Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 238 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 11/08/2023

Project Features

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When we were conducting a hygiene and sanitation training for people living near Thomas Spring a young man informed us about a high yielding spring that needed protection. After the training, we carried him on our motorcycle and he directed us to the spring.

Mutuli Spring was impressive to see in person. Our teams agreed that it has a very high yield. It was obvious why the 238 people who live near the spring rely on it to meet their daily water needs. And that is why it is a great candidate for protection.

The community members have installed a pipe at the spring to help dispense the water easily. The low lying plastic pipe is held in place by stones. It sometimes gets carried away by runoff and the community members are forced to scoop water using jugs until a volunteer gets another plastic pipe to fix at the spring.

While the pipe makes it easier to fetch water, the water itself is unsafe for drinking. The community members do not treat the water from the spring. Most of them say that boiling is a waste of time and fuel while others do not like the smell and taste of chlorine. The community members prefer spring water to rainwater because they say its sweeter.

Community members complained about diarrhea and stomachache mostly during the rainy season. Those problems are caused by bacteria and other contaminants in the water.

"My children get very sick often. They end up missing school and my wife has to spend a lot of productive time in the hospital with my children," said Leonard Bwire, a farmer who lives near the spring.

Musiachi is a typical rural area where one has to walk for more than a kilometer to find a shop. The area is very green and highly vegetated with indigenous trees, grass and various farm plantations. The majority of the buildings are mud-walled and roofed with iron sheets.

This is a rural area where individuals engage in subsistence farming to meet their basic needs. Sometimes back, the people engaged in commercial sugarcane farming but shifted to maize due to the collapse of the sugarcane industry which led to a drop in the price of sugarcane.

What we can do:

Spring Protection

Protecting the spring will help provide access to cleaner and safer water. 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 task carried by women and young girls. Protecting the spring and offering training and support will, therefore, help empower the female members of the community by freeing up more of their time and energy.


Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least 2 days. This training will ensure participants have the knowledge they need about healthy practices and their importance.

The facilitator plans to use Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST), Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD), 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 is consumed. We will also emphasize the importance of handwashing.

Training will result in the formation of a committee that will oversee the operations and maintenance of 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 channels. 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 5 families that should benefit from new concrete latrine floors. Training will inform the community and selected families on what they need to contribute to make this project a success. They must mobilize locally available materials, including bricks, clean sand, and gravel. The 5 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.

Project Updates

May, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Musiachi Community, Mutuli 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.

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 Musiachi, Kenya.

We trained more than 20 people on the symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention of COVID-19. Before there were any reported cases in the area, we worked with trusted community leaders and the Water User Committee to gather community members for the training.

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.

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.

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.

March, 2020: Musiachi Community, Mutuli Spring Project Complete!

Musiachi Community now has access to clean water! Mutuli Spring has been transformed into a flowing source of water thanks to your donation. We protected the spring, constructed 5 sanitation platforms for different households in the community, and we trained the community on improved sanitation and hygiene practices.

"The water is now clean and easy to fetch. May God bless you for the good work that you have done for us. This change has been longed for since I was born in 1960," said farmer Mr. Ernest Arambe.

Community members celebrate the newly completed spring

Spring Protection

Community members provided all locally available construction materials, including bricks, wheelbarrows of clean sand, stones, and fencing poles. Accommodations and meals were provided for the artisan, too.

The Process

Women and men lent their strength to the artisan to help him with manual labor. The spring area was excavated to create space for setting the foundation of thick plastic tarp, 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.

Bricklaying begins on the spring foundation

As the wing walls and headwall were curing, the stairs were set and ceramic tiles were fixed directly below the discharge pipe. This protects 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.

Plastering and cement work

The source area was filled up with clean stones and sand and covered with a thick plastic tarp to prevent potential sources of contamination. Then soil was layered on top of the tarp so that community members could transplant grass to prevent erosion. Finally, the collection area was fenced in. The only challenge we experienced during the entire construction process was the heavy rain in the evenings that chipped off the cement works which had to be redone some days.

Community members plant grass and fence in the spring box

Eventually, however, all works were completed and it then took about 2 weeks of patience for the concrete to dry. As soon as it was ready, people got the okay from our field officers to begin fetching clean water. We met them there to celebrate this momentous occasion. Happiness, thanksgiving, and appreciation were the order of the day flowing in all directions.

Happy faces at the spring

The assembled community members expressed their gratitude for the new water point. We could see their excitement and joy and we asked them to maintain the spring so that it could last for generations to come. They assured us they would do everything in their power to maintain the spring, as we would too if there were any major issues.

A girl smiles at the spring while holding leafy twigs used for sweeping the spring

"This is a very vibrant and highly cooperative community," said the lead Field Officer for this project, Jonathan Mutai.

"Any time we reported to the spring, all the community members would gather in just a few minutes to hear from us and provide anything that we needed. It was such a blessing to work with this community and we are looking forward to protecting all the high yielding springs that we were shown around the area."

A woman stands with the spring

Sanitation Platforms

All 5 sanitation platforms have been installed. These 5 families are happy about this milestone of having a private latrine of their own and are optimistic that people will no longer leave waste outdoors. We are continuing to encourage families to finish building walls and roofs over their new latrine floors.

A man gives thumbs up for his family's new sanitation platform

New Knowledge

Community member and village elder Mr. Joshua Wotsieli helped organize the training in coordination with our Field Officers Jonathan and Isabella. Together we found the community’s preferred date for training while considering other events in the community calendar such as the agricultural season and expected gatherings.

21 people attended training, which was conducted on a bright morning. The sun was shining but the temperatures were cool because it had rained all night. The participants sat on stones under some trees which provided shade and they were very comfortable. All of the attendees were very keen and attentive throughout the training, asking and answering questions when they needed clarification on the content.

Learning the 10 steps of handwashing

We covered several topics including community participation; leadership and governance; personal and environmental hygiene; water handling and treatment; operation and maintenance of the spring and sanitation platforms; dental hygiene; the 10 steps of handwashing, and how to make and use a tippy tap and leaky tin. During the leadership and governance session, we held an election for the leaders of the newly formed water user committee.

A woman demonstrates handwashing

A particularly memorable moment was when the facilitator was explaining the importance of the community's involvement and participation in the spring protection, reviewing their contributions such as materials, labor, and housing for the work team. One man interrupted the conversation and started accusing 2 others who were in charge of coordinating the project within the community of hiding money which the donors had brought for the benefit of the community. The facilitator saw this as an opportunity to clear the air because this is a common misconception in communities that can bring about conflicts. He explained that no money was given but only the materials, labor, and services such as the training itself and future monitoring and repairs. It took some time for everyone to fully come around to this explanation, but eventually, all members were seeing eye to eye and the and misunderstanding was cleared up.

Site management training at the spring under construction

Another memorable topic was the dental hygiene session. It was at this time that one of the participants brought out an old toothbrush which had turned black due to soot in their house. The facilitator saw that the brush was hardly being used and she urged the participants to use improvised dental hygiene materials like soft chew sticks instead of neglecting their teeth when they can not afford toothpaste.

We also brainstormed income-generating activities that can be used to start both a community savings account for any future minor repairs to the spring, as well as a cooperative lending group to enable members to develop their own small businesses.

Smiles at the spring

The community members agreed to fine anybody found violating the spring rules and that money would be used for minor repairs and maintenance. When an issue arises concerning the water project, the water user committee is equipped with the necessary skills to rectify the problem and ensure the water point works appropriately. However, if the issue is beyond their capabilities, they can contact our team of field officers to assist them. In addition, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our ongoing monitoring and maintenance program.

A woman smiles in front of the new spring

"I'm glad that you have finally come into our community to enlighten us on how to maintain hygiene for general health and wellness. Musiachi is going to be healthier and the trips that women used to make to the dispensary to treat their children for diarrhea will reduce," said village elder Mr. Peter Mwombe.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

February, 2020: Musiachi Community, Mutuli Spring Project Underway!

Dirty water from Mutuli Spring is making people in Musiachi sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install 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 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: Musiachi Community, Mutuli Spring

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Musiachi Community 2.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Musiachi Community 2 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, our parents feared sending us to the spring because we had a pool of water and anything could easily happen."

"Now, we can make several trips to the spring without our parents being worried."

"As pupils, we are now able to have group discussions after we are done with drawing water, and with this, we know when we resume school our teachers will not have a hard time with us."

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 Musiachi Community 2 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 Musiachi Community 2 – 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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