Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2019

Functionality Status:  Current Monitoring Data Delayed

Last Checkup: 05/03/2021

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Unpredictable rainfall patterns can’t guarantee water for communities such as Katuluni Village. Most rivers in this region are seasonal. Hand-dug wells are being built along sandy riverbeds to provide clean water, while sand dams harvest rainwater where it falls and make it available to the community through the dry season. This provides enough safe water for households, livestock and for income generating activities.

This is the second dam and hand pump for the community, having worked with them last year. It is a part of a long-term partnership between The Water Project, ASDF and community members to ensure access to safe water all year. Click here to see the projects they built in nearby Ikulya Community last year.


Some community members use the well dug by the Ndineesi Uu Self-Help Group last year, but it can only serve 500 people out of a community of more than 2,000. That means that many people still have to go to other open sources to collect water. Some members of the group still walk for long distances to access the water point.

Water in most parts of this region is collected from open scoop holes in sandy seasonal rivers using 20-liter plastic jerrycans. The water s then loaded onto donkeys or some carry it on their backs. The majority of drinking water is then stored in high capacity plastic containers, but it is generally untreated for contaminants.


Roughly two-thirds of community members have latrines. The latrines exhibited average levels of cleanliness. Some were made of permanent and semi-permanent structures, chances are high that some latrines have been affected by the ongoing rains leading to their sinking or fall.

The group members are showing commendable strides in use of the information from the sanitation and hygiene training, like tippy taps and garbage pits. This can be attributed to a positive mindset among the community members willing to embrace constructive ideas.


Katuluni is more than 300km away from ASDF's offices in Mtito Andei. We traveled to the site by car with the majority of the roads up to Mwingi Town being tarmacked.  We had to camp in town for several days due to the distance to the project area so as to cover many projects within the area.

The community group is found in a silent rural village which is largely dry except during the rainy seasons. The area has limited tree coverage with a charcoal burning menace affecting the area which has led to many trees being sacrificed for charcoal trade. Majority of households had decent houses made of bricks and covered with iron sheets, However, there also cases of households living in grass thatched mud houses.

Marginalization by successive government regimes has led to low levels of development in the area with no medical facilities and access roads. Cases of illnesses have led to many deaths as the area lacks a health facility and the poor roads lead to delays in emergency responses for ailing community members.

A typical day starts at 6am. The children prepare for and go to school. After that, livestock are either taken for grazing or tethered in the bush. The husband and wife are free to engage in the main income generating activities, farming, casual labor, etc., for the rest of the day.

What we plan to do about it:

Our main entry point into Katuluni Community has been the Ndineesi Uu 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 Katuluni 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 Katuluni 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

May, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Katuluni 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 Katuluni, 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,

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.

October, 2019: Giving Update: Katuluni Community

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

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

February, 2019: Katuluni Community Hand-Dug Well Complete

Katuluni 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.

Hand-Dug Well

Though many weather challenges and delays were encountered, this hand-dug well was worth the effort! Construction is now complete.

"We are delighted to have completed this project at last," said Mr. Muketha.

"It is such an amazing water project for the whole community, which is geared towards improving water access in our village and the general living standards at large. Community members will now have water from within the village which will improve levels of hygiene and sanitation."

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.

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 is level with the top of the dam, a precast concrete slab is built 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.

In fact, the sand dam has already stored water that’s currently being enjoyed by the community!


The training was planned through close collaboration and communication between the Waita area field officer Patrick Musyoka, community group leadership, and our training officers.

Mr. Musyoka mobilized and invited all community members to the training after agreeing on the best suitable date for the event. Trainer Veronica Matolo was notified of the schedule far in advance so that she could prepare materials on time.

Community members met outside at the self-help group chairman's home. They discussed health problems still persisting in their community. They also reviewed the strengths of weaknesses of their current daily cleaning and health habits.

The participants also chose to review handwashing and how to make soap.

One of the most popular activities was "three pile sorting." This is a problem analysis tool. Its main aim is to discuss daily individual behaviors. In two small groups, participants were given the task of sorting posters illustrating different behaviors into good, in-between, and bad behaviors.

The group said that they found the session very interesting because they did not know that a lot of the practices they were doing have been causing illnesses.

"The hygiene training that has been done to us will be a very beneficial training. This training will help in reduction of diseases since we now know very well what causes them; from stopping open defecation to using latrines, drinking treated water, improving our compound hygiene and personal hygiene, among other improvements. Incidences of waterborne diseases will reduce at a greater rate," said Mrs. Makau.

Thank You for making all of this possible.

February, 2019: Finishing Touches on Katuluni Community Hand-Dug Well

Community members in Katuluni have had to persevere to see this hand-dug well to completion. They have done such a great job! The success of this project was also dependent on the adjacent sand dam, which could not be completed until flood waters receded and the soil dried out. Finishing touches are being put on both the sand dam and the hand-dug well, so we look forward to reaching out with a final report by the end of this month.

The picture sent along with this update shows just how close they are to success!

December, 2018: Katuluni Community Construction Update

Katuluni Community is halfway through the construction of their new hand-dug well. Heavy rains have delayed progress, and the community needs at least another month to finish this hard work. These heavy rains will be more than welcome once the project is complete, since this hand-dug well will pull water that is stored in the adjacent sand dam.

New pictures of the construction progress have been added to the project page. We look forward to reaching out again in January with news of success.

July, 2018: Work in Katuluni Over the Next Few Months

Everyone in Kataluni is excited about their new hand-dug well. Timing is very important as we ensure that everyone is ready for these big changes in their community. The field officers, local leaders, and community members have agreed that the right time for construction and training will be over the next few months. We had previously scheduled this project for September, but have modified that date to reflect the planning change made by the team. Thank you for standing with us as we continue work in Katuluni.

We're always open to conversation about our process and are happy to answer your questions. 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.

May, 2018: Katuluni Community Hand-Dug Well Project Underway

Unpredictable rainfall patterns can’t guarantee water for communities such as Katuluni Village. Most rivers in this region are seasonal. Hand-dug wells are being built along sandy riverbeds to provide clean water, while sand dams harvest rainwater where it falls and make it available to the community through the dry season. This provides enough safe water for households, livestock and for income generating activities.

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: Katuluni Community Hand-Dug Well

October, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Katuluni community in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Musyimi Musyoka. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Katuluni 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!

People in Katuluni Community are enjoying the benefits of having a functional water project within their locality. Community members can now get clean water from within the village at the sand dam and adjacent hand-dug well that have been reliable sources of water in the year since they were constructed.

"The water point has made our lives easier. We are now getting water from within our village. We are no longer walking for long distances in search of water for household use," said Musyimi Musyoka, a member of the self-help group that supports the dam and well.

The levels of hygiene and sanitation at the locality have significantly improved owing to the water availability and the hygiene training which was conducted as a part of this water project.

"Our life has been made simpler and happier through the implementation of this water project. We are happy the water is clean and sweet," David Mutemi said.

The surrounding landscape looks beautiful with green vegetables and plants growing as a result of the available water. Livestock and other domestic animals are now healthy since they can access more water for drinking unlike before where they had to walk for long distances.

"Our livestock now get enough water easily from within the village, something which was never possible in the past before this project," Mr. Mutemi said.

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 Katuluni 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 Katuluni 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.