Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 350 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/07/2024

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

There’s no “sleeping in” for those in the village of Mulundu in Kakamega County, Kenya. Not even on weekends! There is much work to be done and these Butsotso people are known as hard workers. They rise quite early to get their children ready and off to school, then head to their farms to grow maize, sweet potatoes, sugar cane, nuts, bananas and vegetables. They keep dairy cattle as well.

Water Situation

The water source for this community is Fanice Mwango Spring. There, the children and women try not to step or fall into the murky water as they scoop it into 20-liter jerry cans which are carried back to the family home for drinking, washing and cooking. The containers are regularly rinsed with water and - on occasion - scrubbed with leaves, pieces of cloth and bar soap.

This unprotected spring has a good discharge rate. By the time of the baseline survey, many people were coming from afar to draw water because the spring had not dried up as was the case with many other springs in the area. Still, the water is regularly contaminated by runoff from farming, human and animal activity, and garbage that is improperly disposed of. The community members do boil the water or add chemicals to it in an attempt to purify it. Still, they report that they have suffered from the contaminated water.

"The spring has never dried up during dry season and it has been serving the people of Mulundu Village since I was married here... The people of this village have been drinking the spring water in this bad condition causing people to suffer from waterborne diseases such as cholera and typhoid. We shall really appreciate if they help us protect the spring so as to get access to clean water," said Mrs. Monica Atira.

Sanitation Situation

Most of the 50 households in Mulundu Village lack their own sanitation facilities, with only 25 – 50% having a latrine. Most pit latrines are made of earthen/clay floor with a superstructure of mud and iron sheets.

"Most of the community people do not have latrines and also sanitation facilities such as dish racks, clotheslines and hand-washing stations. ... I would really appreciate if you talk about hygiene when you come for the training so as to make the people of Mulundu Community aware of it..." said Monica Atira.

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.

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. By volunteering as unskilled laborers, attending trainings, and providing food and accommodation for the skilled artisan, community members confirm their investment in the sustainable management and maintenance of the project upon completion.

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

July, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Mulundu Community, Francis Mwango 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.

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 Mulundu, Kenya.

We trained more than 11 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

December, 2018: A Year Later: Mulundu Community

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to protect Fanice Mwango Spring for Mulundu 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...

February, 2018: Mulundu Community Project Complete

Mwango Spring in Mulundu 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.

Project Result: New Knowledge

The village chief walked door to door inviting everyone to attend hygiene and sanitation training. It was held at Fanice Mwano's homestead, since she has shady land close to the spring. 13 community members were in attendance.

Participants received notebooks and pens to help them record the new things they learned.

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. Since we were near the spring, we could run through hands-on management and maintenance demonstrations.

We spent an entire session on hand-washing and its importance. When, how, and why should one wash their hands? We also taught participants how to construct their own hand-washing stations with local and affordable materials.

Mr. Robert Ouko is a teacher who lives in Mulundu Village who has learned new things he'll be able to share with students. You "have not only brought us many sanitation platforms, but also the new technique of water purification that is very cost-effective for most of us. We know this could not have been possible without sacrifices on the part of various stakeholders to record this great success. Thank you for the quality training, more for the concept of solar disinfection of drinking water and community-led total sanitation (CLTS) skills."

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.

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.

It wasn't all easy, though. Some people resisted helping in any way, particularly when it comes to finding the dirt and stones needed for the artisan to use. They saw no need to help because they didn't see the whole pictures, saying "You found us drinking this water as it was, and still we live - there is no need to disturb us by protecting it." The person in charge of the project and the artisan had to go door to door to beg the community members to help find the locally available materials, of which only a few had the mercy to come and help.

All this has transformed Mwango Spring into a flowing, clean water source. People arrived right away to fetch their first jerrycans of that clean water.

Mr. Reuben Andati told us, "You are a God-sent organization which has come to help us as a community, to help us get access to safe, clean drinking water. Although some of the people in the community don't see the need... but as time goes by, they will come to understand the importance of having safe, clean water in their community."

December, 2017: Mulundu Community Project Underway

Mulundu Community will soon have a clean, safe source of water thanks to your donation. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from Fanice Mwango 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: Mulundu Community

December, 2018

“We used to fetch dirty water, but now we have access to safe, clean water which we use for drinking and to bathe at home,” said Bonface Ouko, a 16-year-old boy we met at the spring.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Mulundu Community, Fanice Mwango 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 Fanice Mwango Spring for Mulundu 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 Faith Muthama with you.

Community members used to fetch water that was dirty, and it certainly couldn't be used for drinking. But since the spring has been protected, the community members get clean, safe drinking water.

Drinking the spring's water used to cause cases of diarrhea among community members, remembered farmer Rose Atira. She now reports that cases of waterborne illnesses have declined in her household thanks to the protected spring.

Rose Atira

The area around the spring is kept clean by its users. There is a schedule for people to come wash the spring every two days and cut the grass around the spring once a month. These activities help ensure that the water pouring out of the pipe is clean and safe for drinking.

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.

Bonface Ouko and Rose Atira

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 Mulundu Community is changing many lives.

"We used to fetch dirty water, but now we have access to safe, clean water which we use for drinking and to bathe at home," said Bonface Ouko, a 16-year-old boy we met at the spring.

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 Mulundu Community, Fanice Mwango 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 Mulundu Community, Fanice Mwango 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.


Project Sponsor - G2 Foundation