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The Water Project: Bumira Community, Madegwa Spring -  Mud Home
The Water Project: Bumira Community, Madegwa Spring -  Jairus Aswani
The Water Project: Bumira Community, Madegwa Spring -  Joseph Madegwa
The Water Project: Bumira Community, Madegwa Spring -  Water Containers
The Water Project: Bumira Community, Madegwa Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Bumira Community, Madegwa Spring -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Bumira Community, Madegwa Spring -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Bumira Community, Madegwa Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Bumira Community, Madegwa Spring -  Coming To Fetch Water
The Water Project: Bumira Community, Madegwa Spring -  Current Water Source
The Water Project: Bumira Community, Madegwa Spring -  Boy With Water Container
The Water Project: Bumira Community, Madegwa Spring -  Household Compound
The Water Project: Bumira Community, Madegwa Spring -  Garden
The Water Project: Bumira Community, Madegwa Spring -  Household

Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 210 Served

Project Phase:  Under Construction
Estimated Install Date (?):  01/17/2020

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

A rough dirt road leads into Bumira Village. It’s full of mud when it rains, but vehicles and motorbikes can still pass through it though they sometimes get stuck and people have to push them out of the mud.

Many extended family members share food and live in the same household compounds. There is a generation of young men that seem to have gone astray in this village, drinking and smoking excessively throughout the day. However, their parents and wives step up to ensure that their children are provided for. There are also a number of orphans being taken care of by grandparents here in Bumira.

Peasant farming, casual work such as carrying packages to offices in Shamakhokho, and peddling are the most common livelihoods for these 210 people. Land cultivation or planting, fetching water, grazing animals, smearing houses with cow dung to keep away jiggers, picking tea, brewing and drinking alcohol are activities that take place in this village on a daily basis. Children go to fetch water and also help with other domestic chores when they are out of school.

People have to leave home to fetch water. The most convenient water source is Madegwa Spring, since it’s close to many households. However, the water at Madegwa Spring is not safe for drinking.

Animals are brought to graze around the spring, and they greatly pollute the spring’s environment. When it rains, all that excrement is carried into the spring. Soil erosion carries soil from farms into the spring and rubbish thrown carelessly in household gardens is also carried down to the water. This makes it very unsafe for human consumption.

The containers are dunked under the water’s surface until full. They’re lugged back home and used for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and many other purposes. Most homes don’t have larger water barrels or pots to store their water in, so it’s just kept in the same 20-liter jerrycan that’s carried back and forth to fetch water.

Water from this source is not treated. People believe that they have gotten used to the dirty water from Madegwa Spring. They are careful to avoid other sources, but that which comes from Madegwa is what they trust and they believe their bodies can handle that water. However, community members still report cases of diarrhea and typhoid – which are a result of drinking dirty water. The amount of time and money spent on treatment pulls this village backwards in development.

“You don’t even need a microscope to see the dirt in our water, because we can see it with our naked eyes. We have found problems with this water and I believe you see these leaves and all the dirt that we now see in it,” said Mr. Madegwa.

“We cannot protect it on our own, if so we would have done it long time ago; we surely need your help.”

What we can do:

Spring Protection

We will protect the spring to ensure that the water is safe, adequate, and secure. Construction will keep surface runoff and other contaminants out of the water. There will be stairs down to the collection point and a pipe that can easily fill water containers. 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.


“I must admit that our sanitation and hygiene standards are very very poor! We really need to be educated on how we can improve in cleanliness for our own good,” said Mr. Aswani.

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 (including the use of mosquito nets!). 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

Some of the latrines are almost full, and there are some with very big squat holes that are dangerous for children. This means that the users are not secure while using them and they also lack privacy because the improvised doors are very weak and in many cases, the latrine entrances are just covered with cloths that are blown by the wind.

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

Project Updates

12/09/2019: Bumira Community, Madegwa Spring Project Underway!

Dirty water from Madegwa Spring is making people in Bumira 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 : 7-kenya19165-fetching-water

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 pours through a reinforced pipe in a concrete headwall to a paved collection area. Safe water typically flows year-round and there is very limited ongoing maintenance needed!


1 individual donor(s)