Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 223 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Nov 2023

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/05/2024

Project Features

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When Elukho Secondary School was founded in 2019, the two rain tanks installed on the school grounds provided sufficient water for the school's 18 students. But now the school has 214 students and nine staff, and that number continues to grow every year, and the rain tanks are empty most of the time.

The only alternative water source is a spring that's a ten-minute walk away, across a busy road where reckless motorcyclists have been known to cause accidents. Students share this spring with neighboring community members, who feel they have a right to draw water first and can delay students in returning to their lessons when they fetch water in the morning and during lunch.

"We have not enough time to clear our syllabus and do revision (study). A lot of our precious time is wasted, which results in poor performance in our academics," said 17-year-old student Kelvin.

What makes this situation even worse is that the water from the spring has been contaminated by farming fertilizer and pesticides around the area that seeps into the spring when it rains.

Because of the water situation, the rate of absenteeism at the school is very high, which has the school administration worried. But students often complain of stomachaches, and without a better source of water to offer, attendance isn't expected to get better anytime soon.

"[I] am supposed to do follow-up [to make sure] all the students are back at school. To be specific, the girls," said teacher, Christopher Wangia. "Because in case of anything, we teachers are answerable to their parents and [the] government as well."

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

November, 2023: Elukho Secondary School Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Elukho 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, providing them with a reliable water source for 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 live just next to [the] school, and this water point will not only help during school hours but also at home because, as I know, the school will also allow community members to use it. This will make my work easy as I will have time for my studies and time to hang out with friends," said 16-year-old Shilah S.


"With [the] water point at [the] school grounds [things] will change a lot. For instance, we were just discussing within ourselves that we will be doing cleaning work every day because we no longer have water challenges. Also, we will have more time in class and improve our scores," said Shilah.

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

"[I] have been carrying drink water from home every day due to [the] lack of water at school. But from now [on], it will not be stressful again, and this alone is a big achievement both [for the] school and individuals," said 26-year-old teacher Galavi Frankline.

Mr. Frankline (second from left) celebrates clean water with other teachers and students.

"We have been having remedial classes every morning and evening, which sometimes [were] being disrupted when students needed to look for water. So with water around, we are going to strengthen our extra lessons and make sure our students achieve their goals," concluded Mr. Frankline.

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.

Groundbreaking ceremony.

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 120 meters with a final static water level of 40 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 and 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.

Building the well pad.

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.

Installing the pump.

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.

VIP Latrines

Boys in front of their new 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

Girls fill one of the school's new 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 Stella and Jemmimah deployed to the site to lead the event. 22 students and teachers attended the training, which we held outside under a tree to shelter everyone from the sun.

Learning proper handwashing techniques.

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.

Participants learn how to make soap.

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.

"Being that it's a young developing school, they had not put in place a health club, so the school took advantage of the training to start that club. The school happily welcomed the idea, and students quickly volunteered to spearhead the club, and they elected their leaders," said field officer Stella Inganji.

The elected student health club members and staff.

"The training was good and very educative. As a school, we have managed to form a child-to-child health club. [I] am also glad to learn leadership skills which [I] am going to practice being that [I] have been elected as chairperson to lead this club," said 18-year-old Ramathan Bakari (third from the right in the photo above).


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!

September, 2023: Elukho Secondary School Well Underway

The lack of adequate water at Elukho 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

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!


Project Sponsor - PKS The Harvest
5 individual donor(s)