Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 666 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/15/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Shaviringa's 666 students can't rely on the school's small rain tank to provide enough water even in the wet season. It is far too small for the school's high population and empties almost as soon as it rains. This sends students scrambling for water from the nearby river, which leads to devastating health consequences. Students are regularly hospitalized after drinking this river water.

"[The] water crisis in the school is really affecting me negatively," said 14-year-old student, Eugine. "The path leading to the water source is very steep, which is very dangerous, especially during [the] rainy season, which has led to many of the learners [breaking] their legs."

Gladys Shilosio, a teacher at the school, pointed out that it's not only the big things like health and hygiene that are affected. The lack of water costs students another valuable resource: time.

"Water challenges in the school have brought a lot of confusion not only [for] the learners, but also the teachers," Gladys explained. "This is because when the learners are sent to fetch water, [it] interferes with the normal lessons."

The learners have to come to school very early, miss class during the day, and leave school late, which leaves little time for study or play. "Most of the time, I have to concentrate on fetching water to be used in school instead of concentrating on my studies, which is tiresome," Eugene said.

And even with all this time spent fetching water, it is never enough for the school's needs. The school's buildings and latrines are hardly ever cleaned, which only adds to the health problems the students are experiencing. A reliable, safe water source and a few more latrines will go a long way in improving these children's lives.

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

June, 2022: Shaviringa Primary School Borehole Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Shaviringa 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.

"Access to reliable, safe water from this water point will impact me positively because I will get enough time to concentrate on my studies," said 12-year-old Wenslause K. "I will not [be] prone to long queues at the water point since the water is available all the time."

Wenslause, front left, celebrates clean water with her classmates.

"My plan is to improve in academic performance because, as per now, I have plenty of time to utilize in my studies," Wenslause continued. "I will not be sent by my teacher to go far away from the school fetching water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. I will [reach] my dreams."

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

"Access to reliable, safe water from this water point will impact me positively because I will be accessing safe, clean water which is free from contamination and available all the time," said headteacher Stanley Imohi, 57.

"The water point will help me achieve a lot because there will be no more wastage of time and money, going to a nearby market [and] buying water for drinking."

Stanley Imohi.

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 100 meters with a final static water level of 20 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.

Testing the well.

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 show this water is 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.

The school community was very grateful for having reliable water in their compound. The headteacher was very happy. He said that this project is making invisible visible because the school could not have invested in the water point on its own.

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines: three for the girls and three for the boys. 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 of the girls’ and boys’ 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 Njeri and Joel Otuya deployed to the site to lead the event. 32 students and teachers attended the training, which we held on school grounds.

Opening prayer at the training session.

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.

Shaviringa's pupils' favorite topic was soap-making, which they had previously thought could only be made using specialized machines. They were excited to hear that soap contains ingredients found in many Kenyan households. All the students clamored to see the soap as the ingredients were added and mixed in.

"The training impacted me positively because there were some things that I did not know, like handwashing," said Stenslause. "I used to wash my hands in a wide basin without soap, and most of the time, I used to be sick. The ten steps of handwashing will help me to wash my hands without missing to touch all the parts, thus leaving my hands without germs."

Stenslause on the day of the training.

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 our field officers to assist them. Also, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our ongoing monitoring and maintenance program.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

April, 2022: Shaviringa Primary School Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Shaviringa 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: Time for Learning!

June, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Shaviringa 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!

Emarko M., 15, recalled what life was like at Shaviringa Primary School before his school’s well was installed last year.

"We had to go [to] the spring to get water for school. The water was used to prepare meals for teachers, [the] animals use, and sanitation activities. The spring is far from school; thus, [it] really took our time getting there," said Marko.

But life is much simpler for Emarko and the other students at Shaviringa now.

"I carry [an] easy bag of only books, unlike before where I had to carry water also. I have sufficient time at home to help my parents with other chores in the evening after school, unlike before [when] I used that time to [go to] the stream to find water to carry to school," Emarko said.

Having ready access to water from the well has made a difference for Emarko, allowing him more time class in class to learn.

"I have learned a lot in class due to [the] time I spend in the classroom with [my] teacher's full attendance to lessons. We have also managed our time well and improved steadily in our performance," said Emarko.

Thank you for helping Emarko access clean water and have the energy and time to improve his future.

Right now, there are others just like him 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.

Emarko collecting water.

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 Shaviringa 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 Shaviringa 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.


Jacki and Rob
4 individual donor(s)