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The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Sanitation Platforms
The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Sanitation Platforms
The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Construction
The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Construction
The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Construction
The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Construction
The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Construction
The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Construction
The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Peter Kubai
The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Latrine
The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Consolata And Her Son By Their Latrine
The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Alice Odari Fetching Water
The Water Project: Mtao Community -  Tifina Spring

Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 252 Served

Project Phase:  Installed - Jan 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/08/2018

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

People who live in Mtao Village have to work extra hard or there will be no food on their tables at the end of the day. Most adults work on their farms planting vegetables and cereals for their families, while the rest is taken to the local market to sell. Some others are ‘boda boda’ drivers who taxi people around on their motorbikes.

Water Situation

Tifina Odari Spring is the only permanent water point in Mtao Community. However, it is open to contamination from pollutants such as human and animal waste. Nonetheless, its water is used for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and irrigation purposes.

Women and children are the ones most often seen at Tifina Odari Spring with their plastic containers. Smaller containers can be dunked under the water until full, while a cup or jug needs to be brought to fill larger containers. During the busiest parts of the day, lines begin to form as people wait for the water to settle after another person finishes fetching.

We met Mr. Peter Kubai at the spring, who says that “people in this community suffer a lot from cholera and typhoid due to drinking contaminated water at the spring, and we will really appreciate if you help us protect it!”

Sanitation Situation

Most of the households in Mtao Community have a shortage of sanitation facilities, especially latrines. Less than half of households even have a basic pit latrine! The ones we observed have dangerous log floors and no doors. Open defecation is a big issue here because of these poor conditions, with most people seeking the privacy of bushes to relieve themselves. Flies, animals, and rainwater then spread this waste around. No family in this area has a hand-washing facility while only a few have dish racks and clotheslines.

Mrs. Consolata Navonga said, “Most of the people in this area do not wash their hands after using latrines, and they go on to cook with the same dirty hands. Then later on their families start suffering from diarrhea! In addition to that, pit latrines are scarce in this area, thus many people do open defecate mostly at the spring area because it is bushy.”

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 latrine floors.

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

Construction will keep surface runoff and other contaminants out of the water, which means the water will be safe, clean, and adequate.

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

01/29/2018: Mtao Community Project Complete

Tifina Spring in Mtao 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 at a home near the spring. There were 13 participants, all of which were women who brought their young children.

The women received new notebooks and pens for jotting down what 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 right by the spring, we could run through hands-on management and maintenance demonstrations.

The trainer took participants to the spring for part of training.

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.

48-year-old Anne Indendi was grateful not only for clean water, but for the new knowledge she received. She said, “These efforts have not only brought us many sanitation platforms, but also the new technique of water purification that is very cost-effective to 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 so for the concept of solar disinfection of drinking water and community-led total sanitation (CLTS) skills.” She and many of her neighbors have installed helpful tools like dish racks and clotheslines, since they learned about how germs spread.

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.

One beneficiary told us, “I am so happy that I will no longer share a latrine with one of the community members who is situated quite a distance from my own compound. My visitors will have a place to ease themselves. It was shameful to direct them to a neighbor’s latrine.”

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. In fact, there were no men at hygiene and sanitation training because they were all busy helping the artisan.

Men helping the artisan by mixing cement.

It was incredible to witness the great unity and motivation of this community. On the first day of construction, community members gathered at the spring with ‘pangas,’ ‘jembes,’ and wheelbarrows to excavate. 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. Once the artisan finished his part, community members worked together to build a fence.

There was a difficult challenge to constructing Tifina Spring, and this was because it’s so close to another stream. This water was flowing back towards our water source, making it more difficult to protect.


Thanks to our artisan’s perseverance in handling the back flow of water, Tifina Spring has been transformed into a flowing source of clean water. Sally Kubai was one of the many community members who gathered with their containers to fetch clean water for the first time. She said, “I am so glad. We as the community of Mtao Village are going to access safe drinking water, and we believe that there will be minimal cases of waterborne diseases.”

The Water Project : 23-kenya4855-clean-water

11/15/2017: Mtao Community Project Underway

Mtao Community will soon have a clean, safe source of water thanks to your donation. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from Tifina 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 : 3-kenya4855-fetching-water

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 leads to a concrete spring box and collection area. Safe water typically flows year-round and there is very limited ongoing maintenance needed!


Catholic Chaplaincy
1 individual donor(s)