Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 175 Served

Project Phase:  Under Construction
Estimated Install Date (?):  2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

For the 175 people that live in Muchemo Community, finding water is not the issue. However, the struggle to collect their water and trust they won't become ill by consuming it is another matter.

"The main challenge facing this water point is contamination. This is because it is open to all sources of contaminants. Leaves, animal and bird droppings, running water, and even users because they use a jug to scoop water. The area is very pathetic and not pleasing at all. It is muddy and swampy, thus making it unfavorable for drinking water to be fetched," said field officer Jemmimah Kasoha.

Water contamination becomes a real issue for community members when they suffer from water-related illnesses like frequent stomach aches, diarrhea, and cases of typhoid that steal their health, energy, and resources.

But there are other issues facing those who rely on this water point.

Since the pool of water is so small and shallow, it takes a long time for people to slowly scoop the water and collect it into larger water containers. This causes long queues of people waiting their turn to collect water instead of doing other productive things.

"The current water situation has affected me personally in terms of development. I lose more time [in the] morning hours waiting to get water. This is the time [I] am needed for casual labor, and when I delay, it means I lose the job. What I do to solve this is to shift times of fetching water," said 43-year-old community member Violet Ndombi, shown above scooping water at the spring.

Another significant challenge is the steep hill that must be traversed to access the water point. The community did their best to carve rustic stairs into the muddy hill to help ease the risk of falling and injuring yourself as you climb up or down the hill, but when they are hauling full water jugs, which on average weigh nearly 40 lbs each the slippery slope often proves to be too much.

"This situation of having open water has made me develop chest problems. This is because of the steep slope without staircases. Accessing water is so difficult specifically during [the] rainy season," said 13-year-old Linet I. (shown below)

With the installation of stairs and proper protection of the spring, individuals like Violet and Linet can have access to clean water with safety and ease. This will give them more time to concentrate on other essential tasks without worrying about their water source.

The Proposed Solution, Determined Together...

At The Water Project, everyone has a part in conversations and solutions. We operate in transparency, believing it benefits everyone. We expect reliability from one another as well as our water solutions. Everyone involved makes this possible through hard work and dedication.

In a joint discovery process, community members determine their most advantageous water solution alongside our technical experts. Read more specifics about this solution on the What We're Building tab of this project page. Then, community members lend their support by collecting needed construction materials (sometimes for months ahead of time!), providing labor alongside our artisans, sheltering and feeding the builders, and supplying additional resources.

Water Access for Everyone

This water project is one piece in a large puzzle. In Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Uganda, we're working toward complete coverage of reliable, maintained water sources that guarantee public access now and in the future within a 30-minute round trip for each community, household, school, and health center. One day, we hope to report that this has been achieved!

Training on Health, Hygiene & More

With the community's input, we've identified topics where training will increase positive health outcomes at personal, household, and community levels. We'll coordinate with them to find the best training date. Some examples of what we train communities on are:

  • Improved hygiene, health, and sanitation habits
  • Safe water handling, storage & treatment
  • Disease prevention and proper handwashing
  • Income-generation
  • Community leadership, governance, & election of a water committee
  • Operation and maintenance of the water point

Chlorine Dispensers

Installing chlorine dispensers is an important piece of our spring protection projects. Protecting a spring provides community members with an improved water source, but it doesn’t prevent contamination once the water is collected and stored. For example, if the water is clean and the container is dirty, the water will become contaminated.

We ensure that each chlorine dispenser is filled with diluted chlorine on a consistent schedule so that people can add pre-measured drops to each container of water they collect. That way, community members can feel even more confident in the quality of their water.

Project Updates

June, 2024: Muchemo Community Spring Protection Underway!

The lack of adequate water in the Muchemo Community costs people time, energy, and health every single day. Clean water scarcity contributes to community instability and diminishes individuals’ personal progress.

But thanks to your recent generosity, things will soon improve here. We are now working to install a reliable water point and improve hygiene standards. We look forward to sharing inspiring news in the near future!

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!


Project Sponsor - $SHARE Community