Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 350 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2021

Functionality Status:  Low/No Water or Mechanical Breakdown

Last Checkup: 03/21/2024

Project Features

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Kangalu Community is found in a semi-vegetated, peaceful, and rural locality of Southeastern Kenya. Most people here live in houses made of bricks that are well roofed with iron sheets. However, a majority of the homes lack cemented floors and plastered walls. The most common livelihoods in this community are either farming or working casual labor jobs, such as construction or motorcycle taxi driving.

Our main entry point into Kangalu has been the Kangalu Chanuka Self-Help Group, which is comprised of households that are working together to address water and food scarcity in their region. These members are our hands and feet in both constructing water projects and spreading the message of good hygiene and sanitation to everyone in the area.

We completed our first project with this group last year, but that water point alone is not enough for this community.

"My village faces the challenge of a lack of adequate clean water sources. This has led to us waking up early in the morning at times to reach the few available water sources," said Josephine Kilonzi, a member of the self-help group.

"The need to end the challenges brought us together to work jointly and implement many water points."

We typically work with self-help groups for 3 to 5 years on multiple water projects to ensure that everyone in their community has access to water. For this community of more than 600 people and their neighbors, a series of dams and wells are needed to address water access issues here.

"We are very happy to be working with you. Our community lacks adequate water access all year round which leads to poor hygiene, underdevelopment, and malnutrition. That is why we remain committed to working together on more water projects aimed at bringing water to the doorstep of everyone and leading to general improvements in living standards for all," said Felisters Mumbe, another member of the self-help group.

We are continuing to work with this group on a new project.

Reliable Water for Kangalu

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 Kangalu 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 Kangalu Chanuka 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 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

May, 2021: Kangalu Community Hand-Dug Well Complete!

Kangalu 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.

Because sometimes it only rains once a year, it could take up to three years of rain for this sand dam to reach maximum capacity. As the sand dam matures and stores more sand, a water supply will be available for drinking from the well. With this water, the surrounding landscape will become lush and fertile.

We will return to the project when the sand dam begins to fill and water is available in the well. We will check on the progress and take pictures to share with you. Be on the lookout for another update in the coming months!

"I am happy to have been a beneficiary of these amazing water projects. I will now access unlimited clean water supply from the projects for my drinking and household use. This will lead to improved levels of hygiene and sanitation at home while also maintaining a healthy family. I will now be able to start a small kitchen garden within my home and grow vegetables for boosting family eating habits while also selling the surplus to earn income," said Josephine Kilonzi.

Paul K

"Through this water project, water fetching has been made easier," said Paul, a young boy in the community.

"I will no longer be required to walk for long distances with donkeys in search of water from rivers and earth dams. The shallow well will provide us with clean water from a source we can trust because it is well covered and secure. Water has been brought close to home, which will save a lot of time. I am planning to start a tree nursery at home and nurture seedlings for planting in our compound. The existence of water will aid this at the sand dam to facilitate watering of the seedlings throughout the year."

Hand-Dug Well Construction

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.

Cement bags

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 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 stored behind the dam.

Well walls under construction

Once the lining reaches ground level, a precast concrete slab is laid on top and joined to the wall using mortar. Four bolts for the hand pump are fixed on the slab during casting. The concrete needs to dry for two weeks before the pump is installed. The mechanics then arrive to install the pump as community members watch, learning how to manage simple maintenance tasks for themselves.

Well walls complete

Finally, the well is given another few days after installing the pump to dry the joints completely. We installed the pump level with the top of the sand dam so that 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.

New Knowledge

We worked with the Kangalu Chanuka Self-Help Group for this project. The members and their families contributed materials and physical labor to complete the project. We trained the group in various skills such as 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.

Community members were expected to attend training after the construction of their sand dam and shallow well. The trainer conferred with the field staff about their previous visits to households and interviews with community members to determine which topics the community could improve upon. The field officer Bernadette Makau was informed about the training after planning. She managed to reach the group secretary, who then informed the entire group on the training dates during their normal work at the shallow well.

The facilitators decided to train on 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.

Handwashing demonstration

The training was held at Kangalu Gospel Furthering Bible Church. Most meetings are conducted here because it is a central place found near most of the homes in the community.

Mixing soap

"This training will be of great importance to us and is expected to bring about adequate changes in our lives. I have really benefited since our last training. I normally make soap that I have been selling and restocking my business. I also use that money to buy school essentials for my children and also buy them food. I have regular customers," shared Felistus Mumbe.

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!

March, 2021: Kangalu Community hand-dug well underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Kangalu Community drains people’s 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: Higher Self-Esteem!

January, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Kangalu Community 2B.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kangalu Community 2B 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!

Before we helped the people in Kangalu construct a new sand dam and shallow well in their community, everyone had to walk debilitating distances just to supply their households with water each day, in amounts that were often inadequate for all their needs. The contaminated water that they collected also made them sick, which hurt their health more and more over time.

“In the past, I had to walk about five kilometers carrying water from the distant water point because we are required to carry water to school each morning," said 11-year-old Kalima. "This ordeal was grueling and time-consuming, leaving me with little time to focus on my academic studies or playing with my friends. I could not also get enough water for oral or body hygiene, making me uncomfy in class.”

But now that there's a water point much closer to households like Kalima's, the journey to school is much shorter and less painful.

“The installed water point is easily accessible and enables [me] to spend little time to fetch water," Kalima explained. "I get more time to concentrate on my academic studies and play with my friends. The clean water no longer exposes me to infections like amoeba and dysentery. I have good health and [am] no longer absent from school due to water-related maladies."

“My academic performance has improved because I do not have to walk several kilometers searching for water, and I get more [time] to study and play," Kalima concluded. "I have good health because I have clean and sufficient water to drink. My personal hygiene and sanitation have also improved, enabling me to be comfortable with higher self-esteem.”

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 Kangalu Community 2B 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 Kangalu Community 2B – 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.


Sorcha Giving Fund
Oberg/Raucci Family
10 individual donor(s)