Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Nov 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/06/2024

Project Features

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Rise and Shine Special School for the Physically Handicapped was established in 2008 with support from the Area Member of Parliament Honorable Washiali. He bought a piece of land of about one hectare in size and put up two classrooms, among other infrastructure. That year, eighteen learners with physical disabilities enrolled as the school's first pupils.

Today, the school is sponsored by the District Education Board and managed by the Board of Management as a government-enrolled school with the Ministry of Education since 2013. The National Council for Persons with Disabilities also came in and built three classrooms for the school, while Family Bank supported the installation of a small plastic rain tank. Since these additions, the school has grown and enrolls students of all ability levels and backgrounds, including orphans and other vulnerable children. There are currently 177 students and 27 teachers and staff.

The area surrounding the school is a mix of businesses, residential homes, and some small pieces of land that the community members cultivate. The school is also next to the Shianda Heath Facility where approximately 300 staff and patients work and seek care, respectively, every day.

The school patches together a mix of water sources to try to meet their high daily demand, but they fall short. The plastic rain tank is very small and runs out of water very quickly, providing only short, seasonal assistance to the school. The students access this rainwater through a tap that comes out of the ground several feet away from the tank.

There is an unprotected dug well in the school compound, but this water is dirty, unsafe for drinking, and only seasonally available as well. The school reports regular outbreaks of typhoid, dysentery, diarrhea, and amoeba as a result of having to drink the contaminated well water.

The school also pays a few school parents and other adults to deliver water, but the source of the delivered water is not known, and the water is sometimes as dirty as their well water. Delivered water is also expensive, and is draining the school of its resources that would be better spent elsewhere.

When the school needs water from the well, not all students are physically able to help fetch it. The same students end up missing class throughout the day while fetching water, tying to provide for their classmates and teachers.

"The unreliable water supply interferes with curriculum and syllabus coverage. Hygiene and sanitation matters cannot be achieved here without water, making it a big challenge to the school," said Head Teacher Willis Otieno Ooko.

As a boarding school, showers and laundry are two of the often sacrificed necessities due to the school's severe water crisis.

"I don't take water after eating and I feel thirsty when there's no water. I also feel bad when I don't bathe," said student Francis.

Nextdoor at the health center, the patients and staff also struggle to meet their water needs with only a seasonal hand-dug well on their property as well. The school and health center have agreed that the new borehole well will serve them both, and the school will allow hospital staff to fetch water on a schedule that will not disrupt their students' needs.

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: Rise and Shine Special School for the Physically Handicapped Project Complete!

We are excited to share that Rise and Shine Special School for the Physical Handicapped in Kenya now has access to a new safe source of 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.

Students each get a chance to try out the new well!

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.

Francis O. pumping water for the first time.

"This [the new well] will help me to be healthy and concentrate on my studies and achieve my dream of being a pilot," said Francis O., a 10-year-old boy.

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

Mr. Oloo trying out the new pump.

Deputy Headteacher Willis Oloo, 40, shared, "This water point is going to help us improve on our performance, on [our] hygiene and sanitation matters and provide room to carry out agricultural projects."

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.

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 5.8 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.

The well pad with a handicap-accessible ramp.

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 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.

The local area chief and representatives from the Ministry of Health, the school Board of Management, and the Participatory Rural Appraisal office attended the ceremony and shared their appreciation for bringing clean water to the school.

Student leader Ramadhan shared that it had been quite strenuous for them to draw water from the shallow well using a rope, but now they will easily access water from the borehole. And the headteacher Madam Linet expressed her profound thanks and recounted how great of a challenge it had been to maintain hygiene and sanitation in this school because most of the learners wear diapers without this new water point.

Francis O. full of smiles.

Everyone, including students and the teachers, could not hide the joy expressed on their faces.

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 Jacquey, Adelide, and Elvin deployed to the site to lead the event. Seventeen (17) students, teachers, and community-based leaders attended the training held under a tree on the school campus.

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.

Participants receiving masks.

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 most memorable topic for the group was personal hygiene, where participants learned the importance of practicing good hygiene to help prevent disease. One of the trainees was very open and responded to a question by sharing with the group that they previously felt quite uncomfortable because most of the time they failed to bathe due to the lack of water, which made them smell.


Dennis W., 10, said, "The training helped me to learn that observing hygiene will help me prevent diseases and live healthily."

We asked Lucky M., an 8-year-old girl, 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.


She said, "I missed learning and seeing my friends. I felt bad staying at home for a such long time and not learning. I feel so good because I am now able to continue learning."

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!

October, 2021: Rise and Shine Special School for the Physically Handicapped Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Rise and Shine Special 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: Easier Access for the Handicapped!

January, 2023

A year ago, your generous donation helped Rise and Shine Special School for the Physically Handicapped in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Francis. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Rise and Shine Special School for the Physically Handicapped.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Rise and Shine Special School for the Physically Handicapped 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 Rise and Shine Special School for the Physically Handicapped found it very difficult to collect water from the shallow well on their campus.

"It was very risky and hard for us to get water because of our state," said nine-year-old Francis O.

But we installed a well that made water access easier for students.

"We are really grateful because we can easily access clean water without worrying or getting tired," said Francis. "I plan to work hard and pass exams. The project has helped us to be healthy and improve cleanliness in our school."

Teachers have also noted positive changes.

"This project has helped us achieve quite a lot in this school. One, our mini score has gone high because of [the] full concentration of our learners in class. This is because they no longer suffer from waterborne diseases, especially typhoid and diarrhea," said 45-year-old teacher Willis Otieno.


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 Rise and Shine Special School for the Physically Handicapped 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 Rise and Shine Special School for the Physically Handicapped – 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.


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88 individual donor(s)