A Year Later: Kisaila Hand-Dug Well

December, 2017

When she would come home without water, this meant that we slept without cooking… but since the project inception, I find food ready. This enables me to eat, do my homework, then sleep early. My teachers have also commented on my performance and concentration in class and I am aiming to achieve higher marks in my next class.

A year ago, generous donors helped build a hand-dug well for the Kisaila Self-Help Group in Kenya. Because of these gifts and our monthly donors, partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from our partner Titus Mbithi with you.


Life for people living near this hand-dug well has greatly improved because they now have a clean water source that runs throughout the year. The group has clean and safe drinking water that is even treated before consumed, thanks to the training they received last year. Water-related diseases have largely decreased. The surrounding environment has become more serene and the people are happy, healthy and clean.

And thanks to the surplus of water an adjacent sand dam provides, this hand-dug well is able to pump clean, safe water from the catchment area.

We interviewed Levi Mwendwa, who came to fetch water from the well.

Anne Ngei is the chairwoman of the committee that oversees this hand-dug well and sand dam system. She said, “Life before this project was challenging because we would even sleep at the river lining up in order to get water from the deep scoop holes. The scoop holes were very deep, and this posed a threat to our animals and children. The project has reduced all these risks and everyone is grateful. The community at large is interested in joining our group because they can see that we are benefitting, and they have started copying what we do. Our school-going children no longer stay dirty because water is available, and they are usually comfortable in school and even in the church. Diseases have decreased due to improved nutrition, which came as a result of planting different varieties of foods and vegetables.”

Mrs. Ngei sharing the changes that have happened since this project last year.

Levi Mwnedwa added his own experience, saying: “My school performance has improved because I find food at home, unlike before. I could come home only to find my grandmother has gone to look for water from as far as five kilometers away from our home. She could later come home late, and sometimes without water. When she would come home without water, this meant that we slept without cooking… but since the project inception, I find food ready. This enables me to eat, do my homework, then sleep early. My teachers have also commented on my performance and concentration in class and I am aiming to achieve higher marks in my next class. My grandmother and I have grown 14 trees, and they have all survived. We are planning to transplant during the rainy season. I use the water to bathe, wash my clothes, and our house. As a result I am now clean and healthy. Our livestock are healthy, and they produce good milk.”

The hand-dug well depends on the water this sand dam stores.

The surrounding environment has become green and cool. Soil and water are conserved through natural vegetation and terracing. Water is available throughout the year, and is being enjoyed by hundreds.


The Water Project and our partners are committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by monthly donors, allows us to visit communities up to four times a year. Read more about our program and how you can help.



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