Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 1,050 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/24/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Reliable Water for Mukononi Community

Our main entry point into Mukononi Community has been the Kyeni kya 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.

In this community, women are often tasked with the duty of fetching water, a chore that often starts very early in the morning. They walk to the river beds to dig scoopholes for fetching water. During the drier periods, the community must often use a single scoophole, which means a long line if they don't get there early.

"During the dry seasons, we have to go for very long distances to fetch water, which is very exhausting," said Peter Nyamai, a 67-year-old local pastor, and the Self-Help Group's chairman. "Our wives have to bear with the burdens of carrying jerrycans on their backs for very long distances.The water fetched is usually dirty and can barely suffice to fulfill all the household chores."

Once the women have water, they make breakfast for their families and help their children prepare for school. Men, on the other hand, have to wake up to go to the farm as well as take their cattle to the fields. At this juncture, women are left to deal with the household chores such as washing clothes and cleaning the house.

This calls for another trip to the water point to fetch enough water for accomplishing the chores, which might be strenuous again. By the time they return home, it is often evening.

"When all the nearby water sources run dry, we have to walk up to Athi River, which is 15 kilometers away," Paul continued. "It is usually such a nightmare, especially if one has no donkey."

"Missing school for young students becomes a norm," explained another community member, Erastus Nzomo. "One is very tired by the end of the day, to the extent that one wakes up late the following day and fails to attend school. For this reason, academic performance is usually highly affected."

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 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 Self-Help Group and other community members to teach about important hygiene practices and daily habits to establish at the personal, household, and community level. 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 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

August, 2021: Mukononi Community Hand-Dug Well Complete!

Mukononi Community, Kenya, now has a new source of water thanks to your donation.

Kataa Mutua, a 42-year-old local farmer, is thankful for the new well. "Access to a reliable and safe waterpoint has enabled me to access water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and watering the plants and trees. I have time to utilize for other duties and other income-generating activities such as farming and going to the marketplace for business."

Another community member, Mukai Mutua (62), is ecstatic about the extra time she has been granted now that she no longer has to spend precious time digging scoopholes every day. "The water point has made life easier for me. It is very easy to use the shallow well to draw water. It only takes less than five minutes to fill a jerrycan and get back home! I have ample time to spend with my grandchildren and enjoy life with them."

Hand-Dug Well Construction Process

Construction for this well was a success!

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. When all of the materials were ready, it was time to dig in!

First, we excavated a hole 7 feet in diameter up to the recommended depth of 25 feet. (Most hand-dug wells do not reach that depth due to hard rocks between 10-18 feet). As planned, the diameter shrank to 5 feet when the well lining was complete. This lining is made of brick and mortar with perforations to allow for water to seep through. When the well is complete, sand builds up around its walls, which will naturally filter the rainwater stored behind the dam.

Once the lining reached ground level, we laid a precast concrete slab on top of the lining and joined it to the wall using mortar. The concrete dried for two weeks before installation. In preparation for the hand pump's installation, we fixed four bolts onto the slab during casting.

Next, the mechanics arrived to install the pump as community members watched, learning how to manage simple maintenance tasks for themselves. Finally, we gave the well another few days after installing the pump to let the joints dry completely. We installed the pump 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 use the concrete steps to get their water.

We worked with the Ithime Self-Help Group for this project. The members and their families contributed materials and physical labor.

When an issue arises concerning the well, 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 field officers to assist them.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

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.