Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 710 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/09/2024

Project Features

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The 710 students at Lutali Primary School share a hand-dug well with local community members. Even when the well has water (during the wet season), the water is unsafe to drink and causes illness. When the well doesn’t have water, the students must go without or bring water from home along with their school bags. The students never get reliable access to safe water.

Charles Wafula, the school’s Head Teacher, refuses to drink the water his students fetch. “I have been sick, moving from one hospital to another seeking medication. But when I stopped drinking the water from school, I am okay and healthy. I now carry my own water from home. I can't risk drinking this water." 

But the school’s students don’t have any alternative water source available. Because of this, they are often infected with typhoid and suffer from chronic diarrhea. 

"I am always out of school due to typhoid,” said 13-year-old student, Grace. “This has affected my performance in school and my parents have to spend a lot of money, so they think that the best solution may be to transfer me to another school."

With a clean, reliable water source on school grounds, students will have more time and energy for learning.

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

November, 2021: Lutali Primary School Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Lutali 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!

October, 2021: Lutali Primary School Project Complete!

We are excited to share that Lutali 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.

"The time that was wasted when I was sick is going to be recovered in books because now my health is going to be good," said 14-year-old Quillary N.

She went on to share, "The face of the school is going to change because we have enough water [on] school grounds, which will be used for cleaning purposes. Our school is going to be more neat and admirable."

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

Christine Sindani commented, "The access to clean and safe water is going to bring a great change in life because [I] am going to be healthier compared to other years when I used to suffer a lot."

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.

Opening prayers before drilling began

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 4 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.

During the dedication, pupils celebrated by performing songs and poems. Later a guest, a member of the county assembly, Mr. Leonard Soita, thanked everyone for the tremendous support to the school and community at large.

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 Christine Luvandwa, Samuel Simidi, and Rose Amulavu deployed to the site to lead the event. Twenty (20) students and teachers attended the training we held in the school compound under a tree. It was shaded and cool, making it conducive for learning.

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.

One of the popular training sessions was dental hygiene. The facilitator took the participants through brushing their teeth and the need to use a small amount of toothpaste that is the size of a green gram (a pea). One boy raised his hand and joked since he has a big mouth, that means he should use more toothpaste. Everyone laughed, and the facilitator told him that too much toothpaste brings problems.

"This training was very important to me, and it came timely. I have learned many things that I used to ignore like personal hygiene, hand washing, and soap making. [I] am able to train my fellow pupils who were not around during training," said Beverline K., a 15-year-old student.

We asked Laurence S., a 14-year-old male student, 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 closing of schools was bad. I missed school, teachers and fellow pupils who are my friends. It was a loss to me because a lot of time was wasted at home and [I] could not remember anything that I had learned."

Laurence went on to share how he feels now that he's back to school. "[I] am feeling good to be on school premises and meeting with my teachers." He also shared what he thought of the training, "The training was very important to me because I assumed that I knew how to [do] a lot on hygiene and sanitation. I really did not know, and through this training, I have gained a lot and am willing to train my fellow students."

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!

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: Better and better!

December, 2022

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Lutali 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 Lutali Primary School used to share water sources outside their school campus with community members. Collecting water took lots of time and effort, and the water often made them sick with water-related illnesses.

"Before we got the borehole, we used to go and fetch water from a river nearby. A lot of time [was] wasted in search of water. Some of us would end up drinking that unsafe water, which led to waterborne diseases," said 14-year-old Kevin M.

But last year, we installed a well at the school, and since then, things have improved.

"We now have enough water in the school. The water is clean and safe. [And] the risk involved in crossing roads in search of water is now gone," said Kevin. "The time that initially [was] spent in search of water has now been turned into academic time with a lot of programs and activities. We believe it will even be better."

Kevin with teacher Helen Nyakoa at the school 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 Lutali 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 Lutali 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 - Saint Inu