Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 416 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/08/2024

Project Features

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The 402 students and 14 staff of Gavudunyi Friends Model Primary School desperately need a clean water supply to meet their daily needs.

Lince C., a female student, expressed how she is overwhelmed by not having access to clean, safe water to drink at her school. "Water is life, but to me, that word has lost meaning because my life is upside down as a pupil. Water has made me sick, miss classes, and feel tired all the time. I hope and pray that one day this nightmare will be over, and my life and education will be enjoyable."

There is a rainwater tank on the school campus, but even when it fills, it is not sufficient to meet the water demand of the school because its capacity is too small. The tank runs dry quickly because of the high consumption rate, leaving students to choose either to carry water from home or trek to a faraway spring that is hard to access.

Pupils most often carry water from home every morning and again after lunchtime. Sometimes they are also told to fetch water again during class hours when the school does not have enough water for handwashing, drinking, cleaning classrooms, and cooking. Sadly, pupils spend more time fetching and carrying water than being in class, leaving them exhausted and unable to concentrate, contributing to their poor academic performance.

The collected water is often contaminated, so pupils and teachers both complain of stomach pains and diarrhea, and most of them have been diagnosed with typhoid at some point.

Head Teacher Mr. Henry Siahi commented, "Lack of water in school is bad, and as a teacher and a parent, it's hard for me to run the school that has no water. I personally get sick because of the water that is brought from different sources back home by the pupils. I have no choice but to use the water because we need it."

A borehole will serve the school sufficient clean, safe water so pupils will no longer need to carry water from home and can concentrate on their studies.

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

March, 2022: Gavudunyi Friends Primary School Borehole Complete!

We are excited to share that Gavudunyi Friends Primary School in Kenya now has access to a new source of safe, clean water 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 installed new latrines and handwashing stations for students, and we trained the school on improved sanitation and hygiene practices, including COVID-19 prevention. These components work together to unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

"My life will not be the same again because I will no longer get sick and tired of carrying water from home. [I] am sure my grades will improve, which means my future is bright because I will channel all my energy to my studies," said Lince C.

Lince collecting water.

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

Headteacher Henry Siahi said, "I will now drink water without fear of getting waterborne diseases and am sure that the pupils will have enough time in class. As a school headteacher, [I] am sure the class timetables and other activities [will] run well and this will improve the school and pupils' grades."

Headteacher Henry Siahi.

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 through the government to begin drilling the new well.

To prepare for the project, the school helped collect fine sand and water for our artisans to use in making cement. When everything was ready and the students went home from class for the weekend (drilling is a very loud process!), our drill team and staff arrived at the school to begin work.

Students collecting sand for construction.

The drilling process can take up to three consecutive days to complete due to this region's hard bedrock, so when the drill team arrived, they set up a small camp where they could rest and refuel in shifts near the drill rig. The school's kitchen staff and a few 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 throughout each day.

Drilling commenced with excitement in the air. As the rig progressed, the team drove down a temporary casing to keep the walls from collapsing. We continued drilling to reach a final depth of 100 meters with a final static water level of 17 meters.

The team replaced the temporary casing with a permanent version and then bailed out the dirty water at the bottom of the well. They installed the pipes and flushed them, tested the well's yield, and chlorinated the water.

Following chlorination, we constructed a cement well pad to seal off the well from any ground-level contaminants. The pad includes tiles beneath the drawing area to help protect the cement from the erosive force of the water, and a short drainage channel to carry spilled water away from the pump, preventing standing water at the access point. At the end of the drainage channel, we also dug a soak pit that helps absorb the runoff into the ground, further eliminating stagnant water.

When the well pad was dry, we installed a new stainless steel AfriDev handpump and took a water quality test to send to a government lab. The results came back announcing that 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.

Students and staff celebrated the presence of clean water on campus. The event was an excellent chance for us 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

Girls in front of their latrine.

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 designed to keep air flowing up and out through the roof. With a rain tank right on school property, there should be enough water to keep them clean.

Handwashing Stations

The two handwashing stations were set up during training and handed over to the student health club. These were placed outside of the girls' and boys' latrines to encourage handwashing after latrine use. Health club members will teach other students how to wash their hands at the stations properly, make sure the stations are filled with water, and ensure that there is always a cleaning agent such as soap or ash 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 Olivia Bomji and Christine Masinde deployed to the site to lead the event. 19 students and teachers attended the training, which we held under a tree in the schoolyard.

We focused on COVID-19 prevention, transmission, and symptoms while also covering several other topics. These included personal hygiene such as bathing, oral hygiene, and the ten steps of handwashing; environmental hygiene; child rights; operation and maintenance of the rain tank, latrines, and handwashing stations; and leadership and governance. During the latter, the students elected their peers to lead their newly formed student health club.

Students practicing handwashing.

The club will be significantly involved in the water, sanitation, and hygiene project management at school. It will be responsible for encouraging good health and hygiene practices amongst their peers, teachers, and the larger community. We involved stretches, dances, and physical activities between each topic to keep the pupils' energy up and their minds active. By the end of the training, each pupil understood their role in sustaining clean water and good health within their school community.

Soap making was the most popular topic during the training. Participants were shocked to learn they could make soap without machines and electricity and instead only required water, a basin, a cooking stick, and reagents. They promised to teach other pupils and their parents how to make soap since it was so easy.

Abigael M., 12, said, "This training made me realize how I have been ignorant and doing things wrong. I now know the importance of general hygiene and sanitation here in school and back home. I will ensure that I wash my hands, brush my teeth, take bath at least twice a day, and be clean always because it is healthy."


We asked 12-year-old Kelvin M. what it was like to be at home for most of the last year due to Kenya's national coronavirus-related school closures and what it has been like coming back to school.


"I missed my friends and teachers because we stayed at home for so long. I feel relieved because being at home was like being caged. I can now socialize face to face with my friends and teachers."

He continued, "I will ensure that I wash my hands [as] many times as possible because we now have enough handwashing soap in school. I will practice [the] same at home by guiding my parents to make a leaky tin, which will enable us [to] maintain hand hygiene."

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!

February, 2022: Gavudunyi Friends Model Primary School Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Gavudunyi Friends Model 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: Water = Academic Achievement!

May, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Gavudunyi Friends 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!

Brian A., 14, recalled what life was like at Gavudunyi Friends Primary School before his school’s well was installed last year.

"It was so challenging to get water before. This is because we had to move outside the school compound to look for water for drinking and domestic use. During [the] dry season, we had a lot of challenges because the unprotected springs around the school dried up, which forced us to go far away looking for water, which was so tiresome," said Brian.

But life is much more enjoyable and less exhausting for Brian and the other students at Gavudunyi now.

"[The] availability of water in the school compound has helped a lot. Firstly, no wastage of time looking for water outside [the] school compound. Second, [I am] drinking safe and clean water, which has impacted my life positively because I am no longer being affected by waterborne related diseases," said Brian.

Having ready access to water from the well has made a difference for Brian, allowing him more time to study instead of wasting time constantly searching for water.

"The water point has helped me achieve in academic performance since the time wastage is now [reduced], so I am able now to concentrate on my studies. Thank you," Brian concluded.

Thank you for helping Brian access clean water and invest more time learning so he will hopefully have a brighter 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.

Brian enjoys a drink of clean water from the well.

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 Gavudunyi Friends 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 Gavudunyi Friends 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.


Solomons Porch Sunday School Class
In Memory of Mary R Strobel Birchler
31 individual donor(s)