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The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Bonface Waswa And Sylvia Were
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Sylvia Were
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Water Flowing
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Protected Spring
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Protected Spring
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Protected Spring
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Protected Spring
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Protected Spring
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Protected Spring
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Protected Spring
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Protected Spring
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Construction
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Construction
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Construction
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Construction
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Construction
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Construction
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Construction
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Sanitation Platform
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Latrine
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Latrine
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Compost Pit
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Clothesline
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Dish Rack
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Landscape
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Baking Bricks
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Household
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Unprotected Source
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Unprotected Source
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Unprotected Source
The Water Project: Mwinaya Community -  Unprotected Source

Project Status



Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 329 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 10/25/2019

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



Community Profile

This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water and Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO). Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).

Welcome to the Community

Mwinaya Community is located in East Butsotso, Indangalasia, Lurambi of Kakamega County, Kenya.

The major economic activities here are agriculture and brick baking. Sugarcane makes up the majority of crops, since it sells for the highest price.

Community members wake up and start their days with milking the cows. Women and children collect water from the local source and bring it back home to prepare breakfast. Most of the day is then spent on the farm planting, weeding, or harvesting. Those who don’t have a farm most likely bake bricks for sale.

Community members were amazed when they witnessed the great work done at Omulakha Spring in a neighboring community, which motivated them to write a letter asking for help protecting Severe Spring. After they sent this letter, they wouldn’t stop calling our office to hear whether or not their request had been accepted!

Water Situation

There are 329 people living in Mwinaya Village, all who depend on dirty water for cooking, washing, and drinking. While Severe Spring has never stopped flowing, its waters are constantly contaminated by surface runoff mixed with farming fertilizers and feces, human and animal activity, and erosion.

Community members have suffered from waterborne diseases for decades, including cholera and typhoid. Isabella Khasandi is a 38-year-old wife and mother who has no other choice but fetch water from Severe Spring. “As a community, we have battled for so long with issues of health and sanitation, which is majorly caused by the use of contaminated water. Personally, I have used massive resources to treat diseases that are brought about by the same condition,” she shared. The most common illnesses are cholera and typhoid.

Sanitation Situation

No more than half of families have their own pit latrine.  All of the latrines observed were dirty, dilapidated, and dangerous to the users. Because of these poor conditions, open defecation is an issue. With nowhere else to go, community members seek the privacy of bushes to relieve themselves.

The same low number of families have dedicated bathing rooms to wash in private and practice personal hygiene. There were only a few hand-washing stations, and many more households need to build helpful tools like dish racks and clotheslines. Most waste is disposed on the edge of a family’s property.

Children here are dirty and dressed in tatters. They visit the filthy latrines barefooted, and do not wash their hands after using them. They drink water from the unprotected spring without treating or boiling it, and thus there is a dire need here of both training and clean water.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least three days. This training will ensure participants are no longer ignorant about healthy practices and their importance. The facilitator plans to use PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation), CLTS (Community-Led Total Sanitation), ABCD (Asset-Based Community Development), group discussions, handouts, and demonstrations at the spring.

Training will also result in the formation of a committee that will oversee operations and maintenance at the spring. They 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.

Plans: Sanitation Platforms

On the final day of training, participants will select five families that should benefit from new latrines.

Training will also inform the community and selected families on what they need to contribute to make this project a success. They must mobilize locally available materials, such as bricks, clean sand, hardcore, and ballast. The five families must prepare by sinking a pit for the sanitation platforms to be placed over. All community members must work together to make sure that accommodations and food are always provided for the work teams.

Plans: Spring Protection

Fetching water is predominantly a female role, done by both women and young girls. Protecting the spring and offering training and support will therefore help empower the female members of the community by giving them more time and efforts to engage and invest in income-generating activities.

In addition, protecting the spring will ensure that the water is safe, adequate and secure. Construction will keep surface runoff and other contaminants out of the water.

Project Updates


08/27/2018: A Year Later: Mwinaya Community

A year ago, generous donors helped protect Severe Spring for Mwinaya Community in Western Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories. Read more…


The Water Project : kenya4697-water-flowing


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!


A Year Later: Mwinaya Community

August, 2018

The incidence of waterborne diseases has decreased in this community, largely thanks to safe, reliable water access.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Mwinaya 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!

Give Monthly

A year ago, generous donors helped protect Severe Spring for Mwinaya Community in Western Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from our partner, Jacklyne Chelagat, with you.


“This community was battling with water and sanitation-related diseases for a long time, forcing people to use massive resources to buy medication,” Mr. Bonface Waswa said.

“As I speak, the recurring diseases have reduced due to accessing clean and safe water.”

People are experiencing good health as a result of their spring being protected, and participating in the training equipped them with proper information on sanitation and hygiene practices. The previous water and sanitation-related diseases have completely decreased and the community members are able to engage in various development activities.

This community is amazing. Despite the few disagreements they have, accessing clean and safe water has taught them to appreciate one another and assist each other when there’s a problem.

Protection of this spring is only one step along the journey toward sustainable access to clean water. The Water Project and WEWASAFO (our trusted local partner) are committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by donors like you, allows us to maintain our relationships with communities by visiting up to 4 times each year to ensure that the water points are safe and reliable.

This is just one of the many ways that we monitor projects and communicate with you. Additionally, you can always check the functionality status and our project map to see how all of our water points are performing, based on our consistent monitoring data.

One project is just a drop in the bucket towards ending the global water crisis, but the ripple effects of this project are truly astounding. This functional spring in Mwinaya Community is changing many lives.

“Protection of the spring has positively improved my academics performance,” Sylvia Were, a 10-year-old girl, said.

“I spend less time fetching water and going home to study. I rarely miss class lessons due to stomach upsets and other water-related diseases such as typhoid that I used to contract before protecting the spring.”

This is only possible because of the web of support and trust built between The Water Project, WEWASAFO, the community, and you. We are excited to stay in touch with this community and support their journey with safe water.

Read more about The Water Promise and how you can 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 Mwinaya 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 Mwinaya 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!

Give Monthly


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