Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 84 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/07/2024

Project Features

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"I try to boil water from this spring for my family to use so that we don't fall sick," says Mrs. Adelite Ondako.

"The challenge comes when I have to visit a community member or when we gather for a certain ceremony away from my home and I have to drink water. Many of our people don't treat this water and so this ends up making me sick. It's hard to avoid this water as long as you are staying in this village. I can't carry my water everywhere I go, neither can I protect my family out there from consuming untreated water."

Musango Village is in Kakamega County, Kenya. The primary water source for this part of Musango is Mushikhulu Spring. It is a dirty water source, but it still meets the needs of around 84 people from 12 different households.

Mushikhulu Spring is entirely open to all sorts of contamination. The people have a hard time, especially during the rainy season when the spring gets dirtier. This dirty water makes typhoid a common challenge. Much of their time has been wasted at the spring since it takes one over seven minutes just to fill a 20-liter jerrycan.

It is a very green area with lots of farm crops growing. The sugarcane farms keep this rural village green, quiet, and peaceful. Houses in this village are a mix of permanent and more temporary structures. The temporary ones are made of wood, mud, and iron sheets for the roofs. Some use grass for roofing, and cow dung is spread on the walls as a sealant and insect repellant.

A day in Musango is filled with farm work. Farming makes people rise early in the morning before the sun comes up. The house chores are traditionally set aside for women while the men take care of livestock. Before the grownups can leave for the farm, the children must be seen off to school.

During days off, children play at home, help fetch water, and watch over any family babies. Lunch is rare, with most families reuniting late in the evening when bathing and preparation of dinner starts. Some may go the market or shopping center to get household items before its’ dusk, and men bring the animals back home. The family shares the evening meal and calls it a day.

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

Less than half of families using the spring have a pit latrine of their own.

Most pit latrine walls look like they're about to collapse. Most holes over the pits are a bit too large. Many have a flap of plastic or fabric serving as a door.

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 Musango Community, Mushikhulu 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.

The new tippy tap made at training

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.

We trained more than 13 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.

Homemade mask tutorial

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.

Prevention reminders chart installed at the spring

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 woman shows the informational pamphlet on COVID-19 she received at training

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.

Practicing the 10 steps of handwashing

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.

June, 2019: Musango Community, Mushikhulu Spring Project Complete

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

"I am so happy! In fact let me say we are so happy as a community. It has been a dream forever to have clean water in our area but we thought it might never come true... we have our own clean water. It means a lot to us," said Mr. Wando.

The Process:

The community worked alongside our artisan to make this spring protection successful, gathering supplementary materials like sand and stones and making meals for the work team.

The spring area was excavated with jembes, hoes, and spades to create space for setting the foundation of polyethylene, wire mesh, and concrete. Cement, waterproof coating, ballast, and sand were mixed together to make a very strong foundation.

Brickwork started whereby the artisan took all of the required measurements of the spring structure before proceeding with the work. Construction of the superstructure continued with discharge pipes fixed in the brick wall. Stairs were built on one side of the spring to allow in and out movement by users.

Checking measurements as the wall progresses

Stone pitching along the lower part of the spring was done to prevent soil from eroding and blocking the outlet drainage. Finally, the plastering of the walls and the floor was done, and tiles were placed below the discharge pipes to keep the falling water from hitting the cement.

Stone pitching

The spring was then left for two days to undergo curing and hardening before being backfilled using stones.

Polythene was stretched across the top and covered with soil to allow clean water to flow from the pipe. Community members promised to dig cut-off drainage at the slope of the spring to divert surface water from entering the spring and to also plant grass over the protected area to prevent erosion.

Some local men carried branches to build a fence that keeps people and animals from walking across the protected area

We had a unique experience while protecting Mushikhulu Spring, too!

It is located in Musango Village on a steep slope that drops from Mr. Elphas' compound down to the farms that border the famous Lusumu River. Community members practice farming along this riverbank and some try keeping fish in small ponds. This is a typical rural setting that has many wild animals moving around, mostly at night.

During the implementation of this spring, we happened to come across some young men who were hunting for an animal believed to be causing them great loss: it would eat chicks and chicken eggs each night. Fortunately, they found the animal preying on their chickens. Indeed, being in Musango was a fun adventure throughout the entire process.

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 our community contact person, Mr. Wando, who was able to mobilize community members in preparation of hygiene and sanitation training. We asked him to invite both men and women of all ages.

It was truly a hot day, so we decided to gather outside under one of Mr. Wando's mango trees. Community members were shy at the beginning of the training and wouldn't answer many questions, but the facilitator continued to encourage them. They need to share their own experiences and opinions for the benefit of everyone. They started to participate much more actively and by the end of training, they were quick and eager to communicate both with us and each other.

Participants learned about:

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

The trainer took everyone down to the nearby spring to teach about how a spring protection works. At the spring, she showed them the different parts of the spring such as the catchment area and the box. She encouraged them to always keep the spring protected with a fence and advised them not to balance filled jerrycans on the drawing pipe for this would weaken it. Having stated many ways of maintaining the spring, including keeping it clean, the community members were able to brainstorm some of their own guidelines as well.

Community members received notebooks and pens to record new things they want to remember

– Family planning
– Personal hygiene, highlighting handwashing and dental hygiene

The trainer demonstrated the 10 steps of thorough handwashing, which must be done with running water and a cleaning agent such as soap or ash.

The handwashing sessions started out with the children showing how they wash their hands before every meal. This is when we discovered that they all dunk their hands in the same container. We followed up by teaching that if handwashing is to be effective, you must use running water and soap

– Environmental hygiene

The community should keep the environment clean by sweeping up and burning rubbish. People don't need to purchase a broom from the market; they could instead use local materials like twigs and branches to sweep. They were also encouraged to plant more trees, cut long grass around their homes, and drain stagnant waters (since these are mosquito breeding grounds).

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

"I have understood why my teeth have been developing holes in them. I don't brush my teeth before going to bed. I will try and take good care of my teeth now," said Mrs. Mukhwana.

Thank You for making all of this possible!

April, 2019: Musango Community, Mushikhulu Spring Project Underway

Dirty water from Mushikhulu 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, Mushikhulu Spring

February, 2021

A year ago, your generous donation helped Musango Community in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Jovine. 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 8.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Musango Community 8 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 it was protected, I didn't like to come and fetch water from this point because it was difficult to fetch water. And, if you found cattle drinking there, you could be forced to wait for the water to settle. This wasted my time as a student and made me have low grades in school."

"Now, I am a happy person - there is no longer a hustle to getting clean water."

"I was a witness when the spring was being constructed and so I attest that the process was good, thus we have clean and safe water."

"My life has been impacted positively in that I have enough time to do my daily chores, including fetching water, and then still have time for studies."

"This water point has helped me achieve my education goal. I wanted to increase my marks in school, which I did. The time I used to waste was converted into serious studies."

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 8 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 8 – 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.


Morris Middle School
Boston Trinity Academy
3 individual donor(s)