Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 493 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/04/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Even though there is a well Esokone Primary School’s students can use next door, the children still have to carry a heavy jerrycan full of water from home every day along with their books.

The only source of water available to them during school hours is the neighboring secondary school’s well, which is also shared with community members. Long lines for water inevitably mean students are spending a devastating amount of time standing in the hot sun rather than in class. They typically go last in line, as well.

Grace A. Onyango, the school's Head Teacher, knows there is a problem but is powerless to do anything. "Morning preps or lessons planned to aid teachers [to] cover [the] syllabus on time [have] been in vain due to the water challenges in the school. When students are sent for water used for cleanliness in the morning, they take so long queuing for water because [the] water point has several users who are also in need of this precious commodity."

Besides overcrowding, the hand-dug well the primary school students, secondary school students, and community members all depend on goes dry seasonally. When there is water, drinking it has caused numerous cases of typhoid among students and staff.

"We waste much of our time fetching water. Sometimes we are late to class because of long queues experienced at the water point. Most of us [have] not been performing well in academics as a result," said Brian O., a student, age 11.

The hygiene and sanitation situation at the school is also a challenge. There are not enough pit latrines for the current school population, and latrine cleaning is not done regularly due to lack of water. In addition, there are a limited number of handwashing stations, which means even more lines for the students to wait in and more time spent out of classes.

The proposed well will eliminate the current challenges students are undergoing. Having a clean water source on campus will give students back their valuable time and energy.

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

February, 2022: Esokone Primary School Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Esokone 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.

Smiling about clean water!

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.

Brian O., age 11.

Brian, a student at the school, said, "Access to reliable, safe water will impact me positively. One, I will not be missing coming to school because of waterborne ailments, and that will give me enough time for my studies. Besides that, I will be learning in a good environment as well as enjoying good sanitation facilities."

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

Headteacher Grace Onyango.

Grace Onyango, Head Teacher at the school, said, "Access to reliable, safe drinking water will [make] the running of this institution very easy. Students will not be having any challenges when it comes to hygiene and sanitation in the school. More so, the rate of absenteeism will [be] drastically reduced because having water from the known source will help curb waterborne and water-related ailments."

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.

Setting up the drilling rig.

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 7 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.

Building the cement well pad.

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!

Building the pump.

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.

Splashing with joy!

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

Boys at their latrine.

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

Handwashing station for students.

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 Jonathan, Nelly, Victor, and Erick deployed to the site to lead the event. 24 students, teachers, and village health workers attended the training, which we held under a tree shade next to the school administration block.

Training in session.

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.

Practicing safe physical distancing.

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.

Students were eager to learn how to make soap.

The session on soapmaking was a favorite amongst students and staff alike. The school Head Teacher was amazed when she felt how thick the soap was, lamenting that she had purchased soap for the school that was mostly water and color. The participants could see the value of making soap themselves.


Brian, the student quoted earlier, shared his experience at the training. He said, "The training was valuable to me because I learned a lot of things which were new to me, like soap making and more so on other hygiene and sanitation topics. The knowledge on soap making will help not only me alone but my entire family because I will teach my mother how soap is made. Since she is a business lady, soap making and selling will be another added business idea to her which [will] help her make a huge profit."

Sandra, age 12.

Sandra, secretary of the new Child Health Club, was happy to attend the training. She said, "The training was very informative and will help me to protect myself and my family members as well as my friends. Having known the cause routes, transmission, and its prevention will help me [to] soldier on with life."

We asked Sandra 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.

"COVID-19 disease hit us without sympathy," Sandra said. "Everything went [to a] standstill, rendering [the] government with no option but to close all institutions. The decision made by the government to close [the] institution made me lose a lot of time, and most of all forget what I had learned previously."

Sandra is delighted to be back at school. "[I] am very excited and thankful to God for the opportunity which he has given to us and protecting us from the disease. Now, I feel there is life."

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!

December, 2021: Esokone Primary School Borehole Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Esokone 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: Water, whenever it is needed!

March, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Esokone 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 well at Esokone Primary School last year, the students had to rely on the neighboring school's well, but it was overcrowded, and fetching water here wasted lots of their learning time.

"It was so bad that some of my fellow pupils used to carry dirty water. This was a behavior practiced mostly by boys. Most of the time, we could come late to school because of carrying water which was heavy. At times, our books used to get wet," said 13-year-old Volume A.

Since the well was built, things have been different for the students. Now, they have easy, quick access to water whenever they need it.

"This water project came in when we had so much need. Currently, we do not struggle to get clean, safe water for drinking. There is no need of carrying a water bottle because we can easily drink water when a friend pumps for you," said Volume.

Not only do students have water to drink, they also have the time back that they used to waste waiting in long lines so they can improve academically.

"It has also saved us the headache of congestion at the spring with the community members who are our siblings and relatives," Volume continued. "With this water in school, I will use my time properly to ensure [I] am doing well in my academics for good results."

Volume washing his hands at the well.

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 Esokone 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 Esokone 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.


Fellow Laborers with Christ
Bulkin Charitable Fund
9th Grade Service Project for Water
Ema's Campaign for Water
69 individual donor(s)