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The Water Project : 1-kenya4722-muyokani-spring

Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 350 Served

Project Phase:  Installed

Functionality Status:  Functional

Community Profile & Stories

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

The people of Murumba Village wake up very early in the morning to work on their farms and prepare their children to go to school. The community living around the spring keeps dairy cattle, grows maize, sugarcane, ground nuts, bananas, and various vegetables.

The community is special because through their hard work farming and keeping dairy animals, they are able to educate their children. They are hardworking and smart! Making bricks is another economical activity that is vibrant in the area around the spring. Because of many construction projects in the area, the market is booming for these kinds of construction materials. Most of the domestic chores are done by women.

Water Situation

350 people living around Muyokani Spring depend on it for all of their water needs. The spring is open to contamination from many different sources, including human and animal activity, surface runoff, and erosion. This open water is particularly dirty during the rainy seasons, when downpours wash chemicals, feces, and other waste into the spring.

Women and children dunk their buckets, pots, or jerrycans directly into the water pooled there. When it is delivered back home, it is separated by use between the kitchen, latrine, and living room. Water stored in the living room is covered because it is intended for drinking. After drinking Muyokani Spring’s water, community members suffer from waterborne diseases like typhoid. Children especially suffer from diarrhea and painful stomachaches.

Sanitation Situation

Less than half of households have their own pit latrine. These are made of wood floors and banana leaf, plastic, or mud walls. The families who don’t have their own pit latrines either share with neighbors or seek the privacy of bushes.

Some other households have bathing rooms, and a couple hand-washing stations were observed. Most families throw their garbage near the garden to be composted and used as fertilizer. Any waste that doesn’t decompose is burned.

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. One of the most important topics we plan to cover is open defecation and its dangers, as well as having and using a pit latrine.

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.

The entire community is willing and prepared to provide support for this project’s success. Mrs. Rose Odera told us “this is a God given opportunity, and the idea of protecting Muyokani Spring will solve their water problems. Moreover, the sanitation facilities and health promotion campaign through trainings will enable, enlighten and capacity build the community to take matters related to community health as a priority.”

Recent Project Updates

07/27/2017: Murumba Community Project Complete

Muyokani Spring in Murumba Community, Kenya is now a protected, clean source of water thanks to your donation. The spring is protected from contamination, five sanitation platforms have been provided for the community, and training has been given in sanitation and hygiene. Imagine the changes that all of these resources are going to bring for these residents! You made it happen!  Now, want to do a bit more? Join our team of monthly donors and help us maintain this spring protection and many other projects.

We just updated the project page with the latest pictures, so make sure to check them out! And please enjoy the rest of the report from our partner in Kenya:

Project Result: New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was held under a tree at Mr. Mukabane’s house. This was a convenient place to meet since Mr. Mukabane lives closest to the spring. His wife Carolyne was very active in gathering all of the spring users together to attend training.

A total of 13 adults and three children attended, with more women than men because women are seen as those most responsible for water and cleanliness in their homes. Also, men leave the village early in the morning for work and don’t come back until the evening. The women actively shared their opinions and helped each other understand each topic. At some points, they assisted the older ladies by translating the training into the local dialect.

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These women form the water and sanitation committee that will head up the management and maintenance of Muyokani Spring.

Training topics included but were not limited to leadership and governance; operation and maintenance of the spring; healthcare; family planning; immunizations; the spread of disease and prevention. We also covered water treatment methods, environmental hygiene, and hygiene promotion. We also took a session to emphasize proper maintenance of the spring protection project. The community should refrain from washing clothes, watering animals, farming with fertilizers, and open defecation in the vicinity.

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We brought poster paper and illustrations that facilitated discussion on healthy and unhealthy behaviors. Group discussions were also very effective in helping participants take responsibility for what they were learning. And since we were so close to the spring, we could take the group over there to do onsite training in management and maintenance.

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The spring artisan explains how construction protects drinking water.

The women of Murumba Community were particularly surprised on how long they had been ignorant about simple water, sanitation and hygiene facts. They acknowledged they had been doing things the wrong way, and were grateful for this new knowledge that is already helping them change for the better.

Mrs. Carolyne Mukabane said, “I have come to realize that there are little things that we often ignore, yet they mean a lot and cost us too much: the way we wash our hands hurriedly without considering some parts, storing drinking water for weeks and sometimes months – the importance of maintaining good hygiene practices among others… I will ensure my neighbours who may not be here adhere to proper hygiene practices. Cleanliness is from today going to be my new philosophy!”

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Women take turns practicing the ten steps of hand-washing they learned.

Project Result: Sanitation Platforms

All five sanitation platforms have been installed and are ready for use. These five families are happy about this milestone and are optimistic that there will be much less open defecation. People without proper latrines would often use the privacy of bushes, but now have a private place of their own. It is expected that proper use of latrine facilities provided by the sanitation platforms will go a long way in reducing environmental pollution here. We will continue to encourage these five families to build walls and roofs to protect their new platforms.

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Project Result: Spring Protection

Community members provided all locally available construction materials, e.g bricks, wheelbarrows of clean sand, wheelbarrows of ballast, fencing poles and hard core (crushed rock and gravel). Accommodation and food for the artisan were provided and a few people volunteered their services as laborers. Their help here does not go unnoticed; community members stepped up and completed tasks even without the supervision of our office staff. Even the young children helped with the project when they got out of school.

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A woman carries bricks to help the artisan build the catchment walls.

The spring area was excavated to create space for setting the foundation of polythene, wire mesh and concrete. After the base had been set, both wing walls and the head wall were set in place using brickwork. The discharge pipe was fixed low in place through the head wall to direct the water from the reservoir to the drawing area.

As the wing walls and head wall were curing, the stairs were set and the tiles were fixed directly below the discharge pipe. This reduces the erosive force of the falling water and beautifies the spring. The process of plastering the head wall and wing walls on both sides reinforces the brickwork and prevents water from the reservoir from seeping through the walls and allows pressure to build in the collection box to push water up through the discharge pipe.  Lastly, the base of the spring was plastered and the collection box was cleaned. The source area was filled up with clean hardcore and covered with a polythene membrane to eliminate any potential sources of contamination. Finally, grass was planted and cutoff drains dug to direct surface water away from the spring box.

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Just a day after construction came to a close, two more households joined the bandwagon of those who want to be part of Muyokani’s clean and safe water users. The village elder was optimistic that the water users and the entire community will take good care of the protected spring, and he asked the organization to protect more springs in the area.

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“I am so glad that our families, more so women and children, will from today have easy access to clean drinking water. The spring is so well done that I am thinking even men will overcome our taboos of not going to the spring to carry water… Very soon when you come around again, you will probably meet them drawing water from here because it is decent and fast! Getting clean water in a 20-liter jerrycan in just 38 seconds is not something we as a community can just ignore. We will work with the water and sanitation management committee and community health workers to ensure the water point is properly taken care of. I am also a sanitation platform beneficiary and it looks amazing,” said Mr. Jafred Muyera.

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04/27/2017: Murumba Community Project Underway

Murumba Community will soon have a source of clean water thanks to your donation. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from Muyokani Spring, and often suffer physical illnesses after doing so. Our partner conducted a survey of the area and deemed it necessary to protect the spring, build new sanitation platforms (safe, easy-to-clean concrete floors for latrines), and conduct sanitation and hygiene training. Thanks to your generosity, waterborne disease will no longer be a challenge for the families drinking the spring’s water. We look forward to sharing more details with you as they come! But for now, please take some time to check out the report containing community information, pictures, and maps.

The Water Project and Murumba Community Thank You for giving the hope of clean water and good health.

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Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Protected Spring
Location:  Kakamega, Lurambi, Butsotso,Murumba
ProjectID: 4722
Install Date:  07/27/2017

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 01/16/2018

Visit History:
10/11/2017 — Functional
01/16/2018 — Functional


Destination Imagination Team
Data Abstract Solutions, Inc.
4 individual donor(s)

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Country Details


Population: 39.8 Million
Lacking clean water: 43%
Below poverty line: 50%

Partner Profile

Western Water and Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO) works together with less privileged and marginalized members of communities in Western Kenya to reduce poverty through harnessing and utilization of local resources for sustainable development.