Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Apr 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/10/2024

Project Features

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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

Munzakula Village is home to 840 people from about 120 different families.

(Editor's Note: While this many people may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only support a population of 350-500 people.  This community would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)

A normal day begins early in the morning to get daily chores done before the heat. The first things to do are collection activities; fetching water and firewood for meals that day. Many women continue collecting firewood to sell in the local market. Other men and women go to the Nyayo Tea Zone to work in others' fields as casual laborers. Some community members have their own small pieces of land where they farm, but most of the yield is used for their own families. The major crops are maize, beans, and avocados.

There are also a number of university students living in this area, so many families focus on providing services or commodities that the students need. Some people in the area have even added on to their homes so they can house tenants.

Water Situation

A handful of families are connected to piped water, but the water is irregular. There is a piped point that charges five shillings per 20-liter jerrycan, but it is only open during the morning and evening. Because of the hundreds living around the water point, it's not possible for everyone to get what they need. Instead of waiting in line, many women must either draw water from an unprotected spring or walk to the next community to access a protected spring.

The unprotected spring is named after its landowner, Mr. Musonye, and is the most convenient water source. However, a visit confirmed that the water is dirty because it is open to many different contaminants. People fetching water from Musonye Spring must wade into the water to fill their containers. Many of the neighboring families do not have their own latrines, so there is a high chance that waste from open defecation washes into the water when it rains. Animals drink from the same source.

After drinking water from Musonye Spring, people complain of cholera, typhoid, bilharzia and diarrhea. A safe water shortage in this community is a huge cause of poverty, since the community members must waste a lot of time searching for water to fetch or buy. And when dirty water is sourced, even more money and time is wasted to treat consequential waterborne diseases.

Sanitation Situation

More than half of households have their own pit latrine, but that leaves at least a quarter without one. There's also a handful of homes that do not have helpful tools like dish racks or clotheslines to safely dry their belongings up off the ground. Even more distressing, very few families have a hand-washing station to wash up after using the latrine, handling waste, or before cooking.

Mr. Musonye told us "the current health situation is pathetic and in wanting, for most members have had many hospital visits to treat typhoid. This is an indicator of poor hygiene and thus unclean water, but we thank you so much for hearing our plea and coming to our rescue. We are ready to work with you to make the project successful."

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least two 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. Mrs. Lumumba Lusire said, "I thank God for linking us to this office. Knowing what you do and accepting our request as Munzakula Village is the greatest privilege and gift we have received this new year. I am happy because my community will have accessible, affordable, available and safe, clean water. They will be able to eradicate illness and diseases caused as a result of unclean water."

Project Updates

July, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Munzakula Community, Musonye Spring

Our teams are working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Join us in our fight against the virus while maintaining access to clean, reliable water.

Trainer Shigali reviews the prevention reminders chart

We are carrying out awareness and prevention trainings on the virus in every community we serve. Very often, our teams are the first (and only) to bring news and information of the virus to rural communities like Munzakula, Kenya.

A woman shows the COVID-19 informational pamphlet she received at training

We trained more than 19 people on the symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention of COVID-19. Due to public gathering concerns, we worked with trusted community leaders to gather a select group of community members who would then relay the information learned to the rest of their family and friends.

Building a tippy tap handwashing station

We covered essential hygiene lessons:

- Demonstrations on how to build a simple handwashing station

- Proper handwashing technique

- The importance of using soap and clean water for handwashing

- Cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces including at the water point.

Handwashing session

We covered COVID-19-specific guidance in line with national and international standards:

- Information on the symptoms and transmission routes of COVID-19

- What social distancing is and how to practice it

- How to cough into an elbow

- Alternative ways to greet people without handshakes, fist bumps, etc.

- How to make and properly wear a facemask.


During training, we installed a new handwashing station with soap near the community’s water point, along with a sign with reminders of what we covered.


Due to the rampant spread of misinformation about COVID-19, we also dedicated time to a question and answer session to help debunk rumors about the disease and provide extra information where needed.

Homemade facemask tutorial

"The training was indeed needful in that village. Participants were grateful to have been helped to understand that, they can keep themselves and their families safe by staying at home, washing hands as required, and wearing face masks when going out," reflected Trainer Shigali.

We continue to stay in touch with this community as the pandemic progresses. We want to ensure their water point remains functional and their community stays informed about the virus.

Mask tutorial

Water access, sanitation, and hygiene are at the crux of disease prevention. You can directly support our work on the frontlines of COVID-19 prevention in all of the communities we serve while maintaining their access to safe, clean, and reliable water.

October, 2018: A Year Later: Munzakula Community

A year ago, your generous donations enabled us to protect Musonye Spring for Munzakula Community in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local 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...

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: Munzakula Community

October, 2018

Chebet Cheruto opened a small business recently thanks to the time saved on fetching water and money saved treating waterborne illnesses.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Munzakula Community, Musonye Spring 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!

A year ago, your generous donations enabled us to protect Musonye Spring for Munzakula Community in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local 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 – and we’re excited to share this one from local team member Jemmimah Khasoha with you.

The community members have been really happy since protection of Musonye Spring last year. Their lives have greatly improved in the following ways:

- People can get clean and safe water at any time.
- There are now no cases of waterborne diseases, such as typhoid and cholera.
- There is an increase in development activities.
- All the land bordering the spring has fertile crops, thanks to the reliable water.
- Women who lost time fetching water or who spent money to purchase water now have enough time and resources to spend on other activities like farming.
- There is a reduced rate of conflict in the community due to the fact that it is now easy to fetch water.
- The community members use the skills received during the training to better their sanitation and hygiene. This is seen from the sanitation facilities such as tippy taps (handwashing stations) at the toilets, dish racks and also clotheslines.
- The community members have kept the spring clean, apparent by the cleared brush and the good drainage for the excess water.

Protection of the spring is only one step along the journey toward sustainable access to clean water. The Water Project is 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 spring in Munzakula is changing many lives.

We spoke with Chebet Cheruto and Alex Musonye about how their lives have improved for the better over the past year.

Alex Musonye and Chebet Cheruto

Chebet says she can fill her container with water directly from the pipe in less than 30 seconds. She can even fetch the water while holding her 6-month-old baby! The spring saved Chebet not only time fetching water, but money that used to be spent treating waterborne illnesses in her family. As a result, she opened a small business using the money she saved and is also enjoying her newly found free time!

Alex also said his life changed since the spring protection.

"I used to be absent from school because of stomach problems caused by typhoid," he said.

Those stomach pains are now gone, thanks to access to clean water from the spring.

This is only possible because of the web of support and trust built between The Water Project, our local teams, 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 Munzakula Community, Musonye Spring 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 Munzakula Community, Musonye Spring – 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 Sponsor - The Kerley Family Foundation