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The Water Project: Kyetonye Community A -  Flowing Water
The Water Project: Kyetonye Community A -  Flowing Water
The Water Project: Kyetonye Community A -  Flowing Water
The Water Project: Kyetonye Community A -  Flowing Water
The Water Project: Kyetonye Community A -  Flowing Water
The Water Project: Kyetonye Community A -  Building Up Well Pad
The Water Project: Kyetonye Community A -  Preparing Hole For Well
The Water Project: Kyetonye Community A -  Bags Of Cement
The Water Project: Kyetonye Community A -  Raphael Musyoka
The Water Project: Kyetonye Community A -  Handwashing Station Demonstration
The Water Project: Kyetonye Community A -  Community Training
The Water Project: Kyetonye Community A -  Community Discussions During The Training Session
The Water Project: Kyetonye Community A -  Latrine
The Water Project: Kyetonye Community A -  Latrine
The Water Project: Kyetonye Community A -  Mrs Mwende In Her Kitchen
The Water Project: Kyetonye Community A -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Kyetonye Community A -  Pots
The Water Project: Kyetonye Community A -  Dishes
The Water Project: Kyetonye Community A -  Water Storage
The Water Project: Kyetonye Community A -  Magdalene Mwende
The Water Project: Kyetonye Community A -  Ivuka Shg Member Magdalene Mwende
The Water Project: Kyetonye Community A -  Carrying Water From The First Source
The Water Project: Kyetonye Community A -  Sand Dam Further Down The River

Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 10/08/2019

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

This is our second year working with the Ivuka Self-Help Group. They formed in January 2016 with the objective of developing and enhancing the social welfare of its 25 members who come from Ivumbu, Kasioni, Kaani, and other communities in the region.

Last year, we installed a dug well and hand pump alongside a sand dam to help households in Kaani Community access safe water. However, we estimate a well can only support a maximum of 500 people, so more work needs to be done to ensure this region of more than 5,000 people can access safe water. That is why we work together with each group for five years to build sustainable water and sanitation solutions. This year, we’re working in Kyetonye Community.

An elderly woman in the community, Mrs. Magdalene Mwende, told us how exhausting it is for her to make the journey to Kaani to fetch water. She finds the trip back home with heavy water jerrycans to be the worst part. She said it is fine for young people because they are energetic.

That leads her and others who are far from the region’s first hand-dug well to use other nearby alternative water sources. The water is easier to collect, but it is unsafe. These open sources harbor waterborne diseases that cause the people who drink from it to fall ill.

“The distance to go and fetch water is far since it is too steep for someone my age. At times we get typhoid, bilharzia or even amoeba because of drinking the water that is nearer,” Mrs. Mwende said to us.

“My nephew has been diagnosed with amoeba many times. We do not have the techniques to treat this water.”

This is a rural area that is partly vegetative, while other areas are bone dry and cannot sustain growth. It is a peaceful area dotted with buildings made of brick stones while others are made of iron sheets. The majority of households rely on farming as their main income source.

Some people report that they also take on informal labor. They are often hired by the hour to perform tasks on larger farms. A few people own small businesses or are formally employed in the region.

The average day starts with the sunrise around 6am. The women usually go fetch water for washing and to prepare breakfast before the children go to school. The men often take the livestock out for grazing. During the day, the woman washes the family’s clothes, tidy up the house, washes utensils and prepares lunch as well as supper for the family. However, in this community, the parents are aged leaving the children to do most of the tasks.

Poverty is a major problem in the community. We collected reports from families struggling to produce enough food so that everyone can eat three meals a day. Continuing to construct sand dams and wells will help improve access to safe water and make it easier for farmers to irrigate their crops.

What we plan to do about it:

Our main entry point into Kyetonye Community has been the Ivuka 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 the self-help group members and their communities 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 Kyetonye Village and will bring clean water closer to families having to walk long distances for their water.

Project Updates

03/04/2019: Kyetonye Community Picture Update

In the most recent update we sent on January 31, we noticed that some of the pictures didn’t look quite right. After checking further we found that pictures of another community were mixed in with the correct pictures of Kyetonye! We’ve fixed the error and have posted the correct pictures. And we’re excited to share the community has received their first rainfall which is filling the sand dam and storing water that’s accessed via the well and hand pump. Even during the dry parts of the year, Kyetonye will have water.

The Water Project : 2-kenya18215-flowing-water

01/31/2019: Kyetonye Community Hand-Dug Well Complete

Kyetonye 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

Construction for this hand-dug well was a big success!

“We are very grateful that the project’s construction is complete and we can now enjoy the water attained. We have already begun using the shallow well!” said Jackson Mwasa. “There’s a lot of clean water at the shallow well as plenty of water was harnessed by the sand dam due to the recently experienced rains.”

The Process:

We delivered the experts, materials, and tools, but the community helped get an extraordinary amount of work done too. They collected local materials to supplement the project, including sand, stones and water.

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 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.


New Knowledge

The planning of the training was conducted a few weeks prior to the date. Christine Lucas Mutheu, a WASH officer, contacted the field officer in charge of the group to organize and mobilize the group members for the refresher training. Madam Ruth Mwanzia then contacted the group members to inform them on the agreed date and planned for a centrally-based venue in which the training would occur.

The training took place at Teresiah Kilonzo’s homestead. Teresiah is a member of Ivuka self-help group. The homestead is a central venue for all the members and also it’s located 10 meters away from their sand dam.

Attendance was great considering this was not our first training with the Ivuka Self-Help Group. Out of the 22 people in the group, 20 members turned up for the training. On this day, the weather was calm and conducive for learning.

The participation levels of the group members were high as all the attendees portrayed immense interest in the topics of discussion.

“The training was great as we were refreshed on a lot of information taught in the previous training which we had forgotten,” said Raphael Musyoka.

People attending were trained on topics including:

– cleaning latrines
– water treatment
– waste disposal
– how diseases spread
– how to make soap

The training went on smoothly without any major challenges coming along the way, this made the activity high successful.

Milka Mbithe, a member of this group, took the rest of the members through the demonstration on how to construct a tippy tap while a few members competed to demonstrate to the rest of the members on the handwashing procedure. The competition made the topic interesting and at the end of it all the participants were handwashing experts!

The Water Project : 5-kenya18215-flowing-water

11/27/2018: Kyetonye Community Hand-Dug Well Underway

A severe clean water shortage still affects hundreds of people living in Kyetonye. The walk for water is long and tiresome, eating into valuable time that should be spent on income-generating activities. Thanks to your generosity, that’s about to change. We’re working to install a clean water point nearby 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!

The Water Project : 2-kenya18215-carrying-water-from-the-first-source

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.


1 individual donor(s)