Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 245 Served

Project Phase:  Decommissioned

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

This area of Mwiyala is fairly new, with households established by people from other villages who purchased their own plot of land. Most of these work the land to earn a living, waking up early to care for their crops. The adults and children alike are very hardworking.

Water Situation

Benard Kasiani Spring serves over 35 households, totaling 245 people who rely on contaminated water for their every need. These needs include drinking, cooking, washing, and irrigating crops when it doesn't rain.

The spring is unprotected from contaminants, which are primarily washed into the water during rains. Wild animals are also free to quench their thirst at the open waters.

The respondents say that the spring serves many more people during the driest months of the year; as other villages' water sources dry up, Benard Kasiani Spring continues to flow with water. The number of people using the spring increases so much that locals fetch water during the middle of the night to avoid the crowds.
Waterborne diseases like cholera and typhoid are a menace here, reoccurring as a result of using contaminated water from Benard Kasiani Spring.

Sanitation Situation

Sanitation standards are low, for most of the people in this area lack proper latrines, bathing rooms, dish racks, and clotheslines. Less than half of the population has their own pit latrine to use, and the latrines we observed were in pathetic condition and pose danger to their users (wooden logs suspended over the pit rot away). Because of these poor conditions, open defecation is a big issue. People without proper latrines seek the privacy of bushes to relieve themselves, which endangers the rest of the community as contaminants spread.

There are only a few hand-washing stations and other helpful tools like dish racks and clotheslines. Mr. Julius said, "Our current health situation is really detorariating as many people are really suffering not only because they are consuming unclean water but also they lack proper information on sanitation and hygiene, if you take the initiative of visiting each homesteads then you will shed tears on how people are living."

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

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

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 energy to engage and invest in income-generating activities.

Project Updates

11/20/2019: A New Direction at Benard Spring

Projects, like water itself, are fluid.

Sometimes there are unique circumstances that can neither be resolved nor reversed that turn a well-loved water point into one that has failed to meet the expectations of both the community it serves and our own commitment to help provide access to safe and reliable water.

Unfortunately, Benard Spring is no longer meeting the water needs of Mwiyala community members, despite repeated efforts, spent resources, and a lot of patience from the community and our team. As a result, we are decommissioning this water point.

It is important to note that the community members, area leaders, and water user committee have all been involved in the entire decommissioning process. In the instance of Benard Spring, since protection it has faced ongoing issues of backflow from a nearby stream and other seasonal springs that pop up during the rainy season. These send dirty surface water over the spring's headwall, contaminating Benard Spring's water.

We conducted several excavations and repairs at Benard Spring, including fitting the spring with a faucet. This was meant to increase the pressure behind the spring box to force the spring water through the discharge pipe, but little progress was made. Most of the year, Benard Spring fluctuates between having a low discharge to being seasonally dry when the surface water is not backfilling it with dirty water. Because of this unique combination of factors, the community agreed that decommissioning the spring was the best course of action.

While we will no longer be monitoring this water point in the same way we do others, we are actively working with this community to identify a different water point that may be viable for protection or construction in their area. We will be sure to share another update on our future progress as we continue to work toward our promise of providing clean, safe, and reliable water to those who need it most.

12/05/2018: A Year Later: Mwiyala Community, Benard Kasiani Spring

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to protect Benard Kasiani Spring for Mwiyala 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...

12/15/2017: Clean Water in Mwiyala Community A

Benard Spring in Mwiyala 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

It was a chilly Wednesday morning at around 8:30am when people started arriving at Mr. Benard Kasiani's homestead for the hygiene and sanitation training. Our facilitators were already at the site waiting for the them to arrive. At exactly 9am a total of 12 community members had arrived.

Two of our facilitators covered several topics, including 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, hygiene promotion, and many others.

On a transect walk with the community to identify good and bad hygiene behaviors and sanitation facilities.

We went on a transect walk around the community, talking about the good and bad things we witnessed. Community members pointed out areas where people polluted the environment, and we highlighted good facilities we saw that were already in place.

Demonstrations were some of the most popular parts of the training, with participants enjoying getting their hands involved. We did this with hand-washing, teaching the 10 steps of washing with soap and running water. And since we were already near the spring, we were able to teach about proper spring use, management, and simple maintenance.

38-year-old Laura Kharusi is a business lady and mother who attended training. "I am very happy to have attended this training. Initially, my children suffered from diarrheal diseases not knowing that these were caused by poor hygiene practices that included not washing hands, open defecation, not covering food, lack of dish rack and my poor water handling. I can confidently say that I am going to put up a dish rack and ensure that I have a hand-washing station at the toilet. As a trained Community Health Volunteer, I will also ensure that I reach out to others who are also ignorant of their health," she promised.

The trainer using illustrations to talk about activities that should not happen around the spring.

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 are continuing to encourage families to finish building walls and roofs over their new latrine floors.

A woman stands behind her sanitation platform and the pit it will be suspended over.

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 we asked a few people to volunteer their time and strength to help the artisan with manual labor.

Sand the community delivered to the construction site.

The spring area was excavated to create space for setting the foundation of polyethylene, wire mesh and concrete. After the base had been set, both wing walls and the headwall 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.

The excavated spring

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.

Plastering the stairs down to the spring.

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 polyethylene membrane to eliminate any potential sources of contamination. Community members then helped us plant grass and dig cutoff drains to direct surface water away from the spring box.

Filling a cup to taste the newly clean water coming from Benard Spring!

This process has transformed Benard Spring into a clean water source, though the work is still in progress as we search for a way to increase the yield. The artisan has been informed that the output at this spring is not ideal, and he now plans to return and open the spring box to see if clay or other materials need to be added to direct water out of the discharge pipe.

Despite the low yield, the community was still so excited about this transformation that they met us at the spring to celebrate with their first sips of clean water. In fact, somebody from a neighboring village walked by while we were taking completion pictures and requested that we do a project in their community too. Mr. Benard said, "This community has for long suffered form waterborne diseases due to drinking contaminated water. The under five-year-olds were the worst hit and diarrhea was the order of the day, but now we can smile that all that will be put behind us."

10/12/2017: Mwiyala Community Project Underway

Mwiyala Community will soon have a clean, safe source of water thanks to your donation. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from Bernard 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.

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: Mwiyala Community, Benard Kasiani Spring

November, 2018

“In school, the teachers refer to me as someone who comes from the protected spring. This has given me a sense of inner pride. I am happy to be part of this community.” – 9-year-old Hesbone Namalo

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Mwiyala Community, Benard 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 donation enabled us to protect Benard Kasiani Spring for Mwiyala 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 Karen Maruti with you.

We made a recent follow-up visit to Mwiyala Community to see the impact of the protection of Benard Kasiani Spring a year after it was completed. It is evident that the project has resulted in an increase of safe hygiene practices within this community. This includes neater compounds and well-kept latrines. An increased number of dish racks and clotheslines was also evident. The people we spoke with report improved health as incidences of diarrheal diseases have decreased.

Local community health worker Metrine Shilako and 9-year-old student Hesbone Namalo shared how the project has changed their lives over the past year.

Hesbone Namalo, Metrine Shilako, and field officer Karen Maruti

"Protection of this spring has enabled us to get clean water. In the past the water was very dirty but now it is clean," Metrine said. "We enjoy fetching water here as it is easier and faster."

We noticed during the visit that the amount of water coming from the pipe was not up to our standards. So, our teams fixed a new pipe that is a bit lower to help solve the problem. Simultaneously, community members began planting indigenous trees that help capture more water for the spring.

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.

We went back last week to check in on the progress of the spring. As you can see below, the spring is producing ample water.

"We are grateful for your constant follow ups as this has ensured that any challenges regarding water are solved," Metrine said.

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 Mwiyala is changing many lives.

"This spring has also changed the image of my family," Hesbone explained.

"In school, the teachers refer to me as someone who comes from the protected spring. This has given me a sense of inner pride. I am happy to be part of this community."

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 Mwiyala Community, Benard 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 Mwiyala Community, Benard 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!


Bio Ouster
4 individual donor(s)