Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 1,600 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2023

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 08/11/2023

Project Features

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Community Profile

Nduumoni's large population mostly depends on farming to survive. With water being so vital, it is understandable that those who live long distances from the two sand dam and shallow well systems previously installed by The Water Project in Nduumoni feel left behind.

Before the systems were installed in 2020 and 2021, the majority of community members suffered from water-related illnesses and struggled to hang on to hope for their futures. But since the water points were built, life has improved for most.

However, those community members who live on the outskirts of the village, too far from the current water sources, are still suffering. Forced to start their long journey to collect water by 6am each day, their time and energy are wasted, leaving them too exhausted to do anything else. Their only other option is to resort to searching for water in local scoop holes of sandy riverbeds, leaving them exposed to contamination and illness.

''Now the two sand dams available cater to some members who are near the projects," said 32-year-old farmer Virginia Kimanthi shown carrying water below.

"Before we started the first sand dam, our main aim and goal were to reach many community members and also reduce the distance taken to the river. Now, some members still walk long to the sand dams, hence we've had the urge to put up another sand [dam] hopefully to serve a bigger percentage of the community."

"The distance from my home to the existing sand dam is still a challenge to me. It is still hard for me to come back from school and rush for water in the dam," said 15-year-old Mbinya K (shown below).

"If I would get a dam existing near my home, that would be of very great help." If Mbinya could quickly collect water, she would have more time to do other things like study, help her family with chores, and spend time with her friends.

Mbinya and her fellow community members in Nduumoni need an additional sand dam and shallow well so everyone can efficiently fetch safe water that allows them the freedom to focus on the most important things and dream about the future.

Reliable Water for Nduumoni

Our main entry point into this community has been the Wathana 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 Wathana 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

January, 2023: Nduumoni Community Hand-Dug Well Complete!

Nduumoni 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.

"Water from this point will shorten the long treks I had in the search for water. I hope to start venturing into farming to help boost my food and income security," said 45-year-old farmer Anna Klio.

"I originally had plans to plant trees, and currently, I have attained a maximum of 70 trees since we finished the project. Onwards, I trust I will be able to plant many trees that will help me in the future as well as beautify our environment."

"Now, I will have clean water for drinking, washing clothes, and cooking. I will no longer waste time fetching water. I really missed playing and visiting my relatives, which I will now achieve because the work is now easy," said nine-year-old Wambua K.

"[The new] trees make our environment welcoming. It is a source of income, too. Fruit trees do very well in our region. Therefore, I would love to establish my little fruit farm when I grow up. I adore what my father does and would proudly follow his steps to success."

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. 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 Wathanaa Self-Help Group for this project. The members and their families contributed tremendous amounts of materials and physical labor.

New Knowledge

As we’ve worked with this Self-Helf Group in the past, we conferred with them about the subjects they most needed refresher training on.

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.

The group's favorite topic was disease transmission, which was not only informative, but also provided an opportunity for healthy competition, as we split the group into two smaller units to identify five different disease transmission routes based on illustrations. When sharing their thoughts with the others, each group took the opportunity to critique the others' presentations.

"Through this training, I have learned how we get infections from eating dirt," said 74-year-old group chairperson Elijah Munyao. "I have also seen the need to have good sanitation infrastructures in our homes, especially latrines. Our knowledge has increased, and we are thankful. The soap training has enabled us to have an income-generating activity and have quality soap in our community."

Looking Ahead

The new water source will make everyday tasks so much easier. This group has already started to bring their dreams of agricultural greatness to fruition by starting a tree nursery. Once these trees mature, they can be planted. These will, in turn, encourage a healthier ecosystem with more frequent rainfall — a sign of hope and restoration for the people of Nduumoni.


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!

November, 2022: Nduumoni Community Hand-Dug Well Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Nduumoni 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.


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