Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 1,028 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Nov 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/06/2024

Project Features

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For a long time, Mungavo Primary School has faced many challenges concerning access to clean and safe water for its 1,002 students and 26 staff members. Students currently collect surface water or rely on collected rainwater to try and meet the daily water demands for drinking, cleaning, and cooking at the school, but it is never enough.

The surface water students collect is open to all types of contamination, especially during the rainy season when the rainwater collects waste products from the surrounding area. Diseases such as typhoid and cholera, and sore throats are common for students and staff due to drinking the unsafe water. The hygiene standards of the school also suffer since manual cleaning can not be done daily, leading to further disease transmission.

"As a pupil of this school, I experienced challenges due to lack of enough clean water. i.e., time-wasting looking for water hence skipping some lessons, sickness due to unclean water which contributes to absenteeism and poor performance, and manual cleaning not done on daily basis," said Sydney K., a student.

Daily, pupils spend too much time looking for water contributing to absenteeism amongst them and not enough time spent covering the planned learning materials. This contributes to the school's poor academic performance and minimizes the amount of learning students can accomplish, causing them to fall behind.

Head teacher John Baraza noted, "The entire school has faced challenges since past which have affected the performance of the pupils. Teachers [do] not get enough time to teach as most pupils spend time looking for water which is not enough for [the] entire population and the distance. Our school standards are poor with sickness being the great enemy [lack of and dirty water] amongst our pupils."

There is a lack of development programs at the school since any extra money families have is spent on medication to treat illnesses, contributing to poverty amongst families in the community.

Once this school has a well of its own, the time and energy students currently waste searching for water can improve their academic performance leading to bright futures.

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

November, 2022: Mungavo Primary School Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Mungavo 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.

"[I] am happy and joyful inside my heart! To me, I can celebrate what you people have done [for] my life. This is really a new chapter in life, having access to clean, safe water in the school," said Bridgit A.

Bridgit collecting water.

She continued: "Carrying water and coming to school when [I] am tired will be a thing of the past, and much time for my studies and doing assignments has been created. To me, learning will be more effective and conducive. The learning environment will be cleaned daily, and [we will] also [be] drinking clean, safe water, hence [we will have] minimal health issues, [and] this will enable my parents to develop for the betterment of me."

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

"Having access to clean water, I will be in a position to teach every remedial (study) class in the morning and ensure the syllabus is covered on time. Pupils will have much concentration in class, and lessons will be attended to. The learning environment will be cleaned on a daily basis, meals will be prepared on time, and much time for teaching will be created," said teacher Ronald Mwanje.

Mr. Mwanje by the new well.

He continued: "One of the biggest achievements I have been praying to God [for] is to ensure each and everyone performs for the betterment of my school and [to] leave a legacy that will be remembered by all. Through this project, more promotion and good results will be produced."

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, our drill team and staff arrived at the school to begin work.

Opening prayers.

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.

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!

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 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. To conclude, a teacher prayed for good health and pronounced blessings upon the project.

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 Victor and Jonathan deployed to the site to lead the event. 19 students and teachers attended the training, which we held outside the classrooms.

Practicing proper hand washing.

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.

As the topic of soap making was introduced, pupils could be heard murmuring, not believing soap could be made locally without machinery. The facilitators explained each and every step of the process and involved students in mixing the reagents. Pupils and the sanitation teacher nodded their heads and clapped their hands in excitement once they saw the results, finally believing it could be done.

Students participate in making soap.

"To me, the skills and knowledge acquired from you people are of great value and will cause a change not only for me but in the entire school. In my life, I have never come across people who can transform the lives of others. This has really humbled me, and I promise to share and uphold the spirit of good hygiene both in school and [the] community at large," said teacher Ronald Mwanje.


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!

October, 2022: Mungavo Primary School Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Mungavo 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: Recovered Time for Learning!

December, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Mungavo 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!

Esther K., 13, recalled what life was like at Mungavo Primary School before her school's well was installed last year.

"The spring [where] we got water from had low discharge and was in [a] poor state structurally. The spring box was open for contamination, and when it rained, we collected dirty water. The spring has one pipe, and we congested there, wasting time," said Esther.

Collecting water is much simpler for Esther and her friends at Mungavo Primary School.

"The water point is in the school compound and has helped us save time. We feel good accessing water from the school compound," continued Esther.

Having ready access to water from the well has made a difference for Esther, allowing her to collect water whenever she needs it and still have time for studying.

"I think this has boosted our performance generally as a school. Mr. Ronald (Esther's teacher) said one time during [the] release of examination results that the time we wasted on looking for water has been recovered, and the fruits are being seen," concluded Esther.


Right now, there are others 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 Mungavo 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 Mungavo 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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