Melvin Dreams of Being a Pilot!

June, 2024

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

Last year, your gift unlocked the potential for a brighter future for Melvin. Since then, she and the Gamudusi Primary School community of 273 students have had clean, reliable water. Your contribution has made a significant impact. Thank you for making a difference!

"Water is readily available. I can come with my cup to quench [my] thirst right at the water point," said Melvin.

Before the Well Installation

Like many children in Kenya, 14-year-old Melvin is responsible for collecting water to meet her and her family’s daily water needs. That task stole her time before last year’s water intervention and negatively affected her.

Students collect water from the previous water source.

Drinking the water caused severe consequences. Many in her school community suffered from waterborne diseases that created health problems, affecting their daily lives. Limited accessibility also meant students wasted time collecting sufficient water to meet their needs. The difficult journey to collect water sapped their physical and emotional energy. For Melvin, it stole her energy to learn.

"We used to go to collect surface water in the forest which is quite a distance from the school. It was so hectic because carrying water from that far was very tiresome. The place and terrain are hilly so by the time [you're] reaching school, you are very exhausted. Carrying water to school was another problem as you needed to have a rest at some point because of the bad terrain. The challenge made some of the learners hate coming to school," shared Melvin.

Since the Well Installation

Your generous gift last year was much more than a simple donation; it was a powerful statement about your commitment to this school community and Melvin’s future. By supporting the water solution, you made clean water an everyday reality, fostering hope for a brighter future.

Melvin at the well.

Reliable and clean water lays the groundwork for improved health, education, and economic possibilities, allowing people like Melvin to thrive. We frequently hear from those we interview that "water is life!"

"Since [the] implementation of this project, I have never gotten sick of water-related illnesses as I used to be before. The best thing living with clean water is good health. Good health makes one to prosper in different areas. There is no wastage of resources used in seeking treatment and also planned tasks are easily achievable," said Melvin.

The Future is Looking Bright!

A year ago, you made a difference for Melvin and the rest of her school community. This is just the first chapter of their story as access to clean water continues to improve their lives!

At The Water Project, we value sustainability and want to ensure that people continue to thrive. We commit to monitoring this project to ensure the water is always flowing and safe to consume. We inspect the system hardware, track water availability, conduct sanitary inspections, and collect water quality samples to identify risks. We work with our team on the ground to resolve them.

You gave Melvin a crucial tool for achieving her dreams: access to clean water. Together, we can excitedly expect that with this precious resource, her enthusiasm and courage will help fulfill her dreams.

Having time in the day not spent collecting water allows Melvin to study more and play with her friends.

"Currently, I have witnessed a slight improvement in mathematics. I was doing badly in mathematics before, but from the last term's results, I was above average. When I grow up, I wish to be a pilot. That is my greatest dream and I would love to visit different places of the world," concluded Melvin.

Melvin with her teacher at the well.

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 Gamudusi 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 Gamudusi 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.

Project Status

Project Type: Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 283 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2023

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/23/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Gamudusi Primary School has been functioning for five years, and collecting sufficient water to meet the school's daily water needs has always been a burden on the children who attend there. The 273 current students find the daily chore exhausting, but there is no other choice.

Field officer Olivia Bomji shared, "The pupils carry water from home every morning as they come to school and in the afternoon when they go home for lunch. This has affected them a lot because they spend most of their time carrying water."

She continued: "The pupils complain of stomachaches almost every day, and this has affected their studies a lot. They miss school because they are sick, and their family members are sick too."

"Lack of water in school has affected me as a teacher because sometimes [I] am affected as the pupils too. I get sick too and tired of monitoring who has not carried water to school every morning and evening," said 25-year-old teacher Mrs. Conthalus Luhunga (seen below). "Not having enough water has made sanitation and hygiene low."

Not only are students and teachers not feeling well, but their inability to maintain the school's hygiene is making their learning environment uncomfortable. Sadly, students are suffering, and as a result, they do not enjoy learning.

"Lack of enough clean water to drink and use in school has made me hate learning. This is because most of the time my hands are dirty, the classrooms are dusty, and the latrines are also dirty, and to make matters worse, sometimes we have no water to drink because the water from home is dirty," said 14-year-old student Clonton K., fetching water in the photo below.

During the rainy season, it becomes riskier for students to collect water because the water floods the area and stirs up mud at the same time. Students must tread very carefully, or else they could drown.

It is time for these students to be relieved of collecting water for the school. And hopefully, by relieving them of the burden, they can enjoy school and love learning once again.

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: Gamudusi Primary School New Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Gamudusi 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.

Students celebrate!

"[A] reliable water source in the school compound will impact my life positively. This is because I will no longer waste a lot of time looking for water for drinking and domestic use in the school. Looking for water outside the school compound was very tiresome," said 16-year-old Hellen A.

Hellen continued, "My plans or goals are to fully concentrate on my studies. This is because right now, we have [a] clean, safe, and reliable water source in the school compound."


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

"Reliable, safe water will impact me positively. This is because I will no longer drink water from different sources, which had really affected my health," said 53-year-old teacher Isaac Kijo.

"I will ensure the water point is maintained. More so, I will ensure that the hygiene and sanitation standards in this school are improved because now water is available."

Mr. Kijo washes his hands at the new well.

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 90 meters with a final static water level of 44 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.

Building 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!

Adding 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.

"After the work was done, the school fraternity was so grateful for the great work done on their school. They promised to always be the eye of the facility because it [is] one of the biggest achievements in the school and the community at large," said field officer Nelly Chebet.

VIP Latrines

Excited for their 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

Practicing washing her hands.

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 Jonathan and Nelly deployed to the site to lead the event. 24 students and teachers attended the training, which we held at a local church hall since the school classrooms are very small.

A group photo during the 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.

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.

Learning how to wash hands.

"The most memorable topic was operation and maintenance [of the new well]. Both teachers and students were so keen when the topic was being handled. What made the topic very interesting was one of the teachers who said that she has never seen a handpump since she was born, [and] that the water project has made her see a new thing in her life," said field officer Nelly.

"The teacher really wanted to know all the parts of the borehole and how to maintain them. The facilitator then went forward and explained all the parts of the borehole. At the end of the training, the teacher requested the school headteacher to be in charge of the water point together with the latrines."

Students learn to make soap.

"The training was so valuable to me because I have learned new things in my life. Firstly, hygiene and sanitation standards that were shared during training have brought my life into another level. This is because I used to have so many challenges in improving hygiene on my side, especially at home, but the knowledge acquired will help me a lot," said Hellen, who was quoted earlier.


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!

April, 2023: Gamudusi Primary School New Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Gamudusi 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 Sponsor - PKS The Harvest