Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 210 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/03/2024

Project Features

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Most of the 210 community members of Masukutse spend the majority of their time sugarcane farming. It is a family affair, as wives play a vital role alongside their husbands, but unfortunately, they do not have as much time as they need because they must also collect water for the family.

The community is fortunate to have access to consistent water at Pius Misango Spring. Yet, because there was an attempt to protect the spring previously done incorrectly, it still has problems that cause people to get sick and steal their valuable resources of time and energy.

It is a small spring surrounded by mud, rocks, and grass that becomes treacherous to navigate, especially in the rainy season. It takes care to climb into the catchment area safely and back out with full containers, leading to delays and long lines, wasting valuable time meant for other productive things.

"I normally feel bad when I go to fetch water and find [a] big crowd at the spring. It makes me to do my homework late," said Brian M. (pictured below), age 15.

The water pipe is not high enough to place collection containers under, so people must lay their containers in the water to fill them while they stand ankle-deep in the water or use a scooping container. Not surprisingly, this means they are collecting contaminated water from dirty containers, whatever was on their shoes and feet, along with contaminants from the rocks and the standing water.

After heavy rains, community members often have to wait until the next day to collect water because the water is so muddy.

The contaminated water is causing people like Loi Angesa (pictured below scooping water), a 58-year-old farmer, and her family, to get seriously ill. "It was in 2019 February when my husband started feeling unwell. After taking him to a government hospital, he was diagnosed with typhoid, which took [a] long time to recover. We used a lot of money for buying medicine."

In this community that is working hard to make ends meet, unexpected medical bills due to drinking the water are a burden they cannot afford to carry.

Protecting the spring will ensure community members can safely and timely access the water they need. As a result, they will gain the necessary time and energy to improve their daily lives.

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

September, 2022: Masukutse Community Spring Protection Complete!

Masukutse Community now has access to clean water! We transformed Pius Misango 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.

"The protected spring will help me access clean water for domestic uses such as drinking, washing, and general cleaning, among others," said 41-year-old farmer Susan Naliaka. "I will no longer be stepping in the water as I draw [it], as was the case before the spring protection. Given the pipe, it will be convenient to draw water from the spring."


"The protected spring is not very far from my house," Susan continued. "I am assured of clean, safe drinking water. In addition, I will have enough time to concentrate on other domestic chores as a mother. I believe that cases of waterborne diseases will be minimal."

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

"Now that the spring has been protected, it will be convenient to draw water from the spring through the pipe," said 14-year-old James M.


"Previously, drawing water led to contamination, because I [would] still step in the same water," James continued. "I will now be accessing clean, safe water for domestic use. I am now assured of extra time to be involved in other academic matters. The protected spring will reduce cases of waterborne diseases."

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.

Community members help with excavation.

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. Happiness, thanksgiving, and appreciation were the order of the day, flowing in all directions. The community members gathered together to celebrate the flowing water from the protected spring. Some of them sang songs to celebrate the spring protection process. They thanked everyone for considering them for the spring protection.

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 and relay the information learned to the rest of their family and friends.

When the day arrived, facilitators Mary and Rose deployed to the site to lead the event. 20 people attended the training, including 15 women and five men. We held the training at Pius Misango's home, since he owns the land the spring is on and he is the spring's namesake. He contributed a great deal to the project by cooperating and allowing us to use his land for the communal good.

Pius sits behind the field officer as she trains the community.

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.

The participants' favorite topic was soap-making, which they were excited to learn and teach to their fellow community members. They asked for information on where to buy ingredients so they could make their own batches of soap and pass the knowledge down to future generations.

Pius stirs the soap while community members watch.

Another topic that drew a lot of attention was handwashing, during which community members came to understand that they had been doing the wrong thing by rinsing their hands with water from a shared basin. They had done this to avoid having to fetch extra water. But we trained them on how to make a simple, inexpensive handwashing station called a tippy-tap so that community members can easily wash their hands with running water in the future and won't transfer germs so easily from one household member to another.

Susan (quoted earlier) stands to the left while another community member washes her hands using the newly installed tippy-tap.

"The training taught me how to live harmoniously with members of my family and the community at large," said 63-year-old chairman of the water user committee Joshua Mdogo. "The training also taught me that it just takes a few committed members to bring a change in the community. In the future, communities need to be ready to do in-kind contributions so that project implementation is successful. With the completion of the project and the training done, my health [and] well-being has been changed."


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!

August, 2022: Masukutse Community Spring Protection Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Masukutse 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: "The Water is Extremely Clean"

October, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Masukutse Community 2.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Masukutse Community 2 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!

Loy Misango, 60, recalled what life was like in the Masukutse Community before her community's spring was protected last year.

"There were a lot of misunderstandings when it comes [to] cleaning the unprotected spring. People would contaminate the water by doing laundry and utensils in the spring. Children could defecate around [the] spring, which could later be washed into the unprotected spring," said Loy.

"The water is extremely clean. The chlorine has improved our water's safety. It's easy to fetch water now because all you have to do is place the container at the discharge pipe. I have learned and even have a chance to care for the environment by cutting down eucalyptus trees around the spring," continued Loy.

Having ready access to the water from the spring has made a difference for Loy, allowing her and other community members to consume the safe water from the spring without concern.

"Diseases have gone down, thus saving our money that we would spend on medication. I spend [a] good [amount of] time at the farm since the spring is near my farm. Our home hygiene [has] improved due to [the] availability of plenty of clean water," concluded Loy.

Loy (right) with Blessing at the protected spring.

Right now, there are others 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 Masukutse Community 2 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 Masukutse Community 2 – 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 Underwriter - TGB Caring with Crypto
PCEP Interact's Campaign for Water
Katherine & Jude's Campaign for Water
Cyril 's Campaign for Water
6 individual donor(s)