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:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/20/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Kaketi Village is a peaceful and rural area with a community of more than 500 households spread across the community. People here own large pieces of land that feature thick shrubs and bushes of indigenous and exotic tree species.

The average day begins at 5:00 am. Women prepare breakfast and start the journey to go and fetch water. Men, at times, join the women during the dry season. But typically the men go run their errands on their farms or travel to informal labor jobs in the morning. Women will sometimes spend their whole day at the water source, especially during the dry seasons. They use a variety of sources, from scoop holes dug into dry riverbeds until they hit water, to rivers, or water points over 30 minutes away from their homes 1-way.

Most times they get back home in the afternoon very tired. They then have to perform the household chores and maybe go back to the water source for more water. Afterward, they prepare supper and have dinner as a family. The cycle continues like that every day for this community.

In the drought periods as some water sources dry up, the women trek for very long distances to fetch water. These strains have reduced substantially thanks to the completion of a sand dam and well in this area last year. However, some members still have to walk for long distances on the rough terrains to fetch water. More than half of the 1,500 people living here are not close enough to the well.

"Life is very hard with an inadequate water supply. The current water point has very fresh and clean water for use, which is highly appreciated, however, it's still far from my home. Walking for long distances is very tiring as the terrain is rough, slopy, and very steep. No other work can be done because all we do is search for water," said Elizabeth Nzuki, a farmer in the community.

Some people still travel more than 30 minutes each way to get water and will travel even longer in order to avoid lines. The chore has been known to consume most of their time thus hindering them from engaging in other productive activities.

Reliable Water for Kaketi

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 Kaketi 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 Kalawa People Living with HIV 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

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

Kaketi 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.

"I was used to walking for very long distances to fetch water for drinking, cooking, and for general hygiene and sanitation practices at my home. Now, I will fetch water at my comfort, at any time of the day, and with no limit because the water point is adjacent to my home," shared Josephine Liku.

Hand-Dug Well

Construction for this well was a success! We worked with the Kalawa People Living with HIV 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 held hygiene and sanitation training to teach skills like soapmaking and improve behaviors such as handwashing.

SHG members at the dam

"I am pleased about this project and the benefits that I will gain from it. Firstly, the sand dam project is very adjacent to my farm, and it will enable me to engage in farming practices easily," said Mutinda Mateng'e.

"I will also utilize the water for household chores, and I will not have to trek for long distances as we used to do in the previous years. The shallow well is also easy to use, reducing the time spent to draw water and get back to the house."

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.

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 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.

Mixing cement

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 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 dry the joints completely. Finally, 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 climb the concrete steps to get their water.

New Knowledge

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. Since we have worked with this community on previous projects, we look to identify gaps or areas in need of improvement.

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.

The training took place at Mr. Benson Ndaka’s homestead, who is the group's Chair. On the training day, the weather was quite favorable as it was sunny and cool. The compound had abundant tree cover which sheltered all the members from the sun's scorching rays when it got hotter. The entire training was a success and the members really enjoyed it.

The attendees were very active and jovial throughout the training session. Our team vividly saw their interest through their contributions by asking questions and airing their concerns and views about some of the sensitive areas of hygiene and sanitation. The members said that they no longer have rodents like rats, snakes, or even cockroaches in their toilets due to the continuous usage of the latrine disinfectant which they learned about from the previous WASH training with our team.

Mixing soap

"As compared to before, the whole community has transformed in terms of hygiene and sanitation as it’s now routinely known that handwashing at all times is very vital," said Mr. Ndaka after the training.

"We have been acting as the change agents in this region to the rest of the community members by educating them on the best lessons that we learned during the training."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

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

A severe clean water shortage at Kaketi Community drains peoples’ 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: "I can achieve a lot with this water."

June, 2022

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kaketi 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!

We asked 47-year-old Regina Mumbua what life was like before we completed the sand dam and hand-dug well projects in her community.

“Life was very hard because we would hustle a lot for water," Regina said.

"At times, one would spend the night in search of water only to fetch a jerrycan of 20 liters. A child would miss school whenever the parent was supposed to wake up [during the] wee hours to go and queue [at] the river. They would report back home very late for the child to leave for school and at times [we would lack] water for bathing before going to school. It took us four hours to trek to fetch water and get back. This spent most of our time."

But now, one year later, life for Regina and the rest of her community is different.

"Life has changed a lot," Regina continued. "Life is now very simple. I can achieve a lot with this water now. I no longer walk several kilometers to get water. I only have to wake up at the right time, get water, and go back to my farm to do other activities, like growing crops."

Regina recounted to us all of her accomplishments from this past year with water, and hopes to expand that list moving forward.

“In the past year, I have been able to grow bananas, which did not take long," Regina said.

"I have really enjoyed eating [them] without purchasing either water or bananas. I have been dreaming of getting food locally from my farm. So far, so good. My dream is gradually being realized. I am optimistic of achieving even more with the help of this project.”

Regina gives us a tour of her flourishing farm.

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 Kaketi 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 Kaketi 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.


Project Sponsor - Lifeplus Foundation