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The Water Project: Mutao Community, Kenya Spring -  Okanga Family Latrine
The Water Project: Mutao Community, Kenya Spring -  Meeting With Community About Project
The Water Project: Mutao Community, Kenya Spring -  Agness Using Spring Water To Wash Dishes
The Water Project: Mutao Community, Kenya Spring -  Water From Spring Is Used On Farms
The Water Project: Mutao Community, Kenya Spring -  Water Storage
The Water Project: Mutao Community, Kenya Spring -  Carrying Water Home
The Water Project: Mutao Community, Kenya Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Mutao Community, Kenya Spring -  Josephine Lijodi
The Water Project: Mutao Community, Kenya Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Mutao Community, Kenya Spring -  Woman By The Spring
The Water Project: Mutao Community, Kenya Spring -  Animals Drink From Spring
The Water Project: Mutao Community, Kenya Spring -  Field Officer Jacky Interviewing
The Water Project: Mutao Community, Kenya Spring -  Community Members
The Water Project: Mutao Community, Kenya Spring -  Bridge Into Community

Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 420 Served

Project Phase:  Under Construction
Estimated Install Date (?):  08/31/2019

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

“It is said that love prevails over anything bad. I got married in this community some 20 years ago and when I was sent by my mother-in-law to fetch water, I was shocked and felt so sick to see the water source. I almost ran away but due to the love for my husband, I persevered,” shared Mrs. Khamasi.

“In truth, we have suffered in terms of getting dirty and unsafe water from the spring for quite a long time.”

Some 420 people in Mutao use the water from Kenya Spring for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and bathing. It is saddening to see the kind of dirty water that people are consuming every day.

Especially when thinking of the children, whose immunity is not strong enough to fight many of the germs found in this dirty water. The spring is found deep in a valley, where the hills allow rainwater to carry even more contaminants into the water.

The community reports that for as long as they can remember, they have been dealing with water-related diseases such as typhoid and diarrhea. They have been using a lot of resources to treat these illnesses.

An average day begins at 5:30am in the morning and ends at 8pm in the evening. In the morning, women wake up to prepare their children for school. After the children leave, women are responsible for house chores before they join husbands on the farm. Most people in this community depend on the farming of sugarcane plantations. They plant maize, beans, and plantains at the household level.

This region is known for bullfighting, where local cows are trained and brought together to fight. Local alcohol is brewed and consumed at high levels. The brew is referred to as “malwa.”

The majority of people survive on less than a dollar per day. Most of the young people are unemployed, and it’s out of this frustration that they turn to excessive malwa consumption. The living standards in Mutao Village are low, and life expectancy is also low.

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

On the final day of training, participants will select five families that should benefit from new concrete 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

08/19/2019: Mutao Community, Kenya Spring Underway!

Dirty water from Kenya Spring is making people in Mutao Community 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!

The Water Project : 2-kenya19130-community-members

Project Photos

Project Type

Protected Spring

In many communities, natural springs exist as water flows from cracks in rocky ground or the side of a hill.  Springs provide reliable water but that doesn’t mean safe. When left open they become contaminated by surface contamination, animal and human waste and rain runoff. The solution is to protect the source. First, you excavate around the exact source area of the spring. Then, you build a protective reservoir for water flow, which leads to a concrete spring box and collection area. Safe water typically flows year-round and there is very limited ongoing maintenance needed!


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