Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 271 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2023

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

The 254 students at Mukhonje "K" Mixed Secondary School share a well with the neighboring primary school. Since queues to fetch water are always long in the morning, this means the secondary school students go without water all morning and collect for themselves and their 17 teachers during lunchtime, which makes for distracted, dehydrated students at all times of the day.

The water from the primary school's well is often contaminated due to dirty containers the students use to collect water. Absenteeism is a common occurrence due to waterborne diseases as a result. It is also unsafe for fetching due to the well's large opening.

Mukhonje Secondary School has its own 2000-liter rain catchment tank that serves the school when it rains. However, the water is not enough for the school's ever-growing population even during the rainy season, let alone during the drier weather.

"We need our own water as a school so that we can concentrate on our studies instead of wasting time going to fetch water from the primary school section," said 17-year-old Joshua K.

The school's principal, Martha Wanjala, is more than ready for a solution to the school's water issues. "We do not get enough water to use in school."

Madam Wanjala went on to explain that, due to the secondary school's use of the primary school's well, the secondary school is often called upon to contribute to maintenance fees. The well once had a hand pump, but it broke due to overuse.

"We are tired of paying money when the breakdown of the borehole occurs," Madam Wanjala said. "It really affects us because sometimes we do not have enough money."

So many of Mukhonje Secondary School's problems would be easily fixed with a close, reliable source of safe water.

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, 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

August, 2023: Mukhonje Mixed Secondary School Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Mukhonje Mixed Secondary School in Kenya now has access to a new safe water source thanks to the completion of their borehole well! Students and staff are already using the well’s flowing water, which will provide them with a reliable water source 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.

"I will have enough time to learn, and also, I will not come out of the class during [my] lesson time to go and look for water," said 15-year-old Cornelius N.


"This will enable us to clean the classrooms regularly. I will wash my hands always after visiting [the] toilets. The latrines will be clean, and we will be able to do irrigation that will enable the school to have food out of season."

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

Juma Wekesa.

"Food shall be prepared on time, no time wastage on searching for water from neighbours which are far distances away. Also, there will be no more risks of accidents along the road when the pupils go out in search for clean water [to] use. Lastly, I plan to purchase a water tank and raise it high enough, then have piped water flowing in all relevant points of the school e.g. kitchen, laboratory, toilets, and school farms," said 33-year-old sanitation teacher Juma Wekesa.

How We Got the Water Flowing

Parents, staff, and students all contributed to 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, 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 31 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.

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! We officially handed over the new borehole to the school’s students and teachers.


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.

Clean water!

VIP Latrines

Completed girls' latrine.

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

Handwashing station.

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 Mary and Rose deployed to the site to lead the event. 32 students and teachers attended the training, which we held under a shade tree.

Students practice proper hand washing.

We focused on personal, menstrual, oral, and environmental hygiene; proper water handling; soap-making and the ten steps of handwashing; the importance of primary health care, the prevention of teen pregnancy and COVID-19; child rights; the operation and maintenance of the pump, well, 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 student health club 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.

Soap-making session.

We covered the topics of drug and substance abuse and male and female relationships which were both engaging for students. Students were encouraged to focus on why they are in school, to learn, and to be careful in the choice of their friendships and relationships.


"I will use the knowledge that I have been taught to educate my fellow students at school and also my family back at home. I will tell my mum to buy the reagents and make liquid soap so that she can sell and get money for our upkeep," said 16-year-old Robai N.


This project required a substantial collaboration between our staff, our in-country teams, and the community members. 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 Kenya, Uganda, and Sierra Leone, we’re working toward complete coverage. That means 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!

July, 2023: Mukhonje Mixed Secondary School Well Underway!

The lack of adequate water at Mukhonje Mixed Secondary School costs students time, energy, and health every single day. Clean water scarcity contributes to community instability and diminishes individuals’ personal progress.

But thanks to your recent generosity, things will soon improve here. We are now working to install a reliable water point and improve hygiene standards. We look forward to sharing inspiring news in the near future!

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.


11 individual donor(s)