Loading images...
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Water Storage
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Storage
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Shadrack Collecting Water
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Leaky Tin For Handwashing
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Latrine
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Julias Mitosis At His Home
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Julias In Kitchen
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Julias Feeding His Cow
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Inside Kitchen With Julias
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Homestead
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Firewood
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Farming
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Elvine With Family
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Elvine Washing Dishes
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Elvine In Kitchen
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Dishrack
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Clothesline
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Children Playing
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Chicks Feeding
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Bathroom
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Bathing Shelter
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Animals Grazing
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Animal Pen
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Elvine Storing Water
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Elvine Fetching Water
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Elvine Carrying Water
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Elvine Carrying Water
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Elvine Akhoshe
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Elvine Akhoshe
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Collecting Water
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Water Souces
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Water Souces
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Water Souces
The Water Project: Makunga Community, Malaha Spring -  Water Souces

Project Status



Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Project Phase:  Donate to this Project
Estimated Install Date (?):  06/17/2022

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



The residents of Makunga Community are mostly comprised of sugarcane farmers, though some also grow maize and raise poultry for a living. While sugarcane is known as one of the thirstiest crops a farm can produce, the same can be said for the community’s people, who have never had a source of safe water.

Elvine, who is now a mother herself, reflected on her childhood growing up in the community. “As a child, I experienced many challenges due to lack of clean and safe water, which really contributed to absenteeism in school, poor performance. Most of the time, I skipped washing clothes and bathing, hence living an unhealthy life.”

And life isn’t any easier for the adults in the community without water to keep them healthy.

“As a parent, I have really suffered due to lack of access to clean and safe water,” said local farmer Julias Mitosis. “[I often go] to work late, as much time is spent on accessing water.”

Tardiness and hardship are no surprise, given that, without safe water, the community often struggles to perform everyday tasks: bathing, washing dishes, washing clothes, and even just cooking a meal.

Some of the community members have to fetch water four times a day, walking a half-hour each way. With up to four hours of daylight spent lugging jerrycans, the residents of Makunga Community lack enough energy to thrive – and sometimes, even, to survive.

Julias explained: “Due to health issues in my family, agribusiness activities are not achieved.” He can only grow enough to feed his family, and not enough to sell for a profit. Thus, when anyone in his family gets sick, they can’t purchase proper treatment.

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.

We're just getting started, check back soon!


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!


Contributors