Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 200 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2019

Functionality Status:  Water Flowing - Needs Attention

Last Checkup: 07/04/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

An average day in this community begins at 5:30am when mothers wake up to milk cows and prepare their children for school. They then go to their farms to plow up until 2pm when they return home to prepare lunch and do some cleaning. A day for the mothers ends at around 10pm when they have already prepared supper and made sure that the kids are in bed. Women here are viewed as traditionally responsible for anything under the household domain. They cook, clean, and fetch the water.

This water is fetched from Kwawanzala Spring. The spring has pooled at ground level and is entirely open to all sorts of contamination. Wild animals even use Kwawanzala Spring. Yet this is the water source the 200 people use for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. The community members report outbreaks of waterborne diseases like typhoid, and a lot of money is spent on medication.

"Thanks so much for coming. I am a widow and I have spent more than 20,000 shillings in the last three months treating typhoid. I have even sold some of my property to seek medication," said Mama Martha.

What we can do:


The leading cause of death in this community is malaria. People do not understand the importance of using mosquito nets. The health facilities in the area provided mosquito nets for everyone, but they use them to fence in their vegetable gardens.

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 10% of the households in this part of Mukhuyu have a pit latrine for using the bathroom.

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

"We shall be grateful if you will consider our spring for protection. Most families have lost their loved ones because of poor hygiene practices and lack of knowledge on water handling. We shall learn much from your organization," said Mrs. Christine Ekesa.

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 Mukhuyu Community, Kwawanzala 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.

Handwashing lesson

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 Mukhuyu, Kenya.

Handwashing practice

We trained more than 18 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.

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.

Showing how to properly wear a mask

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.

Janet shows how to use the elbow for coughing

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: Mukhuyu Community, Kwawanzala Spring Project Complete

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

"We are so grateful for this kind of work! Please help our neighbors protect their springs, too," said Mr. Wanjala.

"The water is so cold because it flows underground unlike the previous time when the water was hit by the sun directly when it was unprotected."

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 plastic, 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 thick plastic 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

We maintained contact with an influential person in the community who informed his neighbors about the need for hygiene and sanitation training. He worked with everyone to find the best data and venue, too. He himself hosted the training at his homestead. Those who fetch water from the spring on a daily basis and even those who live far away were also informed about the event.

Training participants pose together for a group picture

The attendance was a sweet surprise! Since it was a weekday, we expected that a majority of women would be there. We didn't expect to get as many participants as we did, especially the men. There were a lot of men compared to other trainings we hold (men are normally out working). This was so humbling and we as a team were happy.

This large turnout was a result of good weather and goodwill among the community members. They were all ready and eager to learn about the project.

The training took place on a hot and humid day, forcing us to meet outside under the shade of trees. There was a slight breeze that kept the participants awake and attentive. The kids who were present could easily walk up and down and play without their parents getting worried about them. This venue was also good for taking pictures!

Handing out new notebooks and pens for community members to record what they learn

The participants were very active. They asked a lot of questions and participated in demonstrations when asked. Where they were doing something wrong, for example brushing teeth wrong, they admitted it and thanked the facilitators for teaching them the correct way.

Participants learned about:

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

We were able to walk over to the completed spring and teach about proper use and care

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

The facilitator began by asking the participants if they wash their hands, and they said they do so before eating. When asked if they really knew how to thoroughly wash their hands, they admitted that they don't know. The facilitator first requested a man to wash his hands, then a woman, then some children. The other participants were requested to keenly observe how they wash their hands. The children were the most interesting: They poured water directly in a basin and began dunking their hands at the same time.

Children demonstrate how they normally wash their hands

The facilitator asked the participants if that's how their daily routine of washing hands is, and they all confirmed. The facilitator showed the water in the basin to the participants. They were surprised that the water was extremely dirty. The facilitator picked one of the kids and helped them demonstrate the proper way. Mothers were urged not to leave their kids to wash their hands on their own, either. There are 10 handwashing steps and the facilitator allowed everyone to practice them repeatedly until they got the concept. She advised them to wash their hands using running water and taught them how to make a leaky tin handwashing station.

Demonstrating the proper way to wash hands

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

Participants were urged to clean their water containers regularly. In addition to this, they were told to always carry containers with lids or covers. Women were discouraged from sitting on top of their containers as they rest. Bearing in mind that most of the participants live close to the spring, they were urged to use 5-liter jerrycans to store drinking water so that they'd be refreshing their supply on a daily basis. To minimize water pollution, the participants were discouraged from allowing their little children to draw water from large containers, since they often insert their hands in the water. At this point, the participants unanimously agreed to handle water with care to prevent the illnesses previously discussed.

Don't use your water containers as seats!

"I wish to thank our teachers for informing us about how to live a healthy life. We promise to live by what we have acquired and also share with those who missed out," said Mrs. Siyuyu.

Thank You for making all of this work possible!

April, 2019: Mukhuyu Community, Kwawanzala Spring Project Underway

Dirty water from Kwawanzala Spring is making people in Mukhuyu 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: Mukhuyu Community, Kwawanzala Spring

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Mukhuyu Community 4.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Mukhuyu Community 4 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, the spring was open and the water was contaminated. Also, we would crowd at the spring and even fight because of the congestion."

"Now, we have clean and safe water for drinking and for domestic use. This water has minimized the spread of waterborne diseases."

"Quarrels brought about by conflicts at the water point are no longer there, enabling us to live in peace as a community."

"I am now able to open my grocery stall early enough and get enough profit as there are no queues at the water spring."

A girl named Pauline gives thumbs up at 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 Mukhuyu Community 4 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 Mukhuyu Community 4 – 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.


Nicholas N Chloe H Alexis R Dominique R
1 individual donor(s)