The Water Project : 17-kenya4862-only-clean-water-source-in-the-area
The Water Project : 16-kenya4862-only-clean-water-source-in-the-area
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The Water Project : 1-kenya4862-community-members-ready-with-their-tools

Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  Under Construction
Estimated Install Date:   (Explain This?)  03/15/2018

Functionality Status: 

Community Profile & Stories

This project is a part of our shared program with Africa Sand Dam Foundation. Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).

Welcome to the Community

Kakwa Self-Help Group was formed in the year 2016 by 10 members. Over the course of one year, total membership shot up to 26.

The group members come from Kithatu and Kithumba villages, which are in Makueni County, Kenya, and have several hundred of residents. The group has also established a leadership committee made up of seven members; three women and four men.

The average age is 46 years, while their mean household membership is five people. 58% of the respondents interviewed said that their average income is below 3,000 shillings a month; 27% reported that they earn an average of between 3,100 and 5,000 shillings, and 15% respondents said that they earn income between 5,100 and 10,000 a month, regardless of the income source. None of the respondents earn above 10,000 shillings.

Water Situation

The main sources of drinking water for the respondents are; open springs, a hand-dug well, and water piped to a kiosk. Only 4% of the respondents get their drinking water from the kiosk – each container of water must be paid for there. The other 96% get their drinking water from either surface water or the well. The distance covered to the water source depends on the nearness of the respondent to the water source. The longest distance covered is four to five kilometers, with the shortest distance being less than a kilometer.

Because of the long distances traveled to the well, donkeys are especially helpful to bring along. A typical donkey can shoulder four 20-liter jerrycans full of water. But if a household can’t afford a donkey, an adult must hoist a 20-liter jerrycan upon their backs and haul it all the way home.

We talked to Margret Kavinya, who said “We fetch water from a community well dug in our village. It’s the sole source of clean water in our area and this therefore places a lot of pressure on this single point as it attracts people from Kithumba and the neighboring Kithatu village. I don’t practice any water treatment methods so I drink and use the water straight from the source.”

It’s obvious that many community members either aren’t able to make it to the hand-dug well because they live far away, or find the well overcrowded and the wait unbearable. At the time of our interviews, there were six waterborne diseases reported: two cases of amoeba and four cases of typhoid.

Sanitation Situation

100% of households have a pit latrine. Most of these lack doors and instead have a curtain. After touring the environment, it also seems that community members are using these latrines. Open defecation is not an issue here.

However, there are no hand-washing stations to prevent he spread of bacteria via hands. A little over half of households have a dish rack and clotheslines, and some have even dug a pit to throw their garbage. There is a general appreciation for sanitation and hygiene, but the community has also acknowledged room for improvement.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

To address gaps in hygiene and sanitation practices in Kithangaini Kithuluni Community, training will be offered to self-help group members on three consecutive days. The members will learn about useful practices and tools to improve health, and then will be able to share those with their families and neighbors. Water transport, storage, and treatment methods will be taught, and hand-washing will be a focus. Group members will learn how to make their own hand-washing stations with everyday materials. To motivate participants, we must show the links between these activities and their people’s health.

Plans: Hand-Dug Well

This particular hand-dug well is being built adjacent to this group’s ongoing sand dam project (click here to see), which will supply clean drinking water once it rains. We have supplied the group with the tools needed for excavation. With the guidance of our artisans and mechanics, the excavated well will be cased, sealed with a well pad, and then finished with a new AfriDev pump.

Excavation takes a month or more on average, depending on the nature of the rock beneath. Construction of the well lining and installation of the pump takes 12 days maximum. The well will be lined with a concrete wall including perforations so that once it rains, water will filter in from the sand dam.

This well will be located in Kithumba Village, and will bring clean water closer to families having to walk long distances for their water.

Recent Project Updates

11/14/2017: Kithumba Community Hand-Dug Well Underway

Kithumba Community in Kenya will have a clean source of water, thanks to your generous donation. A new well is being constructed adjacent to a new sand dam, and the community will attend a review on important sanitation and hygiene practices. Together, these resources will go a long way in stopping disease, hunger, and thirst in the area! We just posted a report including community details, maps, and pictures. We will keep you posted as the work continues!

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Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Project Data

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump
Location:  Makueni, Kithumba
ProjectID: 4867


Project Sponsor - The Lifeplus Foundation

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Country Details


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

Partner Profile

Africa Sand Dam Foundation (ASDF) supports self-help groups to harvest and conserve water through construction of sand dams & shallow wells, rock catchments and school roof catchments.