Loading images...
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Hooray
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Complete
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Splitting Rock
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Excavation
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Splitting Rocks
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Different Angle
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  All Done
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Materials
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Gathering Materials
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Getting Bigger
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Mixing Cement
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Stone
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Handwashing
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Breaking Up Rock
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Tippy Tap
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Inside
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Using Soap
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Handwashing
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Trying It Out
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Getting Ready
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Inside View
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  We Did It
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  In Progress
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Sand
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Ferrying Sand
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Walls Begun
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Thumbs Up
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Discussion
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Muthangya Mutunga
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Adding Ingredients
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Taller
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Finished
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Participants
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Disease Transmission
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Ready For Water
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Soap Making
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Site Prep
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Stirring Soap
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Taking Notes
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Mixing Cement
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Site Prep
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Excavation
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Talking
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Training Materials
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Latrine Importance
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Village Illustration
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Collecting Water
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Fetching Water At The Open Scoop Hole
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Filling Up Container At Scoop Hole
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Carrying Water Home
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Self Help Group Members
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Self Help Group Members
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Daniel K
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  John Mutunga
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Kavata Maithya
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Monica Mathu
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Animal Shed
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Clothesline
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Compound
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Compound
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Household
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Inside Kitchen
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Latrine And Bathing Room
The Water Project: Ngongo Community Well -  Water Storage Containers

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

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.




On an average day for Ngongo community members, the women and children wake up at 6:00 am. The women go to fetch water to prepare breakfast for the family as the children prepare to go to school.

The main water source for this community is a seasonal river bed. People fetch water directly from the river or dig scoop holes when it begins to dry up to find water stored under the sand.

On the other hand, the men wake up to go to the farm to get Napier grass for the livestock and run errands. Many community members in this locality rely on small-scale farming of indigenous crops such as pigeon peas, cowpeas, maize, beans, and green grams. Others engage in livestock farming, rearing goats and cows on their small pieces of land.

During the day, the women wash the family’s clothes, tidy up the house, wash utensils, and prepare lunch and supper for the family. Depending on the family’s size and 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.

Most households report traveling 30 minutes to an hour to get water. For some families, the journey is more than 2 hours.

All of this time and effort is spent to fetch water that is not safe for consumption and unreliable. During the dry season, people walk even longer, searching for spots along the riverbed that still have water. Or they have to dig deep scoop holes to get the water.

“Fetching water is never easy, the distances are long, and sometimes it takes long waiting at the scoop holes. The water is not always clean which even makes matters worse. Even when walking with donkeys, we arrive home tired and unable to help in other household chores,” explained 11-year-old Daniel K.

We also spoke with farmer John Mutunga who added, “We have been facing water challenges in our community since time immemorial. The search for water is always a whole day affair, affecting our development as people because the time to engage in other economic activities is limited. Any support in a water project will be a dream come true and a life-changing affair to all of us here.”

Reliable Water for Ngongo

Our main entry point is the Yanzoi Maithya 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.

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 members 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 ensure that participants know 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 consuming it. We will also emphasize the importance of handwashing.

The community and we strongly believe that all of these components will work together to improve living standards here, which will help 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 training during this period and contact the group after all of the projects are completed to support their efforts to improve sanitation and hygiene.

Project Updates


11/02/2021: Ngongo Community Shallow Well Complete!

Ngongo Community, 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. 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 once that happens.

Farmer John Mutunga is excited for his future now that his community has a reliable source of safe water. "I am happy because I will no longer be walking several kilometers searching for water, which will help me focus more on farming activities. The presence of this water point will also thwart food insecurity because I will be able to cultivate vegetables and other food crops."

"I will also be able to earn an income because I will be selling some of the produce to my fellow community members," John continued. "I will also be able to improve my personal hygiene and sanitation unlike before where I had to use water sparingly thus I could only bath once or twice weekly. I will also be able to water my cattle who were on the verge of demise because of the adverse water scarcity."

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

New Knowledge

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.

"I hope to change a lot since a lot of knowledge was shared during this training," said Muthangya Mutuga, 39, the chairman of the new water user committee. "I will implement the skills and knowledge taught."

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.

The community members' favorite topic during this training was community mapping, which allows everyone to see the resources they have available and where things need improvement.

During the presentation, there was a discussion on where the name Yanzoi Maithya came from. One older woman who grew up in the village explained that Yanzoi is a small hill in the area with a field where people would go to dance traditional dances and songs led by a male soloist named Maithya.

Muthangya continued: "Initially, we were constructing tippy taps that would force us to touch them a lot, which would risk transfer of dirt, germs and bacteria back to the house with us. The newly demonstrated tippy tap during the training is very enjoyable for handwashing. I have learned that hygiene is broad and it has gone beyond what I thought it was."


The Water Project : kenya21441-0-we-did-it-8


08/12/2021: Ngongo Community Well Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Ngongo 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!


The Water Project : kenya21440-21441-carrying-water-2


Project Photos


Project Type

Dug Well and Hand Pump

Hand-dug wells are best suited for clay, sand, gravel and mixed soil ground formations. A large diameter well is dug by hand, and then lined with either bricks or concrete to prevent contamination and collapse of the well. Once a water table is hit, the well is capped and a hand-pump is installed – creating a complete and enclosed water system.


Contributors