Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 280 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/05/2024

Project Features

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The 280 members of Muyala community wake up as early as they can in an effort to avoid other people at the spring, but it never seems to be early enough. This is because it's not only this community that depends on David Alumasa Spring. In the dry season, neighboring springs evaporate to nothing, bringing people from all over the region to queue here.

"The state of our spring has caused me to delay [attending] class lessons, as most of the time, [I] am forced to queue at the spring so as I can fetch water," said 14-year-old Bonziana (pictured below).

For all the demand, you would think there would be something special about this water. But, unfortunately, the water is contaminated by humans, animals, and adjacent farms. The only thing special about David Alumasa Spring is that its water is always available.

The spring is named after the beer brewer who owns the land, David Alumasa. He told us that he hears constant quarreling at the water source, but if he is to run his business, he cannot possibly police everyone who comes to his land for water. And while fighting is unpleasant, it's not the worst effect of this water.

"Being the landowner, it has been so difficult to persuade women not to wash [at] the spring, as they are the people who contaminate the water source more," David (pictured above) told us. "The contamination has caused more harm than good, as I have suffered a lot due to [the] contraction of typhoid."

Almost everyone we spoke to has suffered from typhoid, which is not only painful, but it's also expensive to treat. Not everyone can afford the necessary medication.

When we explained to community members that we plan on protecting their spring, they were so excited. They said it would be a solution to their most pressing problems, and we can't help but agree!

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

August, 2022: Muyala Community Spring Protection Complete!

Muyala Community now has access to clean water! We transformed David Alumasa 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.

"My family is known in this community as the leading seller of the local brew," said 40-year-old businesswoman Joyce Luvembe.

Joyce holds a glass of water fetched from the protected spring.

"We prepare the brew here and we use water in preparation. I receive a lot of clients, and this project will help greatly. At times, I send people to fetch water from the spring, and they really strain to get water, but now it will be so easy for them—even when they have tasted the brew. Accessing water from the spring is now easy and all water-related activities will run smoothly."

Joyce offers water to a child.

Children were just as excited as adults about the new waterpoint.

"My mother has been teaching me how to be clean and to undertake household chores," said 12-year-old Sharleen A.

Sharleen carries a full jerrycan of water fetched from the spring.

"This water point will greatly help me to perform my chores well and on time since getting water from the point is now easy and time-saving. [I] am now sure that I will be able to uphold and undertake the cleanliness my mother has always wanted."

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.

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

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. 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. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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 their local field officers to fetch water.

We officially handed over the spring to mark the community's ownership of the water point. David Alumasa, who was elected as chairperson of the water user committee, thanked everyone who contributed to the project, including the artisans for the good work. He also thanked our field officers for working with them. They promised to take good care of the spring. Happiness, thanksgiving, and appreciation were the order of the day, flowing in all directions.

Training on Health, Hygiene, 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 Jacklyne and Brenda deployed to the site to lead the event. 25 people attended the training, including 24 women and one man. We held the training in an open area adjacent to the spring.

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.

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.

Water bottles placed in the sunlight for disinfection.

Muyala's favorite training topic was solar water disinfection, which they found very interesting. They were excited to save plastic bottles that would otherwise be discarded and put them to use providing clean water for their families.

"This training has taught me so many things, among them being the steps of handwashing," said landowner David Alumasa, who we spoke to when we first visited the community. "For the last 56 years, I have never known that there are steps to follow when washing hands. I have also been shown how I will lead my people in ensuring that the spring is well maintained."


This project required a substantial collaboration between our staff, our in-country teams, and the community members themselves. 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 their local field officers to assist them.

Also, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program. We walk with each community, problem-solving together when they face challenges with functionality, seasonality, or water quality. Together, all these components help us strive for enduring access to reliable, clean, and safe water for this community.

With your contribution, one more piece has been added to a large puzzle of water projects. In our target areas, we’re working toward complete coverage of reliable, maintained water sources within a 30-minute round trip for each community, household, school, and health center. With this in mind, search through our upcoming projects to see which community you can help next!

Thank you for making all of this possible!

June, 2022: Muyala Community Spring Protection Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Muyala Community 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: Less Waterborne Disease!

October, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Muyala 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!

Churchill K., 12, recalled what life was like in the Muyala Community before his community's spring was installed last year.

"It was very hard to get water because of [the] long queues, so I was forced to take [our] cows to the farthest streams, which was very tiresome," said Churchill.

But life is much simpler for Churchill and the other community members in Muyala now.

"I am no longer taking cows to the farthest streams in search of drinking water because water is now readily available," said Churchill

Having ready access to water from the protected spring has made a difference for Churchill, allowing him time for things other than walking in search of water.

"Because waterborne diseases are no longer witnessed [by] my parents, [they] are now able to save something rather than using [it] for medication," concluded Churchill.


Right now, there are others in <a href= "">neighboring communities</a> 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 Muyala 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 Muyala 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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