Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2014

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/23/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Reliable Water for Mutomo Community

Our main entry point into Mutomo Community has been the Isunguluni Mutomo 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 current water sources are scoopholes. Scoopholes are open to contamination, as they are used by both animals and human beings. They also do not provide sufficient water for the entire community. Drinking water from these carries a significant risk of contracting diseases such as typhoid, amoeba, and dysentery, among others.

When scoopholes dry up, community members have to purchase water for use, which is costly for them, especially in the dry seasons.

Mutomo village is in a rural area that is sparsely populated, with most community members living far apart from each other. The roads leading to the community are dirt roads. It is a relatively dry area that receives little to no rainfall and this is characterized by the drought-tolerant crops planted on their farms.

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

December, 2014: Mutomo Community Water Project Complete!

Mutomo Community, Kenya, now has a new source of water thanks to your donation. Thanks to their already-mature sand dam at the river channel, Mutomo Community now has a source of safe and clean water for drinking and other household purposes.

"My living standards have really improved thanks to this waterpoint," said the community's pastor, Jackson Muthoka. "I no longer have to trek for long distances in search of water, especially during the dry seasons. The water drawn from this well has been very resourceful, as we are using it for drinking, cooking, watering our vegetable garden, making bricks, and also for our livestock."

"We used to fetch water from very far, and the water we got was very salty both for drinking and cooking," said Veronica Kavemba, a community member. "Once stored in a jerrycan, the salty water would change color and it would be difficult to cook with or drink because the salinity levels were so high. It was also very exhausting to walk to the water sources and coming back."

Now, Veronica has plenty of plans for the clean water. "Reliable source of water has been helpful as we have sufficient water for drinking, cooking, and our livestock. Less time is expended on fetching water which provides enough time for us to engage in productive activities such as farming. I plan to use the water for irrigation: planting vegetables at my home such as kale, spinach, and onions. Both for sale and domestic use."

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 Isunguluni Mutomo 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.