Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 723 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/02/2023

Project Features

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Lurale Primary School in Kakamega County, Western Kenya, is surrounded by sugarcane plantations. The school was established in 1935 by community members who wanted their children to read and write to secure good jobs in the future.

A typical school day for the 723 students and staff at Lurale Primary School begins at 6:30 am. After morning classes, their daily schedule is interrupted. The school does not have a water source, so students rush to a nearby secondary school to fetch water from a borrowed well that is overpopulated. This distraction causes students to miss valuable class time.

When they arrive, taps are sometimes locked, making water unavailable. Once unlocked, if secondary students or adults (from the nearby community) use the water, the primary students must wait and go last. These things waste time.

"Time we normally use to wait [for] secondary students to finish using the water source before we fetch always affects our studies. Like now, we are having exams but still need to fetch water for our use which makes it difficult to revise (study)," said 12-year-old Fitiriah L. shown in the photo above.

Once water is collected, students carry it back to their school, which is difficult and tiresome for young students, causing them to fall asleep in class.

The school needs a well, and the administration is willing to support the project's success by providing any required materials and assisting with labor.

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

07/07/2022: Lurale Primary School Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Lurale Primary 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.

Happy students!

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.

We asked Josiah E., 12, a student at Lurale, what he hopes to achieve now that the waterpoint is complete.

"It will help me achieve good marks, thus improving my academic records," Josiah said. "There will be no more time-wasting when going to collect water since we used to line up at the secondary school, wasting even more than two hours which could be used in doing the assignments left by our various teachers."

Josiah pumps water for Mr. Shatimba.

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

"It gives me hope and faith that [I] am [drinking] safe water since the water source is well known; therefore, water-borne diseases like cholera will be a thing of the past," said Alfred Shatimba, a 59-year-old teacher at Lurale.

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 90 meters with a final static water level of six 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.

Testing 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. A soak pit absorbs runoff at the end of the drainage channel, 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 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.

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 school head teacher and deputy headteacher and the elected leaders of the student health club were ambassadors for the entire school. 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 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, 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 Rose Serete, Mildred Mboha, and Nelly Chebet deployed to the site to lead the event. 24 students and teachers attended the training (11 females and 13 males), which we held under a tree situated near the school staff room.

Group photo of training participants.

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.

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 elected Student Health Club members.

One of the topics covered during the training was facility maintenance, which, thankfully for these students, was mostly a review. Since they had been collecting water from the neighboring secondary school, they had learned the practices of queuing when fetching water and how to handle a hand pump carefully.

Soapmaking training session.

"The training made me acquire different knowledge and skills like the one for soap making," said Marleen A., the 12-year-old treasurer of the student health club.


"We will join hands together with my fellow students who are members of the child-to-child health club, ensuring that, as their treasurer, they contribute money on a monthly basis," said Marleen. "After which, we get to purchase the soap reagents, prepare the soap by ourselves, then later sell it to the school who, in turn, will give us money. The received money will help us in growing the club."

This project required a substantial collaboration between our staff, our partners, 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 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. We have an ongoing commitment to walk with each community, cooperatively problem-solving when they face challenges of any kind: with functionality, seasonality, or water quality. With all these components together, we strive to ensure 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!

05/26/2022: Lurale Primary School Borehole Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Lurale 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 community 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.


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