Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 350 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 09/06/2023

Project Features

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Masuveni Community is a peaceful area since it is not near the main road. Most buildings found in this area are mud-walled and semi-permanent because of the socio-economic levels of most families.

The majority of the 350 Masuveni community members live in their paternal homes, where you also find the grandparents and the grandchildren in the same compound, though they might be staying in different houses. The men are often responsible for earning the money, whereas the mothers are responsible for taking care of the children.

The main livelihood here is selling farm produce as the majority of the community members here depend on farming. This implies that they are self-employed. Most of the food they get from their farms goes toward feeding their households,  and what remains is sold making this a source of income and livelihood.

An average day for a community member here starts at 6:00 am. They have to wake up early to get the children off to school and tend to their farms. They work until 1:00 pm when they return home to have lunch. The women often go home earlier to begin preparations for lunch for their husbands and children who come home to eat each school day. After resting for a few hours, they attend to their businesses from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm and then they return home to have family time. At this point, the mothers are responsible for preparing dinner for the family while the fathers take time to bond with the children. The day ends at 9:00 pm when they retire to bed.

The main source of water for people here is Masuveni Spring. The location of the spring is not far from most homes. When it rains, the area near the spring becomes very muddy. That mud makes it difficult for people to access the water and makes the already unsafe waterpoint even less safe due to all the contaminants that collect in the water. A temporary discharge pipe was placed into the spring to help prevent people from collecting water after it pools, but it is not very stable. This means that people often resort to filling their containers with water after it comes out of the pipe.

Even when it is possible to fill up containers directly from the pipe, the water is not safe for consumption. Since there is no spring protection to keep away contaminants, run-off from nearby farms and households filters into the water.

"Not having enough clean water really affects our lives because we spend a lot of money going to the hospital to seek medication because of the rampant waterborne diseases. Also, our social lives are affected because women mostly quarrel over getting dirty water," explained Henry Matore, a farmer in the community.

This spring is a great candidate for protection. There is plenty of water available - it takes just 20 seconds to fill a 20-liter container! The spring is also away from the main road and there are no trees planted nearby that will affect the amount of water available. Protecting the spring will help ensure that contaminants stay out and that people can easily access the water coming from the spring.

By protecting this spring, the rate of waterborne diseases will go down. People will save a lot of time. Right now, they must wait for the water to clear up before fetching water at the spring. They will be assured of a better way of fetching water because now the discharge pipe will be permanent and will not fall out or need to be replaced over time.

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 out 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 freeing up more of their time and energy to engage and invest in income-generating activities.


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 Masuveni Community, Masuveni 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 Masuveni, Kenya.

We trained more than 12 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.

February, 2020: Masuveni Community, Masuveni Spring Project Complete!

Masuveni Community now has access to clean water! Masuveni 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.

A community member radiates joy at the newly protected 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.

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.

Artisan works on headwall and wing walls

The source area was filled up with clean stones and sand and covered with a thick plastic tarp to prevent potential sources of contamination. The only challenge throughout the construction process due to the season was the rain, as sometimes it could start raining early forcing the artisan to wait for some time before he could continue. All of the laborers persisted, however, and eventually, all stages of construction reached completion.

Working on the fencing protecting the spring area

It 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.

Happy day at the spring

"We are now proud of 'our water'," said village elder Mr. Henry Matore.

"This new water point will save our women a lot of time. Most of them used to come and waste a lot of time at the spring, but now since the water is discharging at a very high speed, they will have no reason for taking long. It's also easier now for our young children to access water - no more risks of falling."

Community members celebrate the newly protected 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.

Proud new sanitation platform owners

New Knowledge

Field Officer Laura Alulu planned the training with the help of the assistant chief, the village elder Mr. Henry Matore, and the chair of the 10 Houses Initiative popularly known as the "nyumba kumi initiative."

Mr. Matore gave us the community’s preferred date for training, for he was very much aware of the community calendar when it comes to planting season and other big events.

All of the participants were then notified 4 days before the training to help them plan their schedule well. On the day of training, the village elder used a whistle to call people to assemble at the spring just a few minutes before we reached the site. Participants were recruited by first looking at the location; all the residents in the area were invited to attend. All those who use this spring water were also invited, and we aimed to have at least 1 person from each household represented.

Community members listen to a woman share her thoughts during training

20 people attended training,  which was a good turnout. This was influenced by 2 things. First, the weather was helpful since the day started with some sunshine. With the training beginning around 11:00 am, this was also very convenient for the participants since the women were already done with their household chores and the men were back early from their casual labor jobs. We started training in the shade of a tree, moved inside a house during a short drizzle, then finished up at the spring for out practical maintenance sessions.

Trainer Laura Alulu leads the handwashing session as a community member demonstrates

We covered several topics including leadership and governance; operation and maintenance of the spring; healthcare; family planning; immunizations; and the prevention and spread of disease. We also covered water treatment methods, personal care like handwashing, environmental hygiene, hygiene promotion, and many other things.

The level of participation was good. This was seen by how they reacted to the topics taught. One participant kept putting her hand up, and would sometimes even stand up to explain whatever she was saying. The combination of her age and her level of participation were amazing, our team reflected. Another woman moved from the middle where she was initially sitting and came right in front so that she could listen without interruption. This really showed us she was very interested in hearing every detail.

Toothbrushing demonstrations

Under the topic of leadership and governance, the participants were very eager and ready to get the leaders who will now take up the challenge of leading Masuveni Spring users. Under this topic, the facilitator defined who a leader is, types of leaders, and the qualities that they need to look at before electing the leaders. After this, the attendees elected their water user leadership committee.

Site management training at the spring while construction was underway

What made this session special was that one particular woman was elected to the committee, but at first, was trying to make fun and refute the position. When asked what she was unsure about, she cracked a very serious joke that she was to travel abroad for 2 years, so she would not be around. Everyone was amused by this, and she later took up the leadership role saying that it was just a joke and she was there to stay.

Community members pose with their training booklets after training

"This training is really going to help us because some women are tough headed when you tell them that it's not good for them to be washing near the spring. It's now good that they have heard this from your team, as this will now be taken seriously," said community member and farmer Janet Khavere.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

December, 2019: Masuveni Community, Masuveni Spring Project Underway!

Dirty water from Masuveni Spring is making people in Masuveni 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.

Giving Update: Masuveni Community, Masuveni Spring

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Masuveni Community 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 was completed, we would get water that was not clean. The spring was an artesian spring that required us to fetch water using a container or jug. Different people from different homes came with their own containers to fetch water and some of the containers were not clean; this was not hygienic."

"Secondly, the area around the spring had plantations that attracted animals. The animals would come around the spring and dirty the water and make it contaminated, which was risky to our health."

"After completion of this project, we are very happy because we get clean water via pipes - no more using of dirty containers by community members. The plantations that were around the spring were cleared and the area around the spring was fenced, thus preventing animals from reaching the spring."

"I am able to maintain cleanliness at my homestead. The environment of our community is clean and the hygiene standards highly improved. Because there is enough water, I am able to make liquid soap and sell it to community members. My business has really improved."

Janet (right) at the spring with Field Officer Rose Serete

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 Masuveni Community 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 Masuveni Community – 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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