Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 1,138 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 12/07/2022

Project Features

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St. Peter's Khabakaya Primary School is located near the town center, so the school hosts a particularly high population. There are currently 1,112 students enrolled, led by 26 teachers and staff. The community's farms surround the school, and it is next to St. Peter's ACK Church, which sponsors the school. The community here is a very religious group, with Christians and Muslims living together in peace. The people here come from different sub-tribes who all work and live together, lending a cosmopolitan feel to the area.

St. Peter's Khabakaya Primary School began in 1978 as a community school through the spirit of Harambee, a Kenyan tradition of community self-help groups pooling resources to use for a good cause. When it began, the school had just 15 students. Despite the large population growth each year, the school has never been able to supply enough clean water for its students. Today, there are just two small plastic rain tanks on campus that students access through several taps a few meters away from each tank. These tanks' small volume is minimal compared to the school's high daily needs for drinking, cooking, and cleaning.

To make up for the school's lack of water requires students to carry water from home every day. When the water runs out mid-day, students are sent out to find more water during breaks between classes, including during lunch. This places a heavy daily burden on the pupils, who often end up being late to classes on their return. Some students do not return for their afternoon classes after being sent out for more water. Those who do return find they are tired from all of the walking and cannot focus well, affecting their academic performance.

"I am late for class every time that I have to bring water. I also get tired from ferrying water to school," said student Mariam.

Conflicts are a major result of the school's lack of water. Community members get frustrated with students' presence at community water points throughout the day, adding to the lines and wait times at those sources. Parents become angry when their jerricans go missing at school, sometimes refusing their children a container for the day. But arriving at school without water results in punishment. No one is left unaffected in this daily scramble for water.

"I have conflicts with both parents and students. The parents are unhappy because I require students to come with water from home, making them hate school. And I have conflicts with students because if they don't bring water, I demand that they go home and do so," explained Headteacher Nelson Wanzetse.

Because teachers cannot monitor where students fetch water outside the school compound, their water sources' quality is unknown and untrusted. Even water in the small school tanks is not treated, and the tanks are not cleaned, heightening the risk of water-related illnesses among students. Students frequently complain of stomachaches after drinking the water at school.

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

08/19/2021: St. Peter's Khabakaya Primary School Project Complete!

We are excited to share that St. Peter's Khabakaya 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.

"It will help me concentrate on my studies. This is because, before, I was using a lot of time going to the river, but now the water is near. I won't spend much time on the road. I will use the same time to study," said Marrion.

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

"This waterpoint will help us access fresh and clean water, thereby reducing the spread of diseases which were common in previous times. In the long run, there will be a disease-free community in the school, which has been a long-term goal," said Kisto Manya, a 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.

Prayer at the groundbreaking ceremony

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.

Excited for their new well

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 12 meters.

The team replaced the temporary casing with a permanent version and then moved to bail 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 Edmond Otieno, Emmah Nambuye, and Jacqueline Kangu deployed to the site to lead the event. Twelve students and teachers attended the training we held.

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.

The training was inside one of the classrooms in the school compound. The students sat one meter apart to observe the COVID-19 protocols. A memorable topic came up as we listened to the students share that many people in the community think COVID-19 only affects males. We were able to address the myths and rumors about COVID-19 and provide accurate information that it affects everyone.

"I have known some of the myths and misconceptions about COVID-19. I will educate my fellow students about the truths of COVID-19. This will help us to know how to protect ourselves and further prevent the spread of COVID-19," said Princess S.

Princess S

We asked Princess 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 long school closing due to COVID-19 made me stay home for so long, thereby making me drag behind in terms of academics. A lot of time was also wasted and forced us to stay in the same grade level, yet time was going by which could have been used to cover the syllabus and help us move to the next level. I missed my fellow students, teachers, and my studies at large. I love some specific subjects and while I was at home, I missed them, which made me feel bad."

"I feel good because I am continuing with my studies now. I feel like at least there's some progress I am making. I will be able to move to the next class and finish my studies and do something else."

Enjoying a clean drink of water

When an issue arises concerning the water project, 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!

07/08/2021: St. Peter's Khabakaya Primary School Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at St. Peter's Khabakaya 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

Borehole and Hand Pump

Girls and women walk long distances for water when safe water is very often right under their feet! Underground rivers, called aquifers, often contain a constant supply of safe water – but you have to get to it. No matter what machine or piece of equipment is used, all drilling is aiming for a borehole that reaches into an aquifer. If the aquifer has water - and after the well is developed - we are able to pull water to the surface utilizing a hand-pump. If all goes as planned, the community is left with a safe, closed water source providing around 5 gallons of water a minute through a hand-pump.

A Year Later: Students gain time to learn!

September, 2022

A year ago, your generous donation helped St. Peter’s Khabakaya Primary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Nelson Wanzetse. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help St. Peter's Khabakaya 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!

At St. Peter's Khabakaya Primary School, finding and collecting sufficient water was once a daily burden.

"Students used to bring water from home. Water was a major challenge since sometimes students could be forced to go the spring," said 58-year-old teacher Nelson Wanzetse.

But since we installed a borehole well last year, collecting water has become less burdensome and time-consuming.

"Water is now available in the school, and it's easily accessible. This reduces the amount of wasted time," said Mr. Wanzetse.

"The classes begin early. This has made my work as the school head easy. I now have early syllabus coverage as students [now have] enough time to be taught. I have also [a] good relationship with the parents," concluded Mr. Wanzetse.

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 St. Peter's Khabakaya 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 St. Peter's Khabakaya 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!


Bryan and Tina Dempsey
Help Squad
19 individual donor(s)