Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 650 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Oct 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/04/2024

Project Features

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Burundu Primary School is a mixed public primary school located along the Malava Samitsi road near Burundu Market. The school compound is neat and clean, with trees planted close to the administration block. The school buildings are modern, with community members in the area doing farming to earn their living.

The school started in the year 1988 under the sponsorship of the Quaker Church. It was established with less than twenty pupils, but with time, the number increased to its current population of 633 students and 17 teachers and staff.

Without a water source on campus, the school relies on a well with a hand pump located in the community about 500 meters away from the school. The well is a primary water source for households in the area. However, the addition of the large student population at the water point adds to congestion, long wait times, and frustration that students have to use the community point.

The demand for water in this community and school is very high, especially during the dry season when water in the borehole goes down. This results in even more overcrowding at the water point as it becomes harder to pump water. In addition, the well is ever-breaking down due to its overuse between the community and school, which drives tensions when the community expects the school to pay to help with the repairs.

"A lot of money is spent during repairs. The school is given a certain percentage to pay. Besides that, precious time for our pupils is wasted since the water point is shared with community members, causing congestion," explained Senior Teacher Isaac Lusala.

The pupils are asked to get water in the morning, during break times, and even when lessons are on if the water runs out at any point during the school day. All of this missed class time has resulted in poor performance among the students because teachers cannot complete their syllabus, and students have no time for revision.

"Our parents and teachers are always worried when we are asked to go and bring water from the well; the road is very busy during the day with motorbikes, so it is easy for pupils to be knocked down," said student Esther.

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, the school’s students and staff will use water from the well and staff for drinking, handwashing, cooking, cleaning, and much more.

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.

Handwashing Stations

The student health club will oversee the two new handwashing stations we will provide and ensure they are kept clean and working. 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. These new latrines will have cement floors designed to be easy to use and 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, 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.

Project Updates

October, 2021: Burundu Primary School Project Complete!

We are excited to share that Burundu 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 able to remain in school because we have been taught how to handle water to ensure it's safe for human consumption, thus the rate of waterborne diseases will reduce," said Andrew K., age 11.

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

"As a teacher, [I] am very happy because initially, we have been wasting a lot of time looking for water that was not safe for our pupils. With this water point within our school, [I] am sure our academic performance will automatically improve," said Caroline Indeche(34), teacher.

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 80 meters with a final static water level of 70 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.

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.

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 Betty Muhongo and Stellar Inganji deployed to the site to lead the event. Twenty students and teachers attended the training.

Practicing a COVID-19 safe greeting.

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.

Soap making was the most interesting topic during our training. Both pupils and teachers asked questions about the price, where the reagents are sold. They were excited and all promised to start their own businesses.

"During the training, we have been taught how to make liquid soap. With water at the school, we are able to make our own soap and sell [it]. By so doing we shall have some money to start other income-generating activities," shared Caroline Indeche, a teacher and training participant.

Learning how to make masks.

Another excited teacher who attended, Erick Oduori, discussed his new plans, "Indeed, knowledge is power, there are some things that I feel will not [have to] depend on my salary alone. From next month, I will be selling liquid soap back at home and this will help to do other development activities."

"I have learned a lot during the training. With the knowledge gained, [I] am able to make my own mask, and by so doing my parents will [be] relieved the burden of buying masks every day," said Shelton Omondi.

We asked Shelton 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.

"I missed interacting with both teachers and pupils because were not allowed to move from one place to another. Everyone was asked to work from home. I had prepared myself to sit for the national examination in the next three years, but that is not the case because one full year was wasted at home. [I] am happy to be at school, and it is my prayer that this disease will come to an end so that we are not asked to stay at home again."

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!

September, 2021: Burundu Primary School Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Burundu 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: "We get water anytime we want."

December, 2022

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Burundu 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!

Finding and collecting sufficient water to meet the needs at Burundu Primary School used to be a serious problem that often kept students out of class for most of the school day.

"We used to get water at [the] market dug well," said 12-year-old Chelsea. "When [it was] broken, we went to fetch water at the spring [in] Kamchisu village. The water was needed urgently, but we came back late to bring [it]. We could [be] asked hard questions by villagers [like], 'Why are [you] going for water during school time?'"

But since we installed a borehole well on the school campus last year, things have been significantly better for Chelsea and her classmates.

"We get water anytime we want. No wastage of time," said Chelsea.

Not only have things become easier for students, but lots of improvements have been made regarding the school's hygiene and sanitation with the extra water, too.

"We used to wash classes on Friday alone, [but now] the classes can be washed any day, and [the] toilets [are] washed every day," concluded Chelsea.

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 Burundu 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 Burundu 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 - Milliman IntelliScript