Loading images...
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Complete Well
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Complete Well
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Construction Materials
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Finished Well
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Self Help Group At The Well
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Soapmaking
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Soapmaking
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Training
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Training
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Training Materials
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Training Materials
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Well Construction
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Well Construction
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Well Construction
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Well Construction
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Well Construction
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Well Construction
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Well Construction
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Well Construction
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Well Construction
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Well Construction
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Well Plaque
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Clothesline
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Kitchen Building
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Latrine
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Maize Growing
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Maryanne Mwende
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Members Of The Self Help Group
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Outdoor Cookstove
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Salina Mwende
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Water Storage Containers
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Gathering Water
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Loading Water Onto Donkey
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Riverbed
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Scoop Hole
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Scooping Water
The Water Project: Kathungutu Community A -  Water Kiosk

Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 299 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 08/30/2020

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

This community fetches water at River Nziuni, which is a seasonal river. Nziuni only flows during the rainy season. Afterwards, the river ceases to flow and people have to dig holes to find water.

As the months go by, the river gets drier and drier and the holes are dug deeper and deeper, which is very exhausting and dangerous. All of this work is for water that is unsafe and open to contamination.

The water attained from these sources is not safe for direct consumption. The scoop holes are often left open until the next time of use, which exposes the water to different kinds of contaminants such as pathogens, human activity, animal activity, improper waste disposal, open defecation among others.

The other alternative source of water is a school water kiosk located approximately three kilometers from the community. But people have to pay for the water, and it’s something that people cannot afford on a regular basis. Once all their water sources have depleted, they are forced to walk for five kilometers or more to Tyaa River.

Even though these community members have to walk for very long distances for water, some members do not own donkeys so they are forced to go back and forth to the water source multiple times. This is extremely exhausting and depletes all of the valuable time in a day.

Due to the long lines at the sources, people have to wake up very early in order to get at the water source on time. Clashes and fights among the community members at the water source can break relationships and brew enmity.

“Walking to the water source is very cumbersome due to the hilly and rough topography of the area,” said Viata Mulinga.

“Hunger pangs, a result of water scarcity, are common because one may lack water for cooking or even drinking which really makes life hard.”

Our main entry point into Kathungutu Community is the Mung’alu Self-Help Group, which is comprised of 35 farming households that are working together to address water and food scarcity in their region. We will partner with this group on projects for five years to ensure everyone has access to safe water.  These members will be our hands and feet in both constructing water projects and spreading the message of good hygiene and sanitation to everyone.

Members of Mung’alu Self-Help Hroup hail from the small village Kathungutu. It lacks basic amenities and infrastructure such as hospitals, electricity, and running water. It is characterized as a rural setting which is very peaceful and relatively vegetated. The landscape consists of indigenous natural bushes – some which have been cleared to create pathways. The buildings are built of bricks and mud with iron sheet roofs.

People here rely on farming, casual labor, and small businesses for their income. Farming is the most relied on, although it is an inconsistent source of income because the community members have to depend on the rains to farm.

There’s high potential with this group of people because if they are trained on financial management and record-keeping, they will boost their income levels. The few who indulge in casual labor proved that with the provision of water, they would embark on farming and other income-generating activities instead.

What we can 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 Kathungutu, and will bring clean water closer to families having to walk long distances for their water.


We will hold hygiene and sanitation training sessions with commmunity 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.

“We do not have sufficient water to keep the latrines clean,” said Salina Mwende.

“At times we may fail to take showers because the water is not enough for such comforts. Lack of sufficient water is very troublesome in this area.”

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

07/14/2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Kathungutu 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 Kathungutu, Kenya.

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

Due to public gathering concerns, we worked with trusted community leaders to gather a select group of community members who would then relay the information learned to the rest of their family and friends.

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-kenya19224-community-members-at-covid-training

08/29/2019: Kathungutu Community Well Complete!

Kathungutu 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.

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.

We worked with the Mung’alu 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 hygiene and sanitation training to teach skills like soapmaking and to help improve behaviors such as handwashing.

“We are very happy to have successfully completed the construction of this water project in our community. It is one of a kind and it will help us and the future generations in our village,” said Viata Mulingwa, a farmer and member of the self-help group.

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 builds up to the top of the wall. Until then, people will climb the concrete steps to get their water.

“This is a major milestone in our quest to have increased access to water in our community. We are ready to work on more projects!” said Mrs. Mulingwa.

New Knowledge

Field officer Paul Musau visited the group and informed all the members on the dates of the hygiene and sanitation training. More than 30 people were in attendance when our trainer Veronica Matolo arrived. The venue of the training was in the homestead of Mbuvi Kitumbi. The weather was windy and cold for the better part of the 3 days, and members preferred sitting in the open to get some warmth from the sun. The environment was very conducive and no distraction was experienced at all.

The trainer conferred with the field staff about their visits to households and interviews with community members to determine which topics the community still had room for improvement. They decided to train on the following topics:

– 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

– Soapmaking

The participants especially enjoyed the soapmaking part of the training. This was the first time they learned how to make soap. They were very interested in the process and the opportunity to make soap themselves that they can sell in local markets.

“Our income will also increase because we now have a new skill of soapmaking,” said Viata Mulingwa.

“And it will improve our nutrition since it will help us afford to buy more food.”

Another topic of interest was open defecation. The group walked around some nearby households to inspect them for evidence of open defecation. They learned that many people were going to the bathroom wherever they wanted. Most notably, they found feces near the open scoop holes where they sometimes fetch water.

“This training will help us improve hygiene by stopping open defecation. This will be achieved by people constructing latrines, especially those that don’t have any,” Mrs. Mulingwa said.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

The Water Project : kenya19224-complete-well-2

07/11/2019: Kathungutu Community Hand-Dug Well Underway

People living in Kathungutu Community walk a long way just to get dirty water from open scoop holes. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to solve this issue by building a nearby hand-dug well that will safely access water from a sand dam.

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 : kenya19224-gathering-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.


Project Sponsor - Barbara Belle Ash Dougan Foundation