Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Program: Wells for Kenya

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2014

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/14/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

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.

We're just getting started, check back soon!

Project Photos

Project Type

Abundant water is often right under our feet! Beneath the Earth’s surface, rivers called aquifers flow through layers of sediment and rock, providing a constant supply of safe water. For borehole wells, we drill deep into the earth, allowing us to access this water which is naturally filtered and protected from sources of contamination at the surface level. First, we decide where to drill by surveying the area and determining where aquifers are likely to sit. To reach the underground water, our drill rigs plunge through meters (sometimes even hundreds of meters!) of soil, silt, rock, and more. Once the drill finds water, we build a well platform and attach a hand pump. If all goes as planned, the community is left with a safe, closed water source providing around five gallons of water per minute! Learn more here!