Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 1,322 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/01/2024

Project Features

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Mukambi Baptist Primary School is located in a bustling part of town. It is surrounded by a busy motor road, civic offices, several shopping centers, a police station, and a health clinic, in addition to the Shianda Baptist Church, for which the school is named. The school campus has retained many trees that help add shade and privacy to the learners in an otherwise highly active area.

With 1,294 students and 28 teachers and staff, Mukambi is a large primary school with a significant water need currently not met. The high student population also demands attention to sanitation and hygiene through latrines and handwashing stations. That is why in 2019, when we first started working with Mukambi Baptist Primary School, the school and we agreed to a project that would bring water, latrines, and handwashing stations to their school.

At the time, the latrines were in a particularly dire state that risked the school's closure by the Ministry of Health due to its lack of adequate sanitation facilities. That is when we decided in late 2019 to build two three-door blocks of ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines, accompanied by two new handwashing stations and hygiene and sanitation training, to keep the school from closing. The water point would follow.

Then, in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and all plans of constructing a water point for Mukambi Baptist Primary School came to a halt. It is only now, with Kenya's recent reopening of all in-person learning for schools across the country in January 2021, that we have been able to resume plans with the school to help resolve their water crisis by installing a borehole well.

Currently, water at Mukambi Baptist Primary School comes from students carrying it from one of two off-campus sources: home or a spring in the village.

The water students bring from home comes from unknown sources, meaning its quality is questionable and sometimes makes students and staff sick. Because of their small containers, the amount of water students bring in the morning is never enough to meet all of the school's drinking, cooking, and cleaning needs. The water quickly runs out by late morning, when students are sent to the spring to fetch more.

Students have to cross the busy road full of cars and speeding motorbikes to get to the spring. Students must then wait for community members to fetch water first before any students are allowed a turn at the spring. The walk and wait at the spring cost the students time and energy that should be spent learning in class. The twice-daily road crossing also puts the students' safety at risk. Teachers and parents alike cringe at the thought of an accident.

"The situation of water has really affected me. Sometimes I feel bad when we are told to fetch water from the spring during class time instead of learning. It affects our performance," said pupil Nelly.

"As a school that has insufficient drinking water, the classrooms, latrines, and staffroom are not cleaned daily due to lack of water, which is risky to our health," said Deputy Headteacher George Odenyo.

Mukambi Baptist Primary School has endured a severe water crisis long enough. It is time to complete their project by bringing clean, safe, and reliable water to their campus.

What We Can Do:

New Well

We conducted a hydrogeological survey at this school, and the results indicated the water table beneath it is an ideal candidate for a borehole well. Due to a borehole well's unique ability to tap into a safe, year-round water column, it will be poised to serve all of the water needs for this school's large population, even through the dry months.

The school will help collect the needed construction materials such as sand, rocks, and water for mixing cement. They will also provide housing and meals for the work team, in addition to providing local laborers. We will complement their materials by providing an expert team of artisans and drilling professionals, tools, hardware, and hand-pumps. Once finished, the school's students and staff will use water from the well and staff for drinking, handwashing, cooking, cleaning, and much more.

Training on Health, Hygiene, COVID-19, and More

We will hold a one-day intensive training session with students, teachers, and parents. This training will cover a wide range of topics, including COVID-19 symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention; personal and environmental hygiene; and the operation and maintenance of the rain tank, latrines, and handwashing stations. There will be a special emphasis on handwashing.

Our team of facilitators will use various methods to train, including participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation and asset-based community development. We will initiate a student health club, which will prepare students to lead other pupils into healthy habits at school and home. We will also lead lectures, group discussions and provide illustrative handouts to teach health topics and promote good hygiene practices within the school, including handwashing and water treatment. We will then conduct a series of follow-up training before transitioning to our regularly scheduled support visits throughout the year.

The school and we strongly believe that all of these components will work together to improve standards at this school, which will help lead to better student academic performance and unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

Project Updates

June, 2021: Mukambi Baptist Primary School Project Complete!

We are excited to share that Mukambi Baptist Primary School in Kenya now has access to a new source of safe, clean water thanks to the completion of their new borehole well! Students and staff are already using the well’s flowing water, which will provide them with a reliable source of water for all of their daily needs.

We installed new latrines and handwashing stations for students, and we trained the school on improved sanitation and hygiene practices, including COVID-19 prevention. These components work together to unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

"I am overjoyed in my heart. Finally, my dream has become true: I have reliable and safe water, and my performance will rise up. I will be washing my hands all the time to avoid contracting the coronavirus," said pupil Carlos.

Teachers were just as excited as the students about the new well on campus.

"Sanitation of the school, in general, shall improve due to sufficient and clean water, which has been drilled in the school. Also, the health of both the pupils and teachers shall improve due to the availability of clean and safe water at school," said Head Teacher Madam Gladys Mulinya.

"Less time wastage shall be experienced in school since water is within. This will lead to an improvement in the academics of the school. Waterborne diseases shall be a story of the past since safe drinking water is within the school. This will lead to a higher percentage of students turning up daily in school which will lead to better academic performance."

How We Got the Water Flowing

Parents, staff, and students all played a part in this well’s success. After determining the best site for the well through a hydrogeological survey, we obtained approval and a license through the government to begin drilling the new well.

To prepare for the project, the school helped collect fine sand and water for our artisans to use in making cement. When everything was ready and the students went home from class for the weekend (drilling is a very loud process!), our drill team and staff arrived at the school to begin work.

The drilling process can take up to three consecutive days to complete due to this region’s hard bedrock, so when the drill team arrived, they set up a small camp where they could rest and refuel in shifts near the drill rig. The school’s kitchen staff and a few parents helped provide meals for the team, while the school provided a safe place for the artisans’ accommodations and materials. People of all ages came to watch the well’s progress throughout each day.

Drilling commenced with excitement in the air. As the rig progressed, the team drove down a temporary casing to keep the walls from collapsing. We continued drilling to reach a final depth of 84 meters with a final static water level of 10 meters.

The team replaced the temporary casing with a permanent version, and then moved to bailing out the dirty water at the bottom of the well created in the drilling process. They installed the pipes and flushed them, tested the well’s yield, and chlorinated the water.

Following chlorination, we constructed a cement well pad to seal off the well from any ground-level contaminants. The pad includes tiles beneath the drawing area to help protect the cement from the erosive force of the water, and a short drainage channel to carry spilled water away from the pump, preventing standing water at the access point. At the end of the drainage channel, we also dug a soak pit that helps absorb the runoff into the ground, further eliminating stagnant water.

When the well pad was dry, we installed a new stainless steel AfriDev handpump and took a water quality test to send to a government lab. The results came back announcing that this water is safe for drinking!

When the students and teachers arrived back at school, their enthusiasm for this much-anticipated project was overwhelming. We officially handed over the new borehole to the school directly following the student health club training.

Students and staff celebrated the presence of clean water on campus. The event was an excellent chance for us to acknowledge the school administration and students as the primary parties entrusted with the tools we have given and remind them of our continued support as they develop. Happiness, thanksgiving, and appreciation were the order of the day flowing in all directions.

In attendance at the celebration were the Ward Administrator for Shianda Ward, the School Board of Management Chair, the Head Teacher Madam Gladys Mulinya, other teachers, the area Chief, school staff, and students. Speeches were made by the Chief, Head Teacher, and Board Chair. The school board promised to take care of the water point with the teachers and student health club acting as the champions of the project to help inform other pupils on the importance of taking good care of the water point.

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines, three for the girls and three for the boys. These new latrines have cement floors designed to be easy to use and clean, locking doors for safety and privacy, and vents designed to keep air flowing up and out through the roof. With a rain tank right on school property, there should be enough water to keep them clean.

Handwashing Stations

The two handwashing stations were set up during training and handed over to the student health club. These were placed outside of the girls’ and boys’ latrines to encourage handwashing after latrine use. Health club members will teach other students how to wash their hands at the stations properly, make sure the stations are filled with water, and ensure that there is always a cleaning agent such as soap or ash available.

New Knowledge

We scheduled hygiene and sanitation training with the school’s staff, who ensured that the training date would be convenient for pupils and teachers. When the training day arrived, facilitators Joan Were and Mary Afandi deployed to the site to lead the event. 21 students, teachers, parents, and community-based leaders attended the training, which we held in one of the classrooms. The space was big enough to accommodate all of the participants well while observing physical distancing.

We focused on COVID-19 prevention, transmission, and symptoms while also covering several other topics. These included personal hygiene such as bathing, oral hygiene, and the ten steps of handwashing; environmental hygiene; child rights; operation and maintenance of the rain tank, latrines, and handwashing stations; and leadership and governance. During the latter, the students elected their peers to lead their newly formed student health club.

The club will be significantly involved in the water, sanitation, and hygiene project management at school. It will be responsible for encouraging good health and hygiene practices amongst their peers, teachers, and the larger community. We involved stretches, dances, and physical activities between each topic to keep the pupils’ energy up and their minds active. By the end of the training, each pupil understood their role in sustaining clean water and good health within their school community.

"The training was valuable to me because I have been taught about the critical roles of leadership. In addition, it was emphasized that everything rises and falls on leadership," said Nelly, a student at the school.

"The training has taught me how to maintain a borehole. I had no knowledge about the water source. I will not again escort pupils to the spring to fetch water. Now I have time to teach and improve the academic standards at the school," said Head Teacher George Odenyo.

We asked Mr. Odenyo what it was like to be at home for most of the last year due to Kenya's national coronavirus-related school closures and what it has been like coming back to school.

"It was not easy to stay at home all those months without teaching. I felt so bad about the situation and during this period I missed my pupils. The academic calendar was disrupted and I missed teaching," he said.

"The school has really tried to manage most of the pupils putting on masks, keeping social distancing, and also we imposed handwashing facilities in the school. We have been taught how to make masks on our own, which will help some participants to make them for their families at home. By now I don't fear the virus because we have been taught how to prevent COVID-19."

When an issue arises concerning the water project, the students and teachers are equipped with the necessary skills to rectify the problem and ensure the water point works appropriately. However, if the issue is beyond their capabilities, they can contact our field officers to assist them. Also, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our ongoing monitoring and maintenance program.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

April, 2021: Mukambi Baptist Primary School Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Mukambi Baptist Primary School drains students’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this school 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

Abundant water is often right under our feet! Beneath the Earth’s surface, rivers called aquifers flow through layers of sediment and rock, providing a constant supply of safe water. For borehole wells, we drill deep into the earth, allowing us to access this water which is naturally filtered and protected from sources of contamination at the surface level. First, we decide where to drill by surveying the area and determining where aquifers are likely to sit. To reach the underground water, our drill rigs plunge through meters (sometimes even hundreds of meters!) of soil, silt, rock, and more. Once the drill finds water, we build a well platform and attach a hand pump. If all goes as planned, the community is left with a safe, closed water source providing around five gallons of water per minute! Learn more here!

A Year Later: Girls Can Now Attend School With Dignity!

July, 2022

A year ago, your generous donation helped Mukami Baptist Primary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Everline. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Mukambi Baptist Primary School.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Mukambi Baptist Primary School 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!

Before we installed a borehole well at Mukambi Baptist Primary School last year, life for everyone at the school was a lot more hectic - especially in the morning.

"It was very difficult," said the school's health teacher, Everline Busolo, 38. "Preparations in the morning were time wasted, since students had to go and get water before settling down in class. Boy-girl relationships were also on [the] rise during the students going to fetch water."

But now, students stay on school grounds where teachers can keep an eye on them. Water has made life healthier and easier for everyone involved with the school.

"Getting water has been very easy," Everline continued. "The water point saves time for the teachers, the kitchen, and [the] students. It has helped in terms of discipline, for the students are now not going outside the school compound."

Students are not only healthier now that their water comes from a reliable, protected source, but the girls can now manage their monthly cycles with dignity.

"This water has helped me in coming up with girls' sanitation plan," Everline explained. "The girls are able to clean themselves whenever they start menstruation at school and get back to class to continue with their studies. This has improved the girls' sanitation."

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 Mukambi Baptist Primary School 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 Mukambi Baptist Primary School – 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.