Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 260 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2023

Functionality Status:  Water Flowing - Needs Attention

Last Checkup: 02/02/2024

Project Features

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Every morning, the 247 pupils of Itovo PAG Primary School walk to school lugging their books and a jerrycan containing water from unknown sources. The water they bring is not enough to cater to the day's needs for them and their 13 teachers, so they have to go to a nearby stream to fetch water during break time and lunchtime, too.

The school's 5000-liter plastic rainwater collection tank depletes quickly since pupils and staff depend on it for drinking, cleaning, cooking, and washing hands. If it doesn't rain, then it goes dry for some days.

After the water runs out, students resort to the nearest stream.

This source is contaminated since it is open: animals drink directly from it, and neighboring community members use the same fetching point to bathe.

The school's Head Teacher, Johnson Owino, explained: "Our pupils have the potential to perform well in their academics, but [this] water crisis affects their concentration in class after going for water. Sometimes, they miss lessons and school altogether due to illness caused by contaminated water and poor sanitation."

Cases of diarrhea and stomach pains are rampant at Itovo. There are reported cases of typhoid and dysentery as well.

Students are overburdened by worry, without any time to play. Consequently, sometimes they delay at the stream and miss lessons. Some skip school to evade the task.

"Most of our time is wasted to go look for water instead of studying," said 11-year-old student Condelisa K., pictured below at the stream. "I have two years to sit for my final exams, but I am afraid my dream of becoming a doctor will not be met because of the poor learning environment. My wish is to get a solution soon."

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

July, 2023: Itovo PAG Primary School Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Itovo PAG Primary 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.

Happy for clean water!

"We won't carry water from home or even leave school to fetch water from the passing stream anymore. The water we used for drinking was untreated. With access to clean water now, my health will get better. My life at school will be easier because I will only [have to] carry books to school. We used to collect water from the stream early in the morning, and it was very uncomfortable. The place [was] bushy and slippery; it was also very cold in the morning. This [well] will help us to perform well [in school]," shared 10-year-old Becky J.

Becky at the waterpoint.

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

"We have been using water from a passing stream to prepare meals for ourselves. This safe water is a game changer in this institution. I will comfortably eat and drink water from here. Since the day work started, I have had a lot of peace in my heart. I feel the happiness and love between [the] administration, pupils, and parents have grown," said teacher Josephine Awinja.

She continued: "I will have [an] easy time with my teacher[s] on duty and enough preparation [time for] lessons because [the] time wasted by pupils to get water will be recovered in classes. I have confidence the aspect of timekeeping is going to be achieved. I hope this will lift the school's mean score in national examinations. With this water point and a boost in latrines in the school, my big objective is to bring junior secondary here, and this will be [a] dream come true someday."

Teacher Josephine Awinja at the new well.

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.

The drill team arrives.

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 13 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.

Installing the hand pump.

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

Students at the 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 Mildred Mboha and Amos Emisiko deployed to the site to lead the event. 21 students and teachers attended the training, which we held next to the church on the school compound.

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.

A popular training topic was pump operation and maintenance. The facilitator called upon two children to volunteer. One acted as the pump, and the other child did the pumping. They mimicked how to pump slowly, up and down. The children giggled throughout the activity, enjoying the playful teaching and taking the lesson to heart.

Becky (pictured above) and other students.

"I have learned how to wash my hands properly using the ten recommended steps. This will help me to have clean hands before eating and after eating, after visiting [the] latrine, and after getting in contact with dirt. I have learned to make soap. This will help us to make soap for school that we can use for sanitation activities and even do a demonstration [for] my parents as well. I have also learned the importance of keeping water sources clean because we cannot do [anything] without [clean] water," said Becky, who was quoted earlier.


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!

May, 2023: Itovo PAG Primary School Well Underway!

The lack of adequate water at Itovo PAG Primary 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
From Jane And Mike
Lincoln Avenue Academy Second Grade Students & Teachers
CFI 84 2nd Grade's Campaign for Water 2023
WAU-Wells Around Us
9 individual donor(s)