Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 238 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/09/2024

Project Features

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"Last month I spent a total of 7,000 shillings on medication as my mother had typhoid," recounted Mr. Juma. "Thank you for your coming."

The 238 people here get water from Kwakhalakayi Spring. They use this water to meet all of their drinking, cooking, and cleaning needs. They took us to see this water source, and our first impression was that it definitely was not clean. The water has pooled on the ground and is entirely open to all sorts of contaminants.

To get water, a small cup is brought along and used to fill a larger container. The dirty spring water is stored depending on its intended use; drinking water is kept in clay pots in the living room while water for cleaning is kept outside in a large plastic barrel.

Most of the families in Mukhuyu Village are made up of parents and children ranging between ages three to 10. Parents are the ones who work extra hard to make sure that their children get their daily bread and education. Most able adults are sugarcane farmers who sell their sugarcane to Butali Factory located five kilometers away. Many of the farmers also plant maize and sweet potatoes that are primarily used to feed their families.

An average day in Mukhuyu starts early in the morning around 6, when everyone wakes up to eat breakfast, prepare the children for school, and fetch water from the spring. After the children are out, all of the adults go to the farm.

"We have suffered from diseases such as typhoid and a lot of diarrhea in the past due to drinking this contaminated water. By protecting [the spring], the community will also be protected from such kinds of diseases in the future," said Fridah.

What we can do:


There is a lot of trash spread around the community. Most people have a designated place to throw their garbage, but this hasn't been done properly. Garbage piles up and is spread around the village by wild animals and the slightest breezes. During training, people will learn how to construct a proper garbage pit.

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.

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 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 Mukhuyu Community, Kwakhalakayi 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.

Trainer Janet Kayi emphasizes social distancing

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.

We trained more than 33 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.

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.

A community member practices the handwashing steps

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.

Reviewing the prevention reminders chart

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.

Making a leaky tin

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.

Handwashing demonstration

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, Kwakhalakayi Spring Complete

Mukhuyu Community is celebrating its new protected spring, so celebrate with them! Kwakhalakayi 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 Kwakhalakayi Spring was successful and water is now flowing from the discharge pipe.  The members of this community were so happy with the new project.

"Thank you so much!" said Sarah Machoni.

"Initially, we could waste a lot of time waiting for the sediment in water to settle. Now there is no more wasting time because one just comes and draws water and walks home. There will be no more gossip at the spring because us women will be busy with other duties at home, hence promoting a healthy social life as well as physical life."

Jerida Nangeni said that since she was married into this community, she has never seen trustworthy people like us. She can now fetch water easily despite her old age and will live many more years in this world because she can access clean and safe water.

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 fixing the discharge pipe in the brick wall. Stairs were built on one side of the spring to allow in and out movement by users.

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 pipe to keep the falling water from hitting the cement.

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

Plastic 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 area and to also plant grass over the protected area to prevent erosion.

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 visited the site one month before construction work started and during that visit, we were able to request that community members help us mobilize participants to be trained on management and maintenance of the water point. We also made sure to invite all spring users because hygiene and sanitation would be covered in detail.

Participants learned about topics including:

– Leadership and governance for the spring committee

The facilitator asked participants to define the term leader. The following was their response: A person who is given the responsibility to lead a group of people or someone who gives direction to a certain group of people. The facilitator then explained to them that a leader is anyone chosen by a particular group of people to guide, direct, and correct them where they may go wrong.

This topic was special as we looked at the characters of two types of animals, starting with the chameleon. We realized that a chameleon is not a straightforward animal; it keeps on changing its color depending on the situation. It is also very slow and wastes a lot of time. Some members wanted to point fingers at other members in leadership positions, but we put an immediate stop to that. We continued to discuss the qualities of a good leader to encourage those elected to the spring committee.

– Management and maintenance of the spring

We discussed at length what should be done in order for the spring to serve the community members for a long period of time. The spring should be fenced to keep children and animals from interfering with the source, indigenous trees should be planted near the spring, the landowner should avoid farming activities close to the spring, and lastly latrines should not be constructed close to the spring.

Community members wanted to know what would happen if someone is buried close to the spring. According to them, when an unmarried lady dies, she is buried outside the home compound and the best place is at the riverside. The facilitator explained that when the body decays, the particles would find their way into the water. That scared everyone and community members promised never to bury someone by a water source again.

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

Following along as the trainer demonstrates the steps of handwashing

There are 10 steps to thorough handwashing, and handwashing should be done with running water and soap.

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

"Thank you so much for serving this community. We have learned a lot through your training we have learned new ideas. This knowledge is going to change this community positively and thus there will be no more bills on medications," said Martin Fundiah.

Community members were very quick to adopt rules for behavior around the spring, and even developed a duty roster for who would cut down brush and routinely pick up litter in the area. We will continue to follow up on the uptake of handwashing and toothbrushing since these were new practices for many of the participants.

Thank You for making all of this possible!

April, 2019: Mukhuyu Community, Kwakhalakayi Spring Project Underway

Dirty water from Kwakhalakayi 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, Kwakhalakayi Spring

February, 2021

A year ago, your generous donation helped Mukhuyu Community in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Timothy. 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 3.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Mukhuyu Community 3 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 hard to fetch water from this water point."

"Bending over to scoop the water was very tiring."

"We also had to wait for adults to fetch water first, making us stay till late at the water point."

"Nowadays, it is easy and we really enjoy fetching water."

"My life changed because I have enough time to do my homework and this has made me improve in my academics."

"I am also able to attend school regularly as compared to last year when I used to get sick because of unclean water."

"I am now performing well in school since I don't waste too much time fetching water."

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 3 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 3 – 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.


Green Bay Area Catholic Education, Inc.
13 individual donor(s)