Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 361 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2023

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/08/2024

Project Features

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Luther Primary School has a large population of 347 students and 14 teachers, and without access to sufficient water, they struggle every single day.

The school has three plastic rainwater harvesting tanks totaling 18,000 liters that collect water during rainy seasons to store, but the water collected is not enough to cater to the entire school population. When the water from the tanks is exhausted, students bring water from home instead or skip their lessons to go fetch water from the river during the school day.

"Students waste their precious classtime as they go to look for water," said 43-year-old teacher Julius Ogole, shown below near the river bank. "This has led to poor performance in their academics. We teachers are forced to walk to the river with the students so that we can offer security while outside the school compound. Students are faced with the danger of being knocked down by motorbikes on the road as they go for water and walk back."

Students tire as they carry water to school, which in turn impacts their concentration in class. And the lost time is never recovered, leading to poor academic experiences and performance in the national examinations.

Compounding the issue of absenteeism are waterborne diseases. The river water is prone to contamination from the surrounding area farms, animals, and even human feces, causing students to suffer from water-related illnesses like typhoid, diarrhea, and stomach pains.

"The school lacks a reliable water source, which forces us to go to the river to fetch water when [the] need arises," said 13-year-old Prudence C (shown below). "Water from the three harvesting tanks, when available, is used for drinking and cooking but it is depleted after a few days. We waste a lot of time looking for water instead of studying."

Hopefully, with a borehole of their own, students and staff will be able to access reliable, safe, and clean 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: Luther Primary School Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Luther 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 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.

"I will drink water without worrying about getting infected with waterborne diseases like typhoid and stomach pains. I will no longer miss school because of such illnesses, and my parents have also been saved from spending money on medical bills. Instead, that money will be used to take care of other family basic needs like education and food," said 14-year-old Prudence.

Prudence by the new well.

"No more carrying water from home or skipping classes to go to the river to get water. Time that was wasted before will be used to revise and study to improve my academic performance," said Prudence.

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

"Lack of water, sanitation, and hygiene has been one of the challenges facing our school, but now we are grateful that [the] implementation of this WASH project has solved the problem. Waterborne and hygiene-related diseases will no longer affect us," said 44-year-old Julius Ogole.

Teacher Julius Ogole.

"I will be able to cover the syllabuses on time for all my teaching subjects since [the] time spent to get water has been reduced. This will translate to improved grades for students, and it will also boost the morale of teachers," said Julius. "General cleanliness in the school will also improve because we have a reliable source of water in the school compound to clean the latrines, classrooms, staffrooms, and other offices. Utensils will be cleaned well, and food preparation will improve due to [the] availability of sufficient clean water."

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 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 60 meters with a final static water level of 46 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!
We officially handed over the new borehole to the school’s students and teachers.

Celebrating the well's completion.

"Immediately after [the] completion of handpump installation, the staff in charge of the project asked the headteacher to gather some teachers and pupils, then she handed over the project officially to them. She implored them to take good care of the borehole, latrines, and handwashing facilities for [the] sustainability of the WASH project in the school," said our field officer Christine Masinde.

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

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 Christine and Samuel deployed to the site to lead the event. 23 students and teachers attended the training, which we held in the school courtyard outside the classrooms.

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.

When discussing the topic of environmental hygiene, the facilitator encouraged the students to keep their surroundings clean. He asked them to improvise dustbins from locally available materials like cartons, old buckets, and jerrycans to be placed in all the classrooms and staffrooms.

Soap-making session.

"I have gained more knowledge about water treatment, handwashing, oral hygiene, and soap-making. If we put into practice what we have learned today, our lives will change for the better. I promise to share the knowledge I have acquired with other students and also my family members at home. This will promote good health in our school and community at large," said Prudence (quoted earlier), who was elected as the chairperson of the student health club.


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: Luther Primary School New Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Luther 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!

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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 - Yakima Foursquare Church