Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 210 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/03/2024

Project Features

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Mang'uliro Spring, where the 210 members of Mang'uliro Community fetch water every day, is infested with frogs and algae. Leaves and decaying fruit from nearby trees float on the water's surface. Runoff from the forest and the road deposit solid and liquid waste into the water source because there is no drainage channel. As a result, the people of the community are constantly sick from drinking the water, but they have no choice.

"I do spend a lot of my resources in treating waterborne and related diseases attributed to use of water fetched at this spring," said Agribina Muudi (33), a local farmer (pictured above). "If not me who contract those diseases, definitely one of my family members would be ill. I must use resources taking him or her to seek medication."

Not only is the water point dangerous to drink, but it can also be dangerous to access, especially for children, and especially during the rainy season.

The spring is located at the bottom of a steep, sometimes-muddy incline. Many people have fallen and injured themselves while fetching water.

"Accessing water point, especially after rain, is so hard for young kids like me ," said Winston N, who is 11 years old (pictured below at the spring). "The access routes into the water source [are] very slippery. More harder is after collecting water and you have to carry it out of the spring."

What We Can Do:

Spring Protection

Protecting the spring will help provide access to cleaner and safer water and reduce the time people have to spend to fetch it. 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 a task predominantly carried out 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 to engage and invest in income-generating activities and their education.

Training on Health, Hygiene, COVID-19, and More

To hold trainings during the pandemic, we work closely with both community leaders and the local government to approve small groups to attend training. We ask community leaders to invite a select yet representative group of people to attend training who will then act as ambassadors to the rest of the community to share what they learn. We also communicate our expectations of physical distancing and wearing masks for all who choose to attend.

The training will focus on improved hygiene, health, and sanitation habits in this community. We will also have a dedicated session on COVID-19 symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention best practices.

With the community’s input, we will identify key leverage points where they can alter their practices at the personal, household, and community levels to affect change. This training will help to ensure participants have the knowledge they need about healthy practices and their importance to make the most of their water point as soon as water is flowing.

Our team of facilitators will use a variety of methods to train community members. Some of these methods include participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation, asset-based community development, group discussions, handouts, and demonstrations at the spring.

One of the most important issues 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 and the community strongly believe that all of these components will work together to improve living standards here, which will help to unlock the potential for these community members to live better, healthier lives.

We will then conduct a small series of follow-up trainings before transitioning to our regularly scheduled support visits throughout the year.

Training will result in the formation of a water user committee, elected by their peers, that will oversee the operations and maintenance of the spring. The committee 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 unwanted waste, and the drainage will keep the area’s mosquito population at a minimum.

Project Updates

June, 2022: Mang'uliro Spring Protection Complete!

Mang'uliro Community now has access to clean water! We transformed Mang'uliro Spring into a flowing source of naturally filtered water thanks to your donation. Our team also trained the community on improved sanitation and hygiene practices. Together, these components will unlock the opportunity for community members to live better, healthier lives.

When we first spoke to Agribina Muudi, a 34-year-old farmer, during our first visit to Mang'uliro Community, she was under a lot of financial strain. Her savings had been drained by medical treatments for herself and her family members when they suffered from frequent water-related illnesses.

But now that the spring is protected, Agribina said, "Access to reliable, safe water means a lot to me. First, good health for me and my loved ones, which is wealth because of reduced or no waterborne and water-related diseases attributed to the water point at all."


Children were just as thankful for the new waterpoint.


"I will have access to safe clean water, hence I will not be missing going to school because of drinking contaminated water which will, in turn, affect my health," said Winston N., 12. He continued, "Since we now have access to clean water now, my parents will not be straining to pay school fees and other school personal effects."

Preparing for Spring Protection

Community members worked together to source and carry all locally available construction materials to the spring. These included bricks, sand, stones, and fencing poles. Some people also chiseled away at large rocks to break them down into gravel. Because people have to carry most items by hand, the material-collection process can take anywhere from a few weeks to months.

Children from the community help collect building materials.

When the community was ready, we sent a lorry to deliver the remaining construction materials, including cement, plastic tarps, and hardware. Then, our construction artisan and field officers deployed to the spring to begin work. Individual households provided meals throughout each day to sustain the work team.

From Open Source to Protected Spring: A Step-by-Step Process

At last, it was time to dig in at the spring! Locals lent their strength to the artisans to help with the manual labor.

Community members at work.

First, we cleared and excavated the spring area. Next, we dug a drainage channel below the spring and several runoff diversion channels above and around the spring. These help to divert surface contaminants away.


To ensure community members could still access water throughout the construction process, we also dug temporary channels from the spring's eye around the construction site. This allowed water to flow without disrupting community members' tasks or the construction work.

Laying the foundation.

Excavation created space for setting the spring's foundation, made of thick plastic tarp, wire mesh, concrete, and waterproof cement. After establishing the base, we started brickwork to build the headwall, wing walls, and stairs.

Brickwork begins.

Once the walls had grown tall enough, we began one of the most crucial steps: setting the discharge pipe. The discharge pipe needs to be positioned low enough in the headwall so the water level never rises above the spring's eye, yet high enough to allow room for the average jerrycan (a 20-liter container) to sit beneath the pipe without making contact.

Setting the discharge pipe.

If we place the discharge pipe too high above the spring's eye, backpressure could force water to emerge elsewhere. Too low, and community members would not be able to access the water easily. We embedded the pipe using clay (or mortar when clay is in short supply) and placed it at an incline to ensure water flows in the right direction.

Cementing the rub walls.

In coordination with brickwork, we pitched stones on both sides of the spring's drainage channel. We then cemented and plastered each stone, forming the rub walls. These walls discourage people and animals from standing in that area, which could cause soil erosion and a clogged drainage area.

Plaster work.

We then cemented and plastered both sides of the headwall and wing walls. These finishing layers reinforce the brickwork and prevent water in the reservoir from seeping through the walls. In turn, enough pressure builds in the reservoir box to push water out through the discharge pipe.

Installing tiles.

As the headwall and wing walls cured, we cemented and plastered the stairs and installed four tiles beneath the discharge pipe. The tiles protect the concrete from the falling water's erosive force while beautifying the spring and facilitating easy cleaning of the spring floor.

Backfilling the reservoir box with clay.

The final stage of construction is backfilling the reservoir box behind the discharge pipe. We cleared the collection box of any debris that may have fallen during construction. Then we redirected the temporary diversion channels back into the reservoir box, channeling water into this area for the first time. We closed off all of the other exits to start forcing water through the discharge pipe only.

Adding a stone layer to the reservoir box.

We filled up the reservoir area with the large, clean stones community members had gathered, arranging them in layers like a well-fitting puzzle. We covered the rocks with a thick plastic tarp to minimize potential contamination sources, then piled enough dirt on top to compensate for future settling.

Community members transplant grass.

Community members transplanted grass onto the backfilled soil to help prevent erosion. Finally, the collection area was fenced to discourage any person or animal from walking on it. Compaction can lead to disturbances in the backfill layers and potentially compromise water quality.

The entire construction process took about two weeks of work and patience to allow the cement and plaster to finish curing. As soon as the spring was ready, people got the okay from our field officers to fetch water.

Completed spring.

Interestingly, during construction, several people from surrounding villages visited to witness the work being done in Mang'uliro village. Since then, they have been calling and inquiring if The Water Project also helps communities protect shallow wells where springs are not easily found. We will continue to have a conversation with surrounding communities about how we may be able to help in the future.

After work was completed, community members assembled at the water point for prayer, thanking God and the donors for protecting their spring. We officially handed over the spring to mark the community's ownership of the water point. Happiness, thanksgiving, and appreciation were the order of the day, flowing in all directions.

Training on Health, Hygiene, COVID-19, and More

Together with the community, we found their preferred date for training while considering other community calendar events, such as the agricultural season and social events. We requested a representative group of community members to attend training to relay the information learned to the rest of their family and friends.

When the day arrived, facilitators Jonathan Mutai, Rose Serete, Nelly Chebet, and Victor Musemi deployed to the site to lead the event. 15 people attended the training, including nine women and six men. We held the training under shade trees at one of the community members' homesteads.

Group photo of training participants and staff.

We covered several topics, including community participation in the project, leadership and governance, personal and environmental hygiene, water handling and treatment, spring maintenance, dental hygiene, the ten steps of handwashing, disease prevention, and how to make and use handwashing stations.

Learning proper handwashing techniques.

During the leadership and governance session, we held an election for the newly formed water user committee leaders, who will oversee the maintenance of the spring. We also brainstormed income-generating activities. Community members can now start a group savings account for any future minor repairs to the spring and a cooperative lending group, enabling them to develop small businesses.

Discussion surrounding good and bad hygiene habits.

One of the most interesting and entertaining training topics of the day was environmental hygiene. Teaching aids depicting good and bad habits were distributed amongst the participants so they could share their thoughts with one another.

One of the participants, a middle-aged man, received a picture of a boy defecating in a bush. He made a comment that made the others burst out in laughter when he strongly condemned the habit depicted in the photo saying habits like this should not be happening during this century in any community because the practice is only for witches.

Participants learn how to make soap.

Cook Philip Burudi, 58, and a member of the Water User Committee, said, "The training was of great value to me. I am now a grandfather but I have not known of the steps of handwashing until today's training. More so [I] have gained a lot when it comes to hygiene and sanitation so I will keep on passing the same good sanitation and hygiene practices to our children so as not to pass the challenges I passed through."

Philip practices hand washing.

When an issue arises concerning the spring, 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 field officers to assist them. Also, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our ongoing monitoring and maintenance program.

The elected Water User Committee.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

April, 2022: Mang'uliro Spring Protection Underway!

A severe clean water shortage Mang'uliro drains people’s time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this community through the introduction and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation, and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!

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!

A Year Later: "I fetch clean water for drinking..."

June, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Mang'uliro Community 4.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Mang'uliro Community 4 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!

Sarah A., 15, recalled what life was like in Mang'uliro Community before her community’s spring was protected last year.

"As a small girl, I feared collecting water from this place because baboons were always here. They could scare us away, [and] dirty the water, and this created fear in me anytime I could be sent for water. The snakes also came to eat flies, so I really feared to come here," Sarah said.

But life is much safer for Sarah and the other community members in Mang'uliro Community now.

"I feel good and never hesitate when sent for water now that the place is clean, very safe, and the water point is easily accessible. The bush being cleared frequently has also scared the snakes and baboons," she continued.

Having ready access to water from the protected spring has made a difference for Sarah, allowing her to collect clean water joyfully.

"We have really saved time for other activities, especially for house chores and my studies. I fetch clean water for drinking as I treat it with chlorine, thus promoting good hygiene," Sarah concluded.

Thank you for helping Sarah access clean water and be able to practice good hygiene.

Right now, there are others just like her in neighboring communities that desperately need safe water access. Your support will immediately go to work to provide a clean water project - and we can’t wait to introduce you to the next person you’ll help.


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 Mang'uliro Community 4 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 Mang'uliro Community 4 – 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.


Project Sponsor - SJR