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The Water Project: Karima Health Centre -
The Water Project: Karima Health Centre -
The Water Project: Karima Health Centre -
The Water Project: Karima Health Centre -
The Water Project: Karima Health Centre -
The Water Project: Karima Health Centre -
The Water Project: Karima Health Centre -
The Water Project: Karima Health Centre -
The Water Project: Karima Health Centre -

Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Solar Pump

Program: Wells for Kenya

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  Installed - Jan 2012

Functionality Status:  Partner Monitoring Unavailable

Project Features

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Community Profile

This information was provided by our partner IcFEM

Karima Health Centre, Mbakalo

Mbakalo is an area with Trans-Nzoia county which borders Ndivisi, Soysambu, Mautuma, Naitiri and Kabuyefwe. Mbakalo is a beautiful high area of Western Kenya. It is hilly with small streams as well as the Nzoia river which creates a boundary between Mbakalo and Mautuma. There are no large towns in Mbakalo though you can find small shops selling basic items and on a Monday the market allows traders and villagers to sell and buy produce such as livestock, vegetables, fruit and clothes. There is another market each Tuesday at a nearby village named Lungu.

Mbakalo has no major industry or employers, most people survive as subsistence farmers. The people of Mbakalo mostly farm maize and beans which is the staple food of Kenya. There is a dairy cooperative in Mbakalo which provides a service for dairy farmers. There are primary and secondary schools in Mbakalo as well as a polytechnic and a teachers training college, and Karima Health Centre is one of two health centres in the local area.

The population of Mbakalo has grown considerably as people have moved into the area seeking employment and land for farming and living. Education is still developing in the area as IcFEM helps local people understand the benefits of education. Many people have held farming as being more important than education often keeping young people at home to help though these attitudes are changing. However, as with many other areas it is principally the women and children that are responsible for collecting water for cooking, drinking and domestic use.

A few households have their own hand-dug shallow wells, but the main water source currently used by the village communities around Karima Health Centre is a spring, with people travelling over 3km to collect water. However, high rates of typhoid and other water-related diseases back up community perceptions that the spring’s water is not clean. Furthermore, access to the spring is particularly difficult during rainy season and many less agile community members fall on muddy inclines along the swampy ground around the spring when walking with heavy water cans. Two local residents, Eunice and Rose, met with IcFEM staff member Sarah to show her the spring and talk about their perceptions of how the project will affect them. They said that they currently make 3 trips per day to the spring which even then doesn’t provide enough water for their households, but that the 3 journeys is as much as they can physically manage. Along with many of their neighbours they can’t wait for the project to begin work!

GPS is approximate

Project Updates

01/16/2012: Karima well pad constructed and pump functioning

IcFEM have been able to confirm to us that the well pad has been constructed and has cured, and that they have installed an Afridev handpump at the site in the past few days. This is a great step forward for the Health Centre. We are just pleased to have been able to play a role in that. From here on in, IcFEM are arranging a suitable time for the handing over ceremony – which we will then be able to show on these pages too. Of course before that the water is flowing and so the people of Karima – the staff, patients and the surrounding community – already have access to the facility and are using the water. We think that’s great news! 


The Water Project : karima-market-pump-installed-2 The Water Project : pad-construction-karima-health-centre-2 The Water Project : water-flowing-karima-health-centre-2

12/21/2011: Karima flushing underway!

After long delays and complications on the ground, IcFEM can confirm that the team is back on the ground and the well has been flushed, in preparation for test pumping, pad construction and hand pump installation. In the photos we can see the foam used for the flushing process. 

This is great news as it has been a somewhat frustrating process in the last couple of months, but we are now confident that we can move ahead and achieve borehole function within the next two weeks. Watch this space! 

The Water Project : karima-dispensary-flushing-4 The Water Project : karima-dispensary-flushing-4 The Water Project : karima-dispensary-flushing-4

10/05/2011: Project Update at Karima Health Centre

IcFEM have completed the community education, and report a great response from the community and a real improvement on the ground. Hygiene and sanitation has been a focus of this education, but IcFEM have also worked through ideas relating to water source management and sustainability. 

The borehole has been drilled, and although the pump testing has indicated a relatively low yield, we still have hopes that it is sufficient for a handpump. We are currently is discussions with our partner IcFEM about how best to progress, and will update this page just as soon as we have agreement on the best way forward. 

During this time there have also been some logistical issues with the District Water Office in Western Kenya relating to the paper work required. Ourselves at TWP, the contractor we hired for the borehole drilling, and IcFEM are all working hard to push these issues through, and hope to be able to complete this project soon. 

05/03/2011: Karima Health Centre - update

This project is one of ten that form a ten project programme with IcFEM and Water For All. 

IcFEM (Interchristians Fellowships’ Evangelical Mission) are a large Christian development organisation based in Western Kenya, but with support from the UK. 
They will be looking after all the community outreach on this project – all the hygiene and sanitation promotion, community liaison and capacity building that goes into our work. IcFEM are already active within the community, and have well established relationships with community members and the local leadership. They can call upon a rich experience when it comes to community outreach, and we will be supporting them as they role out their program. 
Water For All are based in South Africa, and fund the development and provision of solar water systems. Once this borehole has been developed, Water For All will come in and install a solar powered pump, tower and tap at the site. 
In the coming days and weeks IcFEM will begin their community outreach. We will bring you updates on this as soon as we have them. 
We at The Water Project are really excited about this collaboration, and the impact it will have on people’s lives. 
Expect more as we get it! 

The Water Project : karima-mbakalo-grazing-livestock-who-also-drink-and-wash-in-the-stream-water-2

Project Photos

Project Type

Solar water systems use the power of the sun to drive a submersible electric pump and are ideal for boreholes with a high yield. The pumps Water For All uses - helical rotor pumps - are among the most efficient and simple pumps in the world with only one moving part. The system can pump water all day and excess water is stored in an overhead tank. Solar pumps are low maintenance, require no manual operation, and use clean, renewable energy.


2 individual donors
Light of the Valley
Connecting Point
Pro-Link Global
BCC Ecology Club
First Congregational Church
Beulah Baptist Church of Dekalb
Kings Park Senior High School
Yakima Foursquare Church
Southwest Chicago Christian School
Ed & Joy's Fundraising Page
UArts Water Bake Sale Fundraising Page
Wayne's Water World Fundraising Page

...and 5 other fundraising pages