Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 619 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/09/2024

Project Features

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The 600 students and 19 staff at Lukova Primary School currently retrieve water from Tali Saya Spring, the main water source in the community, to meet their daily water needs.

"I walk a long distance from home to school. The thought of walking another distance to the spring to get water just kills my spirit of learning. Hunger and fatigue are all I see and feel while in class," said Brenda M. (pictured below), 14.

Pupils carry water to school in the morning. They return home for lunch, collect more water and carry it back to the school for the afternoon session. Then, if there is still not enough water to go around, the students' breaktime is interrupted, and they rush to the spring that is far from the school one more time to collect water. Even when students are in class, the constant task of collecting and hauling water leaves them exhausted and unable to concentrate, leading to poor academic performance.

Teacher Hezrone Mutimba (pictured below), 48, shared his thoughts, "My lessons never come to an end like intended because my pupils will be needed to go and fetch water for [the] kitchen [to] use while the lesson is still on. This drags my syllabus covering [longer] thus poor performance by my pupils. It saddens me."

The other water source, a small rainwater tank on the campus does not offer a reliable solution. Even if it rains and the tank fills it is too small to provide sufficient water for the needs of the school. It doesn't have a tap currently (making it inaccessible), and the gutters are falling apart and never cleaned, which means any water collecting in the tank is likely contaminated.

Providing a well for this school will help ease the distance students have to travel and the burden of constantly collecting water so they can focus on learning. It will also reduce overcrowding at the community spring since it will be shared by those who live near the school with strict limitations that they can only access water during school hours and not interfere with learning.

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

July, 2022: Lukova Primary School Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Lukova 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.

"Before the project, a few times I have had to visit the hospital due to stomach upsets, and on diagnosis, I was found with typhoid. But now, I know the source of my water and am assured of its safety. Also, I no longer have to miss lessons in the name of getting water to be used by the school because I know I can count on the reliable water point," said Oprah N., a 13-year-old student.

Oprah at the well.

Oprah continued, "Before the project, I dreaded waking up and going to school because it meant carrying water to school, and also leaving school during games time (recess) to go get water. Now I am looking forward to engaging more in games and other clubs and just catching up with my girlfriends. We never have time for that, but now I will."

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

"Now, with the installation of this water point, I know and am assured of a constant supply of clean, safe water. I no longer have to worry about the source of water I am drinking, neither do I have to get the children out of class so as to go get water," said teacher Rose Asende, 35.

Teacher Rose Asende.

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.

Starting to drill.

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 75 meters with a final static water level of 8 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.

Pump testing.

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!

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. 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

Handwashing station.

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 Eric Wagaka, Mildred Mboga, and Godfrey Okiny deployed to the site to lead the event. 21 students and teachers attended the training, which we held inside a classroom.

Training group.

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.

Practicing water filtration.

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.

Practicing oral hygiene.

Dental hygiene was the most memorable topic. The children were very excited to tell personal stories of first-hand experience of toothaches, bleeding gums, and other dental-related issues. After the session, everyone was happy to now understand ways to prevent further harm.


"I learned a new aspect, that was on soap making. I am glad I got to learn about this because this information will come in very handy," said Oprah, the student quoted earlier.


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!

May, 2022: Lukova Primary School Borehole Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Lukova 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: "The Water is Available All the Time!"

August, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Lukova 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!

Mutimba Hezron, 50, recalled what life was like in Lukova Primary School before his school's well was installed last year.

"Pupils used to get water from unknown sources. The water wasn't clean, thus causing diarrhea and other water-related diseases among teachers and pupils. A lot of time would be wasted fetching water at the protected spring. [A lack of] discipline was also common among learners whenever we would release them to fetch water. Community members would complain of pupils stealing farm produce like sugarcane and sweet potatoes," he shared.

But life is much easier for Mutimba and the students in Lukova Primary School now.

13-year-old Obrah B. shared how the new well has impacted her life. "It's easier to get water now from the borehole. All I have to do is carry an empty container. Especially on the days we do our general cleaning."

Obrah continued, "The water is clean and safe for drinking. I [drink] it with confidence. I save a lot of time and study a lot because my time of going out in search of water has been eliminated. The water is available all the time."

Having ready access to water from the borehole well has made a difference for Obrah, allowing her to focus on academics and be released from the burden of searching for safe water.

"We are able to cultivate some crops, especially vegetables, in school throughout the year because of [a] reliable water source for irrigation. We have been able to manage cases of discipline and absenteeism amongst learners," Mutimba concluded.

Thank you for helping Mutimba and Obrah along with the rest of their school, access clean water and create time to enhance their educational experiences without worrying about finding safe water sources.

Right now, there are others just like them 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 Lukova 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 Lukova 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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