Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/15/2024

Project Features

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The roads leading to Masola Community require a bumpy ride up and down hills. Once there, it’s a much more peaceful environment. Homes are spread out over a large area, most of which are made of stone walls and iron roofs. Most of the families living here practice farming and raise livestock.

The majority of people share a common faith, Christianity, and come together often to meet. They’re also united in the formation of the Masola Kaani Self-Help Group (Masola Kaani because group members are from either Masola or Kaani Village), which has the purpose of alleviating water and food scarcity in the greater region.

We’ve been partnered with this group for the last two years and have seen the successful installation of two sand dams and two hand-dug wells. Each water project has brought clean water closer to hundreds of people.

Check out all of the success they've already had in Kaani Community!


Women and children wake up at 6am every morning to fetch water to be used for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. If one of the two hand-dug wells is too busy, they’ll continue walking to the next one. These water sources provide clean water to community members, and they consider it a very important asset.

They aim to continue adding these clean water points until they have enough for the hundreds upon hundreds of people living in their greater region.

“Our area experiences long dry periods across the year, leading to rampant water shortages. By working on water projects we hope to improve our living conditions and prevent diseases associated with dirty water,” farmer Kasyoki Kalii told us.

There are so many people relying on the two wells, that people sometimes have to resort to their old polluted sources. As a result, waterborne disease is still experienced by the self-help group members and their neighbors.


We had the privilege of visiting the Mumbua household to talk about how health, water, and sanitation have played a part in their lives and the lives of their neighbors over the last year.

Thanks to continuous training since the start of our relationship with Masola Kaani Self-Help Group, this area has 100 percent latrine coverage.

However, there are other things we taught about during training that still haven’t been adopted into the households. For example, we need to see a lot more dish racks, bathing shelters, animal pens, and garbage pits.

What we plan to do about it:


We’re going to continue training Masola 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 a focus 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.

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

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 readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates

October, 2019: Giving Update: Masola Community Well

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

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

December, 2018: Masola Community Hand-Dug Well Project Complete

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

New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was organized by the Masii area field officer Ruth Mwanzia, who communicated with the self-help group to choose a meeting point and time at their convenience. The training was held at the homestead of Jackson Kasyoki Katu, the secretary of the group.

Attendance was almost as expected, with a few members who did not attend the training because of a local funeral. Those there were eager to learn. This training was the first of its kind for most of the attendees.

Thus, we started them out on a lot of introductory topics:

– identifying common sicknesses
– studying the way germs are spread
– how to build and take care of a latrine
– how to make soap

Group members used our recipe to make their first batch of soap.

The group appreciated learning that latrine use is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. They were reminded that it’s not only important to have a latrine at every household, but to have them out by the farms and marketplaces too.

"If we consider all that was taught in today’s training seriously, we might never get sick," said Mr. Nduva Wambua.

Mr. Nduva Wambua

"For example, using latrines and washing hands after visiting latrines will reduce… incidences of fecal-oral diseases. Some of us used mosquito nets for other domestic uses but from the seasonal calendar we learned that we should always sleep under treated mosquito nets to prevent malaria. Handwashing for the majority of us was an exercise that was not taken seriously, but now we will be following the right procedure and wash them with clean water and soap."

Hand-Dug Well

"We are happy that our hard work is yielding fruits towards achieving improved water access," said Mr. Nduva Wambua.

The Process:

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.

Extracting more stones to break up into pieces for construction.

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 diameter 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 well platform drying before the mechanic arrives for pump installation.

The mechanics arrive to install the pump as community members watch, learning how to manage simple maintenance tasks for themselves.

The well is then given another few days after installing the pump to allow the joints to completely dry. The pump was installed level with the top of the sand dam (go here to check it out) because as the dam matures, sand builds up to the top of the wall. Until then, people will climb the concrete steps to get their water.

It could take up to three years of rain (Because sometimes it only rains once a year!) for the adjacent sand dam to build up enough stand to store the maximum amount of water – water available for drinking, cooking, washing, watering animals and irrigating farms.

June, 2018: Preparations in Masola Community

As you can imagine, coordinating all the people involved in this kind of project is key. The field officers meet frequently with the community to verify that all the materials and volunteers are ready. Based on the last review, the community needs more time to prepare. We've adjusted the expected completion date for this project, and we look forward to keeping you updated as the artisans and trainers get to work in the coming months. It won't be long now before the construction of the hand-dug well begins!

April, 2018: Masola Community Hand-Dug Well Underway

A clean water shortage around Masola Community drains people’s time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this 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: Masola Community Well

October, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Masola Community in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Miriam Kailo. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Masola Community 1B.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Masola Community 1B 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!

"The past year has been the best for my family and me," said Miriam Kailo, a 42-year-old farmer from Masola.

The lives of people here have improved in the past year due to the water harvested by the sand dam and pumped from the shallow well that was constructed a year ago. There is plenty of water which has been used for farming of vegetables such as tomatoes, kale, and spinach. The water source is easily accessible to the community members and the distance covered is less than 500 meters for the majority of households.

"The water attained is [in] plenty and it can sustain our needs. Since the completion of this project, the sand dam has harvested volumes and volumes of water," Ms. Kailo said.

The environment has improved as it is characterized by greener vegetation and serenity. Farmers tell us that they are now able to grow more crops due to the ability to easily irrigate their land - even during the dry season.

James Wambua and Miriam Kailo pose at the well with our Field Officer Lilian Kendi

"The water has been used to improve our farming activities which have expanded most of our business activities as well as income generation," said James Wambua, chair of the water committee.

Overall levels of hygiene and sanitation have improved as a result of sufficient water at the well. Health problems have reduced because the water used is safe and the members are keen on water treatment to help keep the water clean.

"There are fewer complaints of diseases such as typhoid and amoeba. Hygiene and sanitation have also improved and household chores are performed easily due to easy access to water," Mr. Wambua added.

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 Masola Community 1B 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 Masola Community 1B – 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