Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 480 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/08/2024

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

A normal day in Bumavi begins early in the morning at six, with both men and women heading out to the farms to beat the afternoon heat. Most people here engage in farming sugarcane and raising dairy and poultry animals. Other common crops are bananas, vegetables, maize, and groundnuts. An adult always ensures that enough crop is harvested for their family first before surplus is sold in the local market, if there even is any. The income from these crop sales is low, but the community members squeeze their budgets to meet their daily needs.

Bumavi Village is home to 480 people from 80 different households and two different tribes.

Water Situation

The Maragoli and Tiriki tribes have shared Shoso Mwoga Spring since the early 1950s. Its water is used for cooking, drinking, bathing, irrigating crops and watering animals. The community members have fixed a plastic pipe at the point from which water flows so that they can more easily fill containers.

The water is visibly contaminated. Rotten leaves float around children as they walk into the water to fill their containers. The spring is also open to rainwater that washes garbage and fecal matter into the same flow that people drink from.

When delivered back home, water is separated between different barrels located in the kitchen, latrine, and sitting room. Community members complain from typhoid and constant stomachaches after drinking  the water from Shoso Mwoga Spring.

Sanitation Situation

Around a quarter of households still don't have their own pit latrine. Any observed were found to be constructed of wood, and cracked, muddy walls. Many of the wooden floors have rotted out and caved in, causing injuries to their users. The others who don't have their own latrine either share or use the privacy of bushes. This waste left out in the open puts the rest of the community at risk of disease.

A few hand-washing stations were observed, but none had any cleansing agents like soap or ash. However, many women had improvised dish racks and clotheslines to dry their families' belongings safely off the ground.

Since many of these people have animals to feed and crops to fertilize, any compostable garbage is used for that purpose. Other garbage is piled up for burning.

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. Bumavi community members hope to save time and resources previously wasted on medication, instead spending them on more important economic activities that can help lift their community out of poverty. We met Mr. Ambasi as he was fetching water at the spring. He told us that there have been "disease outbreaks, especially related to water. Malaria has always been a challenge, especially for women and children... We thank God that we have never lost any member of this village due to waterborne diseases; your intervention will greatly redeem us from our current status."

Project Updates

July, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Bumavi Community, Shoso Mwoga 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.

Setting up a tippy tap handwashing station

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 Bumavi, Kenya.

Handwashing demonstration

We trained more than 22 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.


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.


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.

Handwashing practice

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.

Sewing face masks for the tutorial

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.

A completed mask made during training

"Only one person in that training had a face mask. After a demonstration on how to make face masks, Alice Too encouraged everyone to go home and make for themselves face masks and wear them anytime they leave their homes. Community members were also advised to improvise handwashing facilities and put them in a location that can be easily reached by everyone within their compounds to wash hands," recalled Trainer Karen.

Everyone practices the 10 steps of handwashing

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.

Cough and sneeze into the elbow

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.

August, 2018: A Year Later: Bumavi Community

A year ago, generous donors helped protect Shoso Mwoga Spring for Bumavi 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...

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: Bumavi Community

August, 2018

“I now go to school without fear of being sick – which has made me do well in my exams.” – Faith Khasoa

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Bumavi 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!

A year ago, generous donors helped protect Shoso Mwoga Spring for Bumavi 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, Wilson Kipchoge, with you.

This community very much enjoys using safe water from the protected spring. This water has made them healthy and strong.

"Our community members consume safe, clean drinking water without fear of getting water related diseases like typhoid, cholera and dysentery," Mr. Patrick Masambaga said.

The compounds of this community now look very clean, all attributed to the training that was done for community health volunteers and the water user committee.

"The slabs that were given to five community members have really helped improve our sanitation status. Many households have started practicing hygiene for a cleaner community, like having compost pit and putting up latrines and clotheslines," Mr. Masambaga added.

Patrick Masambaga

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 Bumavi Community is changing many lives.

"As a school-going child, I have seen a lot of differences since we had our spring protected," Faith Khasoa, a 14-year-old girl, said.

"I now go to school without fear of being sick - which has made me do well in my exams."

Patrick Masambaga and Faith Khasoa

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 Bumavi 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 Bumavi 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.


Westminster Christian Academy - Kindergarten Class
DDP's Friends and Family
Lisa McAllister's campaign for water
7 individual donor(s)