Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 808 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/12/2024

Project Features

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Being one of the 791 students at St. Joseph Lunyu Primary School in the dry season means bringing a heavy jerrycan full of water to school in the morning, then going back home for another jerrycan in the afternoon. Each time, this may mean missing part of lessons.

The long walk and the time wasted are bad enough, but the water source the students are generally using to bring water to school with them has visibly poor water quality, with a usual proliferation of mosquitos (and subsequent pesticides) to season each jerrycan-full.

Surely, it must be better for the students during the wet season when the school's open, hand-dug well fills up with rainwater. Well, this just means students face different problems.

The well on the school's grounds doesn't have a pump, so the children have to lower their potentially dirty containers into the well. And while the water quality is questionable, it's far from this well's only problem. Some time back, a younger student almost died after falling in. Smaller students need to ask older ones for help every time they need to draw water.

12-year-old student, Emmanuel (pictured below), explained: "The situation is so bad because I cannot draw water by myself. This has really affected my health for some time now, forcing me to miss school at some point. When we [are] staying at school and do not have enough drinking water, [it] dehydrates our body."

Although students are the ones suffering the most for lack of water at St. Joseph Lunyu, they aren't the only ones. The school students and staff have constant stomachaches, with some reporting cases of typhoid fever.

"We have one madam who was admitted [to the hospital] just because of using this water," said Head Teacher, Peter Kausi, pictured above. "She was new to [the] school, so she was badly affected."

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

June, 2022: St. Joseph Lunyu Primary School Borehole Well Complete!

We are excited to share that St. Joseph Lunyu 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.

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.

Happy girls fetch water.

12-year-old Gloria explained how the water situation has changed drastically for her.

"I will be able to drink clean water when in school, since previously we used to drink water from the school hand-dug well which was dug a long time ago and the water was not always safe for drinking," Gloria said.

"[Also, I] will ensure that I, together with my classmates, clean our classrooms so that we receive an award for the [most] well-maintained class in terms of hygiene."

Gloria splashes water at the new well.

Now, Gloria has her eye on high exam scores. "I will be able to clean the clothes I use during the practical [exam]s on a regular basis, thus improving my performance since [I] will be so comfortable."

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

The school's deputy headteacher, Meshack Imbuso, doesn't have a reliable water source where he lives at home, so the new borehole will help boost his own health and hydration.

"I am assured of [drinking] clean and safe water, so it will keep me healthy, hence avoiding contracting waterborne diseases like cholera," Meshack said. "The food we eat in school will now be prepared using the clean water, thus there is an assurance that I will be consuming healthy and well-made food."

Meshack Imbuso on school grounds.

"There will be [an] easily accessible and reliable water source, since the water body we used to send students to collect water [from] was located far [away], and sometimes it could dry up. We are sure that will be able to access [the borehole well] anytime."

The school's staff and students have exciting plans for the water beyond just drinking and hygiene.

"We will venture into some agriculture projects like planting vegetables, onions and fruits," Meshack said. "Also, in the future, [we] plan to keep a dairy animal that will provide milk for the school."

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.

Community members mix cement to aid construction.

To prepare, the school collected fine sand and water for cement-making. When everything was ready, 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 130 meters with a final static water level of three 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.

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 the well.

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.

VIP Latrines

Girls jump for joy at having new 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 Christine, Patience, and Mildred deployed to the site to lead the event. 19 students and teachers attended the training, which we held on school grounds near the well construction site.

Students practice proper handwashing while the well pad is constructed in the background.

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 health club's elected leaders.

Student leadership was the students' favorite topic, with many volunteers stepping up to lead and participate in the health club. They were eager to learn how children can be leaders within their own schools and communities.

"[The training] sharpened my leadership skills since I have been leading my class as the student leader, and thus I will be able to handle my fellow students well in terms of service delivery," said Collins, who was elected to be the student health club treasurer. "I [will] supervise the cleaning of the classrooms on a daily basis during the school days."

Collins cups his hands beneath the well spout.

Another exciting topic was soap-making, which had students gathering around while facilitators made the soap to witness and take part in the whole process.

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!

April, 2022: St. Joseph Lunyu Primary School Borehole Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at St. Joseph Lunyu 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: "Having water in school has contributed to me improving in my academics."

August, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help St. Joseph Lunyu 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!

Collins M., 13, recalled what life was like at St. Joseph Lunyu Primary School before his school’s well was installed last year.

"I and my fellow pupils had to carry water from home every day. This used to be so hectic on us because we would be late for school, which resulted in punishment from the teacher on duty," said Collins.

But life is much simpler and enjoyable for Collins and the other students at St. Joseph Lunyu Primary School now.

"Filling a bucket only needs me to place my hands on the hand pump and pump, and I'll have water. Life in school has been made easier. I arrive at school on time every day. I have enough time to sit in class and learn," Collins continued.

Having ready access to water from the well has made a difference for Collins, allowing him time to focus on learning.

"Having water in school has contributed to me improving in my academics. My results are appealing, and I believe I'll do well in my final examinations," Collins said.

He continued. "Our teacher subdivided some farms in our school to practice agriculture. We've been able to grow kale which we use both in school and at home. We use water from the borehole to water the plants."

Thank you for helping Collins access clean water, improve in school and get the practical experience of farming that helps feed his family.

Right now, there are others just like him 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.

Collins with TWP staff and his teacher at the 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 St. Joseph Lunyu 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 St. Joseph Lunyu 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 - Heights Church
Project Sponsor - Heights Church
Selah Covenant
1 individual donor(s)