Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 300 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/22/2024

Project Features

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Nduumoni is a rural, fairly vegetated and peaceful community in Kenya. It is sparsely populated with most houses made of bricks that are home to some 335 people.

An average day for the community members starts at the crack of dawn with women walking while carrying containers of water on their backs. All roads here lead to the Nduumoni River where the women go to fetch water for the day. The water level is usually higher in the morning compared to later in the day, hence their early arrival.

The community members suffer a lot during the dry seasons because the Nduumoni River dries up very fast and people have to dig deep scoop holes to access water. The scoop holes are usually overcrowded because the water table is so low that typically only 1 scoop hole has water at any given time.

"I am an old woman now and water scarcity affects me a lot," shared 76-year-old Rebecca Kama.

"During the dry seasons, I have to dig very deep scoop holes in order to fetch water. Often times, the water source is crowded."

Depending on the queues, the women might decide to stay and wait for their turn, or they might try leaving and coming back. If they do not return home with water early enough, however, their children go to school hungry. If they get home in time, then they can prepare their children for school and feed them breakfast.

By 7:00 am the men are up and ready to go to their farms or their other work. By around 10:00 am, the water that was fetched in the morning has ended and the women are expected to make a trip back to the river. A lot of time is expended on this duty. Once they fetch water, they perform other household duties. By evening, when everyone returns home, the women prepare supper for the family and sleep.

The next morning, the cycle continues.

"Insufficient supply of water has contributed highly to the poverty levels in the region because we are unable to farm well. We spend a lot of our finances on [medical] treatment and fetching water at times," said Bramwell Mwenzwa Muu.

"Life is hard without water."

The most common livelihood in this region is farming. Most members rely on subsistence agriculture to earn income, but these practices are highly affected by unreliable rainfall patterns and climate change. Other common jobs here include the operation of small businesses such as driving a motorcycle taxi or running a small shop. Casual labor jobs such as house construction and farm work are also typical among young adults.

Reliable Water for Nduumoni

Our main entry point into Nduumoni Community has been the Wathanaa Self-Help Group, which is comprised of households that are working together to address water and food scarcity in their region. These members will be our hands and 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 will be built adjacent to a sand dam project, 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 Nduumoni Village and will bring clean water closer to families.

New Knowledge

These community members currently do their best to practice good hygiene and sanitation, but their severe lack of water has been a big hindrance to reaching their fullest potential.

We will hold hygiene and sanitation training sessions with the Wathanaa Self-Help Group and other community members to teach about important hygiene practices and daily habits to establish at the personal, household, and community levels. This training will help to ensure that participants have the knowledge they need to make the most out of their new water point as soon as the water is flowing.

One of the most important topics we plan to cover is the handling, storage, and treatment of water. Having a clean water source will be extremely helpful, but it is useless if water gets contaminated by the time it is consumed. We will also emphasize the importance of handwashing.

We and the community strongly believe that all of these components will work together to improve living standards here, which will help to unlock the potential for these community members to live better, healthier lives.

We typically work with self-help groups for 3 to 5 years on multiple water projects. We will conduct follow-up visits and refresher trainings during this period and remain in contact with the group after all of the projects are completed to support their efforts to improve sanitation and hygiene.

Project Updates

October, 2020: Nduumoni Community hygiene training complete

The hygiene and sanitation training for the new well in Nduumoni Community is complete. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our teams were unable to complete the training at the same time as the well and sand dam construction. However, due to recent improvements, we were able to go back to the community to hold the training.

New Knowledge

The ASDF field officer in charge of the region Jeff Maluki first met with the area Assistant Chief to seek permission to organize the three-day training. The Assistant chief who is also an active member of the group approved the request. The field officer later met with the group committee and informed them about the training dates and discussed the venue. The group leaders then informed the rest of the members about the planned training through phone calls.

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. And because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we focused on specific ways that community members can protect themselves and others from the virus.

"The training was very good and we have all benefited. The training will help improve the hygiene standards for the members of this community. We have learned how to construct cost-effective sanitation infrastructures and this has given us a lot of options to choose from in order to improve our hygiene and sanitation," said Stephen Mutuku, the assistant chief for the community.

Mixing soap

The attendance was good and as expected with more than 30 people attending each of the three days. Soapmaking was one of the most popular topics during the training. The main aim of the training on soap making is to help the members to improve their hygiene and sanitation as well as enable them to have a new income-generating source.

"The soap making training will from today be an income-generating activity to most of the families in this area. We are very thankful for the training," said Mr. Mutuku.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

June, 2020: Nduumoni Community hand-dug well complete!

Please note, all photos in this report were taken before social distancing recommendations went into effect.

Nduumoni 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 Wathanaa Self-Help Group for this project. The members and their families contributed materials and physical labor to complete the project.

Once it is safe to hold gatherings with the members, we will schedule a training session with community members. This 3-day intensive will cover a wide range of topics including personal and environmental hygiene and the operation and maintenance of the rain tank, latrines, and handwashing stations. There will be a special emphasis on handwashing.

(To see more of our work on the frontlines of COVID-19 prevention in all of the communities we serve, click here).

We will be sure to reach back out to you with more news and photos from the training!

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.

May, 2020: Nduumoni Community hand-dug well underway

A severe clean water shortage at Nduumoni Community drains community members’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this community 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.

A Year Later: No Queues, More Play!

October, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Nduumoni 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!

“Water along this river would only flow for a short period of time throughout the year. Community members had to dig scoop holes to get water for use at their homes which was quite strenuous. It was risky for me to fetch water because the holes were so deep.

"At times, I would accompany my mother to the river as she came to wash our clothes then carry them back home to hang them. Water scarcity was a really huge challenge.

"It is so easy to get water now. The river is full of water and we do not strain at all. If we come here with a donkey, it takes less than ten minutes to fetch water and get back home. The water pump is also very easy to use.

"I am now able to catch up with friends and also play with them, without the thoughts of the duties to fetch water ringing in my mind. Even when I am sent to fetch water for home use, I do it very fast because the well is easy to use and there are no queues at the water point.”

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 Nduumoni 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 Nduumoni 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