Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Apr 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/10/2024

Project Features

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The Kasekini area appears a lot more densely populated than the surrounding villages. The region is relatively hilly with partially motorable roads. Like most other parts of Mwingi, the dominant vegetation seems to be the indigenous trees, mostly the thorny acacia. There is a wider range of vegetation at the hillsides.

Most of the people seem to be living below the poverty line, with the village dotted with small homesteads of tiny houses, mainly made of mud or bricks. Yet, there is a feeling of great harmony among the people and a deep sense of hope and optimism as we talk to them.

However, access to water is a significant challenge for the more than 1,900 people here. The area has red loamy soils, which looks very fertile, with a great potential for crop production if only they can have sufficient water supply. During the driest months of the year, the day for most female beneficiaries starts at 4am in search of water.

An unprotected well, located 2km from the village center, is used during the few rainy months of the year. But it runs dry quickly and people must walk further to the nearest river bed found more than 5km away to fetch water from scoop holes. The water in both sources is heavily contaminated by human and animal activities. That exposes community members to the risk of contracting waterborne diseases from drinking the water. The time spent fetching water and the illnesses caused by the drinking it is a drain on this community.

"Water scarcity is a great challenge to us all. Often, we don't have any," Mary Muthangwia said.

"Sometimes, the water we drink causes our illnesses. And for us as women, it really makes our chores a challenge."

Our main entry point into Kasekini Community is the Makasini Self-Help Group, which is comprised of 40 farming households that are working together to address water and food scarcity in their region. With a community of more than 1,900 people, we will work with this group for up to 5 years on projects that will ensure that every person has improved access to a reliable water point. These members will be our hands in feet in both constructing water projects and spreading the message of good hygiene and sanitation to everyone.

What we can do:


We will hold hygiene and sanitation training sessions with Makasini 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.

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

Project Updates

May, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Kasekini 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 Kasekini, 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.

April, 2020: Kasekini Community Hand-Dug Well Complete!

Kasekini 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 Makasini 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. (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 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.

The attendance was as expected with a good number of expected participants turning up for the event. The area village administrator, Mr. Joshua, in charge of Kiini village came to join the training in the afternoon and was very impressed with the theme of the training and termed it a very educative training for the entire community.

The weather was favorable since it was during the rainy season yet there was no day when the training was interfered with by rains. There was enough shade and a very conducive environment that allowed the training to run smoothly.

All members participated equally. All showed interest and were willing to learn and take part in the training. They asked plenty of questions in all of the activities and discussed deeper on how they can stop open defecation in their area.

Mixing soap

"This is the first time this group has received a hygiene training. We have never had an opportunity to meet an organization that is willing to help us live a disease-free life through a hygiene training. For that reason, we are going to change greatly," said John Mukuta.

"We have learned from community mapping that all the feces after open defecation go into our water sources, thus contaminating them. We will be ambassadors of hygiene through toilet construction."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

Project Videos

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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: Kasekini Community

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Kasekini Community 1B.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kasekini Community 1B 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!

"Getting water was a whole day affair. We would walk for more than 4Km with mum using donkeys while looking for water along rivers in river scoop holes or at water Kiosks at Mwanzilu market. Water from the scoop holes was never clean. Sometimes it could be colored, which exposed us to possible waterborne diseases," 10-year-old Mueni M said.

"Getting water has been made more fun and simple by this water point. I can walk down to the well and in less than 10 minutes am back home with 10 liters of clean water. The water is clean, which is enabling us to be more healthy after drinking it, it is also helping us in this time of Coronavirus in maintaining regular handwashing as a way of preventing ourselves from contracting the virus."

Mueni M

"Using water from this water point, I am now able to maintain high standards of hygiene and sanitation at home compared to the past when water is enough, at home, am also involved in cleaning the houses and dishes because water is unlimited. We have also planted flowers in our compound using the water resources available."

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 Kasekini Community 1B 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 Kasekini Community 1B – 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.


Project Sponsor - Lifeplus Foundation