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The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Water Flowing
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Water Flowing
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Water Flowing
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Water Flowing
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Water Flowing
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Water Flowing
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Water Flowing
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Water Flowing
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Water Flowing
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Water Flowing
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Well And Dam
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Hand Dug Well
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Well Base Under Under Construction
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Dumping Dirt For Well Construction
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Digging
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Carrying Bag Of Cement
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Soap Making
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Community Members At Training
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Facilitator Leads Training
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Water Storage Containers
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Latrine
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Kitchen Dishes
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Household
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Hanging Clothes To Dry
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Handwashing Station
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Daniel Mweu Yrs
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Cooking Area
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  First Dam At Water Source
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Pumping Water From Well Constructed Last Year
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  River
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Kithuluni Community C -  Carrying Water Home

Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 300 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2019

Functionality Status:  Water Flowing - Needs Attention

Last Checkup: 10/11/2019

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

This is our second year working with the Kithangaini Kithuluni Self-Help Group to help improve access to reliable, safe water in their community.

We installed a dug well and hand pump alongside a sand dam last year. However, we estimate a well can comfortably support 500 people, so more work needs to be done to ensure this community of more than 15,000 people can access safe water.

“Now we can farm, take care of our livestock because of the sand dam, even though it is a bit far,” Mrs. Ann Mbeti, a local farmer, said.

That is why we work together with the community for five years to build sustainable water and sanitation solutions.

Kithuluni Village is a peaceful and vegetated rural area whereby most houses are made of bricks whilst some are also built of iron sheets.

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

During the day, the women wash the family’s clothes, tidy up the house, wash utensils and prepare lunch as well as supper for the family. Owing to the fact that women and the children spend most of their time around the homestead, they are usually home early while the men arrive back home late.

The first sand dam and hand-dug well system has brought water closer to hundreds, but there are still several more families that live far away. And considering the terrain of this vast area, fetching water is cumbersome and dangerous for many families who must climb up slopes carrying jerrycans of water.

Even though the training on safe water handling has already been done, not all members treat their drinking water due to some myths in the community about the treatment of drinking water, especially through boiling.

From interviews, we found out the group members are well aware that dirty water can result in diseases, but they seem to have resigned to fate and drink it untreated anyway.

The community members have improved their sanitation levels as a result of the training done to them. The pit latrines are now cleaned frequently and tippy taps are in use. The homesteads we visited had clean latrines which were not covered but at least they had been cleaned.

What we plan to do about it:

Our main entry point into Kithuluni Community has been the Kithangaini Kithuluni Self-Help Group, which is comprised of local farming households that are working together to address water and food scarcity in their region. This is our second of five years working with this group. 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 are 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 Kithuluni Village and will bring clean water closer to families currently having to walk long distances for their water.

Project Updates

03/21/2019: Kithuluni Community Has Flowing Water

We’re excited to let you know about a recent development in Kithuluni Community: The sand dam has captured and is now filtering water from the first rainfall. That means there is water flowing at the well!

Thank You for celebrating this moment with the community; none of this would have been possible without your generosity.

The Water Project : 9-kenya18216-water-flowing

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

Kithuluni 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.

As sand builds up behind the adjacent sand dam and around the hand-dug well, water will be accessible from the hand-pump. We will reach out with another update as soon as that happens!

Hand-Dug Well

Construction for this hand-dug well was a success! It rained during the construction process and soon after we finished – great news for such a dry region. However, this means that it will take some more time before the adjacent sand dam matures and the well produces water on a regular basis. As the surface water recedes and is stored in the ground, the well will serve as a reliable source of water for people in Kithuluni.

The well will be accessible once the adjacent sand dam collects sand from water that rushes down the riverbed during the year’s rainy season

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.

Well and dam

New Knowledge

The Masii area field officer Ruth Mwanzia informed the group leaders about the intention of the organization to hold a WASH training for the community members. They then mobilized the group members and community to attend the training which was scheduled at the homestead of Stephen Mutua.

The weather on the day was sunny but the venue had many trees which provided enough shade for all the participants the environment was therefore conducive for learning.

The level of participation from members attending the training was generally good, middle-aged women expressed more willingness to learn as much content compared to their male counterparts. This was characteristic of their primary role of running majority of household chores.

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 highly successful.

“The training was very educative. Most of us didn’t know the importance of having hygiene infrastructures at home but today we have known the need, the training has also brought unity among the group members thus there will be no disagreements,” said 36-year-old farmer Stephen Mutua.

During the training, members learned about the importance of having hygiene infrastructures at their homesteads. This will enable them to improve their hygiene standards thus preventing diseases especially waterborne diseases which are very common, especially typhoid and amoeba.

The Water Project : kenya18186-well-and-dam

12/11/2018: Kithuluni Community Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage still affects hundreds of people living in Kithuluni. The long walk for water drains people’s time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to bring water closer to those who still need it.

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 : kenya18216-carrying-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.


Mudd Print and Promo
McMillan Family Charitable Fund
2 individual donor(s)