Emahungu Primary School

Water Point
Project Features
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Wells for Kenya

Latitude 0.27
Longitude 34.69

500 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 Emahungu primary school is a local school, which seems to be forgotten by everyone including the government. The school is located 20 km away from Kakamega town and was started in1987 as an Early Child Development Centre (E.C.D) sponsored by the PEFA church.

Because of the poor condition of the school, the environment is challenging for the young, bright boys and girls who have a vision of becoming great members of society.


There are no safe water points close to the school. Located in each classroom, are small containers that every pupil is assigned to either carry water from home or go long distances searching water from far rivers, which are not safe for human consumption.

Talking to some pupils about the situation, they expressed their fate of how they are forced to walk long distances searching for water regardless of its quality or quantity. On one occasion, the pupils reported that one of them was forced to fetch contaminated water with urine on her way to school since she had no option but to arrive with water in school.

There have been many efforts and requests for help by the head teacher to improve the water and hygiene situation in Emahungu, but most efforts have been in vain. “I have approached many offices and agencies that can help the school overcome this problem but none has ever promised to help”, said Mr. Erick Otwombe. In addition, he said that his teachers are busy looking for transfers to other schools because life in his school has become a challenge.


The   school population is as follows:

  • Pupils                        630 pupils: 346 girls and 286 boys.
  • ECD pupils               90:       48 boys and 42 girls
  • Special unit               15:       10 boys and 5 girls
  • Teachers                   20
  • Support staff             3
  • Community               30 households (approx. 5 members per household)

 (Editor’s Note: While this many people may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only support a population of 350-500 people.  This community would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)


Due to lack of water, the schools hygiene and sanitation is poor. No hand washing stations were present and from information from interviews hand washing is not practiced by the teachers or pupils. Many of the pupils have been affected with jiggers, which come as a result of dirty classroom floors and unwashed latrines. It’s very sad to note that Emahungu primary school is a school that still has dusty floors that are smeared with cow dung hence leading to attack of jiggers. Pupils who are more at risk for jiggers are the many pupils whose parents cannot afford shoes to prevent jiggers. According to the senior teacher of this school, the jigger issue has spread widely back to the community affecting parents who cannot afford the treatment.

The school has 5 latrines, which are serving 630 pupils. The latrines are almost full and one block is already fallen down. This has even worsened the situation since young pupils who are afraid of going to the latrines are now defecating in the sugarcane plantation that is close to the school compound. Some pupils also defecate on the latrine floors, which are not washed due to lack of enough water.


Although not very strong, a water committee is already in place in Emahungu and it will be strengthened during sanitation and hygiene workshops given by Bridge Water Project prior to the implementation of the project. The water committee will comprise of the, teachers on staff and community members.  BWP will also teach the water committee how to make simple technology tippy tap hand washing stations so that proper hygiene can be improved in this school.

Bridge Water Committee also recognizes that there is an inadequate amount of latrines for the population of the school and hopes to return to this community in the near future to assist in latrine funding and building.

Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

09/15/2014: Emahungu Project Complete!

After a variety of issues including hard rock formations and equipment issues, we are very excited to report that Emahungu Primary School in Kenya has a new source of safe, clean water.  The report below from our partner in the field gives the latest details on the installation and handing-over ceremony:

8th August  2014

After waiting for a long time seeking for the interventions towards accomplishing the Emahungu well, the drilling team mobilized to the site for the continuation of the work. The drilling team decided to begin a fresh well after experiencing a tough rock which could not allow further penetration. This took a maximum of three days hence reaching a maximum depth of 40metres. Three aquifers were stricken hence a lot of water was found.

After the drilling was complete, the construction of the well pad begun. This took a period of three days and therefore the well pad is left to cure waiting for pump installation.

9 September 2014

After the well pad cured, we were able to hand over this long awaited project to the Emahungu Primary School. 

The students and faculty have been anticipating this handing over of this water source for many months now and we are proud to report that the well has been successfully handed over to the community.  This work that we do in the field is not easy and the challenges and difficulties we had in implementing this borehole serves as a good example as to the various obstacles that can be had during project implementation.

Despite all of this, the team persevered and continued until completion.  We are grateful for the patience of the students and faculty of the school as well as grateful to the donors who supported us throughout this project. 

Perseverance and patience have paid off!  Take a look at the latest pictures we just posted.  And Thank You for your help!

The Water Project : kenya4222-77-handing-over-of-the-emaungu-school-well

08/18/2014: Moving Quickly at Emahungu

With the drilling finally completed, it is time to start working on the top of the well at Emahungu Primary School.  We just posted a new set of pictures of the newly constructed well pad, the concrete slab that surrounds and protects the well from surface contamination.  Next comes flushing and pump assembly.  We’re getting closer every day!  Thank you!

The Water Project : kenya4222-62-constructed-pad-of-emaungu-primary-school

07/31/2014: Back To Work at Emahungu Primary School

We are very happy to let you know that drilling is happening again at Emahungu Primary School in Kenya. After some long delays due to hard rock and equipment problems, the right tools have been obtained and great progress is being made. We just posted some new pictures of the work. Hopefully we’ll soon be able to show you a completed well and lots of clean water!  

The Water Project : kenya4222-51

05/29/2014: Emuhungu Project Challenges

In the work of bringing clean water, you never know what challenges will arise.  The report below from our partner in the field describes some of the difficulties that have been faced in bringing clean water to Emahungu Primary School.  The work has stalled, but will continue.  We’ll let you know when progress has been made.  Thank you for your help.

WEEK2 NARRATIVE: 7th-11th MARCH 2014

Drilling begun at Emaungu primary school although this was done after a long delay due to a delayed response from the external driller.

The mobilization of the drilling equipments to the site was done in the absence of the schoolteachers and pupils. This is because; schools in Kenya have gone for vacation.

During drilling, an eight-inch hole was drilled. The hole was drilled up to 14m where it was stopped. This was due to a hard rock, which requires a sharp hammer to penetrate through it.

At this point, the drilling of this well is expected to continue after Easter holidays when the sharp hammer is gotten.

More reports concerning this well will be given as soon as drilling proceeds.

WEEK3 NARRATIVE: 17th-21st March 2014

Being one the schools in Kakamega County, Emaungu primary school seemed to be forgotten by everyone and no one would wish to be part of this school. The school has had a lot of problems including lack of water, poor hygiene and sanitation practices and lack of latrines.

Being one of the prayers made by the people of this school and the community for a long period of time, the prayer was answered when the water project came in and funded a well through BWP.

Bridge water project went to the school for hygiene and sanitation training. The purpose of the training was to help the pupils; teachers and the community members change their negative attitudes and begin practicing good hygiene and sanitation. In addition, the training was meant to help them understand how to sustain and maintain the new water project to be drilled in the school.

A section of lower primary pupils aged 6-10 years were selected to attend the training. The pupils were able to learn more on;

  • Hand washing.
  • Food handling.
  • Good and bad hygiene practices.
  • Proper use of the latrine and its importance.

The pupils learned through singing of songs, use of visual aids, poems and group works.

A group of the pupils from the upper primary section was further selected. The group comprised of boys and girls aged 11-16 years. The pupils were also able to learn on several issues of hygiene and sanitation including;

  • Hand washing.
  • Importance of using a latrine; why some people don’t use latrines; transmission of diseases by flies.
  • Safe water, its handling and treatment.

The school together with BWP is looking forward to come up with more hand washing stations, which will serve the teachers and the pupils.

Having successfully trained the school on good hygiene and sanitation practices, its now a second phase of drilling of the borehole.

April 2014 Update

Emaungu Primary School Water Project began drilling and were able to hit the first aquifer, however, the hammer bit, that was being used could not penetrate the deeper rock formation needed to reach an adequate depth for the borehole to function as intended.  An order was placed by the contractor for a 5” hammer bit, when it finally arrived it did not fit in the hammer barrel of the drill rig.

To date, the contractor is still sorting out this issue and is exploring the possibility of hiring a hammer from another drilling firm to be able to finish the Emaungu well.

BWP will submit a progressive report on Emaungu development works as soon as he reports back on site, which is expected by the end of May.

The Water Project : kenya4222-48-first-acquiver-stricken-at-emaungu-primary-school-well-project

04/03/2014: Emahungu Primary School Project Underway

We are excited to announce that Emahungu Primary School in Kenya will soon have a new source of safe, clean water.  Along with this important resource, the school and community will receive training in sanitation and hygiene to help stop the spread of disease.  We just posted a report from our partner in the field including information about the community, GPS coordinates, and pictures.  Take a look, and Thank You for your help!

The Water Project : kenya4222-17-pupils-of-emahungu-primary-school-on-interview

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump
ProjectID: 4222
Install Date:  09/15/2014

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Needs Repair
Last Visit: 06/15/2017

We are actively working with this partner to resolve the issues in this community. The "last visit" date is not necessarily the date we were notified by the partner of any potential problems. Once informed of downtime, we work to respond quickly. We will update the project status when these issues are resolved.

Visit History:
05/18/2015 — Needs Attention
02/23/2016 — Needs Attention
06/06/2016 — Needs Attention
09/22/2016 — Functional
09/22/2016 — Functional
02/20/2017 — Needs Attention
06/15/2017 — Needs Repair

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.