Mukhonje Community

Water Point
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Well Rehab in Kenya

Latitude 0.25
Longitude 34.74

336 Served

Project Status:

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Stories and Community Profile

This project is part of Bridge Water Project’s program in Western Kenya. What follows is direct from them:


The proposed Mukhonje community water project is a hand dug well that was initiated by Kefinco (Kenya Finland Company) in the year 1994. Their aim of digging this well was to provide a safe and reliable water source to the members of Mukhonje community. The total depth of the well is 12.6M and the water level is 10M. The well was installed a 5’’ casing and then fitted with a Nira pump. It served the community for a long time and the water was reliable since it would withstand the dry seasons. Due to ware and tare, the pump got spoilt in the year 2003. The then water committee did the repairs but the pump was rendered useless in the year 2004 since the spare parts could not be found locally since Nira pumps were not sold locally. Since the well was not under anyone’s care, the spoilt pump was vandalized by unknown people in the year 2006. The community members started fetching water from the well using a bucket and a rope. The water became unsafe since children from the neighboring Mukhonje Primary school would throw litter in the well. The local area leadership decided to cover the well and lock it with a padlock until they found another pump. Due to the condition of their current water source, BWP has granted the communities wish for a new pump to be installed on the well.


The community members currently access water from a stream called Mutakha Tsanzu. The stream is not protected and drys up during the dry season. The turbidity of the water is 40, which is below the recommended level of WHO (World Health Organization). When the stream dries up, the community members fetch water from a hand dug well that was dug by one of the community members. This hand dug well also serves the neighboring Mukhonje Secondary School.  The community fetches water from the hand dug well using a rope and a jerrican and sometimes the rope and Jerricans fall in the well and this causes contamination, making it unsafe for human consumption.


Below is the breakdown of the population.

–          Community members – 42 household (Approximate 8 members per household)

(35% of the household are headed by females while 65% are headed by males).

–          Mukhonje Secondary School – 220 students

–          11 teachers

–          5 subordinate staff


BWP team visited Mukhonje community for the baseline survey. The community members were interviewed and observation was done in the homesteads.

1.      Bathing rooms: (outside spaces on the homestead that provide privacy to take a bucket shower, usually a hand built structure made of local plant material)

Respondents with bathing rooms

Finding from the questionnaires showed that 20% of the households in the community did not have bathing rooms while 80% of them had bathrooms.


All the respondents interviewed responded to having latrines but none of the latrines had covers.

When asked whether they used the bathrooms and latrines, 95% gave a positive response while 5% confirmed to not using the facilities.

2.      Hand washing

Out of those interviewed, 20.59% agreed to washing their hands before preparing food while 38.24% agreed to washing hands before eating. 41.18% of the respondents washed their hands after defecating. There were also some hand washing stations with soap and water erected in some of the homesteads and this was a clear indication that they practiced hand washing.

Hand washing practice

Kenya4255 chart 1

Hand washing with soap or ash

The pie chart below shows that 75% of the community members use soap while 20% wash their hands using water only. None of the community members agreed to washing hands with ash.

Kenya4255 chart 2

3.      Compost pits

All the home steads visited had compost pits but some of them were not well kept.

4.      Hand washing stations

Some of the homesteads visited had well-structured hand washing stations with soap and water. This hand washing stations were brought in the community by IPA (Innovation for Poverty Action).


If Mukhonje water project is rehabilitated it will greatly benefit the community members and the neighboring Mukhonje Secondary school.


There’s need to rehabilitate the water source so that the community members and neighboring Mukhonje Secondary school can have access to clean, safe and reliable water.

It is also necessary to train the community members on proper hygiene and sanitation since some of their hygiene practices are not good. The community members must also be sensitized on the importance of using the sanitation facilities in their community and coming up with new ones for those who have none.


Since the well has not been in use for a long time, the committee that was initially put in place is no longer active. The community members have agreed to come together and elect a new committee that will oversee the running of the well once it is rehabilitated.


Poor roads and bad weather.


Good reception from the community members.

– Successful implementation of the project.


Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

08/25/2014: Mukhonje Project Complete

It has taken a bit longer than we anticipated, but we are very excited to report that the community of Mukhonje, Kenya, has a new source of safe, clean water.  The report below from our partner in the field describes all of the great work that was done to repair the broken well and train the community in sanitation and hygiene:



The training at Mukhonje Community commenced with a word of prayer from the secretary Mr. Benson Molenje followed by a brief introduction of the community members by the chairman of the committee Mr. Henry Indombi. Thereafter, Bridge Water Project facilitators introduced themselves.

The training was attended by 20 community members, 12 women and 8 men. In order to pass the hygiene and sanitation message to the community members, BWP facilitators applied the Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST) methodology. This methodology would help the trainees understand that poor hygiene and sanitation practices are the major causes of many preventable diarrheal diseases. These diseases are prevalent in the community and children below 5 years are the most affected. This training would not only equip the community members with basic hygiene knowledge but also encourage them to pass the knowledge to their children through leading by example.

These participants were taken through various exercises using different tools to create a better understanding of the training. Apart from working in small groups, the community members made presentations to the larger group.

a)      Community Entry

The first activity for the training was the community entry. The River Crossing role-play was used to enhance this activity. It is designed to help the group understand the role of agencies and the community as partners in development and encourage community participation in activities. Three volunteers from the participants were taken through the role-play. The role-play shows two travelers (a man and a woman) and a herdsman. The travelers have to cross a flooded river but are afraid since they are unfamiliar with the area. Since the herdsman is a local of the area, he helps them cross. The flooded river has three stones placed at equal distances from each other. The herdsman guides them on how to get to the stones and get through the river. The man requests the herdsman to carry him across the river. The woman on the other hand tells the herdsman to hold her by the hand and help her cross the river. The man is carried up to the second stone and instructed by the herdsman to cross to the last stone on his own but he is afraid. The woman is helped to the second stone by the herdsman and accepts to cross to the third stone on her own. She later encourages her husband to follow in her footsteps and cross the river.

After the role-play was performed, the community members shared what they had learnt. The flooded river represents the challenges in the community, the two travelers represent community members and their different approaches towards change in the community, the herdsman represent the agencies while the stones represent the solutions towards the problems in the community.

The BWP Facilitator urged the community members to own the project and participate in the implementation process. This was insisted on with the aim of encouraging sustainability of the project.

b)     Problem Analysis

Problem analysis is a step that helps participants understands how some of their everyday hygiene and sanitation practices may cause diarrheal disease. The tool used for this activity was two pile sorting. The purpose of this tool is to exchange information and discuss common hygiene behaviors and their impact on health. The participants were put into groups and instructed to select from a set of posters whether they were good or bad hygiene practices. After discussing among themselves, they put the good practices below a smiling face and the bad practices below a frowning face. Every participant came forward and explained a poster to the larger group before classifying it as either good or bad. For the bad posters, the one making the presentation would explain to the rest of the group why he or she thought that the poster was bad and what would have been done instead.

i)                    Investigating Community Practices.

The pocket chart tool was used to enhance this exercise. This tool helps to collect, organize and analyze information on individual sanitation practices. The community members were required to vote in private so as to determine those that used latrines and those that still practiced open defecation.

The BWP facilitator explained how the pocket chart works before instructing the trainees to vote. Locally available materials were used for the voting whereby the men used maize while the women used beans. After the voting was done, a community member was called upon to help tally the votes. The table below shows the results.

A table showing results from the pocket chart


Latrine use

Open defecation















The outcome of the pocket chart showed that one out of the 21 community members’ still practiced open defecation.

One of the community members discouraged the practice of open defecation stating that it led to the contamination of water sources and floods through flies thus causing diarrhea. BWP encouraged all community members to have latrines in their homesteads and ensure that they are well kept.

ii)                  How Diseases Spread

This is an activity that falls under problem analysis. The tool used for this exercise was the F-Diagram. This tool shows the different routes that infectious agents in feces spread from the environment to the human body. The five F’s are represented by Feces, Flies, Fluids, Fingers and Fields. BWP facilitator explained the posters that would be used for the exercise before letting them come up with the disease transmission routes. The posters were put on the ground where the trainees came up with the routes by use of arrows. This was done after a thorough discussion among themselves. This exercise was essential since the community members had experienced cases of diarrheal diseases. This included typhoid and diarrhea in children.

c)      Identification of solutions

This exercise aims at identifying possible solutions that would prevent the diseases transmission routes. The tool applied for this exercise was the blocking posters. These posters were used to block the spread of diseases on the F-Diagram. After identifying the actions that would be taken to block the routes, the participants used different posters for the exercise. The posters used represented Latrine use, Water treatment, Food covering and Hand washing.

Hand washing

Hand washing is a critical exercise that prevents the spread of diarrheal diseases. Hand washing, if not well done, would increase the spread of diseases. The community members came up with the critical moments when hand washing should be practiced:

i)                    Before and after eating

ii)                  After changing the baby’s nappy

iii)                After doing manual work

iv)                Before preparing food

v)                  After defecating

One volunteer from the community demonstrated how he washed his hands. BWP facilitator also took another community member through proper demonstration of hand washing using enough water and soap. The participants were surprised to learn that ash has the same agents as soap and could be a substitute for hand washing if soap is not available.



After successfully training the community on proper hygiene and sanitation, the next course of action was for BWP to clean the well. The service team reported on site equipped with all the required tools for the task. The team started by removing the slab that was covering the well so that proper cleaning would be done. A bucket was tied to a rope and used to remove litter from the well. An electric pump was also used to pump out the stagnant water that had not been in use for over 6 years. As the pumping continued, more litter was extracted from the well. The water was pumped out for a total of 6 hours.

The well area was flattened so a proper cement work would be done later. The community members who were present during the whole process took part. They helped to clear and clean the well area. The drainage of the well was also cleared so that water would not stagnate around the well area.

After completing the cleaning phase, the well was covered awaiting a proper cement work. It was amazing to see the community members owning the project and taking part in all the processes of the implementation. This was really important since BWP had insisted to them on the importance of project ownership during the training.



The masonry team went on site to do the cement work on the well. The slab was fitted with foundation bolts that would be used to fit the affridev pump. The bolts were installed to the slab with a minor cement work. It was procedural for the slab to cure before being fitted on the well. It took four days for the slab to cure after which it was fitted to the well. The masonries did the final cement work so that there would be no space between the slab and the rest of the well area. This was properly done so that no form of contamination could get into the well. The pad was left to cure awaiting pump installation.  



BWP’s service team went back to Mukhonje Community to install the pump after confirming that the well pad was cured. To witness the pump installation were the community members and the area village elder. The well was fitted with 5 affridev pipes each measuring 3 meters. It was also fitted with the same length of stainless steel rods. It was important to fit the well with stainless steel rods so as to prevent contamination by rust. After the pump was successfully installed, the water source was officially handed over to community. In his thanks giving speech, the area village elder thanked BWP for meeting the social needs of the community members by equipping them with the proper knowledge on hygiene and sanitation and more so for rehabilitating their water source. The community members vowed to work together towards maintaining and sustaining the water source. They all are grateful to Bridge Water Project and The Water Project for ensuring that their water project is a success and they have access to clean and safe water.

Don’t miss the new pictures we just posted, showing the community training and finished well.  The smiling faces say it all.  Thank you for your patience, and Thank You for your help!

The Water Project : kenya4255-58-045-mukhonje-handing-over-2

05/13/2014: Mukhonje Project Underway

We are excited to announce that a water project has begun in Mukhonje, Kenya.  A broken well, originally built in 1994, will be restored so it is a dependable source of safe, clean water.  In addition, the community will receive training in proper sanitation and hygiene.  Together, these resources will go a long way toward stopping the spread of disease.  We just posted an initial report from our partner in the field including information about the community, GPS coordinates, and pictures.  We’ll keep you posted a the work continues.  Take a look, and Thank You for your help.

The Water Project : kenya4255-07-mukhonje-community-hand-washing-stations

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Well Rehab
ProjectID: 4255
Install Date:  08/25/2014

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 09/05/2017

Visit History:
05/19/2015 — Functional
10/30/2015 — Functional
06/07/2016 — Functional
09/15/2016 — Functional
11/08/2016 — Functional
12/07/2016 — Functional
12/14/2016 — Functional
03/02/2017 — Needs Attention
04/28/2017 — Functional
09/05/2017 — Functional


Project Sponsor - Scott & Tasha Swank

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Country Details


Population: 39.8 Million
Lacking clean water: 43%
Below poverty line: 50%

Partner Profile

Bridge Water Project has been funded by The Water Project almost since they got their start in 2007.  This local Kenyan NGO works directly with the communities and neighbors they know well.  Building relationships with these villages and the local government helps ensure that the water projects we fund are sustainable in the long term.

BWP works to repair up to four wells for every new one they install.  In this area of Kenya, many old and broken down water points still exist.  We have found that restoring these water points and establishing new plans for maintenance and monitoring, is quite cost effective.

We work closely with partners like BWP to strengthen their teams, through professional development growing their impact and quality of work over time.  Your donations make it all possible.