A Year Later: Vinya wa Mwau Hand-Dug Well

December, 2017

Our water source has changed from an open earth dam to a protected shallow well, and the distance to the shallow well is less than a kilometer.

A year ago, generous donors helped build a hand-dug well for the Vinya wa Mwau 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.


It’s incredible to think that members of Vinya wa Mwau Self-Help Group and their neighbors had to walk over six kilometers to find water – and that water wasn’t even clean. Now, clean water is within a half kilometer from home.

The little water people brought back would be rationed for drinking and cooking, and would only allow for occasional bathing. Plants, and more importantly livestock, would die during the dry seasons. Now, there’s water available for everything: drinking, cooking, household chores, watering livestock, and irrigating farms.

We met the self-help group’s secretary, Musoi Mutsya, at the sand dam. He told us that no longer having to walk six kilometers for water has saved him an extraordinary amount of time. He said this time “we can now use in other income-generating projects. We now have enough water for household use, watering our cattle, planting trees at our homes and hence increasing forest cover.” And thanks to the surplus of water that the adjacent sand dam provides, this hand-dug well is able to pump clean, safe water from the catchment area. Mr. Mutsya says that “the available water is clean and safe for drinking.”

Christine Mbithe filling her jerrycan with clean water.

Christine Mbithe arrived and expressed her gratefulness for clean water: “Our water source has changed from an open earth dam to a protected shallow well, and the distance to the shallow well is less than a kilometer.” Right now, she and the other group members are thinking about how to best fence in the water point to protect it.


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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