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The Water Project: Karuli Community E -  Hand Dug Well
The Water Project: Karuli Community E -  Hand Dug Well
The Water Project: Karuli Community E -  Hand Dug Well
The Water Project: Karuli Community E -  Hand Dug Well
The Water Project: Karuli Community E -  Hand Dug Well
The Water Project: Karuli Community E -  Hand Dug Well
The Water Project: Karuli Community E -  Excavation
The Water Project: Karuli Community E -  Excavation
The Water Project: Karuli Community E -  Sand Dam Construction
The Water Project: Karuli Community E -  Construction Materials We Delivered
The Water Project: Karuli Community E -  Sand Dam Construction
The Water Project: Karuli Community E -  Making Soap
The Water Project: Karuli Community E -  Training
The Water Project: Karuli Community E -  Training
The Water Project: Karuli Community E -  The Walk Around The Community
The Water Project: Karuli Community E -  Muimi Water Storage
The Water Project: Karuli Community E -  Muimi Kitchen
The Water Project: Karuli Community E -  Muimi Kitchen
The Water Project: Karuli Community E -  Muimi Household
The Water Project: Karuli Community E -  Muimi Handwashing Station
The Water Project: Karuli Community E -  Muimi Dish Rack
The Water Project: Karuli Community E -  Muimi Household
The Water Project: Karuli Community E -  Muimi Household
The Water Project: Karuli Community E -  Serah Muimi
The Water Project: Karuli Community E -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Karuli Community E -  Previous Water System

Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 436 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/14/2019

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

This is the third year we have worked with Karuli Community and the Kyeni kya Karuli self-help group. Two dams and two wells have been constructed, giving people access to safe water for drinking and a source for irrigating their crops.

“The water sources that have so far been implemented have helped us in accessing clean water. This is helping to improve the levels of hygiene of sanitation as people now wash hands and maintain good practices among ourselves,” Mrs. Sarah Muimi said to us.

However, many people still must walk more than a mile each way to access the new wells and benefit from the dams. So we plan to construct another well and dam to ensure that everyone has safe water nearby.

Go here to view previous projects in the community and see its progress over the past few years.

This self-help group is in the third year of our five-year development program. They were trained during the construction of their first successful sand dam, and have grown immensely since then.

Today, nearly all households have a pit latrine. Open defecation is no longer an issue in this community. More than 75% have bathing shelters, handwashing stations, and dish racks and clotheslines. The handwashing stations even have soap!

The families who have made these improvements say that they’ve seen improvements in health, too.

Kyeni kya Karuli Self-Help Group was formed in the year 1978. The group members come from two villages: Waita Town with a population of 280 people, and Karuli Village with a population of 156 people.

The purpose of the group was to tackle food insecurity and water shortage through the area of both resources. There was a major famine and drought at that time that caused a huge loss of livestock. The massive losses pushed many into poverty.

The members of this group mean to support each other in every way possible. Soon after its start in 1983, the group was able to finish its first sand dam. However, because of weak structural design, the dam collapsed under the heavy storm rains of 1997. During the years between 1983 and 1997, the group’s sand dam made water more accessible to farmers, and in turn provided more food. With its loss, food and water shortage threatened families once again.

What we plan to do about it:

Our main entry point into Karuli Community has been the Kyeni Kya Karuli Self-Help Group, which is comprised of 39 farming households that are working together to address water and food scarcity in their region. These members will be our hands and feet in both constructing water projects and spreading the message of good hygiene and sanitation to everyone.


We’re going to continue training Karuli 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 handwashing 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 Karuli 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

12/03/2018: Karuli Community Hand-Dug Well Construction Complete

Karuli Community, Kenya now has a new water source thanks to your donation. A hand-dug well was constructed adjacent to a sand dam. Once it rains, the dam will build up sand that both stores and naturally filters water available at the hand-dug well. 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 the Kyeni kya Karuli Self-Help Group is Austin Mumo. He is the field officer responsible for groups in the Waita region. Mr. Mumo worked with the group chairman, who in turn informed the community members on a date and venue for hygiene and sanitation training. The training was held at the homestead of Rose Muimi, a group member.

Trainer Veronica Matolo arrived to find a good attendance of 24. It was a sunny day of training and there was not enough shade. As the sun moved, we moved our chairs into the shade again. The homestead wasn’t ideal because of a busy road nearby, so it took extra concentration for us to teach and the participants to learn.

Every attendee was very willing to take part in the training and learn new concepts. Women generally expressed more interest in learning the different ways of maintaining high levels of cleanliness at the homesteads, since women are traditionally seen as those most responsible for water and hygiene-related activities.

Some of the topics and activities included:

– a walk around the community to identify problem areas
– demonstrations to show how easily water is polluted
– water treatment
– calculating waste vs. the current budget spent treating diseases caused by improperly disposed-of waste
– importance of latrines
– how to make soap

Group members were taught how to follow the soap recipe we provided, and each took turns mixing.

Participants appreciated what they learned during the walk around their community. This walk helped them identify hidden places where families without latrines are using the bathroom. Waste that is improperly disposed of is easily spread throughout the community and contaminates water sources. The community is now thinking about building latrines along the path to the water point to make sure waste is kept away from their water.

Identifying sources of contamination in the community

But because of this newfound knowledge about how easily water is contaminated, people were particularly interested in water treatment methods. They learned the pros and cons of each method and are excited to share these with their neighbors. Most importantly, they are excited to work with their neighbors to get 100% latrine coverage.

“I think that today’s training was the best among all the trainings that we have ever had on hygiene. This training will not only change our own lives but also the entire community. We will train the other members of our community on the dangers of open defecation and deal with anyone found doing open defecation,” promised Mr. Mwenga Mwinzi.

“Water-related diseases will reduce at a greater rate since now we are empowered.”

Hand-Dug Well

“This is an amazing project whose impact will be felt across the village. It will help in bringing clean water close to many community members within the village,” said Mrs. Serah Miumi.

“We are very happy for having completed it through hard work and commitment from both men and women, for all of us understand its importance to our overall water access.”


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 seven feet in diameter hole 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 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.

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 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 because as the dam matures, sand will amass until it reaches the top of the platform. Once it rains, this sand behind the dam wall will store the water to be accessed through this hand-dug well. We look forward to reaching out again when we have news of water here!

The Water Project : 1-kenya18208-hand-dug-well

06/26/2018: Finding the Right Time in Karuli Community

People are excited to have a hand-dug well in Karuli. Our field officers and the local leaders are in constant communication throughout this process, and they have agreed to do this construction work after this busy farming season when the weather is drier. Based on their feedback, we’ve adjusted our planning a bit to allow construction to continue over the following months. Timing is key to a sustainable project that’s fully embraced by the people who would benefit from it.

We believe communication is important at The Water Project. That means constant conversation with our teams and supporters, like you. And, if you get a notice like this – it’s actually further proof your gifts are being carefully used towards a water project that lasts.

If you have any questions, give us a call. We’re happy to answer your questions.

The Water Project : kenya18178-family

05/22/2018: Karuli Community Hand-Dug Well Project Underway

A clean water shortage around Karuli Community still affects hundreds of lives, draining time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know Karuli 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!

The Water Project : 18-kenya18178-muimi-water-storage

Project Photos

Project Type

Dug Well and Hand Pump

Hand-dug wells are best suited for clay, sand, gravel and mixed soil ground formations. A large diameter well is dug by hand, and then lined with either bricks or concrete to prevent contamination and collapse of the well. Once a water table is hit, the well is capped and a hand-pump is installed – creating a complete and enclosed water system.


Project Sponsor - Estate of Dianne Cunningham