Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 280 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/06/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

A regular day in Munenga Community starts at 6am as children wake up to prepare for school. There are cleaning chores to do like sweeping the house, rushing to fetch water, preparing breakfast, and cleaning dishes. All this is done before the day's work on the farm.

The community struggles by with low income, as the majority of the people are  farmers who grow maize, beans, and groundnuts at a small scale. There are also some households that raise cows for milk, but all this doesn't help much because they do it at such a small scale. Community members report that there's nowhere to even sell their produce.

Furthermore, these 280 people don't have clean water to do any of these things. They use dirty water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. This water comes from Burudi Spring.

Burudi Spring is completely open to contamination as wild animals come and go to sate their own thirst, too. Women and children are those most often seen fetching water, dunking their water containers under the surface until full. The water is brought back and stored in different containers depending on use; drinking water in the sitting area, cooking water in the kitchen, and cleaning water outside.

Drinking this dirty water causes people to spend more time in the clinic than on their farms.

"Since I was born, this water was still here. People were drinking the way it is, with the majority of the community members coming to fetch water from this source since it's the only source that doesn't dry up in all seasons," said Mr. Burudi.

What we can do:

"Generally, sanitation and hygiene is not good. Most of the latrines are not of good quality, and they are made of mud floors and some roofed and others not," said 14-year-old Amos.

"During rainy season most do sink, recently there was one which sunk while my mother was inside and she was expecting. Thank God there were people around who rescued her!"

Most latrine pits are almost filled up but they still use them. There are no handwashing stations, and the few who have containers near their latrines do not fill them with water regularly.


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

July, 2020: Through Their Eyes: COVID-19 Chronicles with Silas Burudi

This post is part of a new series by The Water Project meant to highlight the perspectives and experiences of the people we serve and how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting them. We invite you to read more of their stories here.

Silas Burudi is a 48-year-old farmer who lives in Munenga Village. He is the landowner of Burudi Spring, and serves as the Chair of the spring's Water User Committee.

Silas shows his face mask while at home.

Our team recently visited Munenga to conduct a COVID-19 prevention training (read more about it below!) and monitor their water point. Shortly after, we returned to check in on the community, offer a COVID-19 refresher training, and ask how the pandemic is affecting their lives.

Silas (standing in back) shares his concerns about COVID-19 during the first prevention training in his community.

It was during this most recent visit that Silas shared his story of how the coronavirus has impacted her his life.

Team member Betty Mwangi met Silas outside his home to conduct the interview. Both Betty and Silas observed social distancing and other precautions throughout the visit to ensure their health and safety. Their questions and answers have been edited for clarity and length.

What is one thing that has changed in your community since the protection of Burudi Spring?

"The issue of waterborne diseases in our community is now a thing of the past because we are able to access clean water. People are no longer going to hospital because of sickness. Also, we are able to do small-scale farming around the spring, like growing of vegetables and some maize around the spring using the water there for irrigation."

Silas fetches water from Burudi Spring.

How has having a clean water point helped you through the pandemic so far?

"My family is able to take fresh green vegetables directly from the shamba (field), which I have been irrigating using the clean water from this spring. I'm very happy because, during this pandemic, we are advised to boost our immunity by taking a lot of green vegetables and fruits. My family and I have also been able to access clean drinking water without any fear."

Silas weeds his vegetable garden near the spring.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Kenya, has fetching water changed for you because of restrictions, new rules, or your concerns about the virus?

"Fetching water has really changed because, before the spread of COVID-19, I used to overcrowd while fetching water without worry or any fear. But now, I have to observe social distancing. Initially, I never used to wash my hands before fetching water, but now I am forced to wash hands before and after fetching the water. It's also mandatory to clean the spring regularly because of the virus, unlike before, when people were not that much concerned about this."

Community members observe social distancing while waiting to fetch water.

How has COVID-19 impacted your family?

" There is no freedom, especially among children; they can't move around freely and also they are locked up at home since they can't go to school. The issue of repeating classes come next year has also brought much tension to schoolchildren because they never expected such a thing to happen. As a parent, I have tried to talk to them but still they are in disbelief, which affects them mentally."

Silas washes his hands with soap and water from Burudi Spring.

What other challenges are you experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

"Lockdown has been lifted up, so there is a lot of fear and anxiety since people have been allowed to move, spreading the virus, especially those who were from towns coming freely to the village. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the economy so much in that I'm no longer able to do my small business as I used to. Business is very quiet, hence affecting my provision of daily bread as a breadwinner in the family."

Silas rinses his hands using the leaky tin handwashing station installed near the spring.

What hygiene and sanitation steps have you and your community taken to stop the spread of the virus?

"We are washing hands every time using soap and clean water, and while going to fetch water one has to wash hands before fetching water. There is no handshaking, and the community is very much observing social distancing."

Silas puts on his mask.

Have any COVID-19-related restrictions been lifted since they began in Kenya?


What restriction were you most excited to see lifted already?

"Cessation of movement was lifted up, and I was very happy because I can now extend my time to work a bit. I was happy also when places of worship were opened because I will no longer stay at home on Sundays worshiping at home."

What restriction are you still looking forward to being lifted?

"Opening of schools so that children can attend classes instead of staying at home."

Silas in his mask.

When asked where he receives information about COVID-19, Silas listed the radio, television, word of mouth, and our team's sensitization training.

What has been the most valuable part of the COVID-19 sensitization training you received from our team?

"The issue of mask-wearing has been very helpful to me because, before the training, I used to ignore wearing masks, thinking it's only for those who are infected and are in towns, only to learn from your team that it's very important to always wear a mask while in crowded places."

"Munenga Community got right on our previous COVID-19 training in that they have put in place measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. Among them, water and soap are always at the entrance of the spring, and one has to wash hands before and after fetching water," reflected Betty on her observations from her visit with Silas.

May, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Munenga Community, Burudi 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.

Team Leader Emmah in full personal protective gear kicks off the training

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 Munenga, Kenya.

We trained more than 40 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.

Trainer Betty (foreground) helped arrange community members into social distancing as a requirement of attending 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.

A community member demonstrates handwashing with a leaky tin

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.

Training in progress as people sit spread out

By the end of training, we installed a new handwashing station with soap near the community’s spring. 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.

Spring landowner Mr. Burudi stands to express his concerns about Coronavirus

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.

Training staff in personal protective gear listen in as they take turns leading the session

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: Munenga Community, Burudi Spring Complete!

Munenga Community now has clean water! Burudi Spring has been transformed into a flowing source of clean 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.

Happy fetching water

Spring Protection

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

The Process

Men and women 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 plastic, 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.

Field Officer Lynnah checks in on the construction progress

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 lays bricks

The source area was filled up with clean stones and sand and covered with a plastic membrane to eliminate any potential sources of contamination. It took about two weeks of patience for the concrete to dry. By then, Munenga community members had also built a fence around the spring and planted grass upstream to protect the area. They have also cleared the pathway towards the spring for easy access.

Hard work continues

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.

There was a lot of singing and dancing at the new water point, with women and children celebrating the arrival of clean and safe water. They sang songs praising God because of the clean water. They were shouting, jumping, and clapping.

At this point, an elder woman personally thanked us for protecting the spring. She was singing and dancing around the spring, exclaiming, "Clean water! Clean water!"

Grandmother watches over grandchildren drawing water

All ages appreciate clean water

"This is a remarkable year to people of [Munenga] after so many years of [having the] unprotected spring [and] taking unsafe water and becoming sick," said Margaret, an 87-year-old woman from the village.

A humble, energetic, and typically jovial person, Margaret was even more excited because of the new water project in her home.

"We really appreciate what you people have done [for] us. We as Burudi Spring beneficiaries have nothing to give back as appreciation but what we may say is that may God of all creation both Heaven and Earth bless you - all [our] donors and you, implementing partners - abundantly. May all your donors live long to keep on giving these good services to people like us," said Margaret.

Feeling the rush

Despite their low income, which contributes to the high level of poverty, broken up families, and school dropouts in Munenga, the Burudi Spring beneficiaries have their own unique sense of cooperation when it comes to bringing them together for something that can lift up their standard of living.

They said the new water point will bring them together to do something constructive that will enable their living status to change.

During training, Munenga community members all agreed to start poultry farming, which they said will benefit them as a group in selling the eggs and, during festive seasons, selling the birds for meat. This will help them start small and grow together financially as a community as they begin to lift themselves up out of the vicious cycle of poverty.

Mother and son fetch safe, clean water

Mr. Silas Burudi, who helped facilitate this project and host training, said that he thinks the population in Munenga is going to increase very much, very soon. This is because other than this new spring, there is no other nearby clean water source and people were coming from far away during the construction process to come and see what was happening.

Observing this, he was sure that all those people who were coming to see the implementation process will soon join them in Munenga to share in the clean water.

Watering the newly planted grass above the spring to help prevent soil erosion

Sanitation Platforms

All five sanitation platforms have been installed. Whereas the few homemade latrines that existed previously in Munenga used to collapse regularly in the rain, our latrines are designed to withhold all manner of weather and use.

The five recipient 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.

Grateful beneficiaries

New Knowledge

Site management training - look at that crowd!

Mr. Silas Burudi, the farmer who owns the land where the new spring is located, was tasked with organizing the training. He 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.

Good engagement during training

The attendance was beyond our expectation as the community turned up in large numbers, in part thanks to the most comfortable weather that day - not too hot, and not too sunny. We all gathered at Mr. Burudi's homestead for training, where we sat under the shade outside his house, surrounded by trees which gave us a nice breeze that made the training even more enjoyable.

All the participants were involved and actively participated in the training. They showed much interest in the different topics, and they eagerly asked and answered questions with the facilitators.

A community member asks a question

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

Handing out training materials really helped the message hit home for participants

The participants were especially attentive during the primary health care training as they all wanted to get an understanding of what it means and all that it entails. When the facilitators covered proper handwashing using the ten hand washing steps, the participants said that although this new method took more time than their previous method, it looked very special and they would do it, preferring to follow the new steps and not wiping their hands with anything. The attendees said of handwashing in particular that they have learned something unique.

Trainer Lynnah leads handwashing activity

"We used to do things without precautions or caring about our health, especially drinking water without boiling [it] or any [other] treatment," said Munenga community member Christine Nechesa.

"[We were] not bothering to clean our water storage [containers] and eating food sometimes without warming [it up] before eating. I thank God for you people choosing our spring and protecting it because now our health and life will improve. We have learned so many things that we are going to put into practice," said Christine.

Happy days

Young boy fills up

Linet Luchivya, a farmer in Munenga, was also excited about the project and all it had brought to their community.

"Now the issues of sicknesses like stomachache, diarrhea, and typhoid will end. Lately we have been falling sick because of taking water that is not protected and we have not been treating [it], but now we are very grateful for what you people have done in our community."

Linet said the spring protection was "beyond our imagination."

"Honestly, we never thought in our life this spring could one day be protected because it has been like that since our great-grandfathers. Glory to God for bringing you here to protect our spring, our life will now be well and we shall live long."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

May, 2019: Munenga Community, Burudi Spring Project Underway

Dirty water from Burudi Spring is making people in Munenga 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 Videos

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: Munenga Community, Burudi Spring

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Munenga 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 spring was protected, we used to fetch water using a jug or bowl - something which was very hard - and the water used to be dirty. Whenever someone fetched water, we were forced to wait for some time for it to settle down; then you could fetch. Children, on the other hand, used to come here and at times, those little kids defecated directly in the water which used to be open to every sort of contaminant. But at the time, we had no other choice but to use the water the way it was."

"Now, we drink water from this source without any worry. My life has really changed because there are no waterborne diseases experienced since the implementation of this spring. We used to get sick, especially the children, before then, and I could take them to hospital and spend a lot of money. But since this water point was constructed, my family lives a peaceful life. Typhoid and diarrhea are in the past now."

"Nowadays, I'm able to wake up very early, finish with house chores, and immediately I turn to my side hustle of crushing stones and selling them to people who are doing construction around the area. Per day, I can crush one tractor, equivalent to three to four tons of ballast."

Christine fetches water at the spring.

"It's through the presence of access to clean and safe water that I'm able to do all this, unlike before when I couldn't make time to do this kind of business because I had no time. All my time I spent on searching for safe water and at times, rushing to the spring at least to be the first one before others came and made it dirty."

"I'm now able to feed my family, which is extended, without any problems because of this water point. There is no time I'm worried about water because even if I spend much time on my work, still anytime I can access water which is always clean and very cool for drinking."

Kids pose for a photo at the spring.

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 Munenga 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 Munenga 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.


Scandinavians for Life
LG for a Change
Microsoft Matching Gifts Program
The Clorox Company
Karen's Campaign for Water
20 individual donor(s)