty because it is difficult to clean the mud floors with water, so many community members just clean the toilet when they have visitors. There was no water nearby for someone to wash their hands after, but for the exception of one household.

The community is doing some things right, like ensuring that every home has a line for drying clothes. People give permission to those who have no latrine to use their own toilets to prevent open defecation in the community. Some of the community members need to own their own toilets because they are sharing, and sometimes it becomes a challenge at night when one is tempted to use the nearby bushes.

What we can do:


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

June, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Mukoko Community, Mukoko 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.

Building a leaky tin

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 Mukoko, Kenya.

We trained more than 21 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.

Handwashing session

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.

Explaining social distancing

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.

Trainer Erick installs the prevention reminders chart at the spring

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.

Community member follows training using the informational pamphlet on COVID-19

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.

March, 2019: Mukoko Community, Mukoko Spring Project Complete

Mukoko Community is celebrating their new protected spring, so celebrate with them! Mukoko Spring has been transformed into a flowing, safe 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

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

"I am so happy that the spring has been protected," said 12-year-old Frankline.

"We used to fetch dirty water, especially during rainy season where all the water could run through the spring and we were forced to wait for hours before we could access clean water. I am so happy now as a child whom has known Mukoko Spring as the only water source since I was born. We can now access water easily without fear of fetching tadpoles inside the water, we will no longer fear to fall into the water because we can fetch water easily without wasting time. Thank you so much The Water Project."

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. But children were the most helpful here, embracing the water project wholeheartedly.

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. The ceramic tiles installed under the discharge pipe protect 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 concrete dried over the course of five days, during which a community member wetted the concrete to make sure it would dry without cracking. 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 spring was fenced in immediately after backfilling, and the community promised to plant indigenous vegetation immediately to help conserve water flow at the spring. 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.

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.

"[You] blessed our community members with sanitation platforms and we have been trained on how to keep them clean. Thank you so much... for what you have done to the community members of Mukoko Community," said Mr. Ambula, one of the sanitation platform beneficiaries.

New Knowledge

As community members started preparing for our artisans, we ourselves started communicating the importance of health training. We planned for it together with one of the community members, Mrs. Peninah Khanaka. Mrs. Peninah had been calling our office to keep in touch since the first day we visited her community, asking when we could come protect Mukoko Spring. As construction for the spring began, the community members suggested that the training be done on the weekend when everybody would be at home and the children would be available too. This community was eager to learn and was waiting at our meeting spot before we arrived.

Participants pose for a group picture

We met at Mr. Shaban's homestead where there was room for us under a shade tree. The weather was not particularly favorable; it was gloomy and it started drizzling. Either way we had to meet outside because the tradition of this village dictates that daughter-in-laws cannot sit in the same room as father-in-laws.

Many children were able to attend training because it was held on the weekend.

They learned about:

– Leadership and governance
– Family planning
– Personal hygiene, including handwashing

– Dental hygiene
– Waterborne and water-related disease, along with water treatment methods

The participants were trained on the importance of treating water before use. This is because they admitted that they don't treat drinking water even though there are waterborne diseases plaguing the community. Water can be contaminated either from a dirty source, during transportation and handling, or from how it's stored. The participants were trained to ensure that the containers they use to fetch water are well-cleaned. The containers should be both clean and covered, and drinking water should be treated at the household level.

– Management and maintenance of the spring

"I am surprised that I am 73 years old and I have learned what I have never learned in my life. This training will help us to raise up healthy families and a future generation that will maintain good hygiene and sanitation in our community," said Mr. Ambula.

Thank You for making all of this possible!

February, 2019: Spring Protection in Mukoko Community Underway

Dirty water from Mukoko Spring is making people in Mukoko Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to build a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this 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 news of success!

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!


Imago Dei Community