Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 950 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/07/2024

Project Features

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A.C.K St. Luke's Shanderema Primary School's 900 students waste a lot of study time fetching water from a nearby spring. Students fetch water in shifts, which interferes with their study time. The responsible students start fetching water from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., and if it is not enough, they must fetch it again in the evening to meet the demand.

"Fetching water from the spring is tiresome and a lot of time is wasted instead of concentrating on classwork," said Evaline S., an 18-year-old student.

The school shares the spring with community members, who sometimes do not respect the students' need to be in class rather than waiting in a queue at the water point. Conflict with the community at the protected spring has made collecting water a nightmare for students. They fear going to fetch water alone unless they are accompanied by a teacher on duty.

Stanslaus Murunga Mukola, one of these teachers, shared his frustration: "When [I] am on duty to supervise the students at the water point, I face challenges with the community members. I find it hard that the community wants to fetch water before the students, yet we are trying to save time for studies."

Due to the water crisis, the latrines are currently in an unhygienic state, which puts the health of students and staff at risk. Waterborne diseases like typhoid and cholera have commonly been reported, which is directly related to the contaminated water from the spring.

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

January, 2022: ACK St. Luke's Shanderema Primary School Borehole Well Complete!

We are excited to share that ACK St. Luke's Shanderema 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.

Evaline, one of the school's students, explained how the new well will impact her life. "Access to safe and clean water will help reduce the time wasted during fetching water outside the school and minimize on diseases caused by contaminated water from the community that I used to drink before."

Evaline pumps water at the well.

Teachers were just as excited as the students about the new well on campus. "Access to reliable and safe water will help me so much," said Head Teacher Standslaus Mukola. "I will be able to drink safe and clean water. Also, I will be able to save time for teaching, since before much time was wasted during lesson time fetching water outside the school compound."

Standslaus washes his hands at the new well.

Standslaus also shared how the new water point will improve the school's outlook. "I will be able to start an agricultural farming program within the school. Funds from this farm will help the school purchase material for soap-making to improve the sanitation."

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. A local pastor also led everyone in a prayer before the drill started.

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 in progress, with spectators in the background.

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 six 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.

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 Joyce Naliaka, Laodia Chebet, and Julius Mwarema deployed to the site to lead the event. 12 students (two from each grade) attended the training, which we held in an unused classroom.

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 most memorable topics was personal hygiene. When the facilitator asked everyone how often they bathe, 13-year-old Duncan S. said he like his friends only bathe three times a week at most, while the girls in the class bathe twice a day.

Duncan after the training.

"The training was of much value to me since now I have learned to practice proper hygiene and sanitation, especially washing my clothes and ensuring I maintain cleanliness of my body by bathing and brushing my teeth," Duncan explained.

"Now that training has been completed, [I] have acquired new knowledge from the trainers," said 12-year-old Salima S. "I will educate my friends and family on the importance of proper mask-wearing and social distancing in crowded places."

We asked Salima 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.

"I was so much affected by the school closure due to COVID-19 since I could not study well at home," Salima said. "All my time was spent assisting my parents and taking care of my siblings, thus I forgot everything that I had learned before this pandemic. I missed my friends and teachers so much, that I would hide in my room and pray to God to forgive and heal our land every day."

But now that Salima is back at school, she's been doing a lot better. "I feel so happy and ready to learn new things from teachers," Salima concluded. "I am also excited to be with friends play and share ideas and stories."

"Now that this water point is complete, I am planning to be [an] active member of the [health] club, to learn more about agriculture and also educate my friends and family on [the] importance of water handling," Evaline concluded.

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: ACK St. Luke's Shanderema Primary School Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at ACK St. Luke's Shanderema 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: "My goal is to achieve the highest grades."

January, 2023

A year ago, your generous donation helped ACK St. Luke’s Shanderema Primary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Javan. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help ACK St. Luke's Shanderema 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!

Last year, the students at ACK St. Luke's Shanderema Primary School students spent most of their days taking shifts to go to the community spring to collect water. They missed valuable time in class and were exhausted when they returned.

"Before this borehole was drilled in our school, we used to go and fetch water from the spring, which is about two kilometers from the school. This resulted in time wasted and community fights due to overcrowding at the water point," said 12-year-old Javan L.

But since a well was installed, things changed, and students are able to stay in class and save their energy for learning.

"For me, I feel so proud to be in this school where water is available within the compound as well as clean and safe. Ever since the drilling of this water until now, I proudly drink water from the borehole without fearing of any harm of falling sick," Javan said.

Not only does Javan feel proud to attend his school now and drink water without fear of becoming sick with water-related illnesses, but he has also poured himself into learning with bright hopes for the future.

"My goal is to achieve the highest grades and move on to the next level of my studies in life, since I have more time to study," concluded Javan.


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 ACK St. Luke's Shanderema 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 ACK St. Luke's Shanderema 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.


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