Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 250 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2023

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/10/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Wendano Makiioni's 250 community members struggle to find sufficient water to drink and perform their daily tasks. The water they can collect comes from faraway water points and requires a lot of physical effort, leaving them exhausted and short on time.

"The community depends on scoop holes (one shown in the photo below) and two protected shallow wells as their sources of drinking water. However, the scoop holes quickly dry up due to long drought periods and erratic rainfall," reported our field officer, Alex.

"Residents who live far away have to walk several kilometers to get water from the current water points while carrying 20-liter jerrycans on their backs or donkeys. This is a time-consuming and tedious task under the scorching sun that leaves less energy and effort to conduct activities such as farming or studies for students," continued Alex.

Not only do people have to walk up to an hour to access water, but the water they collect from scoop holes is contaminated, leaving people suffering from frequent water-related infections like typhoid, amoeba, dysentery, and stomach upsets.

"The scoop holes expose me and my family to infections, such as typhoid, stomach upsets, and more, because they are contaminated by livestock [excrement] and dust. My son, Nzangi, developed stomach issues recently, and the other children often complain of similar symptoms as well," shared Benjamin Muthui, a 65-year-old farmer shown above collecting water at the distant well.

"I have to help my family fetch water during weekends or holidays. Sometimes there is no water at home; thus, I have to forego classes and remain at home, like today," said 11-year-old Emmaculate, shown below carrying water home. "I also get tired from the long walks to the distant shallow well or scoop holes and cannot get time to play with friends or study."

"Students do not have enough water to drink at school, and their energy and time are consumed by fetching water. This has led to dismal academic performances and several students dropping out, limiting students in accessing better career opportunities or livelihoods," Alex said.

A new dug well in this community will change the everyday struggle of people to find sufficient water and hopefully give them back their time and energy for other valuable endeavors like working and schoolwork.

Reliable Water for Wendano Makiioni

Our main entry point into this community has been the Wendano Makiioni 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

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

Makiioni 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.

"I will easily draw water from this water point because it is well protected," said seven-year-old Dorcas M. "I often accompanied my mother to the previous water sources, which was exhausting. This will no longer be the case because this water point is close to my home. I will also have enough clean water to drink."

"Walking to [the] Tyaa River to fetch water was exhausting and time-consuming, and my mother could not prepare meals on time," Dorcas continued. "We could also skip meals because of the insufficient water, but now we will have enough water to cook and drink. I will also get more time to play with my friends after school."

"I will no longer have to walk to the distant Tyaa River's scoop holes or previous shallow wells searching for water because this water point is very close to my home," said 50-year-old farmer Fatuma Mzili. "I will have enough time and energy to concentrate on farming because this water point will offer sufficient water for irrigation. My family and I will be healthy because we will no longer be exposed to diseases like typhoid or amoeba that are associated [with] the consumption of water from the scoop holes."

"My cows and goats will have a nearby source of drinking water," Fatuma continued. "This will improve their milk and meat yield because they are not exhausted. I will also grow pasture [plants] on my land because I can easily irrigate it. I will also be able to cultivate various crops like bananas, kale, spinach, [and] onions, as well as cabbages, which will supplement our daily diet."

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 Wendo Makiioni Women's 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.

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.

Everyone's favorite topic to learn was soap-making.

"The members were very happy to learn the process of soap making and promised to generate income from the project," said our hygiene officer, Christine. "During the stirring of the soap, the members sang choruses to motivate those who were stirring, and this increased their patience during the soap-making process."

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

Kavata at the training.

"The training was very good," said farmer Kavata Mutemi. "I have learned a lot about hygiene and sanitation. I have also learned how to prevent diarrheal diseases. The soap-making training has enabled this group to have an income-generating activity. The training has also united the group more, and we are thankful."


This project required a substantial collaboration between our staff, our in-country teams, and the community members themselves. When an issue arises concerning the well, 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!

December, 2022: Makioni Community Hand-Dug Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Makioni 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: Adequate Food and Clean Water Helps Build a Brighter Future!

April, 2024

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Makioni 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!

Fifty-one-year-old farmer Fatuma Musili recalled what life was like in the Makioni Community before her community's hand-dug well was installed last year.

"Getting water before the project was completed was a challenging task because I had to wake up early to fetch water from the distant, shallow well or scoop hole. I would spend about two hours to go and fetch water and return home, but the water was primarily used for cooking and drinking. I was also forced to take my cattle to the distant scoop hole, which consumed most of my time. It was difficult to perform other activities like farming because I got exhausted from the long journey, and the water was not enough to conduct any farming. We also suffered from poor hygiene because the water was not enough for washing clothes, utensils, or personal hygiene," said Fatuma.

Collecting water is now much simpler and quicker for Fatuma and the other community members in Makioni.

Fatuma waters her crops.

"My health has improved because I no longer spend most of my energy fetching water. The water point is very close to my home. I am able to focus on farming and reaping a good harvest that helps me feed my family. Therefore, we have good health because we have clean water to drink and food to eat," continued Fatuma.

Having ready access to water from the well has made a difference for Fatuma, allowing her to concentrate on growing additional food and improving her family's future with a more robust income. She also feels more secure physically and emotionally in her everyday life.

"I am not worried about safety when fetching water because this water point is very close to my home. I am no longer exposed to dangers such as harassment or raping when going to fetch water. I do not have to wake up very early. I can fetch water from this point anytime during the day," said Fatuma.

She continued, "I get enough water within a short time, which has helped me in performing hygiene duties, including personal hygiene. I am also able to get more time to prepare my land for better yields because I am not spending much time searching for water. I am planning to cultivate sweet potatoes near this point, that I will sell and get more income. I will be using water from this water point to irrigate them."

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 Makioni 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 Makioni 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.