Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 135 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Apr 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/10/2024

Project Features

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When Friends School for the Deaf Givavei's open, hand-dug well runs dry, it sends the 135 students out walking along a busy road.

Even when there is water at the well, it's not exactly ideal. "Our well has no hand pump, forcing us to collect water by use of a rope tied to a container," said Head Teacher Joyce Ndiga. "The process of accessing water is risky, hectic, and time-consuming. One can easily get injured in the process."

The well opening is large enough for students, especially the young ones, to fall inside. This forces older students to miss class for the younger ones' sake. And then, during almost half the year, the well dries up, which sends students off school grounds and onto the street.

"Going to fetch water outside the school compound is tiresome," said Boniface, a student at the school (pictured below carrying water). "As students, we also risk our lives walking on the busy tarmac road."

When they get to the spring, it's often crowded, as it's shared with the community. Students wait in line to fetch water.

"At the water point, we find it congested," Boniface continued. "Much time is wasted, eating into our class time."

With reliable water on school grounds, students' time will no longer be wasted, and their lives won't be put in danger.

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

April, 2022: Givavei Friends School for the Deaf Borehole Complete!

We are excited to share that Givavei Friends School for the Deaf 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 on improved sanitation and hygiene practices. Together, these components will unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

"Water is life," said student, Paul K. "We all need clean safe water to live a healthy life. With the availability of clean safe water; I will be able to wear clean clothes every day, bathe at least twice a day, and have reliable water for drinking."

Paul carries a jerrycan.

"My level of concentration in class has always depended on the availability of water in school," Paul continued. "In cases of water shortage, I do switch off. During this time, my studies have been affected negatively. With the availability of clean, sufficient water in the school compound, I foresee ample time for my studies, and this will impact positively in my examinations."

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

"Water is crucial to hygiene standards of oneself," said headteacher Mrs. Joyce. "[The] availability of clean, safe water will help reduce [the] cases of water-related diseases such as diarrhea and typhoid. With sufficient water in the school, I see myself living a healthy life."

Mrs. Joyce stands beside the pump.

She continued: "With good hygiene standards being observed due to [the] availability of clean safe water, cases of infections will reduce, allowing me [to] spend good time with my students in class."

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 six 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.

Yield test underway.

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.

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 Rose Amulavu, Amos Emisiko, and Samuel Simidi deployed to the site to lead the event. 23 students and teachers attended the training, which we held in one of the school's classrooms.

Our training covered several topics, including personal hygiene, oral hygiene, the ten steps of handwashing, environmental hygiene, child rights, operation and maintenance of the well and pump, latrines, handwashing stations, and leadership.

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.

Everyone's favorite topic was soap-making. Everyone asked for a turn stirring the mixture as it was made.

Douglas, the new chairperson of the student health club, shared his thoughts on the training with us. "Adequate and appropriate information regarding hygiene and sanitation is key in [the] development of oneself. Today's training has been much enriching to this community. The training has shade more light to us, especially when it comes to water and sanitation. Much has to be done so as to improve our hygiene and sanitation standards."

Douglas at the pump.

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!

March, 2022: Givavei Friends School for the Deaf Borehole Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Givavei Friends School for the Deaf 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: "[The] Availability of Water Has Encouraged Me!"

July, 2023

A year ago, your generous donation helped Givavei Friends School For The Deaf in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Bihenda. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Givavei Friends School For The Deaf.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Givavei Friends School For The Deaf 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!

Bihenda O., 16, recalled what life was like at Givavei Friends School for the Deaf before her school's well was installed last year.

"For many years, we fetch[ed] water [from outside] the school compound in a nearby protected spring. This was never a walk in the park. I used to get fatigued just after water collection, and this affected my concentration in class," Bihenda shared.

But life is much easier for Bihenda and the other students in Givavei Friends School for the Deaf now.

"Accessibility to the water point is much [more] convenient. Students are able to access water with minimal challenge[s]. Water being accessible directly in the school compound has created ample time for students to concentrate on class work, which will positively impact their performance. Cases of student injuries while collecting water are now a thing of the past. Currently, the water point is easy to access," she continued.

Having ready access to water from the well has made a difference for Bihenda, allowing her to safely and efficiently collect water.

"[The] availability of water has encouraged me to bathe twice a day and wash my clothes. I now access clean, safe water for drinking, and this has not compromised my health. In this one year, our kitchen garden has been productive due to [the] availability of water throughout the year," Bihenda concluded.

Thank you for helping Bihenda access clean water and practice good hygiene, as well as focus on her studies. This will boost her self-confidence, empowering her to make a better future for herself.

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.

Bihenda fetching 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 Givavei Friends School For The Deaf 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 Givavei Friends School For The Deaf – 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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