Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 991 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/02/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Most community members in this area engage in small-scale farming of maize, vegetables, and sugar cane. Some have small businesses such as kiosks that provide the community needed goods or do casual labor.

Since this area runs along the Nandi Escarpment, it is a bit rocky but vegetative. There is a unique blending of people in this region, so most community members speak two Bantu languages, Luhya and Nandi.

Munanga Primary School began as a community school in 2006. In 2007, it became a government school and received its first headteacher. The classrooms were made of mud until 2011 when donated funds from Europe helped construct permanent classrooms. In 2013, the Kakamega County government added three permanent classrooms, and the school took its first national exams.

Currently, the main source of water for the school is surface water from a nearby stream which is seasonal and open to contamination. Access is challenging because it is on privately owned land, and the owner often chases pupils away. In 2013, there were reported cholera cases, but without alternative sources of water, they were forced to continue using it.

When the water from the stream dries up due to seasonal changes, students carry water from home. This wastes a lot of time and energy. Instead of students reporting early to school, they spend the early morning fetching water. Water challenges make these nearly one thousand pupils lag in academic performance and hygiene.

"I feel bored when I am told to carry water from home to school. It is time-wasting. But if we get this project, we will be able to save time and use water for cooking lunch here, handwashing, and any other hygiene-related activities," said Thomas, 14 years old student.

This area desperately needs a clean, safe water solution to serve the students, school staff, and community members.

What We Can Do: A 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

January, 2022: Munanga Primary School Borehole Complete!

We are excited to share that Munanga 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.

"My life will change as a pupil at school and neighbor to the school," said Ian Y. "This water will also help us improve our sanitation and eliminate diseases such as typhoid. [I] am going to make improvements in my academic performance."

Ian in front of a group of his peers.

Living near to the school, Ian's family will also benefit from the new clean source of water. "I want also to help my grandmother access clean water," Ian continued. "I will fetch clean water from here and take [it] home for her to cook and use for other purposes."

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

"This is a game-changer in this school," said Head Teacher Mr. Patrick. "As the Head Teacher, [I] am the happiest man. I will no longer send pupils to get water from unknown sources or [the] river. We have clean water here and I expect my students to perform in their exams."

Mr. Patrick stands at the new borehole.

Looking toward the future, Mr. Patrick shared his hopes for the school and its students. "I have two goals: one is to ensure the hygiene of these pupils has improved. Two is to ensure that they excel in [the] performance of their academics, especially in [the] national examinations."

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.

Curious students watch the drill at work.

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 water at 2.9 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.

Yield test.

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. A commissioning ceremony was held by the school administration, who invited the area leaders and representatives from our teams to lead the handing over ceremony. 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 preparing for their very successful careers in modeling in front of their new 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 Nelly, Olivia, and Amos deployed to the site to lead the event. 23 students attended the training, which we held on school grounds. Interestingly enough, all of the students in the school wanted to attend the training, but we had to choose only a few due to COVID gathering restrictions.

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.

"I have learned a lot about soap making and drilling," said Ian. "[I] am going to teach [my grandmother] this valuable lesson to change our lifestyle. We will make our own soap and sell it. This will also help us reduce the cost of buying soap."

The pupils at Munanga Primary School were incredibly engaged in the training. During the section of the training on borehole maintenance (which is usually not a fan favorite amongst our younger audiences for some reason), students all answered excellently on how to take the best care of their well so it lasts for generations of students to come. When we asked for a student representative to lead the well's future maintenance efforts, every student at the training volunteered.

Another favorite topic was soap-making. While students all took turns stirring the soap, they sang songs to pass the time, which left everyone smiling.

"This training was valuable to me, especially the part of soap making," said Shazine N. "I [am] going to make my own soap and also teach my mother how to make it. We will use the soap and sell [it]."

Shazine stirs the soap made during the training.


"[We] will employ what you have taught us, like mask-making," Shazine concluded. "We will embrace washing our hands with the soap you have made for us."

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!

November, 2021: Munanga Primary School Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Munanga 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: "No longer prone to water-related ailments"

February, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Munanga 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 Munanga Primary School used to waste much of their day's time and energy collecting water instead of learning.

"It was very tiresome for me carrying water and books in the morning," said 14-year-old Shazine N. "Much of [the] time meant for studies was going to waste since we had to move outside the school compound looking for water for drinking and other domestic use, which was very tiresome too."

But last year, we installed a well on the school campus, and since then, things have been different for students.

"[The] availability of water in this school has impacted my life positively because I am now drinking safe, clean water anytime I need water, unlike before," said Shazine. "More so, we are no longer prone to water-related ailments as [we were] before [from] consuming contaminated water."

With more time in school and less time suffering from water-related illnesses, Shazine's future looks promising.

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 Munanga 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 Munanga 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 - Sappy Seals
1 individual donor(s)