Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 456 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/04/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

We've teamed up with Kianguni Self-Help Group, which is composed of workers and farmers who are fighting against water and food scarcity in their region. A majority of its members are from Katung'uli Community, where they've already implemented one successful sand dam and well system. But with a region populated by thousands, there are more water, sanitation, and hygiene opportunities.

Some 68% of the group members say that they rely on casual labor as their main source of income, which involves doing odd jobs on other people’s businesses or farms. This is regardless of their level of education. We learned from our interviews that those involved in casual labor are the most literate.

Only 14% of the respondents own their own farms. However, their income is seasonal, and therefore not reliable. The rest have small businesses that require them to travel to the market every day. Only 5% of the community manages to make over 10,000 shillings ($100) a month.


Kianguni Group has successfully installed a sand dam and well system along with a sandy riverbed. Dozens of families are now getting their water from this system, but Katung'uli Community is in need of more clean water options. This water source is busy and is still far away from many other families living on the other side of the village.

That's why Kianguni Group has united with us to continue installing clean water systems in their area.

Those not living close enough to the clean water system are still getting their water from open holes dug in the ground. Common diseases like typhoid, bilharzia, and ringworm plague community members after they drink water from these open holes.


More and more households are building latrines, though many of these are basic and vary depending on the means of the family. Some don't have doors, but just have a curtain hanging in the opening. After last year's training, community members learned how to build a "tippy tap," a hand-washing station made of a plastic container, sticks, and rope.

During our household visits, Mrs. Mutula and Mrs. Kanyau were gracious in letting us take pictures.

What we're going to do:


We're going to continue training Katung'uli Community on hygiene and sanitation practices. Though our visits to households were encouraging, we want to ensure that community members are practicing the day to day habits we're not able to observe. Food hygiene, water hygiene and treatment, personal hygiene and hand-washing will all be focused on during our next review.

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 Katung'uli, including the Kanyau and Mutula families.

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

May, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Katung'uli Community

Our teams are working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Join us in our fight against the virus while maintaining access to clean, reliable water.

We are carrying out awareness and prevention trainings on the virus in every community we serve. Very often, our teams are the first (and only) to bring news and information of the virus to rural communities like Katung'uli, Kenya.

We trained community members on the symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention of COVID-19.

Due to public gathering concerns, we worked with trusted community leaders to gather a select group of community members who would then relay the information learned to the rest of their family and friends.

We covered essential hygiene lessons:

- Demonstrations on how to build a simple handwashing station

- Proper handwashing technique

- The importance of using soap and clean water for handwashing

- Cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces including at the water point.

We covered COVID-19-specific guidance in line with national and international standards:

- Information on the symptoms and transmission routes of COVID-19

- What social distancing is and how to practice it

- How to cough into an elbow

- Alternative ways to greet people without handshakes, fist bumps, etc.

- How to make and properly wear a facemask.

During training, we installed a new handwashing station with soap near the community’s water point.

The line for the handwashing station.

Due to the rampant spread of misinformation about COVID-19, we also dedicated time to a question and answer session to help debunk rumors about the disease and provide extra information where needed.

Water access, sanitation, and hygiene are at the crux of disease prevention. You can directly support our work on the frontlines of COVID-19 prevention in all of the communities we serve while maintaining their access to safe, clean, and reliable water.

June, 2019: Giving Update: Katung'uli Hand-Dug Well

What you might not know is that an incredible community of monthly donors has joined you in supporting clean water in Katung'uli, Kenya.

Month after month, their giving funds ongoing sustainability and support programs to help keep this hand-dug well working correctly. Together, we call it The Water Promise.

This update from Katung'uli proves how your giving is still having an impact on Solomon Kyalo. Go here to read the full update.

June, 2018: Katung'uli Community Hand-Dug Well Complete

Katung'uli 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

The main contact for the group was field officer Ruth Mwanzia, who is responsible for all the self-help groups in this area. She reached out to the group's chairman who worked with the other members to decide on the best training date. They also agreed on the venue, which was at the nearby shopping center where one of the members had their own shop. Out of the 35 members, 30 attended. The other five were reportedly working on their farms to take advantage of the rainy weather.

The trainer highlighted:

– Ways to treat water

– Proper handling and storage of drinking water

– Protecting water sources

– Food preparation

– Building and using a dish drying rack

– Building and using a handwashing station

Participants' favorite topics were on water hygiene and making soap. For water hygiene, different methods of water treatment were explained along with their pros and cons. They were interested in learning the proper dosage for water guard, and also how to use the local moringa seed to purify water. Though we had taught people how to make soap a while ago, the group members requested a review. A member told us, "Though it is the second time we learned how to make soap, the procedure has now been well understood; it was not so clear to us but now we can make quality soap."

Being the second year of our program with Kianguni Self-Help Group, we reviewed their action plan for making improvements both on the community level and household level. Mr. Munyao Muia said, "We have not been serious in the installation of hygiene infrastructures, like for instance, construction of tippy taps (handwashing stations) and using soap to wash our hands, and water treatment. Now that we have learned the diseases that can be transmitted through taking untreated water, we will improve on that and the rate of diseases will be lowered. Because of the soap, handwashing with soap will be practiced throughout and we will teach the other family members on the same."

Very few people were practicing water treatment since they learned about it last year. Thus, a session was devoted to teaching why and how to do so.

Hand-Dug Well

The hand-dug well was constructed during the rains, and some days it would rain the entire day. Well artisans arrived with excavation tools, while community members supported them in the digging itself.

Since it was rainy, many of the farmers realized the opportunity to get good work done on their farms. They were torn between getting this work done to earn money for their families and working on the sand dam for its long-term benefits. More people chose their farms, which led to a low number of volunteers to help our artisans at the well. Anyways, it would rain so much at times that the well would flood, and excavation had to be put on hold.

Excavation was put on hold when the well flooded with muddy rainwater.

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 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.

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.

The well was pumped continuously to make way for more water to filter through the lining. Now people are filling their jerrycans with clean water to bring back home.

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. The entire community is excited to have a new water system in their area. Mr. Muia said, "This project will be a big revelation to the community. It will hold more water and top up on the already existing water from our first sand dam. Water access in the whole village will be greatly improved. Many people will now be served by the water points. It is the joy of everyone to have water at these close ranges!"

March, 2018: Katung'uli Community Hand-Dug Well Underway

A severe clean water shortage still affects hundreds of families living in Katung'uli 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: Katung'uli Hand-Dug Well

June, 2019

A year ago, you funded a hand-dug well in Katung’uli, Kenya– creating a life-changing moment for Solomon Kyalo. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Katunguli 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!

Katung'uli community members are elated about the water project that was constructed in their area. As we got to the water source on the day of our visit we found women jovially fetching water and doing their laundry.

People here are happy because they have attained clean drinking water from the sand dam and adjacent hand-dug well.

Both hygiene and sanitation have improved with the presence of water. The distance covered to fetch water and the time spent on this chore has decreased.

"The water source is very close to my home, which makes it easy for me to fetch fresh water for drinking and cooking. Conducting the household chores is manageable due to the availability of water," said Elizabeth Nduku.

"Contentment is an understatement for what I feel since the implementation of this project."

Fetching water

Solomon Kyalo, a 17-year-old boy we met at the well agreed.

"My brother and I normally come to drink water at this source after a long day spent at the field or in the farm. The water is very fresh and cool," he said.

Anna Wabamba, Field Officer Lilian Kendi, Solomon Kyalo, Elizabeth Nduku and Timothy Musau at the well and sand dam.

Waterborne diseases such as dysentery and diarrhea are unheard of as the community members drink clean water from the water source.

Their environment has also changed immensely due to the availability of water. Farmers are using water from the dam and well to support their crops.

Maize growing next to the sand dam

"Through this project, my mother has managed to plant vegetables at our small farm and we can now change meals and the diet frequently," Solomon said.

The environment is very beautiful and green, reported our field officer. There is a lot of water which makes farming projects and agribusiness very feasible. Community members are very excited about the progress and changes brought about by the water project.

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 Katunguli 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 Katunguli 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 - Pineapple Fund