Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 350 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/04/2024

Project Features

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350 people living in Musango use Emufutu Spring to meet their needs. The water found here is contaminated. To make things a bit easier, someone installed an iron sheet to funnel water into people’s containers. The spring is downhill and is prone to flooding during a rainy day, making the water even dirtier and more dangerous for consumption. Despite the danger, families are often left with no other choice.

"We are forced to take all caution just to have water for drinking. We try to boil, but sometimes this becomes hard for large families. Seeing our children take unsafe water saddens us, especially mothers because many nights we stay awake when our children fall sick," shared Mrs. Rhoda Omunyifa.

"A sick child makes the mother sick too."

From our observations, the people don't seem to know about the importance of treating water before drinking. Few boil their water. We saw a chlorine dispenser at the spring, but that has been abandoned for a long time. The community members told us that it used to be supplied with chlorine, but the organization that did that stopped.

Musango Village being a community that largely depends on farming, the day starts as early as 6am. When people wake up, they do house chores in preparation of a full day’s work on the farm. Women are traditionally responsible for fetching water from the spring before heading to the farm. The family may meet for lunch, or may not. The children will be at school while the elderly remain at home to babysit any young ones. The family meets again in the evening after more farm work.

What we can do:


"The hygiene and sanitation in our community is not that good. You will find dirty utensils left out in the compound on the ground. Cats and dogs go licking on them. Many homesteads are not clean and some children have been infected with jiggers all because of poor hygiene," said Gilbertone Kilo.

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

May, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Musango Community, Emufutu 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.

Team Leader Catherine Chepkemoi leads the handwashing demonstration

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 Musango, Kenya.

Handwashing demonstration

We trained more than 32 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 demonstration

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 demonstration

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.

Making a face mask demonstration

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.

The completed sample face mask made during training

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.

A man holds the prevention reminder chart at the spring before it is installed on poles

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.

Observing social distancing

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.

July, 2019: Musango Community, Emufutu Spring Project Complete

Musango Community now has clean water! Emufutu 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.

Spring Protection

"Many have come here and promised us that this spring will be protected, but none of them fulfilled this for us until you came and have made this a reality," said Mrs. Rhoda Omunyifwa.

"This is just amazing, our water is safe now."

The women in this particular area came out in large numbers and contributed to the project by ferrying clean sand that the men harvested from the fast-moving water of the deep Lusumu River. The little ones were not left out. Though they could not do much heavy manual work, they just sat by the site and watched their parents work. The change that was happening seemed to amaze them.

Mealtimes were also amazing as the community members who were helping the skilled artisan would gather by the site and have their meal with them, just like a picnic. The cooperation of this community and their willingness to work alongside us was outstanding and made the work of the artisan and the field officer much easier.

The women could not wait even one day after completion; they began drawing the water immediately. What a relief for this community!

The Process:

Before the construction started, the community members fetched water from the unprotected spring just to ensure that they had enough water for use in their homes.

When the artisan arrived at the site, excavation work was done with great help from the local men. Our artisan was able to direct the spring's water away from the construction site so that it wouldn't interfere. After the excavation had been done, the artisan laid the slab.

All the while, the women were fetching sand from the river bank where it was being harvested. This sand is mixed with water and cement. All the construction days were a beehive of activity as the ones in charge of meals were also running to and fro.

After the foundation slab had been laid, wall work began. When the walls had been put up and plastering done, it was time to do the stairs. Stone pitching is done on either side of the spring to keep dirt from eroding into the access area.

The tiles at the drawing point were fixed and allowed to cure for a whole day. Backfilling from the spring to the discharge pipe was done the following day. Stones of different sizes were used to fill that area, and then it was covered with soil and a thick plastic tarp.

The community was able to construct a fence around the spring immediately after construction, which will keep wild animals and curious children from climbing over where the water flows.

Sanitation Platforms

All five sanitation platforms have been installed. 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.

A proud father now has a safe latrine floor for his family to use.

New Knowledge

We worked with a local leader named Mr. Omutekete, who was able to make announcements and contact his community about the importance of our upcoming hygiene and sanitation training. He requested that every household that uses the spring send at least one representative. The attendance was as expected. Many participants availed themselves and some who were helping out to construct a new house near the spring also joined us for the training. Being one of the dry months in Kenya, the weather was hot with the sun shining so bright. We had to sit under the trees at one of the community members' compounds.

At the beginning of the training, some of the attendees were too shy to participate and wouldn't even answer simple questions. But after the facilitator pointed out that these topics can't be learned unless we share our experiences and opinions freely, they felt free and comfortable to air their views and help answer questions.

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.

The community members are now all drying their utensils on dish racks because those who didn't have dish racks saw the importance of having them.

They also immediately adopted the concept of handwashing and everyone wanted to try out the ten steps of handwashing using the leaky tin handwashing station that we built as a demonstration.

The community members were educated on the right way to handle water from the moment it is drawn from the spring to the moment it's stored. This topic was special because the participants were able to go down to the spring and demonstrate how they usually draw and carry water from the spring. They were also able to display the containers they use to fetch water, some being open buckets that they use without lids. Many were shocked to learn that dipping their fingers in the drawn water when the buckets don't have lids can make it dangerous for drinking.

And since we were already down by the spring, the community members were educated on the importance of keeping the spring in good shape by cleaning up the area, repairing when necessary, and not tampering with the protected area. The community members practically ended up training each other on how to sustain their spring. They cautioned each other of the bad practices that would cause their water source to be damaged or even dry up. This was after the facilitator mentioned some of the bad practices - and them knowing each other very well discussed some of these practices further.

Training participants pose for a group picture and hold up the notebooks they used to take notes!

"All along I have always thought that it's teething that has caused my babies to [have] diarrhea - only for me to learn today that it is because of poor hygiene since the babies tend to collect any item and put it in their mouth to ease the itching. If God blesses me with another baby I'll ensure I improve on hygiene, especially on the things the baby puts in the mouth," said Mrs. Makokha.

June, 2019: Musango Community, Emufutu Spring Project Underway

Dirty water from Emufutu Spring is making people in Musango Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to solve this issue by building 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 again 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!

Giving Update: Musango Community, Emufutu Spring

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Musango Community 9.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Musango Community 9 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!

"Before the project was implemented, it was very hard and tiresome to get water from this water point. The place was so slippery, especially during the rainy seasons. In addition, the sugarcane plantation was everywhere, hence making it so hard to fetch water."

"But, ever since the project implementation, that does not happen. The sugarcane farm owner respected the project, giving room for the water point to be constructed and also allowed others to have access to the water point."

"Right now, my life has been impacted positively. This is because I can easily run to the spring and get water very fast. My house is not very far - it's the last house to the spring - hence I really enjoy the water."

"I can do everything like fetching water for cooking, cleaning, I give water to my livestock, and this is because I don't struggle going to collect water. Besides, I also send my children with a lot of confidence that they will come back safe. Before the project was implemented, we even feared snake bites so our children were never safe. Right now, the place is well maintained and cleaned regularly."

"I am a business lady, so I grow vegetables and take them to the market. This spring implementation has really helped me as I am able to collect water and water my plants daily without fear of whether it rains or not. I am able to get so much and this is my main source of income."

"Also, because of the availability of water, I am able to do my duties quickly as a wife and rush to the market."

"When water is available, then work is made easier."

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 Musango Community 9 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 Musango Community 9 – 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.


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