Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 760 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/09/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

The Shamberere community is full of indigenous trees. It is very noisy from the many motorcycles and tractors busy transporting sugarcane from nearby farms to the West Kenya Sugar Factory, which is located about one kilometer away from the school.

Shamberere Boys' High School was established in 1971 under the sponsorship of the Quaker Friends Church in collaboration with the local community as Harambee Mixed Day Secondary School. It was gradually turned into a boys-only boarding school, a process that began in 2008 and was finalized by 2011. As per Government of Kenya regulations, the school is managed by the Board of Management (BOM), which works closely with the Principal, who is its Secretary, the Chief Executive of the School, and the Parents Teachers Association (PTA).

Although Shamberere Secondary School has been in existence for the last 46 years, it still struggles to access enough clean water for its 720 students and 40 teachers and staff as there is no source of water on campus. The nearby Shamberere Technical Training Institute used to allow the secondary school students to fetch water from the institute's campus but has since stopped assisting them, citing their own water needs and growing student body as a priority.

Every day, the boys have to go to look for water from the neighborhood surrounding their school. The students wake up very early in the morning to begin their search for water, and have to go back out throughout the day in an effort to meet the entire school's drinking, cooking, cleaning, and personal hygiene needs.

"The students waste a lot of time looking for water from the neighborhood. Also, the students are not secure [outside the school], so the security of the students is compromised," explained Principal Robert Lumbasi, who knows it is technically against the law to send students away from the school compound during the day. But they have no choice.

"The situation of water has really affected me because sometimes I feel bad when we are told to go and look for water during class time instead of learning. It affects our performance," said student Rigan.

The main water source students rely on is a hand-dug well in the community located within a private homestaed. The water in the well is seasonal, meaning it dries up for part of the year. Even when the well has water, it cannot recharge quickly enough to meet the school's demands, let alone the community's. Students and community members end up overcrowding at the water point which wastes the students' and community members' time.

Because the well is shallow and hand-dug, the water is not considered safe for drinking as pollutants from the surface can easily enter the well water. To fetch water, people have to dip a container on a rope into the water, further adding germs and dirt into the well water. Students frequently report stomachaches, which teachers associate with their reliance on the shallow well's water. In addition, the well is a bit far from the school, and it becomes tricky when students have to cross the busy road leading to neighborhood with the well. There is always the fear that a student will be knocked down by either a motorcycle or even a vehicle.

Last October, the Ministry of Health issued the school a verbal warning, the first step of a closure notice due to their lack of water and the low number of latrines compared to the high student population. With this project, the school is looking forward to securing their and their students' future.

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 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. 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

September, 2021: Shamberere Boys' High School Well Project Complete!

We are excited to share that Shamberere Boys' High 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 settle in class now to read and work hard because we have been going to the community to search for water, wasting a lot of time. I will be taking a shower daily, wash my clothes, and concentrate on my studies to improve my academic performance," shared student Peter M.

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

The principal of Shamberere Boys High School, Robert Lumbasi, shared, "Sanitation of the school, in general, shall improve due to sufficient and clean water. Also, my students will take baths daily and wash their clothes, due to the availability of clean and safe water at school."

Principal Lumbasi addresses students and guests at the dedication celebration.

Now that the school has this waterpoint, Principal Lumbasi is excited about plans to supply water to the boys' dormitories and the school's kitchen. He also wants to install some additional handwashing stations.

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. Our drill team and staff arrived at the school to begin work. They had an audience of boys throughout the process since this is a boarding school.

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 9 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!

The students' and teachers' enthusiasm for this much-anticipated project was overwhelming when 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.

The celebration was managed by a few selected students and teachers and attended by the area chief, school board vice chairman, and school principal who all gave speeches. The school administration promised to take care of the water point and VIP latrines. The student health club champions committed to informing other students on the importance of taking care of the project.

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines 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 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, Amos Misigo, and Janet Kayi deployed to the site to lead the event, which was held under a shade tree in an open field.

The Principal had also recruited some of the school board members and the local area chief to participate in the training so, in the end, a total of 35 students, teachers, school board members, and local leaders 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 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.

Everyone was eager to learn the process of soap making and volunteered to take part in the process. Most of the participants said that they will make their own liquid soap in order to generate income.

The facilitators also taught participants how to make their own face masks instead of buying them. They confessed that it's better to make their own face masks.

"The training was valuable to me because I have been taught how to make soap and Harpic (toilet cleaner). [I] am going to buy my own reagents and make soap to sell so that I can generate my own income," said Daniel J., a student leader.

We asked George W., secretary of the student health club, 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.

"The situation was not good, because I missed learning and also I dropped academically," George said. "My performance went down when we reopened the school. I missed my teachers, schoolmates and also the lessons I loved most. The period we were at home made me lose many things at school, the greatest one being learning."

George was excited to share: "I'm very happy I came back to school to continue with my studies. I know I'm almost going to complete Form Four (his last year of high school) and join the university of my choice."

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!

August, 2021: Shamberere Boys' High School Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Shamberere Boys' High 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: Progress - from a well to piped water!

January, 2023

A year ago, your generous donation helped Shamberere Boys’ High School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Calistus. 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 Boys' High School.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Shamberere Boys' High 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!

Last year, the students at Shamberere Boys' High School spent too much time searching for and collecting water instead of studying.

"We used to waste a lot of our time going for water outside the school, even at night, which was very risky," said 17-year-old Calistus M. "[Our] sanitation practices were very poor and hard because there was not enough water in the school for cleaning. Washing school uniforms was so stressful because of water challenges. Keeping in mind [that] the school is a boarding school where a lot of water is needed, not only for drinking but also for other things like [the] cleaning of dormitories, washing of clothes and using for bathing."

And since we initially installed the well last year, the school has made significant additions.

First, they safeguarded the facility by constructing a building around it. Then they replaced the hand pump with a mechanized submersible pump. Next, they elevated a tank on a platform so the water can gravity-feed pipes to a water tap. It is working out fantastically. And with the positive changes, everyone has the time and energy to put towards learning.

"Now, we are getting clean water from within [the school], and this has helped us concentrate on our studies, as opposed to [what] it used to be [like] before," said Calistus.

"Waterborne ailments are no longer something to be worried [about] because water is from [a] known source, which is also [being] treated on [a] regular basis. Now we can take a bath at any given time, as opposed to before, [when] taking a bath was a problem because of inadequate water within the school. Moreover, it has also improved time management, where we get to classes earlier. Also, we are using clean sanitation and learning in clean classrooms, which are very conducive for learning to take place as opposed to before

"The water point has helped me get enough time for my studies because we no longer have to go for water outside the school compound. Having plenty of time to concentrate on my studies, I am very optimistic [about] good performance that will enable me [to] transit to higher levels of education," concluded Calistus.

Calistus in front of the well 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 Boys' High 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 Boys' High 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.


Invest in Her Foundation
Facebook Donations
Harrison Family Gift
North Dunedin Baptist Church
United Way of the Capital Region
Chi Alpha at University of TN, Knoxville
In honor of Adnan Lalic
Paul's Campaign for Water
109 individual donor(s)