Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 513 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Apr 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 11/15/2023

Project Features

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Makuchi Primary School's main water source for its 513 students and staff is a partially protected hand-dug well located on a nearby neighbor's property.

The well faces several challenges, the largest being when the owner locks the well, especially during the dry seasons, leaving students and staff without water. The school administration is then forced to purchase access to the water, which causes financial strain on the school.

"The current water is not reliable because the owner must be always there when students are fetching water. But when the owner is not around, definitely we miss this precious commodity," said Patience M., age 10.

The well does not drain the run-off water properly so it ends up re-entering the well, contaminating it. A pit latrine on the neighbor's property is located too near the water point, risking further contamination. Together, these make water from the well unsafe to drink. As a result, students are affected by waterborne diseases.

Headteacher Henry Lwova shared his concerns: "The school is in a worse health and sanitation condition, prone to contagious diseases that can negatively affect the learners."

The school also has a small rainwater collection tank, but it is not a reliable source of water. It doesn't receive sufficient water during the dry season, so it runs dry. It is not large enough to meet the needs of the large school population.

A new borehole well will allow students to concentrate on their studies. Instead of spending valuable time collecting water during the school day and missing class time due to illness from water-borne illnesses, students will be able to have a bright future.

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

There is currently nowhere for students to wash their hands after using the latrines or before eating lunch, let alone the water to do so.

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, 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, 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

April, 2022: Makuchi Primary School Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Makuchi 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 also installed new latrines and handwashing stations and trained on improved sanitation and hygiene practices. Together, these components will unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

"Access to reliable, safe water will impact me much positively. [For] one, I will not be missing coming to school because of waterborne ailments, and that would give me enough time to concentrate on my studies. Besides that, I will be learning in a good and conducive environment, as well as enjoying good sanitation facilities," said Patience M., 12.

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

Teacher Henry Iwova, 52, shared, "The reliability of the water from this water point will impact me positively. The running of the institution will be very easy. Learners will not be having any challenges when it comes to hygiene and sanitation in the school. More so, the rate of absenteeism will reduce drastically because having water from the known source will really help to curb waterborne diseases."

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.

To prepare, the school helped collect 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. 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 100 meters with a final static water level of 27 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.

People of all ages came to watch the well's progress throughout each day.

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. They installed pipes and flushed them, tested the well's yield, and chlorinated the water.

Test pumping.

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. At the end of the drainage channel, a soak pit absorbs runoff, further eliminating any stagnant water.

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

Enjoying clean drinking water!

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.

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 well right on school property, there should be enough water to keep them clean.

Handwashing Stations

We set up two handwashing stations outside of the girls' and boys' 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, make sure the stations are filled 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 Nelly Chebet, Amos Emisiko, Rose Serete, and Mildred Mboa deployed to the site to lead the event. 21 students and teachers attended the training, which we held under a tree.

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

During the leadership session, students elected their peers to lead their aforementioned student health club. The club will manage water, sanitation, and hygiene. Members will be responsible for encouraging 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.

Child Health Club.

A memorable session was soap-making. All the participants were very keen and eager to learn the process and take part in stirring the soap. Students were asking about other modern soap-making methods because they wanted to venture into the business to generate income both at school and at home. The facilitator urged them to use the technique shown because the modern methods are costly and will not maximize profits.

Mixing soap.

Patience said, "The training was so valuable to me that I was able to acquire knowledge on the soap-making process and sanitation practices. In soap-making, I have fully understood the process which will help me to teach my mother how she would be able to start a business which would become income-generating, and it will help other community members on hygiene and sanitation."

Patience M.

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!

February, 2022: Makuchi Primary School 2 Borehole Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Makuchi 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: "Thank you for bringing joy to our school."

May, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Makuchi 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!

Angel M., 12, recalled what life was like at Mukuchi Primary School before her school’s well was installed last year.

"It was so tiresome and hectic to carry water outside the school compound. Sometimes, the school neighbor would not allow us to fetch water before the money was paid. We had to go far away looking for water for drinking and domestic use in the schools," said Angel.

But life is much less tiresome for Angel and the other students at Makuchi Primary School now.

"[The] reliability of water in the school compound has impacted my life positively. This is because [there is] no more wastage of time looking for water outside [the] school compound, which was so tiresome. However, we are now drinking safe, clean water anytime. Thank you for bringing joy to our school," said Angel.

Having ready access to water from the well has made a difference for Angel, allowing her time to focus her energy on other important things like learning.

"This water point has helped me achieve in [my] academic performance, which was so low. The time wasted has now been recovered, and [I've] used it to concentrate on my studies," concluded Angel.

Thank you for helping Angel access clean water and create a more optimistic future for herself.

Right now, there are others just like her in neighboring communities that desperately need safe water access. Your support will immediately go to work to provide a clean water project - and we can’t wait to introduce you to the next person you’ll help.

Angel has fun at the new well.


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 Makuchi 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 Makuchi 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
38 individual donor(s)