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The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Community Activities
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Clothesline
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Water Storage
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Water Storage Containers
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Compound
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Lucy Kanini_member
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Person Carrying Water
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Water Storage
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Water Storage Containers
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Lucy Kanini_member
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Francis Mwendwa_secretary
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Caroline Masaa
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Caroline Carrying Water
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Dishrack
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Latrines
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Water Sources
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Francis Mwendwa_secretary
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Lucy Kanini_member
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Caroline Masaa
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Community Activities
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Water Sources
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Water Storage
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Water Storage Containers
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Animal Pen
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Clothesline
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Clothesline
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Compound
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Garbage Pit
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Landscape
The Water Project: Thonoa Community Hand Dug Well -  Landscape

Project Status



Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Project Phase:  Donate to this Project
Estimated Install Date (?):  05/28/2022

Project Features


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Those close to the water scoophole in Thonoa Community are lucky: their trip to fill up their jerrycans only take a half-hour to an hour. They might be able to make more than one trip per day. They’re likely have water to spare for such things as watering crops, washing clothes, cleaning latrines, and personal hygiene. But, unfortunately, not everyone lives so close.

“I don’t get enough water to drink, [or] for my cattle,” said Lucy Kanini, a 42-year-old farmer (pictured above).

“I experience water scarcity problems because there is insufficient water at home for drinking and maintaining proper hygiene,” said Caroline (pictured below), who is 14 years old. “I also have to carry water to school, which leads to exhaustion due to long distances.”

For most people in Thonoa, the journey to and from the water point—a distance of 7 kilometers (4.34 miles)—takes around four hours. The area is hilly and brutally hot, which makes the journey that much harder.

During the dry season, life in Thonoa is beyond difficult. Lack of rain leaves the rivers and crops dry. People who normally grow their own food must sell their livestock to get enough money to buy food and water.

Lucy explained: “The water scarcity in this region has inconvenienced my efforts in farming because I cannot plant much crops during the dry months.”

“My parents’ level of income reduces because they [cannot] cultivate crops during the dry season, which ultimately affects my studies,” Caroline said. “They cannot raise enough [money for school] fees or [to] buy books.”

Thonoa’s water is not only difficult to collect, but it also causes health problems: both directly from the people drinking contaminated water from the scoopholes, and indirectly, because people can’t get enough water to clean themselves or their environments.

“My family does not get enough water for hygiene and sanitation, which poses a threat to our health due to hygiene-related infections, such as COVID-19,” Lucy said.

Caroline said: “The water from the scoop holes is contaminated, making me sick occasionally and unable to attend classes.”

The community members cannot practice proper dental hygiene and body care due to water insufficiency. Most members of the community are unable to clean their dishes after each meal. Laundry is also an occasional affair. Not only is this damaging to people’s physical health, but also to their dignity as human beings.

Reliable Water for Thonoa

Our main entry point into Thonoa Community has been the Ndithi Tuinuke 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 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.

We're just getting started, check back soon!


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