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The Water Project: Kithumba Community E -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Kithumba Community E -  Closing Kitchen Door
The Water Project: Kithumba Community E -  Clothesline
The Water Project: Kithumba Community E -  Collecting Water
The Water Project: Kithumba Community E -  Compound
The Water Project: Kithumba Community E -  Cooking Area
The Water Project: Kithumba Community E -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Kithumba Community E -  Group Members
The Water Project: Kithumba Community E -  Inside Kitchen
The Water Project: Kithumba Community E -  Kitchen Prep Area
The Water Project: Kithumba Community E -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Kithumba Community E -  Latrine
The Water Project: Kithumba Community E -  Muinde Ngonzi
The Water Project: Kithumba Community E -  Water Storage Containers

Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Project Phase:  Funded - Project Initiated
Estimated Install Date (?):  02/29/2020

Project Features

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Kithumba Community is found in the slopes of Makuli Hills of Nzaui, Makueni County. The location is peaceful and is partly vegetated made up of various indigenous tree species. Community members have decent housing standards with the majority living in houses made of bricks and iron sheet roofs.

Many people in Kithumba and the larger Kalamba/Nzaui district are actively involved in large-scale fruit farming on their pieces of land, especially of mangoes and oranges. The increased production of fruits in the area resulted in the Makueni County government installing a fruit processing plant at the nearby Kalamba Market to take advantage of the produce from locals.

Our main entry point into Kithumba Community is the Kakwa Self-Help Group (SHG), which is comprised of 26 farming households that are working together to address water and food scarcity in their region. This is our third year partnering with Kakwa SHG to improve access to reliable water. Multiple water points are needed to ensure that all 1,500 people in Kithumba Community have a water source that is near their homes. These members are the hands and feet in both constructing water projects and spreading the message of good hygiene and sanitation to everyone.

Most community members use the two sand dams and adjacent hand-dug wells that were constructed over the past two years to meet their water needs. The water is clean and good for human consumption and the facility is well-managed by the community through a lock and key policy to avoid cases of unexpected vandalism. However, we estimate that a single source can only support 500 people and there are still many people traveling a long distance to get water.

People living in areas far from the water facility have suffered by spending much of their time in water pursuit at the expense of other important activities such as farming and taking care of cattle. More projects are needed within the village so as to meet the water needs of the population.

“Our village has not yet reached universal access to water for all with sections of the community still struggling in terms of getting adequate clean water easily,” said Muinde Ngonzi.

“We are ready to work on more projects and bring water close to everyone within the locality and improve our living standards generally through improved hygiene and sanitation.”

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


Kakwa Self-Help Group and Kithumba 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.

A majority of the community members have made good strides on matters of hygiene and sanitation. All members of the community have latrines and clotheslines. The majority are also using handwashing facilities with the rest working towards their implementation. Improvements are needed at making of dish-racks and digging of garbage pits within the compounds.

We will hold refresher trainings for all of the community members to strengthen what they already put into action and encourage them to continue making improvements.

We're just getting started, check back soon!

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 - Lifeplus Foundation