Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 210 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Apr 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/07/2024

Project Features

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Musango Community is located in Kakamega County, Kenya. There are 210 people here who rely on dirty water from Mwichinga Spring to meet their needs. The water pooling at this spring is completely open to contaminants.

People placed an iron sheet where water is flowing to help direct water into containers. This has actually rusted and further contaminates the water.

"I am forced to fetch the water for myself since sending my children means contaminating the water even further," shared Mrs. Rose Kangu.

"They can’t draw the water carefully to avoid contamination, especially when the wind has blown away the iron sheet that we have set as the drawing pipe. When the iron sheet has blown away, we draw the water from the ground," Rose continued.

"Our children cough a lot because they drink this water."

Water scarcity has resulted in wasted time. People take a long time to fill their containers at the spring. With water being contaminated, community members are suffered from water-related diseases, causing them to spend much on treatment.

Musango boasts of being big producers of sugarcane that’s sold and used to produce sugar at Mumias Sugar Company. Their fertile land yields a lot of crops even without the use of modern fertilizers. The people come together during funerals, weddings, harvesting, house construction and even for the celebration of a newborn baby.

This spring has flowed for decades. If it’s protected it will not only be much easier to fetch water, but that water will be much safer to drink. These sugarcane farmers will be allotted much more valuable time to care for their crops, their families, and themselves.

The larger part of this community is made up of children. This is a clear indication that if this spring is protected, it will serve many generations to come. The joy on their faces during this visit truly shown with hope about a protected spring.

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.

"With our cows, dogs, cats, and poultry walking freely, our hygiene and sanitation has been compromised. Dirt is everywhere in our compounds. The sanitation of our latrines is not good either. We try to wash our clothes well but the water discolors them - especially when it’s rainy," reports Mr. Evans Mukhwana.

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

Less than half of households relying on Mwichinga Spring have a latrine of their own.

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

When the field officer informed them of the intended training after the project implementation, they were so eager about it that they wanted to get a preview of what the training would be about. They promised to start working on improving their hygiene and sanitation even before the implementation and training. In conclusion, the community is so expectant and ready to participate in this process.

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 Musango Community, Mwichinga 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.

Issuing informational pamphlets on COVID-19

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.

Cough and sneeze into the elbow

We trained more than 31 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.

Homemade mask tutorial

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.

A woman tries on the mask she made at training

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.

Highlighting the importance of soap in handwashing

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.

Installing the prevention reminders chart at the spring

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: Musango Community, Mwichinga Spring Project Complete

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

"In fact, this dry season made the situation [at the spring] more terrible. The water quantity reduced and collecting it from the ground was becoming hectic since there are so many of us. One had just to scoop mud in the name of water but after protection, all this water has been brought together - making the quantity of the water go high and thus enabling it to come through the drawing pipe," exclaimed Mercy Lukoko.

"This miracle has come in so handy! We are so excited!"

The Process:

Community members provided all locally available construction materials, e.g bricks, clean sand, wheelbarrows of ballast, and gravel. Some even made extra efforts to work alongside the artisan after delivering all of the materials. 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.

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.

Layering materials between the spring eyes and the discharge pipe

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.

Carrying wood to build a fence around the spring

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

We worked with local carpenter Evans Mukhwana to find a good time and place for hygiene and sanitation training. He was able to offer insight into the community schedule so that we'd get the best turnout. Once we had decided, Mr. Mukhwana went door to door to invite everyone who draws water from Mwichinga Spring.

The weather on the training day was sunny and hot. We chose to have sessions in the shade under the trees at one of the community members' homestead. The participants were comfortable sitting on the ground with a cool breeze.

Participants learned about:

– Leadership and governance for the spring committee
– Management and maintenance of the spring

During this topic, the participants learned the importance of keeping their spring in good shape. They were enlightened on some practices that could damage their spring and even contaminate their water. Practices, like doing laundry at the spring and constructing latrines upstream within 10 meters, were discouraged. Placing filled containers on the spring protection wall and letting domestic animals access the spring would also cause damage to the cement. They then elected leaders who would see to the management of the spring. The facilitator encouraged them to call upon the office in case of a major water issue.

– Family planning
– Personal hygiene, including handwashing

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

For the session about water, the facilitator took the participants through the dos and don'ts of water handling. They were advised to change drinking water in their storage containers every three days. Sitting on the same jerrycans used to fetch water was discouraged. They also learned that using containers that have no lids and dipping fingers in can also contaminate water. They were advised to ensure that the containers used to store water are covered and are regularly washed.

The topic brought a lot of enthusiasm because many community members wanted to know why we said they might continue to experience problems despite their water having been protected. They had believed that once the water is protected, all would be well. They had no idea that some of their daily practices when fetching and storing water could recontaminate it.

"Little did I ever know that carrying water in a bucket without a lid can contaminate my water. I thought that washing the bucket was enough to keep my water safe," said Mrs. Kangu.

"I have learned a lot today that will help me and my family."

Thank You for making all of this possible!

February, 2019: Musango Community, Mwichinga Spring Project Underway

Dirty water from Mwichinga Spring is making people in Musango 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 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: Musango Community, Mwichinga Spring

February, 2021

A year ago, your generous donation helped Musango Community in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Mitchel. 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 7.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Musango Community 7 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, it was so difficult for me to get water. I remember one day, I came to fetch water and I slid into the pool and this made me stop coming to the spring alone."

"I can now access water without anyone being around. This is my greatest joy: it is easy and very fast to get water. I don't get sick most of the time because the water is clean and safe for me."

"I wanted to be a sanitation prefect in school and I was told by my teacher to be smart and ensure my uniforms are clean. This made me fetch water daily to ensure I bathe and wash my clothes."

"Opening school when the year began, I was chosen as the class prefect and that was my goal, which I achieved."

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 7 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 7 – 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)