Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 255 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/20/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Maluvyu Village is very rural and peaceful, despite the fact that it's close to Kathonzweni market center, the administrative headquarters of the division. The area is generally dry and arid. Most of the buildings are family homes made of a mix of both brick, mud, and grass-thatched shacks.

Maluvyu is home to the Ngwatanio ya Utui Wa Maluvyu Self-Help Group, which is made up of farmers who unite to address food and water scarcity in their region. If a farmer doesn't have a large farm for themselves, they are paid a salary to work on their neighbors' farms. The majority of group members earn no more than 2,000 shillings ($20) a month.


We teamed up with this group to bring clean water closer to their village. They've already built one sand dam and well system, and look forward to building this second system on the Kituluni River.

"We have lived many years with water problems. The construction of our first sand dam helped us solve this problem and we hope to implement more projects and bring water close to us," Mr. Sammyu Wambua Kilele shared.

Before this first system, everyone was just digging holes in the sandy riverbed to find water. These would sit open and unguarded from contamination. Waterborne diseases were the norm for the people the drank the dirty water from there.

There's now a clean water system within a good distance of many people, but the group wants to build more to reduce the busyness around the pump and bring clean water closer to others.

To see all of the work being done in Maluvyu, click here.


Part of our relationship with Maluvyu is constant training on and evaluation of their sanitation and hygiene practices. One of those visits was to the household of Mrs. Kathikwa Mutunga, who allowed us to take pictures. All households in Maluvyu built at least a basic pit latrine since the start of our training schedule. About 90% of households have a handwashing station with soap.

All of these households are looking clean, thanks to many other great tools like garbage pits, dish racks, clotheslines, and animal pens.

Here's what we're going to do:


We will be engaging with the group members to review some of the things they've learned. Though their household compounds look great, we want to review some of the daily practices we don't get to observe. We'll talk about food hygiene, water hygiene and its treatment, and personal hygiene, including handwashing.

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.

With these projects, clean water will be brought closer to hundreds living around Maluvyu, including the Mwatunga family.

This project is a part of our shared program with Africa Sand Dam Foundation. Our team is pleased to provide the reports for this project (edited for clarity) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates

September, 2019: Giving Update: Maluvyu Community

A year ago, your generous donation helped Maluvyu Community in Kenya access clean water.

There’s an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Maluvyu Community. Month after month, their giving supports ongoing sustainability programs that help this community maintain access to safe, reliable water. Read more…

June, 2018: Maluvyu Community Hand-Dug Well Complete

Maluvyu Community, Kenya now has a new source of water thanks to your donation. A new hand-dug well was constructed adjacent to a sand dam. The dam will build up sand to raise the water table and naturally filter water. Community members also attended hygiene and sanitation training, and plan to share what they learned with their families and neighbors.

New Knowledge

Our main contact for Maluvyu Community was the chairman of Maluvyu Self-Help Group. He worked directly with our field officers to plan the best date for community members to attend hygiene and sanitation training sessions. They then agreed on a venue, the homestead of Mr. Mutunga Kyunguti, another one of the group members who was kind enough to offer the land outside his home where there was a little bit of shade to keep everyone cool. There were 15 group members in attendance.

We made household visits to plan for training, listing the areas of needed improvement. Our trainer started by sharing the overall situation with community members, who then took that information and turned it around to make an action plan. How many more latrines did the community need to build for everyone to have one?

The trainer also taught about these topics and many more:

- Making soap

- Importance of covering a latrine pit

- Making and using drying racks

- Household hygiene

- Food preparation and storage

- Water treatment

The group particularly enjoyed learning how to make soap because they knew it wouldn't only benefit each individual household, but that they could sell it to other people in the local market too.

The group had always assumed that if water looked clear enough, it was clean. They were surprised to learn that you should always treat water before consumption because even clean water can get dirty after transportation and storage. The trainer introduced solar disinfection, boiling, water guard, and Moringa seed as options.

"The training was a good one and it will bring a lot of changes in our lives,"Mr. Mutunga Kyunguti said.

"For instance, on water hygiene, we now know better than we used to know. Especially on the solar disinfection method, since some of us have been doing it through the wrong way. Through the water treatment, our lives will change in that we will not be getting sick often."

"Again we will generate income from the soap making activity. Apart from the income, we will improve on our hygiene and sanitation by cleaning our clothes, washing our hands and other general household activities because we have learned that the soap can serve different activities."

Hand-Dug Well

We delivered the experts and materials, but the community helped get an extraordinary amount of work done. They collected local materials to supplement the project, including sand and water.

A hole seven feet in diameter is excavated up to a recommended depth of 25 feet. (Most hand-dug wells don’t reach that depth due to the existence of hard rocks between 10-18 ft.). The community wasn't even able to finish digging before torrential downpours flooded them out. They had to use a pump to drain the well and continue their work.

The well flooded with water before it could be finished.

The diameter then shrinks to five feet when construction of the hand-dug well lining is completed. This lining is made of brick and mortar with perforations to allow for water to seep through. Sand builds up around the well walls, which will naturally filter the rainwater that’s stored behind the dam.

Once the construction of the lining reaches ground level, a precast concrete slab is laid on top and joined to the wall using mortar. Four bolts for the hand-pump are fixed on the slab during casting. The concrete needs to dry over the course of two weeks before the pump is installed.

Community members posing in front of the drying cement foundation. Thumbs up in expectation for their mechanic and pump to arrive!

The mechanics arrive to install the pump as community members watch, learning how to manage and maintain the pump for themselves.

The well is then given another few days after installing the pump to allow the joints to completely dry. Communities are advised to pump out the water that seeps into the well after it rains for the first time because it needs to be cleaned out after construction. After pumping that for a while, the water turns clean and clear.

Pumping out water after the first rains.

The pump was installed level with the top of the sand dam (click here to see that project) because as the dam matures, sand builds up to the top of the wall. We wouldn’t want the pump to be buried by sand.

As if to reward this group for their hard work, it rained hard right after they finished. The sand dam captured a ton of water that's accessible via the new well. It was awesome to share that moment with everyone!

April, 2018: Maluvyu Community Hand-Dug Well Underway

A severe clean water shortage still affects hundreds of families living in Maluvyu Community. Families are having to walk long distances to find clean water, wasting hours of time and tons of energy. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point nearby and much more.

Get to know your community through the introduction and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!

Project Photos

Project Type

Hand-dug wells have been an important source of water throughout human history! Now, we have so many different types of water sources, but hand-dug wells still have their place. Hand dug wells are not as deep as borehole wells, and work best in areas where there is a ready supply of water just under the surface of the ground, such as next to a mature sand dam. Our artisans dig down through the layers of the ground and then line the hole with bricks, stone, or concrete, which prevent contamination and collapse. Then, back up at surface level, we install a well platform and a hand pump so people can draw up the water easily.

Giving Update: Maluvyu Community C

September, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Maluvyu in Keya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Anna Samuel. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Maluvyu Community 2B.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Maluvyu Community 2B maintain access to safe, reliable water. Together, they keep The Water Promise.

We’re confident you'll love joining this world-changing group committed to sustainability!

Life for Maluvyu community members has never been the same since the sand dam and shallow well water project was constructed in their area a year ago. The sufficient supply of water for this community has made life easier for the community members.

"My children rarely miss school because their school uniforms are always clean and there's always food prepared for them when they get home from school," shared Anna Samuel, a farmer who lives near the project.

Time wasted walking long distances to fetch water is a thing of the past for them. The water table levels have increased due to the dam. It takes only a single pump before lots of water flows from the shallow well.

"It is easier to farm both individually and as a group. Each member has managed to set up a vegetable garden at their homesteads which has also helped in value addition as one can have a variety of meals to feed," said Dominic Muema, the head of the self-help group that supports the water projects.

There is notably less pressure in the management of household duties by the community members. Mrs. Samuel is using the time freed up by the well to make and sell soap in the community.

"I am very grateful for this project in our community, I feel very proud to be associated with it," she said.

Anna Samuel

Hygiene and sanitation levels have improved since the training that was conducted as a part of the water project. The majority of people are keen on maintaining clean latrines in their homesteads to avoid the transmission of diseases.

"The tippy taps that we were taught to construct are of high standards and even non-members have visited my home just to see it and construct similar ones in their homes," Mr. Muema said.

"Hygiene and sanitation levels have improved and a handwashing culture has developed at our homes. My children even constructed a song for washing hands after visiting the toilet."

Navigating through intense dry spells, performing preventative maintenance, conducting quality repairs when needed and continuing to assist community leaders to manage water points are all normal parts of keeping projects sustainable. The Water Promise community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Maluvyu Community 2B maintain access to safe, reliable water.

We’d love for you to join this world-changing group committed to sustainability.

The most impactful way to continue your support of Maluvyu Community 2B – and hundreds of other places just like this – is by joining our community of monthly givers.

Your monthly giving will help provide clean water, every month... keeping The Water Promise.


Project Sponsor - Yakima Foursquare Church