Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 300 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/16/2024

Project Features

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Because of the acute water scarcity in this region, some community members walk more than two hours each way to fill their buckets and jerrycans with salty, unsafe water. They arrive home feeling exhausted and unable to focus entirely on other activities such as farming and livestock keeping.

The arid climate means that the river that once flowed through this region is now dry most of the year. This leaves the people here with two options: buy water or dig a deep scoop hole (pictured below) where the river once was to reach water deep underground.

"I have to walk together with the rest of my family to fetch water from the water point, which culminates into exhaustion," said Cynthia M., 17 (pictured below). "Despite walking over five kilometers (three miles) to purchase water from the water points within the community, the water is salty and contaminated."

Hygiene and sanitation in the area are below human standards. Most of the community members are unable to brush their teeth or bathe because of the water crisis. Homes are not cleaned regularly. Poultry animals can also find their way to households' interiors, which further deteriorates hygiene.

Latrines are rarely cleaned, with most families pouring wood ash inside to reduce the unpleasant smell. The latrines' pits are also open so that houseflies can spread germs to other homestead areas.

Because of the unsafe water and unclean conditions, people complain of stomach aches, while others have been diagnosed with infections such as typhoid, amoeba, and dysentery.

"With the construction of the sand dam and shallow well, my water scarcity issues will be thwarted, and I can concentrate on my studies more," Cynthia concluded.

Reliable Water for Kiliku

Our main entry point into this community has been the Kiliku Self-Help Group, which comprises households 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.

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 provided 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 significantly hindered reaching their fullest potential.

We will hold hygiene and sanitation training sessions with the Self-Help Group and other community members to teach essential 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 handling, storage, and water treatment. Having a clean water source will be extremely helpful, but it is useless if water gets contaminated when it is consumed. We will also emphasize the importance of handwashing.

The community and we firmly 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 training 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

September, 2022: Kiliku Community Hand-Dug Well Complete!

Kiliku Community, Kenya now has a new water source 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 in this region! As the sand dam matures and stores more sand, the surrounding landscape will become lush and fertile, and the well will fill with water.

"[The new project] will help me because I will no longer be walking long distances," said 50-year-old farmer Mumbe Mutunga. "I will have enough water [for] hygiene and sanitation and farming. I will also have a nearby source of water for [the] construction of various household structures. We will also sell the water to other community members at a reasonable cost and earn an income."


"Being a farmer, this waterpoint [will help me] to acquire water for irrigation and improve farm yields," Mumbe continued. "I will grow more vegetables and fruits such as kale, spinach, pawpaws, oranges, and more. I will be able to earn a stable income while caring for my family."

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 the materials were ready, it was time to dig in!

First, we excavated a hole seven 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 finished, sand builds up around its walls, which will 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. We fixed four bolts onto the slab during casting in preparation for the hand pump's installation.

Next, the mechanics arrived to install the pump as community members watched, learning how to manage simple maintenance tasks for themselves. We installed the pump level with the top of the sand dam.

Conducting a yield test.

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. After installing the pump, we gave the well another few days to let the joints dry entirely.

We worked with the Kiliku Self-Help Group for this project. The members and their families contributed tremendous amounts of materials and physical labor.

New Knowledge

Our trainer conferred with the field staff about their previous household visits and interviews with community members to determine which topics the community could improve upon.

Self-help group members make a map of their community to show which households still need key hygiene and sanitation features like latrines, dishracks, and clotheslines.

Peter Mwandikwa, the chairman of the self-help group, thought the training was a success. "The training has enlightened us on different hygiene issues like construction and use of latrines, handwashing, food hygiene, personal hygiene, water sources, and drinking water hygiene, among other hygienic practices that will help protect us from getting diseases," he said. "On the other hand, we will not be incurring a lot of expenses when buying soap because we have learned how to make it on our own."

Community members learn to make their own soap.

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 soap- and detergent-making and improve behaviors such as handwashing.

We also touched on health problems in the community, good and bad hygiene behaviors, the spread and prevention of disease, and sanitation improvements.


This project required a substantial collaboration between our staff, our in-country teams, and the community members themselves. 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 their local field officers to assist them.

Also, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program. We walk with each community, problem-solving together when they face challenges with functionality, seasonality, or water quality. Together, all these components help us strive for enduring access to reliable, clean, and safe water for this community.

With your contribution, one more piece has been added to a large puzzle of water projects. In our target areas, we’re working toward complete coverage of reliable, maintained water sources within a 30-minute round trip for each community, household, school, and health center. With this in mind, search through our upcoming projects to see which community you can help next!

Thank you for making all of this possible!

June, 2022: Kiliku Community Well Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Kiliku 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: Time to Play and Study!

November, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Kiliku Community 1B.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kiliku Community 1B 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!

Syombua K., 9, recalled what life was like in the Kiliku Community before her community's well was installed last year.

"In the past, I would have to wait for my mother to return home with water for preparing meals. I would often stay thirsty and hungry till the afternoon when water arrived. Conducting personal hygiene and sanitation was occasional and difficult because water had to be used sparingly at home," said Syombua.

But life is better for Syombua now that her family has access to water whenever they need it, and it is less risky for her to collect it.

"This waterpoint is nearby, and I spend no more than 15 minutes fetching water. I get more time to concentrate on my academic studies and play with my friends. The shallow well offers clean water for drinking and cooking; thus, meals are prepared on time at home. Unlike the open scoop holes, which were at times too deep and dangerous, I now only need to pump out the water," said Syombua.

Having ready access to water from the well has made a difference for Syombua, allowing her time to play and study so she can create a brighter future.

"My academic performance has improved because I am more comfortable in class. I get to perform regular hygiene and sanitation chores. The water is also clean, which has led to improved health because I am no longer exposed to infections like typhoid or amoeba," concluded Syombua.

Syombua collects a glass of water.

Right now, there are others in neighboring communities that desperately need safe water access. Your support will immediately go to work to provide a clean water project - and we can't wait to introduce you to the next person you'll help.

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 Kiliku Community 1B 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 Kiliku Community 1B – 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 - Park Valley Church
5 individual donor(s)