Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 1,213 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Apr 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/13/2024

Project Features

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Shamberere Primary School is located in Mahira, in Kakamega County. It was established in 1940 under the sponsorship of the Friends Church in collaboration with the local community. It is a government school managed by the Board of Management and the Parents Teachers Association.

The population of the primary school has skyrocketed to nearly 1,000 students. From this school, other institutions (Shamberere Boys High School and Shamberere Technical Training Institute) have been established to continue student's educations.

Students must bring water from their respective homes every day for the school. It is drawn from various sources that are often unsafe, and waterborne diseases like diarrhea and typhoid are prevalent. This affects students' health, leading to absenteeism and a decline in the academic performance of the school.

"I have suffered in this school. Sometimes I have a lot of work to do, and you are told to go and look for water. It makes us not perform well in class," said Meldrine, a 14-year-old female student.

When students need to collect water during school, they must walk quite a distance to the local spring or a nearby passing stream. The road they cross in front of the school is very busy and dangerous due to tractors carrying sugarcane to the West Kenya Sugar Company factory as well as motorbikes.

"Water is life. Without water, things will not move. I have a big student population, and the water brought from their homes is not enough during the daytime. Pupils are forced to leave classes to go and look for water, which interferes with the lessons. Many accidents occur when they cross the road," said Moses Juma, headteacher.

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 the hand-pump. Once finished, water from the well will then be used by the school’s students and staff for drinking, handwashing, cooking, cleaning, and much more.

We and the school 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 will help unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

Handwashing Stations

There is currently nowhere for students to wash their hands after using the latrines or before eating lunch, let alone the water to do so.

The student health club will oversee the two new handwashing stations we will provide, and make sure they are kept clean and in working condition. The club leaders will fill the handwashing stations with water daily and make sure they are always supplied with a cleaning agent such as soap or ash.

VIP Latrines

Two triple-door latrine blocks will be constructed with local materials that the school will help gather. Three doors will serve the girls and three doors will serve the boys. All of these new latrines will have cement floors that are designed to be easy to use and to clean. And with a rain tank right on school property, there should be enough water to keep them clean.

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 a variety of 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 at home. We will also lead lectures, group discussions, and provide illustrative handouts to teach health topics and ways to promote good hygiene practices within the school including handwashing and water treatment. We will then conduct a series of follow-up trainings before transitioning to our regularly scheduled support visits throughout the year.

Project Updates

April, 2022: Shamberere Primary School Borehole Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Shamberere 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 will now settle in the class and read," said 13-year-old Moses A.


"We have been wasting time going to look for water to clean classes and latrines. I will be washing my hands regularly with running water. In addition, I will now perform better academically."

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

"The sanitation of the school in general shall improve due to the availability of sufficient and clean water," said teacher Loiter Khakai, 34. "The performance of the pupils will improve because they will not go and look for water again. The classes and latrines will be clean. Performance academically will improve because the pupils will concentrate on their studies."

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 90 meters with a final static water level of five meters.

The team replaced the temporary casing with a permanent version and then bailed out the dirty water at the bottom of the well. 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.

The event was presided over by some members of the school board, the deputy head teacher, and a few teachers and pupils. The school administration promised to take 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 well 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 Mary Afandi, Victor Musemi, and Elvis Afuya deployed to the site to lead the event. 23 students and teachers attended the training.

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 well and pump, 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.

The newly elected president of the health club, Moses L. (15), said, "The training was awesome since the facilitators shared new techniques of hygiene and sanitation. It is going to help me to cope with sanitation issues in my life, having full knowledge of the same."

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 students enjoyed the soap-making exercise the most, with many students volunteering to stir the mixture as it was made.


When an issue arises concerning the well, 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!

March, 2022: Shamberere Primary School Borehole Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Shamberere 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!

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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: More time to study!

March, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Shamberere 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!

The students at Shamberere Primary School spent most of their day finding and collecting water to meet their daily needs leaving them exhausted and unable to fully concentrate on learning.

"It was very hard because we had no reliable water point in the school. So getting water was coming with it in the morning from our homes," said 12-year-old Lena I.

Lena continued: "The carried water in the morning was not sufficient; hence we were also sent for more outside the school. This was so tiresome because, at times, you [would] find the common accessed source dried up, making you go further to fetch water at other water points. The water itself was not clean, and in most cases, students could complain of headache, coughing, and even typhoid fever was very rampant those days."

Since a well was installed last year at the school, things have improved for students, and they no longer have to spend all of their time searching for water.

"We are very happy having [a] reliable water point in school. Now, we don't waste much of our time going for water in far places. The water point has given us time for studies and studying in clean classrooms and using clean sanitation facilities because [cleaning is] done on [a] daily basis as opposed to before," said Lena.

"Since [the] installation of the water point in school, I rarely miss coming to school. The water point has enabled me [to] concentrate on my studies, and [I] am optimistic to perform well in my academics," concluded Lena.

Lena in the well pump house.

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 Shamberere 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 Shamberere 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.


Project Sponsor - Yakima Foursquare Church
Given in honor of Lorraine Lincoln