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The Water Project: Mwau Community A -  Water Storgage Containers
The Water Project: Mwau Community A -  Tippy Tap
The Water Project: Mwau Community A -  Teresia Kabali
The Water Project: Mwau Community A -  Livestock And Chicken Pens
The Water Project: Mwau Community A -  Latrines
The Water Project: Mwau Community A -  Large Water Storage Container
The Water Project: Mwau Community A -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Mwau Community A -  Asdf_kianguni Shgir_person Carrying Water
The Water Project: Mwau Community A -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Mwau Community A -  Family Poses For Picture
The Water Project: Mwau Community A -  Dishrack And Stored Firewood
The Water Project: Mwau Community A -  Cooking Area
The Water Project: Mwau Community A -  Clothes Hang To Dry

Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 456 Served

Project Phase:  Under Construction
Estimated Install Date (?):  09/01/2019

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Our main entry point into Mwau Community is the Kianguni 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 are our hands and feet in both constructing water projects and spreading the message of good hygiene and sanitation to everyone.

We have worked with this group for the past three years to ensure that every person has access to reliable water close to home. While our work together has helped improve accessibility for many people here, there are still households that have to travel too far to get water each day.

It is a physical strain for the members who live far from the water source as they have to walk for long distances and the terrain is not very friendly. Some also opt to fetch water from the river directly to avoid the hustle of getting to the shallow well. If they fetch water directly from the river, the water is not clean for direct consumption as it’s exposed to very many contaminants.

“The paths leading to the sand dams are sloped and the terrain is rough which is risky as people are exposed to risks of injuries,” said Anastacia Wambua. “The strain in accessing clean water at times forces us to use other sources or purchase water from water vendors who often take advantage of us and deliver dirty water which is often contaminated.” Mrs. Wambua’s long walk for water has exacerbated these challenges.

That is why we are supporting the construction of a third sand dam and hand-dug well here – to bring water closer to hundreds more people like Mrs. Wambua.

What we will do:

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


Kianguni Self-Help Group and Mwau 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.

“Hygiene and sanitation in our homesteads have improved greatly following the training we have been receiving,” said Teresia Kabali.

“My children have adopted a handwashing culture, which is an improvement from how we used to live. Our latrines are washed often and we have installed tippy taps near them as well. Fewer cases of diseases have been reported too.”

There has been progress, but training is still necessary to ensure continued improvement.

Most homesteads practice high levels of hygiene and sanitation; they safely dispose of garbage, they use latrines and wash their hands after use, proper hand washing habits have been reinforced as most of the members have constructed tippy taps near the latrines. However, this group needs refresher training on soap making as it will go a long way in benefiting the group members.

Community Background

Mwau village is based in a rural set up which is peaceful and relatively vegetated. The buildings throughout the area are a mixture of new and old structures, made of either brick or made of mud and thatched grass roofing. The homesteads are sparsely populated because most families own large pieces of land.

A recent survey conducted in the area deduced that 68% of the community members carry out casual labor as their main source of income, which involves doing odd jobs on other people’s businesses or farms in order to get money. This is regardless of the level of education of the respondent. Only 14% of the respondents reported farming as their main source of income in large part due to the fact that it is very tough to consistently grow crops in this semi-arid region of Kenya.

On an average day for the community members, the women wake up at 6:00 am, go to fetch water, prepare breakfast for the family as the children prepare to go to school. The man, on the other hand, wakes up to go to the farm to get Napier grass for the livestock and also prepare to run his errands. During the day, the woman washes the family’s clothes, tidies up the house, washes utensils and prepares lunch as well as supper for the family. However, in this community, the parents are older and leave the children to do most of the tasks. They go to the farm, take the goats to search for pasture, fetch the water, prepare meals, and some also go to school.

Project Updates

07/02/2019: Mwau Community Hand-Dug Well Underway

We have worked with Kianguni Self-Help Group for the past three years to ensure that every person has access to reliable water close to home. While our work together has helped improve accessibility for many people here, there are still households that have to travel too far to get water each day.

Thanks to your generosity, we’re able to build a hand-dug well down the riverbed to bring water to even more people. 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 again with news of success!

The Water Project : asdf_kianguni-shgir_person-carrying-water-3

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.


Project Sponsor - Barbara Belle Ash Dougan Family Foundation