Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 210 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/09/2024

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

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.

Project Updates

December, 2018: A Year Later: Mungulu Community

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to protect Zikhungu Spring for Mungulu 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...

January, 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.

November, 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.

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: Mungulu Community

November, 2018

The lives of the people in Mungulu Community have improved significantly, a result of protecting Zikhungu Spring.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Mungulu 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, your generous donation enabled us to protect Zikhungu Spring for Mungulu 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 Jacklyne Chelegat with you.

Water is a resource that no living thing can do without. Clean and safe water for consumption is mandatory for all of life.

The lives of the people in this community have improved significantly and this is certainly a result of protecting Zikhungu Spring.

"Protecting the spring has helped individuals access clean and safe water for consumption, thus the earlier reported water and sanitation diseases are the past," said Abigael Kasiti to us during a recent visit to the spring.

Abigael Kasiti fetching water

The training undertaken on water and sanitation has also helped in boosting the health status of the beneficiaries and helped in reducing the poverty levels among the members.

"The project has brought about unity and peace among community members and this has positively translated to better developments in the community," Ms. Kasiti added.

This group is currently accessing clean water and though they are economically challenged, they are doing their best to improve their environment. Still, this project has gone a long way in improving their livelihoods.

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 project in Mungulu is changing many lives.

"Accessing clean and safe water for consumption has greatly improved my health status," 13-year-old student Pamela Atieno said.

Pamela Atieno

"Initially, I would complain of stomachaches and diarrhea after consuming water from the unprotected spring. Currently, I am no longer sick and do not miss school!"

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 Mungulu 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 Mungulu 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.