Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 747 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2023

Functionality Status:  Water Flowing - Needs Attention

Last Checkup: 05/04/2024

Project Features

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Every day the 747 students of Emasera Community Primary School carry water from home to provide the needed drinking, cooking, and cleaning water for the school.

The search for water makes them arrive late and tired, affecting their lesson time and ability to learn.

"I wasted a lot of my precious time that was meant for studies to search for water, and as we know, time wasted can never be recovered. So I will be forced to work extra hard to pass my exams," said Dominic, a 14-year-old student.

Being that they bring water from home, knowing the exact source is difficult. Some students said they harvested rainwater during the rainy season, and during the dry season, they use hand-dug wells that a few community members have. The water collected often is not clean and has a bad smell at times leading to students being absent because of sicknesses.

"Personally, I can't drink the school water because I easily get effects, and we have some students with similar issues. I prefer buying bottled water, and if I forget to buy some, I will go the whole day without water, which health-wise is bad," said Deputy Headteacher Everylne Wandago.

The sanitation facilities of the school also need improvement. Towards the end of last year, the school was issued a closure notice by the Ministry of Health due to insufficient sanitation facilities. They have made temporary fixes, but the latrines we will build and training on hygiene and sanitation matters will be helpful.

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, water from the well will then be used by the school’s students and staff for drinking, handwashing, cooking, cleaning, and much more.

Handwashing Stations

The student health club will oversee the two new handwashing stations we will provide, and make sure 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

We will construct two triple-door latrine blocks using local materials that the school will help gather. Three doors will serve the girls and three doors will serve the boys. All of these new latrines will have cement floors that are designed to be easy to use and to clean. And with a borehole right on school property, there should be enough water to keep them clean.

Training on Health, Hygiene, 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, and prevention; personal and environmental hygiene; and the operation and maintenance of the borehole, latrines, and handwashing stations. There will be a special emphasis on handwashing.

Our team of facilitators will use a variety of 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 at home. We will also lead lectures, group discussions, and provide illustrative handouts to teach health topics and ways to promote good hygiene practices within the school including handwashing and water treatment. We will then conduct a series of follow-up trainings before transitioning to our regularly scheduled support visits throughout the year.

We and the school 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 will help unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

Project Updates

January, 2023: Emasera Community School Borehole Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Emasera Community School in Kenya now has access to a new, safe, clean water source 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 also installed new latrines and handwashing stations and trained students and staff on improved sanitation and hygiene practices. Together, these components will unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

Bridgit at the new well.

"I will no longer get thirsty because of lack of water in school. Anytime I feel thirsty, I have access to clean water. I will have enough time to study and do my assignments on time, and [I] am sure my grades will improve," said student Bridgit.

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

Mr. David Kikuyu.

"As a parent and a community member in this school, [I] am happy my grandchildren will no longer be carrying water to school every day," said farmer and school board chairman Mr. David Kikuyu. "As the board chair of the school, I will no longer hold meetings concerning absenteeism. Now that we have water in school, [I] am sure our pupils will perform well, and they will not miss school anymore."

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 from the government to begin drilling.

To prepare, the school collected fine sand and water for cement-making. When everything was ready, and the students went home from class for the weekend (drilling is very loud!), our drill team and staff arrived at the school to begin work.

Drilling commenced with excitement in the air. The team drove down a temporary casing to keep the walls from collapsing as the rig progressed. We continued drilling to reach a final depth of 80 meters with a final static water level of 8 meters.

The drilling process can take up to three consecutive days to complete due to this region’s hard bedrock, so the drill team set up a camp where they could rest and refuel. The school’s kitchen staff and parents helped provide meals for the team, while the school provided a safe place for the artisans’ accommodations and materials.

Once we reached the required depth, the team replaced the temporary casing with a permanent version, then bailed out the dirty water at the bottom of the well. The workers installed pipes, flushed them, tested the well’s yield, and chlorinated the water.

After water treatment, we constructed a cement well pad to seal off the well from any ground-level contaminants. Tiles are installed beneath the spout to protect the cement from the erosive force of the water.

We also included a short drainage channel to carry spilled water away from the pump and prevent standing water. A soak pit absorbs runoff at the end of the drainage channel, further eliminating any stagnant water.

Constructing the well pad.

When the well pad was dry, we installed a new stainless steel AfriDev handpump and sampled the water for a quality test. The results showed this water was 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.

Installing the pump.

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. 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. These new latrines have cement floors designed to be easy to use and clean, locking doors for safety and privacy, and vents to keep air flowing up and out through the roof. With a well right on school property, there should be enough water to keep them clean.

Handwashing Stations

We set up two handwashing stations outside the latrines and handed them over to the newly formed student health club. Health club members will teach other students how to wash their hands at the stations properly, fill the stations with water, and ensure that there is always a cleaning agent 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 Olivia Bomji and Victor Musemi deployed to the site to lead the event. 20 students and teachers attended the training, which we held under some shady trees in the school courtyard.

Learning about proper dental hygiene.

Our training covered several topics, including personal hygiene, oral hygiene, the ten steps of handwashing, environmental hygiene, child rights, leadership, and operation and maintenance of the well and pump, latrines, and handwashing stations.

Learning how to properly bathe.

Students elected their peers to lead their student health club during the leadership session. Members will encourage good health and hygiene practices amongst their peers, teachers, and the larger community. 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 was soap making. The participants were so excited to practically learn how to make the liquid soap [that] they asked questions and keenly followed the process. They thought making soap required machines, but they were surprised [about] how easily we made soap. They promised to be making soap for the school and even at home," shared field officer Olivia Bomji.

Students practice making soap.

"The training has made me discover how ignorant I have been concerning hygiene and sanitation. I will do things right from now on, meaning ensuring that whatever [I] am doing is healthy to me and those around me," said 12-year-old Kawa.

Group photo of training participants.


This project required a substantial collaboration between our staff, our in-country teams, and the community members themselves. 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 their local field officers to assist them.

Also, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program. We walk with each community, problem-solving together when they face challenges with functionality, seasonality, or water quality. Together, all these components help us strive for enduring access to reliable, clean, and safe water for this community.

With your contribution, one more piece has been added to a large puzzle of water projects. In our target areas, we’re working toward complete coverage of reliable, maintained water sources within a 30-minute round trip for each community, household, school, and health center. With this in mind, search through our upcoming projects to see which community you can help next!

Thank you for making all of this possible!

November, 2022: Emasera Community Primary School Project Update

When we last sent you an update, the administration at Emasera Community Primary School was trying to gather materials to build the two rain tanks necessary to supply water to the entire school population.

But after running into issues with construction material collection, we were forced to reevaluate whether the rain tanks were really the best solution for Emasera. We sent our staff out to confer with the administration and perform a hydrogeological survey of the school compound. We were ecstatic to find out that, despite the rocky and hilly terrain around the school, the compound does have a viable spot for a borehole well to tap into underground water reserves.

So, after a few hiccups, drilling is finally underway, and Emasera's students will soon be enjoying all the benefits of a safe, reliable water source on their school grounds. We will send you an update once the construction is complete. We can't wait to share the good news with you!

We believe communication is important at The Water Project. That means constant conversation with our teams and supporters, like you. And, if you get a notice like this – it’s actually further proof your gifts are being carefully used towards a water project that lasts.

If you have any questions, give us a call. 

May, 2022: Emasera Community Primary School Rain Tank Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Emasera Community 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: More Time in the Classroom to Learn!

April, 2024

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Emasera Community 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!

Benthsheba, 14, recalled what life was like at Emasera Community Primary School before her school's well was installed last year.

"Before the implementation of the project, I used to carry water from home, which was tiresome," said Benthsheba.

Collecting water is now simpler and less time-consuming for Benthsheba and the other students at Emasera Community Primary School.

"I have a lot of water available at school and do not carry water from home. Fetching water now is very fast [and] it takes [only a] few seconds," said Benthsheba.

Having ready access to water from the well has made a difference, allowing her to improve her health [and] spend more time learning and dreaming about the future.

"My health has changed because there are no more water-related problems like stomachaches. I don't frequent [the] hospital anymore. I have more time inside the classroom than outside looking for water. My position and performance in class have improved," she continued.

"My dream in [the] future is to work with health service providers to teach people the importance of using clean and safe water to improve their health standards," Benthsheba concluded.

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 Emasera Community 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 Emasera Community 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 - Imago Dei Community