Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 77 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/04/2024

Project Features

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The Bukhakunga area is rural and free from noise. Everywhere is so green, making this a beautiful community, a green jewel of Kenya. The air is fresh and cool. Homes are made of mud and smeared with a special colored mud that comes from down the stream.

The main livelihoods are selling farm produce and doing casual labor. Many community members grow maize, vegetables, beans, and sugarcane. Some have nappier grass which is sold to people who own cattle.

A day for a person living in this community begins at the rooster's call. This is the time children wake up to prepare for school while women are up ensuring everyone gets a cup of tea before they leave. On finishing the general cleanliness in the kitchen and within the compound, they go to the spring to fetch more water before the sun rises. The majority of the day is spent working on the farm.

77 people in Bukhakunga use Mukomari Spring as their main water source. It was impactful to arrive at the spring to see the need for ourselves. First, the spring is open to every kind of contamination and dirt that finds its way down the slope around the spring. The fertilizer used in farming, droppings from the birds of the air, soil erosion, and any other human activities cause the water here to be unsafe for drinking.

To collect water, a person with a bucket has to carry along a small scooping tin or container so that it can be used to draw water. The large container is dunked under the surface and comes out about half full, so the smaller container is used to fill it the rest of the way. The constant dipping stirs up the bottom of the spring and muddies the water, so the next person in line often has to wait before they can start fetching water.

People, especially the young children, complain of stomach pains and diarrhea after drinking this water.

"Having unclean water is like living on a contract. You do not know when sickness will befall you for the water source is quite open to any pathogen. This has been a problem for so long, which has made me make frequent visits to the hospital to seek medication for my children who on every visit, the results are typhoid," said Mrs. Nafuna.

"I have been wishing that our water source can be protected because it's the main cause of these diseases and now I thank God for bringing you here..."

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

Most people here have a pit latrine and do their best to keep them clean. The latrines that are made of mud are the most difficult to clean, while others have wooden floors that can't get wet because they'll rot. Those who don't have a latrine share with their neighbor.

On the final day of training, participants will select five families that should most 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 Bukhakunga Community, Mukomari 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.

Facilitators show how to set up a tippy tap

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 Bukhakunga, Kenya.

We trained more than 15 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.

Emphasizing the use of soap of any kind in handwashing

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.

Village elder washing his hands with a leaky tin

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.

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.

Using visual aids to teach disease transmission

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.

May, 2019: Bukhakunga Community, Mukomari Spring Project Complete

Bukhakunga Community is celebrating its new protected spring, so celebrate with them! Mukomari 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 Mukomari Spring was successful and water is now flowing from the discharge pipe.

"This is the very great thing that I have received this season. Water is life and so we have been brought life! The new look is that we now have a protected spring with the assurance that we will have clean water. We can easily access water with the stairs that we have been made," said Mrs. Nafuna.

"With this new project, getting water is fast and efficient; no wastage of time waiting for one person to scoop with a bowl. We look forward to take care of this spring so as it can serve our great grandchildren."

The Process:

The community members from this spring were very cooperative and eager to see change. This made it easy for our artisan as everyone wanted to help in construction work with the motivation of clean water. They carried sand, bricks, and other materials to the construction site. Others took time to make the workers a good meal.

Community members who helped deliver supplementary materials to the construction site. The time community members take to work alongside our artisan instills a strong sense of ownership for the project.

The only delay to the construction process was in the very beginning. The spring was located amongst maize crops, and the farmer agreed to transplant all of the crops elsewhere. That way if the farmer ever chooses to use a fertilizer or pesticide on his maize, the community won't have to worry about it affecting their spring's water quality.

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 beautify 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.

After the backfilling was done at the reservoir area, the community members were already waiting and ready with poles and nails to help the artisan fence in the area.

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 will continue to encourage them to finish building walls and roofs over their new latrine floors as we visit for monitoring and evaluation.

New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was planned during the initial stages as the spring was vetted and approved for a project. Children, women, and men who use the water from the spring were invited to attend. Pamela Nafuna who is the landowner at the spring took up the task to help invite everyone.

The attendance was good as we expected. The participants were called the traditional way whereby a woman and a young boy by the names Beatrice Nafuna and Alex Wanyama blew whistles so that people would start to gather.

Different people were excited about different topics. Children loved the demonstrations, older folks loved talking about leadership, and women loved learning how to best take care of their families.

Participants learned about:

– Leadership and governance for the spring committee
– Management and maintenance of the spring
– Family planning
– Personal hygiene, highlighting handwashing and dental hygiene

This is a topic for which everyone was attentive and eager to learn. Participants were encouraged to keep themselves clean by bathing at least twice a day, keeping their nails and hair short, and air drying their bedding on a weekly basis.

During the topic on personal hygiene, we taught about the ten steps on how and when to wash hands. Everyone was impressed when two girls, Paustine Waswa and Justine Khakasa, demonstrated what we taught without missing a single step.

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

The participants were taught how to properly handle water, how water gets contaminated, how water should be stored, and the metabolic importance of drinking enough clean water.

This group is great at articulating issues and concepts, and this is what we enjoyed most during training. We're confident that the other community members who weren't present will get the information from the ones who attended. The concepts of handwashing and proper nutrition were really embraced by the participants.

"I am very happy and grateful for the training, especially the topic on personal hygiene and handwashing. Living a simple and disciplined life just the way we have been taught to can make you live longer. It can also help you save a greater amount that will help you develop socioeconomically. From today, I promise to share the information with the rest of the community members who were not able to come for the training," said Mr. Mwelesa.

Thank You for making all of this possible!

April, 2019: Bukhakunga Community, Mukomari Spring Project Underway

Dirty water from Mukomari Spring is making people in Bukhakunga 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: Bukhakunga Community, Mukomari Spring

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Bukhakunga Community 5.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Bukhakunga Community 5 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, this place was scary. Our water was just open, which served as a home for crabs, frogs, snakes, and tortoises. No child could come to the spring alone due to fear."

"The water was very dirty and even the pathway to the water source was slippery and very dirty. We used to slide and fall whenever we could come to fetch water."

"We had to wait for the water to clear before the next person could fetch it. This could waste a lot of time."

"Right now, we are sure that our water is clean and safe for us. The surrounding area is also safe for us. Those scary animals had to disappear as a result of construction. It is now very easy and comfortable to come to the spring and get water. The staircases have even made it easier as no one can slide or fall on the staircases."

"We rarely get water-related and waterborne diseases, and we hardly go to the hospital nowadays. This is because of our well-protected spring where we collect safe water. This has led to the improvement of living standards in this village."

"My academic performance improved because I now have more time to concentrate on my studies. The time I used to waste when going to get medical treatment is now spent on academics."

"The time I used to waste waiting for the water to clear is now spent on studying. I believe I will perform better and better when schools resume."

Adasia washes her hands at home using soap and water she fetched from 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 Bukhakunga Community 5 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 Bukhakunga Community 5 – 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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