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The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Finished Well
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Finished Well
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Finished Well
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Finished Well
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Finished Well
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Finished Well
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Finished Well
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Finished Well
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Well Construction
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Well Construction
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Well Construction
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Training
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Training
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Training
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Training
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Training
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Training
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Training
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Training
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Latrine
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Esthers Latrine
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Esther Using A Clothesline
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Water Storage
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Household
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Household
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Esther And Her Family
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Esther Mutheu
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Local Environment
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Self Help Group Members
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Carrying Water Home
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Carrying Heavy Water
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Sieving Out The Dirt
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Fetching Dirty Water
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Getting Scoop Hole Water
The Water Project: Utuneni Community A -  Open Water Source

Project Status



Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  Installed - Oct 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



Utuneni Village is a calm and fairly vegetated rural area whose terrain is graded with red fertile soil. The houses are made of red bricks and are somewhat modern. However, among the homesteads we visited, not all the floors were cemented.

There are many occupations in the area but the most common are farming and casual labor. The young men mostly resort to casual labor where they work on other people’s farms or they work as constructors and are paid on a daily basis.

On an average day, the women wake up at 6am, go to fetch water, and then prepare breakfast for the family as the children prepare for school. The men go to the farm to get grass for the livestock and prepare to run errands.

Errands that are most common are farming, taking farm products to the market, and feeding the livestock. During the day, the women wash the family’s clothes, tidy up the house, washes utensils and prepare lunch as well as supper for the family. They also have the community meetings such as fellowship and self-help group meetings during the day.

Water

Community members walk up to an hour to reach the spring near the Kinyongo River. Long lines at the water source mean people sometimes wait up to an hour to fetch the water once they have arrived.

The spring water is always crowded since its the sole water point in the community during the dry season. Some families enlist donkeys to help carry the water. Those who cannot afford the assistance usually can only carry one jerrycan of water at a time.

“We struggle a lot to fetch water from this spring but we have no option. It is very far,” said Mrs. Esther Mutheu said.

“The problem is that it is usually overcrowded and since it’s the only source of water we have we have to be patient.”

The water is not safe for drinking since the source is not protected, thus posing a high risk of contracting typhoid, amoeba and other water-borne diseases. The water is especially prone to harbor all kinds of pollutants during the rainy season.

“Typhoid is the most common because people rarely treat their water here, only a few people have that knowledge and patience,” Mrs. Mutheu said.

Sanitation

The members of these homesteads posses some of the structures needed for good hygiene such as latrines and bathing stations. Fewer than half of homes in the community have latrines, but many will share with their neighbors.

In one of the homesteads observed, the bathroom did not have a door instead they put sacks on the door area. The latrines are rarely cleaned since there is no nearby water source – hence emitting foul smells. And there are no handwashing stations near the latrines. People opt to use ash as a cleaning technique because water is a scarce commodity.

What we plan to do about it:

Our main entry point into Utuneni Community has been the Ngwatanio Ya Kinyongo Self-Help Group, which is comprised of 44 farming households that are working together to address water and food scarcity in their region. These members will be our hands in feet in both constructing water projects and spreading the message of good hygiene and sanitation to everyone.

Training

We’re going to train Utuneni Community on hygiene and sanitation practices. 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 sessions together.

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 Utuneni 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


10/18/2018: Utuneni Community Hand-Dug Well Complete

Utuneni 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.

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.

Sand collected for well and dam construction.

Process:

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 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 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 (click 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.

A view of the well behind the sand dam.

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.

“This water project is a dream coming true to the majority of us within this village. Everyone is happy, as water problems will be eased by having this water point at the center of our village,” shared Mr. Mutua.

“Community members are in high spirits to work on more projects as the benefits of having an unlimited clean water supply close to our homes will be felt by everyone.”

New Knowledge

Field Officer Paulson Mukonzi worked to organize a sanitation and hygiene training with the community. Once dates were set, he reached out to the self-help group chairman who informed other members of the community. The training was held at the homestead of Mr. Benjamin Muindi.

Attendance was as expected, and a lot of the group members were eager to learn about new hygiene practices and behaviors. The area chief was also present and was very much impressed, saying that it was the first time he saw such a training held in his area.

The trainer, Veronica Matolo, organized topics by what we observed and heard during our tour of the community. She highlighted water treatment methods, dish racks, water point care, food preparation and storage, latrines, handwashing, and general household hygiene.

We taught how to build a tippy tap to use for washing hands.

Participants particularly enjoyed creating a seasonal calendar together in groups. This had them identifying the problems they most commonly contend with, and what they believe to be the causes. We were able to post these calendars on our easel up front and teach everyone about ways to prevent the spread of these diseases.

Soapmaking was another great activity, for which the group worked together to follow our recipe to make 40 liters of soap. They are excited to take this recipe back home and make their own soap to sell in the local market. Having this liquid soap around will improve the hygiene and sanitation standards at home, too!

This group was intensely involved in their learning, which was very encouraging for our trainers!

“The training will be of great help to us since this kind of training we’ve had for three days has never been held. Not in our group, and not in the entire village,” shared Mr. Benson Mutua.

“Incidences of diseases will be minimized because we have learned how to prevent them through different hygiene practices.”


The Water Project : 7-kenya18213-finished-well


09/07/2018: Utuneni Community Hand-Dug Well Underway

Dirty water from open sources is making people in Utuneni Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know your community through the narrative 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 : kenya18213-filling-jerrican-with-water


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.



Contributors

Facebook Payments
Give a Free Lunch
Pledgeling Foundation
Isabel's Campaign for Water
2 individual donor(s)