Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 300 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/22/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Reliable Water for Kavili Community

Our main entry point into Kavili Community has been the Kavili 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.

The community still relies on scoopholes to fetch water for their own use. The water drawn from these holes is usually dirty and unsafe for direct consumption. Having a shallow well will provide them with clean drinking water. It will also be easier to use the pump, taking them less time to draw water.

Scoopholes are open and often exposed to contamination, as they are relied on by both human beings and livestock. The water is prone to contaminants that expose the locals to diseases such as typhoid, amoeba, and other water-related diseases. The other sand dam/shallow well projects that villagers may rely on are far from their village, hence the preference of scoopholes.

This community is situated in semi-arid land that receives little to no rainfall as a result of climate change. The households in Kavili village are made of bricks, mud, or thatches and fitted with iron sheet roofing. The terrain is hilly and the dirt roads are rocky and bumpy.

Hand-Dug Well

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: Kavili Community Dug Well and Hand Pump Complete!

Kavili Community, Kenya, now has a new source of water thanks to your donation. Thankfully, there is already a mature sand dam adjacent to the well. The sand dam will build up sand to raise the water table and naturally filter water, while the well will provide a safer method of drawing drinking water for the community.

It could take up to three years of rain for this sand dam to reach maximum capacity, however, because sometimes it only rains once a year! As the sand dam matures and stores more sand, the surrounding landscape will become lush and fertile.

"Having a reliable water source ensures we have clean drinking water," said a local farmer, Onesmus Mbula Mwangangi, "which has been a struggle for us for a long while. It has also been the cause of the diseases we have been encountering such as typhoid, amoeba, and diarrhea cases. Our livestock will now have clean drinking water nearby, and we will not have to walk for long distances in search of water and pasture."

Sabina Musila, another community member, is excited about the convenience of the new well. "Access to reliable water has made my life easier," she said. "It takes me very few minutes to walk to the water point to fetch water and get back to the house. At my age, I do not strain to fetch water as I did when I was younger, and this is a great blessing for me. Availability of water has helped me to maintain proper hygiene and sanitation easily."

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 complete, sand builds up around the well 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 Kavili Self-Help Group for this project. The members and their families contributed materials and physical labor to complete the project. We trained the group on various skills, including bookkeeping, financial management, project management, group dynamics, and governance. We also conducted hygiene and sanitation training to teach skills like soapmaking and improve behaviors such as handwashing.

When asked about her plans for the future now that she has a source of clean, reliable water, Sabine said, "I plan to continue using the water for my vegetable garden, to ensure I have enough vegetables to improve my diet. I have planted kale, spinach, and tomatoes. I also want to continue watering my fruit trees."

Meanwhile, Onesmus plans to renovate his house. "I will use this water to make bricks for my house construction."

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 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.