Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 571 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/05/2024

Project Features

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The dirt road from the highway to Shiandiche Primary School is sandwiched between farms that grow sugarcane and other food crops in this green vegetative area that is appealing to the eye.

Shiandiche Primary School began in 1985 with 30 students, but has slowly grown to its current population of 571 students and staff. The school works hard despite all its challenges to perform well.

There is no water source at the school, so pupils have to collect water from their homes and other nearby sources to provide the water needed for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. Students sometimes retrieve water from a local well (shown below), which is time-consuming and challenging, not to mention a safety concern, especially for smaller and younger people.

The water crisis in the school destabilizes the learning schedule and makes academic progress challenging, affecting both students and teachers. Even if students bring water from home, teachers send students out to collect more water to meet the constant demand during the school day.

"I can have my lunch in school, but trust me, I'll go the whole day without water if I haven't carried mine from home. The end result is a headache that won't give me [an] easy time when teaching. All this is because there is no safe drinking water in school," shared teacher Mercy Mukabwa in the photo above.

Pupils bring water from home, and most days arrive late to school exhausted from hauling the heavy containers. If they do not come with water, they are sent home and miss out on their lessons.

The tension between parents and the school administration is growing since each thinks it is the other's responsibility to provide water.  And students feel like they can't win: they receive punishment from their teachers for their tardiness and for failing to bring water to school.

Student Benaya N., age 14, shared his frustrations: "The punishment that comes with not bringing water to school is what bothers me so much. I carry that jerrycan in the morning, during break time, and when coming back from lunch. It's so tiresome."

A borehole well is the solution to helping pupils and teachers have sufficient clean water within the school compound.

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

July, 2022: Shiandiche Primary School Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Shiandiche 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.

"We used to walk miles to collect water, and by the time we are back in school, we could get the teacher in class already continuing with the lessons. Therefore, I could miss critical information taught by the teacher, and when the exam is set, it would be challenging responding to such questions," said Gloria M., 13.


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

"The availability of safe and clean water will have a positive impact on my life. My health and that of my learners will be improved because gone will be the days when we became sick due to drinking unsafe water since we could not access clean water," said teacher Felisters Wamalwa, 40.

Felisters Wamalwa.

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. When everything was ready, and the students went home from class for the weekend (drilling is very loud!), 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 70 meters with a final static water level of 9 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.

Drilling begin with students watching.

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.

Yield testing.

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.

Building the well pad.

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!

Installing the hand pump.

We officially handed over the new borehole to the school. The school chairman and teachers gave remarks appreciating the project. 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.

Girls jumping for joy!

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 Patience, Erick, Mildred and Emmanuel deployed to the site to lead the event. 17 students and teachers attended the training, which we held under a tree.

Group photo of training participants.

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.

Happy and engaged students learning.

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.

Discussing menstrual hygiene.

Soap making was a favorite session where participants were attentive, asked several questions and eagerly took notes. They gladly assisted in the process and, by the end of the session, were well equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills.

Mixing soap.

"The training was so helpful since it made me have the idea of proper hygiene maintenance, especially personal hygiene," said 11-year-old student Yohana C.


"I will also ensure I wash my hands regularly, brush my teeth in the recommended way, then educate my schoolmates on proper ways of using latrines, proper disposal, maintenance of the facilities, and lastly, proper ways of handling water when in school and when at home," concluded Yohanna.


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!

May, 2022: Shiandiche Primary School Borehole Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Shiandiche 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: "Our Kids are Healthy!"

August, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Shiandiche 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!

Felistus Wamalwa, 54, recalled what life was like in Shiandiche Primary School before her school's well was installed last year.

"Things were not easy at all. Our pupils had the whole heavy responsibility of carrying water from different sources. Some neighbors would chase them away when they would go begging for water. With the water coming from different unknown sources, we experienced sicknesses like sore throat, running nose, and typhoid," said Felistus.

But life is much safer for Felistus and the students in Shiandiche Primary School now.

"Getting water from the borehole is much easier. Our kids are healthy, and this gives me much peace as a teacher because cases of absenteeism due to illnesses have been curbed. A lot of my teaching time used to be wasted with the students fetching water, but that is now a case of the past. Having water available in our school has lessened the burden of carrying water to school by our pupils, thus happy and active children. Our pupils have improved their standards in terms of academics. Hygiene in our school has improved. Our latrines and classrooms have enough water for cleaning. Availability of water in school has caused us to have active hand washing points,"

Having ready access to water from the well has made a difference for Felistus, allowing her to focus on teaching and no longer worry about her student's health when it comes to water-related illnesses.

"It has been easy to perform some practicals like floating and sinking due to [the] availability of water in school. We are able to do farming in school," she concluded.

Thank you for helping Felistus access clean water and help enhance her student's performance, giving them a better chance at a bright future.

Right now, there are others just like her 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 Shiandiche 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 Shiandiche 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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