Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 376 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2023

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/03/2024

Project Features

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The 361 students at Gamuguywa Primary School make several trips a day to collect water from a stream located over a kilometer away.

Students go to the stream during their breaks, lunch times, or sometimes even during their class time. It is an exhausting, burdensome task for students to collect sufficient water for the entire school's cooking, cleaning, and handwashing needs.

There is a 1000-liter rain tank on the school campus solely meant for drinking water, but it is too small and cannot hold enough water to last more than a couple of days. During the dry season, the tank sits entirely empty, and everyone must resort to drinking the water from the stream instead.

"Fetching water from the stream is very dangerous for us since one might slip and fall into the water. During rainy seasons the water in the stream increases in volume, posing a danger of drowning. We also get sick frequently because of drinking contaminated water," said 10-year-old Faith K (shown above at the stream).

The stream water is contaminated by people washing clothes and bathing, animals defecating nearby, as well as fertilizer runoff from nearby farms. Those consuming it become sick with water-related illnesses.

Field officer Christine Masinde said, "Water from the stream is filthy and colored. It is not suitable for human consumption, but since students have no choice, they take it without any form of treatment. Water from the rainwater harvesting tank lasts for a few days, and during dry seasons, it is always dry."

Christine continued: "Class time is wasted as students walk to the stream to get dirty water. Also, parents are not able to provide for the school requirements since the little money they have is to be divided between providing for the family's basic needs and financing treatment for waterborne and water-related diseases."

"When I was transferred to this school a year ago, I drank water from the stream, then after a few hours, I lost my voice! I did not know the cause, but one of the staff members mentioned to me that it might be caused by the infection from dirty water," said headteacher Collins Ogola (pictured below).

"I had to go and find out where water is fetched from, and I was heartbroken," Collins continued. "I found community members washing clothes and taking baths in the same place where students fetch water from! I really wanted to provide an immediate solution, but the school cannot afford to come up with the money to construct a water source on its own."

Hopefully, with a well on the school campus, students should be able to return to learning and enjoying their free time, and everyone should have less risk of becoming ill from drinking dirty water.

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

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

May, 2023: Gamuguywa Primary School New Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Gamuguywa Primary School in Kenya now has access to a new safe water source thanks to the completion of their borehole well! Students and staff are already using the well’s flowing water, which will provide them with a reliable water source 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.

Happy students!

"I am happy that I no longer have to carry water from home. This was very tiring for me. Also, I no longer have to be afraid again of getting thirsty while at school because now I know I can get water any time I want it. I am really excited," said 13-year-old Joy K.

Joy continued, "I have been asked so many times before the project to leave a class and go get water to be used either in the kitchen or by the teachers. Now I am very glad that there will be no more interruptions to get water. I hope this helps me do better in my classwork."


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

"Now, with access to reliable, safe water, I am now at peace, knowing my source of water. I do not have to worry about the source of water anymore. I am really very happy," said 43-year-old teacher Collins Ong'alo.

Teacher Collins Ong'alo.

"With access to this water, I hope that now, cooking at my school will go on without any interruptions. We had to get learners from class in order for them to get water to be used in the kitchen."

How We Got the Water Flowing

Parents, staff, and students all contributed to 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.

Drilling 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 96 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 yield of 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.

Finishing the well pad.

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 pump.

We officially handed over the new borehole to the school’s students and teachers.

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. Happiness, thanksgiving, and appreciation were the order of the day, flowing in all directions.

VIP Latrines

Boys at their latrine.

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 Sam and Patience deployed to the site to lead the event. 18 students and teachers attended the training, which we held outside until it began raining, and then we moved into a classroom.

We focused on personal, menstrual, oral, and environmental hygiene; proper water handling; soap-making and the ten steps of handwashing; the importance of primary health care, the prevention of teen pregnancy and COVID-19; child rights; the operation and maintenance of the pump, well, 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 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.

Students learn proper handwashing techniques.

"Water treatment turned out to be the most interesting topic. People shared their personal experiences on how they treat water at their homes. Some used chlorination, others boiled, while others just drank the water like that. They were really happy to learn about solar disinfection, which will not require them to use any money. They were excited about it and eager to teach others, too," said field officer Patience Wanyoni.

Field officer Patience discusses solar water disinfection.

"I enjoyed learning about how to make soap and also sex, teenage pregnancy, and drug abuse. This knowledge will help me in decision-making, moving forward," said Joy, who was quoted earlier.

Students learn how to make soap.


This project required a substantial collaboration between our staff, our in-country teams, and the community members. 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!

March, 2023: Gamuguywa Primary School Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Gamuguywa 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!


Project Sponsor - Imago Dei Community