Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 350 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Nov 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/15/2024

Project Features

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The majority of the 1,200 community members in this locality rely on a single water source for all their water needs - a dam and well project that we completed last year. Many community members still walk a long distance to access the water point, making the daily chore of water fetching exhausting.

"Having adequate water in our community has been a big challenge for a long time. I am required to travel for more than one hour to the water source. It is tedious and time-consuming since I am required to make several trips there to get enough water for the family's needs. More water projects evenly distributed can help all of us have easy access to water within our homesteads," shared Mwanziu Ruendo, a farmer in the community.

Our main entry point into Kasioni Community has been the Kamami 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 constructing water projects and spreading the message of good hygiene and sanitation to everyone. This region of Kenya is semi-arid, which means that rains are infrequent, and people often travel long distances for water.

We work with self-help groups like this one for up to five years to build multiple water points in seasonal riverbeds to ensure everyone has access to a reliable water point close to home. The implementation of more water projects in the locality can help address the challenges of distance and overcrowding.

"During the dry season of the year, our water source is always full with many people drawing water here, even from other villages, which shows the need for more water projects in our community since the available ones are not enough. More water projects would reduce the dependency on the available main source of water," explained Musya Mutemi.

Kasioni village is a quiet rural location with average vegetation cover made of predominantly indigenous tree species. A majority of community members have houses made of brick walls and iron sheet roofs. The roads in the locality are dry weather roads penetrating the steep slopes leading to the community.

On an average day, the women and children wake up at 6:00 am. The women will prepare breakfast for the family as the children get ready for school. The responsibility for fetching water each day falls on the women who must go out with containers carried either by a donkey or on their backs. Depending on the size of the family and their water needs, many women and children may be required to travel back to the water source multiple times to get water for their use at home.

Reliable Water for Kasioni

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 three to five 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

November, 2021: Kasioni Community E Hand-Dug Well Complete!

Kasioni Community E, Kenya, now has a new source of water thanks to your donation. We constructed a new hand-dug well adjacent to a new sand dam on the riverbed. 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, 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.

"I will no longer be walking for kilometers searching for water, which will give me ample time to focus on my studies," said 13-year-old Susan P. "I will also get enough water to practice proper personal as well as household hygiene and sanitation."


"I will also get enough clean water for drinking and cooking that does not expose me to infections like diarrhea, typhoid, or worm infections," Susan continued. "I will also be able to plant some vegetables after school which will improve food security."

"The clean water from this water point will allow me to plant trees, water my cattle and I will no longer have to walk long distances searching for water for drinking or cooking," said 26-year-old Joseph Mbithi.


"Due to its close proximity, I will have more time [to] focus on farming and increase my produce, which will also improve my financial security," Joseph continued. "My cattle will also grow bigger and fetch me a higher sale price."

The well will begin to fill with water during the next rainy season. Our teams will return here and we will share photos of the well in use as soon as that happens.

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 Kamami Self-Help Group for this project. The members and their families contributed materials and physical labor.

New Knowledge

We've worked with the Kamami Self-Help Group before, so we conducted a refresher training to reinforce lessons they've learned as well as answer any questions they have.

"I can say that in terms of latrines construction, we have improved since after the follow-up was done, all members have constructed them," said the group's chairwoman, Kithumba Kithuka, 58.

Kithumba at her home.

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.

Our 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.

We decided to train on health problems in the community, good and bad hygiene behaviors, the spread and prevention of disease, sanitation improvements, planning for behavioral change, handwashing, and soap-making.

"Implementation of sanitation infrastructures will be our number one priority because it is for our own good and not the trainer's," Kithumba continued. "We will ensure that we construct utensil racks, dig rubbish pits, construct animal sheds, and have tippy taps. The soap-making skill will continue helping us initiate an activity that can make us earn some little income and keep us together."

When an issue arises concerning the sand dam, 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!

August, 2021: Kasioni Community Hand-Dug Well Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Kasioni 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: Water helps improve grades!

February, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Kasioni Community 3B.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kasioni Community 3B 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 to install a well in Kasioni Community last year, community members spent countless hours searching for water. This left them exhausted and still without sufficient water to meet all of their needs.

"I had to help in fetching water for the household; thus, I could walk several kilometers to fetch water and come back home," said 15-year-old Mukami M. "Due to the acute water scarcity, both personal and domestic hygiene and sanitation were adversely affected. Also, my family could not practice sufficient farming for financial purposes. Cattle and other domestic animals could also defecate on [our] previous water sources (scoop holes), making the water unhealthy for human consumption."

But now, community members have access to water, which allows them time to do other things.

"I do not spend much time looking for water since this water point is close to my residence," Mukami said. "My grades have improved because I have sufficient time [to] do my homework, thanks to the water point’s close proximity."

Not only have Mukami's grades improved, but other improvements have been possible with water as well.

"The project has also enabled farming through irrigation, thus providing food to the community. Hygiene conditions have also improved because this waterpoint offers clean water for use, hence [we have a] lower occurrence of diseases like typhoid or amoeba," concluded Mukami.

Mukami (in blue) watches other community members drink.

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 Kasioni Community 3B 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 Kasioni Community 3B – 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.


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