Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 165 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2024

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features

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Since Musukura Primary School was established in 2016, it has never had a source of water. For the 165 staff members and students to survive every school day, everyone must bring containers of water from home and leave the school grounds throughout the day to refill the school's water storage.

As you can imagine, this system causes several problems. The first is that students miss a lot of classes. They miss morning lessons when they're late due to collecting and carrying water. They miss daytime lessons and lunch when they leave school grounds to get more. But they miss entire days of school when they're sick due to drinking water from these unprotected, open sources and spending their days in unsanitary conditions.

"As a pupil of this school, I really get affected by the lack of clean and safe water," said student Mercy M (shown above collecting water from an unprotected local spring). "This has affected me in my studies, straining in carrying water from home to school, time wasted in collecting water, and also absenteeism due to health issues."

"As the sanitation teacher of this school, we have been affected by the lack of clean and safe water," said teacher Leonidas Kagehi (shown below, going with students to fetch water). "This has really contributed to the poor performance of our pupils since others miss lessons. The entire school's hygiene is not up to standard. The majority of our pupils fetch water from home and from different sources which are unsafe for us. We are at a constant risk of becoming sick."

Teachers and students have reported cases of typhoid, cholera, and chronic diarrhea. This isn't a surprise when students are fetching water with dirty containers from unprotected sources and the school can't be kept clean because there isn't enough water to do so. The latrines are not maintained properly, and they are so full of waste that they overflow when it rains, spilling sewage out into the school grounds. With no adequate water to wash their hands, students must make do without, constantly getting sick.

A borehole well right on school grounds will eliminate the need for students to miss class in search of water. A reliable water supply will enable the school to maintain its classrooms and latrines properly so that, hopefully, everyone's health will improve. With these tools in hand, the students and teachers should be able to look forward to brighter futures ahead.

Water at schools is unique, which is why we need unique solutions.

The Proposed Solution, Determined Together...

At The Water Project, everyone has a part in conversations and solutions. We operate in transparency, believing it benefits everyone. We expect reliability from one another as well as our water solutions. Everyone involved makes this possible through hard work and dedication.

In a joint discovery process, community members determine their most advantageous water solution alongside our technical experts. Read more specifics about this solution on the What We're Building tab of this project page. Then, community members lend their support by collecting needed construction materials (sometimes for months ahead of time!), providing labor alongside our artisans, sheltering and feeding the builders, and supplying additional resources.

Water Access for Everyone

This water project is one piece in a large puzzle. In Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Uganda, we're working toward complete coverage of reliable, maintained water sources that guarantee public access now and in the future within a 30-minute round trip for each community, household, school, and health center. One day, we hope to report that this has been achieved!

Training on Health, Hygiene & More

With the community's input, we've identified topics where training will increase positive health outcomes at personal, household, and community levels. We'll coordinate with them to find the best training date. Some examples of what we train communities on are:

  • Improved hygiene, health, and sanitation habits
  • Safe water handling, storage & treatment
  • Disease prevention and proper handwashing
  • Income-generation
  • Community leadership, governance, & election of a water committee
  • Operation and maintenance of the water point

Handwashing Stations

Alongside each water source, we also provide two new gravity-fed handwashing stations that will allow everyone at the school to wash their hands without running water. Handwashing is so important to help prevent future water-related illnesses in the school community.

The student health club will maintain the stations, fill them with water, and supply them with soap (which we will teach the school community how to make during the training!).

VIP Latrines

In addition, we will construct two triple-door Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) latrine blocks designed to prevent fecal disease transmission. Each latrine will have a cement floor, which is easy to use and clean regularly. Three doors will serve the girls, and three doors will serve the boys.

Project Updates

June, 2024: Musukura Primary School Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Musukua 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.

"I will no longer strain carrying water from home to school; this will give me peace of mind. Also, I will drink clean safe water from our borehole which is more enjoyable and will bring good health and happiness to me," shared 12-year-old Samuel.

Samuel splashing clean water!

"This new waterpoint is of great help to our teachers. My teachers are now drinking clean water [and] their food is prepared on time. There will be no more supervision of pupils going to fetch water outside the school, which was tiresome and hectic. This has also given our teachers more time to teach and attend our group discussions during class time," he continued.

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

"The new water point will really help us to practice the aspect of up-time. Through this, we will be able to commit much [more] time [to] target our academic performance and aim to shape our pupils to move to a different level with good grades and a better destination in life. With access to clean safe water within our surroundings, we will be able to prosper and enlighten the next generation," said teacher Noel Musimbi.

Teacher Noel Musimbi.

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.

Groundbreaking begins!

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 13 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.

Replacing the casing.

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.

The well is complete!

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.

Dedication ceremony.

Field Officer Victor Musemi described the handing-over ceremony in vivid detail. "The event took place at the waterpoint site. It was characterized by many local ceremonial songs and dancing from pupils and community members. The area leaders such as village elders, [a] sub-chief, and a representative from the sponsored church also graced the occasion. The speeches were made by the leaders who thanked the entire Water Project family for touching people's lives through [the] provision of water. The pastor called the child-to-child club members and committee representing the community to get in front and touch the water point as a sign of ownership. Afterward, a prayer was done dedicating the facility to God. People from Musukura Primary School were overwhelmed with joy. They burst [into] songs and danced to native tunes as each of them quenched their thirst by having a taste of the borehole water, one at a time."

VIP Latrines

New 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

New 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 Victor Musemi and Wilson Kipchoge deployed to the site to lead the event. 22 students and teachers attended the training.

Soapmaking training.

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.

The student health club 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.

Operation and maintenance of the water facility were very popular topics during the training according to Victor, the field officer. "The most interesting part of the topic was where community members who participated during the training had a wider discussion on who to do the annual subscription (the annual cost of maintaining the waterpoint). Most of them being parents in this school in one account decided to take the responsibility of paying the fee required."


"After the training, I have grasped the knowledge concerning general hygiene. To me this [is] of great help knowing the importance of safeguarding the environment by cleanliness and [the] planting of trees. Secondly, I have also learned personal hygiene ensuring every time I'm clean by cutting [my] nails, cleaning [my] hair, [and] changing [my] clothes after bathing. This to me is of great help and I'm going to be an ambassador of good hygiene to my community at large. No changes should be done [to] this training because it touches people's lives and creates awareness [for] the less fortunate," shared 14-year-old Ashileen.


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 Kenya, Uganda, and Sierra Leone, we’re working toward complete coverage. That means 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!

April, 2024: Musukura Primary School New Well Underway!

The lack of adequate water at Musukura Primary School costs students time, energy, and health every single day. Clean water scarcity contributes to community instability and diminishes individuals’ personal progress.

But thanks to your recent generosity, things will soon improve here. We are now working to install a reliable water point and improve hygiene standards. We look forward to sharing inspiring news in the near future!

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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!


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