Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 255 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Nov 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/20/2024

Project Features

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Maluvyu Village is at the outskirts of Kathonzweni Town which is the administrative headquarter of the entire region. It is a rural community that is peaceful and fairly vegetative with indigenous trees crowding the unoccupied land. Residential homes in this area are a mixture of bricks and grass-thatched homes. The homesteads are very spread out.

People here make a living either as farmers or casual laborers. On an average day, community members wake up at 6 am. The women will go to fetch water and then prepare breakfast for the family as the children prepare to go to school. The men go to the farm to get Napier grass for their livestock and also prepare to work for the day. During the day, the women wash the family’s clothes, tidy up the house, wash utensils, and cook for the family.

The community has village elders and "nyumba kumi" council of elders who gather to solve any issues that may arise. Women are known to have their own gatherings for saving and contributing money.

Our main entry point into Maluvyu Community has been the Ngwatanio Ya Utui wa Maluvyu self-help group, which is comprised of 52 farming households that are working together to address water and food scarcity in their region. We have worked with this group for the past three years on water projects to improve access to every household in this community.

For more than 250 people in the community, water access is getting better but there is a need for improvement. The water from the nearest well is salty, meaning it is only suitable for feeding livestock, washing dishes, and farming.

What we can do:

Our main entry point into Maluvyu Community has been the Ngwatanio Ya Utui wa Maluvyu self-help group, which is comprised of 52 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.

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


Ngwatanio Ya Utui wa Maluvyu self-help group and Maluvyu Community have participated in training sessions that teach about important hygiene practices and daily habits to establish in their homes. Taking good care of themselves and their environment will make for a healthy community.

"Our hygiene and sanitation levels have improved tremendously since the WASH training was conducted. Most members are practicing what we were taught; hand washing, water treatment, and compound hygiene," Ruth Mwikali said.

"I did not have a garbage pit before the training but we were taught on its importance and benefits prompting me to implement one in my home. We were also educated on the cost-effective ways of treatment."

The latrines here are cleaned often due to the easy access to water. The hygiene and sanitation levels are highly maintained with all the visited homesteads having tippy taps and washing agents installed nearby the latrines. The latrines are cleaned very well with water and soap. For the ones which have mud pit floor latrines are sprinkled with ash.

They, however, need a follow-up training on soap making and water treatment because some reported to still be drinking the water directly. This is dangerous as they may be exposed to risks of contracting waterborne diseases.

Project Updates

November, 2019: Maluvyu Community Hand-Dug Well Complete

We realized a glitch in our system meant that you may not have gotten this update when we first sent it, so we are sharing it again so you can read about the good news you helped make possible!

Maluvyu Community, Kenya now has a new source of water thanks to your donation. A hand-dug well was constructed adjacent to a sand dam (go here to check it out). The dam was constructed on the riverbed, which will build up sand to raise the water table and naturally filter water. Recent rains have helped the dam begin to build up sand and store water.

It could take up to 3 years of rain (because sometimes it only rains once a year!) for this sand dam to reach maximum capacity. As the sand dam matures and stores more sand, a supply of water will be available for drinking from the well. With this water, the surrounding landscape will become lush and fertile.

Hand-Dug Well

Construction for this well was a success!

We worked with the Ngwatanio Ya Utui wa Maluvy Self-Help Group for this project. The members and their families contributed materials and physical labor to complete the project. In addition, they were trained on various skills such as bookkeeping, financial management, project management, group dynamics, and governance. We also conducted a hygiene and sanitation training to teach skills like soapmaking and to help improve behaviors such as handwashing.

When an issue arises concerning the water project, the group members are equipped with the necessary skills to rectify the problem and ensure it works appropriately. However, if the issue is beyond their capabilities, they can contact our team of field officers to assist them.

Hand-Dug Well Construction 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 7 feet in diameter was excavated up to a recommended depth of 25 feet. (Most hand-dug wells do not reach that depth due to the existence of hard rocks between 10-18 feet).

The diameter shrinks to 5 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 is 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. 4 bolts for the hand-pump are fixed on the slab during casting. The concrete needs to dry for 2 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. As the dam matures, sand will build up to the top of the wall. Until then, people will climb the concrete steps to get their water.

New Knowledge

Our hygiene and sanitation trainer Veronica Matolo and the area field officer, Muendo Ndambuki, conferred about previous visits to households and interviews with community members to determine which topics the community still could improve upon. We have worked with this self-help group on previous projects, so the training focused on improving on the lessons they have already learned.

The majority of the group members went to the training and even some non-members were in attendance, an encouraging sign that people in the community value the lessons on improved hygiene and sanitation. The community members were motivated and interested in learning and reviewing the topics that were of concern to them.

The training was held at the homestead of Dominic Mutunga, who is an active group member. This location was most suitable for the training because it is centrally located near most members' homes and the sand dam site. The environment was conducive for learning since it took place under trees which provided sufficient shade for everyone despite the sunny weather.

They decided to train on topics including health problems in the community; good and bad hygiene behaviors; how diseases spread and their prevention; choosing sanitation improvements; choosing improved hygiene behaviors; planning for behavioral change; handwashing; and soapmaking.

The participation levels of the group members were commendable. There were many questions asked about the appropriate health practices and the installation of sanitation facilities such as the tippy taps for handwashing.

"A healthy community is a wealthy one. We will reduce the chances of contracting diseases by improving compound hygiene, food hygiene, and water treatment practices," said Mr. Mutunga.

"The training has refreshed us on key factors in the journey of attaining good hygiene and sanitation."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

September, 2019: Maluvyu Community Hand Dug Well Underway

A severe clean water shortage still affects hundreds of people living in Maluvyu Community. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to solve this issue by building a clean water point 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 news of success!

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: Maluvyu Community

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Maluvyu Community 4B.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Maluvyu Community 4B 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!

"We used to struggle to access clean water for use at our homes. The distance covered often resulted in laziness, and we failed to achieve proper cleanliness and hygiene at our homes or personal cleanliness. Washing clothes, cleaning the houses, and showering was ignored at times because the water source was considered to be far and some homesteads lack donkeys to ferry the water to their homes," said Jane Mueni.

"Life has become easier because we fetch water nearer. Cleanliness, hygiene, and sanitation have improved because the water is easily accessible. There is no reason not to observe thorough cleanliness as it takes less than ten minutes to fetch water and get back home. Our environment has improved since this project was implemented. The vicinity is always green nowadays because the water level has increased. It's very cool around here."

Jane Mueni

"We have managed to plant vegetables such as kales, tomatoes, and onions, which we always bought at the market at inflated prices. Now I can farm them in my small vegetable garden and save the money I spent to buy the vegetables. Thanks to this water project, we can pay school fees for our children easily through the sale of vegetables, brick making, and water sales during the dry season. Our young adults now farm for agribusiness to generate incomes. The availability of water has made our lives easier."

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 Maluvyu Community 4B 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 Maluvyu Community 4B – 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.