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The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  New Well
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Plaque
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Pumping The Well
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Pumping The Well
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Pumping
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Collecting Water
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Completed Well
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Drinking Water From The Well
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Drinking Well Water
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Construction Materials
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Dug Hole For Well
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Handwashing
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Hole For Well
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Learning Materials
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Mixing Soap
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  People Listen At Training
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Soapmaking
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Soapmaking
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Tippy Tap Demonstration
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Training
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Agnes Stands Amid Her Growing Maize
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Family Farm
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Agnes Mwanziu Mbusya
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Animal Pen
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  At The Scoop Hole
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Cooking Area
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Deep Scoop Hole
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Dish Drying Rack
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Donkey For Hauling Water
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Filling Container
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Group Members
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Hanging Clothes To Dry
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Large Water Storage Container
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Latrines
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Lifting Container Filled With Water
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Line Up Of Conainters To Be Filled
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Open Water Source
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Preparing To Put Fetched Water Onto Motorbike
The Water Project: Tulimani Community A -  Water Storage Containers

Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 132 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/11/2020

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Tulimani community members fetch water at River Kamulo, located less than two kilometers away from the village. Scoop holes are dug in the riverbed in a bid to access water. The 132 people here have to dig deep scoop holes to reach the water.

Very deep.

The water that is gathered is often very salty and very dirty. The river only flows during the rainy season and dries up completely after the rain ceases. When the river runs dry, people then resort to walking to River Tyaa which is five kilometers away from the community – just to collect equally unsafe water.

The River Tyaa is very far from their community. One has to wake up very early to get to this source. It takes them more than two hours to get there on foot and the queues at the source can force one to wait for a whole day to fetch water. The source is often overcrowded.

Some of these members do not own donkeys, so fetching water from the River Tyaa is exhausting since they have to sometimes make multiple trips to get sufficient water for their household consumption.

During the drought seasons, families lose a lot of their livestock to hunger because they are incapable of sustaining both their needs and those of their domestic animals. Buying water from a local vendor is another option but it is costly and that water is not safe for drinking either.

As a result of these problems, waterborne diseases are rampant. Typhoid and amoeba are the most reported diseases. The expenses incurred on treatment are often too expensive for families to afford.

One person affected by these challenges is Agnes Mbusya, a 61-year-old farmer who cares for two children with disabilities.

She shared her experience with us:

“Personally, I do not have a donkey so the task of fetching water can be really hectic. I have two disabled children living with me and I have to take care of them and ensure they eat, they wear clean clothes, and also bathe. Hence, most of my money ends up being spent on paying vendors to deliver the water jerrycans to my home. If I decide to fetch the water for myself, I have to wake up very early to go to the water source before my children wake up. It is usually very exhausting carrying jerrycans of water – one on my back and the other with my hand as I try to kill two birds with one stone. I once tripped and fell, hurting my ankle in the errands of fetching the water. Attaining clean water is never a guarantee. So, we drink the water as it is.”

What we can do:

Our main entry point into Tulimani Community has been the Kamulo Self-Help Group, which is comprised of 32 farming households that are working together to address water and food scarcity in their region. On average, we work with a self-help group for five years. So, this is just the beginning of our partnership with this group! 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 Tulimani Community and will bring clean water closer to families having to walk long distances for their water.


The hygiene and sanitation levels in this community are very low. The community members attempt to sustain a clean environment although it’s quite difficult for them. They use ash to reduce the odor in their latrines. Their biggest areas in need of improvement are water treatment, water hygiene, compound hygiene, hand washing habits, and latrine hygiene.

“The current state of hygiene and sanitation in the area is not well established or maintained because of insufficient water in the region,” said Mwathi Musyoka.

“The latrines are rarely cleaned, but ever so often we use ash to emit the odor. Washing hands is not very habitual.”

We will hold hygiene and sanitation training sessions with members of the Kamulo Self-Help Group, which are also open to non-members. These will teach about important hygiene practices and daily habits to establish in the community at the personal and household levels. Taking good care of self and environment will make for a healthy community.

Most households have poor compound hygiene and their general hygiene and sanitation standards are low. In relation to this, they need improvement on compound hygiene, effective water treatment methods, handwashing training, soap making lessons and knowledge of disease transmission routes. The members of this group seem to have little knowledge on hygiene and sanitation. This also exposes them to risks of contracting diseases such as cholera, typhoid, diarrhea and stomachaches.

Project Updates

12/06/2019: Tulimani Community Hand-Dug Well Complete!

Tulimani 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 Kamulo Self-Help Group for this project. The members – notably all women in this group – 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.

“We have made a mark in the history of this locality by bringing water close to the people through this water project. It was not an easy task but through God’s guidance and protection we have made it,” said Mary Mbilu upon completion of the project.

“The long walks in search of water will be a story of the past in the advent of this new water point. We are all happy for having made it possible through our commitment and hard work.”

The community group faced some challenges which affected the pace of construction leading to delays in the timeline of the project’s completion. At the heart of the delay was that construction was all taking place during the dry season, so getting enough water for each step of construction was a constant challenge that contributed to the slow pace. Despite these added difficulties, the women persisted and were able to complete the project.

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 is 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 ft.).

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

The Mbondoni area field officer Bernadette Makau was informed of the date scheduled for training. She reached the group’s Chair, Madam Mbilu Mutumba, through a phone call, and Mutumba then informed all of her group members on the venue and dates for training. The area village administrator and village elders were also invited.

The training was held in Chair Mutumba’s homestead under a tree. The tree did not provide enough shade for a whole day, however, so our team had to move several times to stay under the shade. During the third day, we were interrupted by the rains.

The trainer conferred with the field staff about their previous visits to households and interviews with community members to determine which topics the community still could improve upon.

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.

All of the people in attendance actively participated in the training topics. One of the most memorable topics for the group was the ‘3 pile sorting’ exercise where everyone worked together to determine which hygiene and sanitation behaviors are good, bad, and neutral. This activity was said to be memorable by the members because they said that it was the best way to identify behaviors that caused a lot of diseases to them and that it enlightened them.

“This training will bring us so many positive changes as far as hygiene and sanitation are concerned. For instance, we will improve handwashing practices for both adults and young ones. We will also install sanitation infrastructures at our home and places where we meet,” said Mary Mbilu.

“We will also ensure that our water sources are cleaned throughout and that there’s a functional latrine, and ensure that we treat our drinking water.”

From the action plan prepared by the members of this group, it was clear that they were ready to improve on their sanitation and hygiene. Much is expected from this group as far as hygiene and sanitation are concerned.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

The Water Project : kenya19223-pumping-the-well

07/16/2019: Tulimani Community Well Underway!

Dirty water from open scoop holes is making people in Tulimani sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

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 news of success!

The Water Project : kenya19223-gathering-water-at-the-scoop-hole

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 Foundation