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The Water Project: Kithumba Community C -  Flowing Water
The Water Project: Kithumba Community C -  Flowing Water
The Water Project: Kithumba Community C -  Flowing Water
The Water Project: Kithumba Community C -  Flowing Water
The Water Project: Kithumba Community C -  Finished Well
The Water Project: Kithumba Community C -  Well Progress
The Water Project: Kithumba Community C -  Well Progress
The Water Project: Kithumba Community C -  Materials We Delivered
The Water Project: Kithumba Community C -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: Kithumba Community C -  Training
The Water Project: Kithumba Community C -  Training
The Water Project: Kithumba Community C -  Training
The Water Project: Kithumba Community C -  Training
The Water Project: Kithumba Community C -  Water Storage Containers
The Water Project: Kithumba Community C -  Latrine
The Water Project: Kithumba Community C -  Jane Mutuku
The Water Project: Kithumba Community C -  Dishes
The Water Project: Kithumba Community C -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Kithumba Community C -  Clothesline
The Water Project: Kithumba Community C -  Compound
The Water Project: Kithumba Community C -  Carrying Water Home
The Water Project: Kithumba Community C -  Using Community Well

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:  Functional

Last Checkup: 08/10/2020

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

This is the second year we have worked with Kithumba Community and the Kakwa Self-Help Group. One dam and one well were constructed last year, giving people access to safe water for drinking and a source for irrigating their crops.

Universal access to water by all community members remains a challenge in this locality with some members coming from far areas from the already implemented water projects. So, we plan to construct another well and dam to ensure that everyone has safe water nearby.

“The benefits of our first dam and well are visible, now we are getting water close to our homes and we are improving in terms of our hygiene and sanitation practices,” Mr. Richard Muange said.

“We still need more water in the village as there still gaps in water access, We hope to keep on improving as we implement more projects.”

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

This self-help group is in the second year of our five-year development program. They were trained during the construction of their first successful sand dam and well, and have grown immensely since then. The community members exhibit high levels of commitment to ensure easy access to water by all the community population through implementation of more water projects to reach every corner of the village.

Kithumba is generally hilly with steep slopes, found on a peaceful vegetated rural area where the majority of the houses are grass thatched. Most people here are actively involved in large-scale fruit farming in their pieces of land especially mangoes and oranges, the increased production of fruits in the area resulted to the Makueni county government installing a fruit processing plant at the nearby Kalamba Market to tap on produce from the locals.

The community’s proximity to Matiliku Market center has led to many people attending market days every Wednesday. Locals walk together to the market in a bid to maximize on the increased variety of choice and fresh produce.

What we plan to do about it:

Our main entry point into Kithumba Community has been the Kakwa Self-Help Group, which is comprised of 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 train the self-help group members and their communities on hygiene and sanitation practices. The majority of households have a place for people to use the bathroom, but there are still some families who are sharing with their neighbor. The majority of latrines we were able to visit were in poor condition. Other facilities were even more uncommon; there were not many clotheslines, dish racks, or pens for animals.

We also look forward to teaching about important daily practices that will make people healthy and happy. Having good facilities is only the first step! Handwashing and water treatment will have their own sessions.

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 Kithumba Village and will bring clean water closer to families having to walk long distances for their water.

Project Updates

10/16/2020: Through Their Eyes: COVID-19 Chronicles with Matthew Mulandi

This post is part of a new series by The Water Project meant to highlight the perspectives and experiences of the people we serve and how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting them. We invite you to read more of their stories here.

Matthew Mulandi and his family.

Our team recently visited Kithumba community to conduct a COVID-19 prevention training and monitor their well and dam. Shortly after, we returned to check in on the community, offer a COVID-19 refresher training, and ask how the pandemic affects their lives.

During this most recent visit, Matthew Mulandi shared his story of how the coronavirus is impacting her life and his community.

Field Officer Lilian Kendi met Matthew outside his home to conduct the interview. Both Lilian and Matthew observed physical distancing and other precautions throughout the visit to ensure their health and safety. The following is Matthew’s story, in his own words.

What is one thing that has changed in your community since the completion of the water project?

“A lot has changed since the installation of this water point. We have plenty of water to plant trees and vegetables such as kales, spinach, onions, and tomatoes for domestic use at our homes and sale. Generally, farming projects have intensified thanks to this water project. Community members no longer have to walk for long distances to fetch water. This has enabled them to save more time to engage in other income-generating activities.”

How has having a clean water point helped you through the pandemic so far?

“Having a clean water point has helped us provide water for drinking, bathing, washing clothes, and other household uses at our homes.”

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Kenya, has fetching water changed for you because of restrictions, new rules, or your concerns about the virus?

“Yes, a lot has changed for me since the outbreak of COVID-19. Following the restrictions provided by the government, I have had to practice handwashing before and after using the shallow well’s hand pump, observe social distancing at the well to avoid contact, and wear a mask whenever I leave the house to go and fetch water.”

How has COVID-19 impacted your family?

“The economy has become unstable since the onset of the virus. Casual labor jobs are not well paying as they were before, which has reduced the income earned at the household level. I had to send my wife and family to live with the extended family at my matrimonial home due to the changing times as I could not provide for them as consistently as I did before.”

What other challenges are you experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

“Our income is unstable due to the lack of jobs. The economy is still rocky hence making it hard for us to engage in businesses as usual. My daughter was to join school this year, but that is not possible due to its closure.”

Matthew watering his farm with water from the well.

What hygiene and sanitation steps have you and your community has taken to stop the spread of the virus?

“We took the following hygiene and sanitation steps to stop the virus: wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands with soap and clean water, and avoiding crowded places.”

Like most governments worldwide, the Kenyan government continues to set and adjust restrictions both nationally and regionally to help control the spread of the virus.

What restriction were you most excited to see lifted already?

“There were age restrictions set when going to church, but they have been lifted, which has allowed all age groups to attend church. The elderly can now provide counsel to the young generation. The opening of the marketplace has allowed businesses to start picking up gradually.”

Matthew Mulandi

What restriction are you still looking forward to being lifted?

“I look forward to the opening of schools so that my daughter can officially join pre-school.”

When asked where he receives information about COVID-19, Matthew listed the radio and our team’s sensitization training.

What has been the most valuable part of the COVID-19 sensitization training you received from our team?

“Through this sensitization training, I learned the importance of handwashing at all times, social distancing, and proper hygiene and sanitation.”

The Water Project : covid19-kenya19233-matthew-mulandi-1

05/28/2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Kithumba 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 Kithumba, Kenya.

We trained community members on the symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention of COVID-19.

Before there were any reported cases in the area, we worked with trusted community leaders and the Water User Committee to gather community members for the training. At the time, social distancing was a new concept and one that challenges cultural norms. Although community members were hesitant to adopt social distancing during the training, we sensitized them on its importance and effectiveness in combating the spread of the virus

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.

The Water Project : covid19-kenya19208-handwashing-participant

10/30/2019: Giving Update: Kithumba Community Hand-Dug Well

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

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

The Water Project : kenya18198-water-from-the-well

02/26/2019: Kithumba Community Hand-Dug Well Complete

Kithumba 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

“This project is a big boost to the water challenges in our village,” said Mrs. Kavinya.

“It will bring water close to our homesteads, thus reducing the distances covered in search of the valuable commodity. We are happy to have completed the project and for seeing the work of our hands yielding fruits in getting water. We will use the available water resources to improve on our agriculture and also cleanliness standards at the household levels.”

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, stones, and water.

We delivered the cement that was used to line the well and build the platform.

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.

Progress on the well lining and platform

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!

Training Review and New Knowledge

Matiliku region field officer Jeff Maluki mobilized community members to attend the training. All community members were invited and the date shared in time for the trainers to prepare. The weather ended up being cold and rainy. The homestead we met at luckily had a shelter that provided enough cover for the participants.

Participants asked us to review water treatment, latrine hygiene, handwashing, and soap-making.

We took them through various methods of treating drinking water. They were also taken through how water contamination can be prevented at each point in the water chain.

The participants also brought some materials so that we could review soap-making with them. They provided water, a big basin, and a stirring rod. We provided the soap-making ingredients – enough to make 60 liters of soap.

Mixing soap

Everyone was interested in learning the whole process and they were patient until the final product was obtained. The group took turns stirring the liquid soap. The participants pointed out that the soap is high quality compared to what is currently on the market, and that the whole process is simple and easy to follow.

“The training was good and I have learned a lot,” said Mr. Muinde.

“I have learned about water treatment methods and this will help me to prevent waterborne diseases. The soap-making training will enable me to improve hygiene and sanitation at home since the soap is of good quality and affordable.”

Thank you for making all of this possible!

The Water Project : 9-kenya18228-flowing-water

01/10/2019: Kithumba Community Hand-Dug Well Project Underway

Severe water shortage affects hundreds of people living in Kithumba Community, Kenya. Thanks to your generosity, we are bringing a water point to hundreds of people who walk miles for water.

Get to know this 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 : kenya18228-carrying-water-home

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.

Giving Update: Kithumba Community Hand-Dug Well

October, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Kithumba Community in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Justine Kanini. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kithumba Community C 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!

Give Monthly

Kithumba Community is a changing area thanks to the sand dam and hand-dug shallow well system that was constructed in the locality a year ago. Access to clean drinking water has resulted in better living standards for this group of people.

“In the past year, we have experienced great changes in this area. Our environment has improved, it is greener and cooler,” said Simon Kituku, a 68-year-old who lives near the well and dam.

“Livestock now have food and they drink water nearer [to home], compared to how far they used to walk before. We feel very safe health-wise, economically, and socially because of the availability of safe water.”

Nowadays, community members have easy access to clean drinking water at any time of the day. The water quality and water quantity have increased in the past year.

“Availability of water in this region is a very precious blessing to us. We used to walk for close to 3 kilometers to fetch water at a nearby stream which would be completely dry, forcing us to walk further. We were in a very desperate situation before this project,” explained Justine Kanini.

“This project is the best gift to us in this community.”

The environment of this area has improved drastically as it is greener and more fertile. Group members have used water from their project to farm vegetables which contribute to their lives positively in both their nutrition and ability to be sold for income. The availability of water along the river bed has made their lives easier since it is easily accessible to a large population.

Disease rates have reduced as a result of the water and the lessons on and adoption of hygiene practices such as handwashing, water treatment, and improved personal hygiene have taken hold of the community. Good health has dominated the lifestyles of people here.

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 Kithumba Community C 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 Kithumba Community C – 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!

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