Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/15/2024

Project Features

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Ngitini Village is a peaceful rural setting in southeast Kenya. The area is densely populated owing to its rich agricultural soil which is great for farming. It's relatively hilly with vegetation cover made of planted exotic trees species. A majority of community members have decent houses made of bricks and covered with iron sheets.

Community members rely on farming, casual labor, and small businesses for their income.

Our main entry point into Ngitini Community has been the Kinyenyoni Kikuswi Self-Help Group, which is comprised of 40 farming households that are working together to address water and food scarcity in their region.

"We are making enormous progress by working on water projects aimed at improving water access in our village, however, universal water access could not be achieved at a single go," said Robert Kyalo. "Some people are still suffering the challenges of water because the projects are not near everyone."

This is our third project working with this group. The sand dams and hand-dug wells constructed in the past two years have helped improve water access for hundreds of people here. Community members who live in the extreme corners of the village are still struggling with long distances to access the few water points available. This raises the need for more water projects near their homes so as to achieve universal water access for all residents.

We will continue partnering with this community over the next few years to ensure that the 8,040 people living in this community have improved access to a reliable water source.

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.

Kinyenyoni Kikuswi Self-Help Group and Ngitini 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. There has been progress, but training is still necessary to ensure continued improvement.

And though most families have a good pit latrine, they need to clean them more often. Upcoming training sessions will strengthen weaknesses and continue encouraging each family that making the extra effort to clean homes, bathe, wash hands, and treat water is well worth it!

The group members are the eyes, mouths, hands, and feet in both constructing water projects and spreading the message of good hygiene and sanitation to everyone.

Project Updates

June, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Ngitini 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 Ngitini, 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.

March, 2020: Ngitini Community Well Complete!

Ngitini Community in 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 already helped the dam begin to build up sand and store water.

"The water point is very pleasing and satisfying. The proximity of the water point to our homesteads is very close. Through the availability of water, we will engage in farming which is a stable income generator in this region," said Daniel Kyalo, a local farmer.

"All of the community members can now access water easily with no strains of having to trek for long distances or digging scoop holes to fetch water. The water point is safe and easily accessible for the members. We are very happy about this project."

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 Kinyenyoni Kikuswi 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 is excavated up to a recommended depth of 25 feet. The diameter then 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 group members of the Kinyenyoni Kakuswi self-help group have participated in hygiene and sanitation training in the past as a part of completing other sand dam and well projects with us. They have been trained on group dynamics and governance; bookkeeping; project management; and water, hygiene, and sanitation practices.

But behavior change takes time, so we continue to work with the group to improve their hygiene and sanitation standards. Our hygiene and sanitation 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.

The members were requested to highlight a list of topics that they would love to cover and to be refreshed on. The following are the topics that were discussed: how diseases are spread; blocking the channels of disease transmission; and training on how to make soap for handwashing and household cleaning.

The training took place at Dorcas Wambua's homestead, a member of the group. Her compound was accommodating as it had adequate shade for everyone. All the members of the group participated equally by asking questions, contributing their opinions on how to improve hygiene standards in the area, and how love and unity will be embraced for building a strong bond between the members.

"The training will help us improve hygiene behaviors, prevent diarrheal diseases, and encourage community management of water and sanitation facilities. We now understand the importance of maintaining a clean environment at our homes," said Mr. Kyalo.

"This enables us to enhance and implement good relationships between sanitation and health status, therefore increasing the self-esteem of community members, empowering the community to plan environmental improvements, and to own and operate water and sanitation facilities responsibly."

The community has other sand dams and shallow well projects which they have been maintaining since they were constructed in their region. Once the project has a functionality issue the group members are responsible enough to conduct repairs on their own. If the water project issues are beyond their capabilities, however, the members know they can contact the area field officers who will inform the construction department to ensure the projects function appropriately.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

January, 2020: Ngitini Community hand-dug well underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Ngitini Community drains time, energy, and health from people here. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this school through the introduction and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!

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: Ngitini Community

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Ngitini Community 3B.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Ngitini Community 3B 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!

"I used to follow my mum while she went to fetch water, and we would stay there for very long. There were long queues, and there was very little water, which meant more time would be spent there. I would feel hungry while waiting for her to fetch water. Since it was during the dry season, it often got very hot, and this made the wait very tiresome," said 9-year-old Muuo K.

"Getting water from this water point now is very easy. It takes less than five minutes to fetch water and go back home. The water point is also very near my home hence less time is spent walking to and from. My mother feels comfortable sending me to fetch water for light duties such as watering the vegetables, cleaning the latrines, and general cleaning of the house. I usually feel very proud when trusted with such duties."

Muuo K

"In the past year, since the completion of the water point, I have been entrusted with the duties at home, and this has made me feel more responsible. I am happy because I can now help out in the household duties."

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 Ngitini Community 3B 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 Ngitini Community 3B – 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.