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Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 210 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

Mungulu Village is unique because of its strong women. Thus, women living here are the main players in the community’s economy. It is the responsibility of women to ensure that the 95% of activities are done, since most men have neglected their duties for alcohol.

These women wake up early in the morning to ensure that their children get ready and head off to school. Then come the multiple trips to Zikhungu Spring to ensure that the water supply at home is enough for the day. They then go to their farms or to the market centers to sell goods, making sure there is enough food on the table for their families at dinner.

Water Situation

Over 30 households rely on Zikhungu Spring to meet their drinking, cooking, washing, and irrigation needs.

The people relying on Zikhungu Spring face various challenges; the dry season increases busyness as people from other communities travel to this reliable spring. This forces the women and children to wait longer at the spring, as long lines form and conflicts arise. These conflicts arise because of a huge number of people relying on such a small resource. During the rainy season, it’s still hard to fetch water because of slippery banks. Not only that, but the increased rains wash even more waste into the contaminated water.

The community battles waterborne diseases like typhoid and amoebiasis as a result of contaminated water from unprotected Zikhungu Spring.

Sanitation Situation

Sanitation and hygiene is also wanting, as most people lack proper latrines, dish racks, clotheslines and other facilities. When asked about these things, it was obvious they need more information on good hygiene and sanitation practices.

We also noticed that those who lack latrines aren’t sharing with their neighbor, but are instead relieving themselves in the brush around their household compounds. Without a proper pit to dispose of this waste, rains can wash feces downhill and into water sources like Zikhungu Spring.

Mr. Moses Saina said, “A good life is a life when people are healthy; consuming clean and safe water and being sensitive to observe proper hygiene and sanitation. In my community, that is too opposite because the health status of individuals has been deteriorating since long ago. This is attributed to consumption of unclean water and due to ignorance and lack of sufficient information on proper hygiene and sanitation.”

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 the water is safe and adequate for drinking. 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 efforts to engage and invest in income-generating activities.

Recent Project Updates

01/10/2018: Mungulu Community

Zikhungu Spring in Mungulu 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

During our first visits to Mungulu, we came across a community health volunteer who was particularly helpful and passionate when it comes to hygiene and sanitation. They went household to household inviting everyone to attend two days of training held at the spring. The community had actually been the ones to insist we meet at the spring, since construction was ongoing and they were mesmerized with the work. This also gave us the opportunity to do hands-on training for management and maintenance of the spring.

Our trainers will most often arrive at the venue and have to wait for participants to arrive, but Mungulu Community was a surprise! The trainers found several children already waiting at the spring, helping the artisan carry bricks to the construction site. A total of 24 participants attended training, all who were excited to learn ways to make life better.

We 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.

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.

Hand-washing with running water and soap

The participants realized the importance of these practices and promised to teach their neighbors. Some of them have taken on the responsibility of promoting hygiene in their community, and promise to visit 10 different households to share what they learned. During home visits, they’ll educate people on dish racks, compost pits, clotheslines, latrines, bathing shelters, cleanliness and nutrition among many other things. Many participants invited us to their homes to get personalized advice on how to implement what they learned.

49-year-old Moses Saina told us, “Zikhungu Spring has been here since time immemorial; our great grandparents drank this same water. For a long period of time, people have suffered from consuming dirty water and from their poor hygiene and sanitation standards. Thank you for bringing such a great project to our community. Being both a community health volunteer and a community member, it has been hard for me to fully sensitize people. They don’t take me as seriously as they do an outsider.”

Participants posing for a group picture

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.

Working together to build a sanitation platform

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.

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.

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 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.

Mrs. Mutsotsi couldn’t hide her tears of joy as the spring began yielding clean water. She said that ever since she got married and moved to Mugulu, she’s been drinking dirty water. We spoke her and her community, reminding them of the things they need to do to ensure clean drinking water and sustain this source. Songs of thankfulness were sung, and we left looking forward to see these people again during our monitoring visits.

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11/15/2017: Mungulu Community Project Underway

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

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Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Protected Spring
Location:  Kakamega, Lurambi, Murumba, Butsotso, Mungulu
ProjectID: 4742
Install Date:  01/10/2018

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Functional - New Project

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.