Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 1,051 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/02/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Miriam Mwalati, Head Teacher at St. Mary's Fubuye Primary School, told us that she has been praying for help with the water situation at her school. "Water is a challenge, as you have seen," she said, "and water is never enough. Kindly help us meet this demand."

And there is a lot of demand.

There are 1,026 students at St. Mary's Fubuye and 23 staff members, all fetching water from the same hand-dug well. The well regularly dries up, leaving everyone to get water from wherever they can find it.

When the well does have water, its quality and safety are in question. Most people who drink the school's water end up with at least a stomachache, though cases of cholera have also been reported. The water is visibly dirty; after two or three buckets have been drawn, the next person has to wait for the dirt to settle again before they can fetch any clear water.

"We waste time here collecting water for cleaning and kitchen use," said Fredrick P., a 13-year-old student at the school (pictured fetching water, below). "We fear drawing water from this well because of accidents."

Some of the school's smaller and younger students aren't allowed to fetch water because they might fall in the well's hazardous opening. They must ask older students to help them or go without water.

It's easy to see why Head Teacher Miriam has been praying for assistance.

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

September, 2022: St. Mary's Fubuye Primary School Well Complete!

We are excited to share that St. Mary's Fubuye 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.

"Before this water point, coming to school every morning was such a task because it meant carrying my 20-liter container full of water to school. This was really hard and tiring. Now, I no longer have to worry about that, all I have to carry in the morning is my bag and run to school. Plus, I will have access to clean and safe water," said 14-year-old Fredrick P.

Fredrick at the well.

"I used to hate school because we were forced to carry water from home, but now the school will become an interesting place to be in," Fredrick continued. "I hope to engage more in my studies and get better grades but also involve myself in other extracurricular activities like volleyball, which I like."

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

"Before the water point, I easily got sick with episodes of stomach issues stemming from drinking contaminated water. But now, with the installation of the water point, I hope to reduce my visits to the hospital with stomach issues because I'm assured of safe water," said head teacher Miriam Mwalati.


She continued: "First, the performance of my class is going to improve because the time that was wasted going to fetch water after school will now be recovered because it will only take a short time to go fetch water. Secondly, the absenteeism cases because of getting unwell [and] from water-borne diseases like typhoid will now reduce."

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.

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 12 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.

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. 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. 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 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 Amos, Mildred, and Godfrey deployed to the site to lead the event. 22 students and teachers attended the training, which we held outside in the school courtyard.

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 most memorable topic was water hygiene, where the facilitator introduced the method of treating water through solar disinfection. Pupils were excited to learn that the sun can do more than just warm their water for bathing.


"The training was valuable to me because I have learned many things like handwashing, soap making, and water treatment," said 12-year-old student Stella S. "I will pass on this knowledge to extend [it] to my family at home. I hope my mother takes it up and starts an income-generating activity with it so that she can be able to make money to buy my textbooks or pay for my exams, especially after making soap and selling [it]."


This project required a substantial collaboration between our staff, our in-country teams, 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 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 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!

August, 2022: St. Mary's Fubuye Primary School New Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at St. Mary's Fubuye 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: Clean Water to Drink = Peace of Mind!

November, 2023

A year ago, your generous donation helped the St. Mary’s Fubuye Primary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Palmah. 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. Mary's Fubuye Primary School.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help St. Mary's Fubuye 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!

Palmah W., 12, recalled what life was like at St. Mary's Fubuye Primary School before her school's well was implemented last year.

"Our source at school was not that reliable as it used to run dry, most often, especially during the drought season. This forced us [to] get water from outside] of the school compound in the community. It was hectic as we traversed various areas to get to the water point. At the water point, on various occasions, it did face congestion, forcing us [to] waste time. This interfered with our usual class lessons," said Palmah.

Collecting water is much less burdensome for Palmah and the other students at St. Mary's Fubuye Primary School.

"I now enjoy peace of mind knowing that my water for drinking is safe. It has helped me utilize my time well while at school by taking my studies very seriously," said Palmah.

Having ready access to water from the well has made a difference for Palmah, allowing her to study more and improve her school environment.

"It has helped me start a campaign at school advocating for safe water drinking and how to keep the water source clean through our CTC club. It has also helped me together [with] other students keep our pit latrines and classes clean all the time, and this has made our school neat," concluded Palmah.

Palmah filling the handwashing station.

Right now, there are others 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.

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. Mary's Fubuye 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. Mary's Fubuye 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.


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5 individual donor(s)