Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 477 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Nov 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/07/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Eshikhuyu Primary School has a protected hand-dug well with a hand pump, but it is not reliable. It breaks down often and does not provide water during the dry season. The school does not have the money to make the needed repairs to keep it operating even when there is water available, so instead, the 462 students are forced to take on the responsibility of collecting water to meet the daily water needs of the school.

Every morning, students collect water from various sources in the community but there is never enough water for the drinking, cleaning, and hygiene needs of the school. So during the school day, students must leave their classes and go to a local spring (in the photo below) to fetch more water.

Because the water students collect comes from dubious sources in the community and is carried in containers that are often dirty, any water collected is almost certainly contaminated. There are consistent cases of stomachache, diarrhea, and typhoid reported.

14-year-old student Everlyne O. (in the photo below) said, "I can only remember the time when my small sister fell sick and was diagnosed with typhoid. My mother had to go to [the] hospital and come back to do casual work, which supports us in our education and upkeep. All this time, while I was nursing my sister, I was forced to stay home without going to school. This is very hurtful, for my fellow pupils are learning while I missed school."

Being ill and absent from school not only steals pupils' health and energy, it also reduces their chances of academic success.

Teacher Andika Akhonya (in the photo below), 57, shared, "As a teacher, [I] have taught for 17 years since I came to this school. The roughest time I have had during this period is when pupils are absent in class. It makes learning and teaching very boring, for many learners are out, forcing me to teach one thing over a week. This affects learning, and meeting the set target becomes a very big problem."

The proposed well will ensure that children are in school full time and have enough water to serve the pupils and teaching staff throughout the entire school year.

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 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 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

November, 2022: Eshikhuyu Primary School Borehole Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Eshikhuyu 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.

"Access to reliable, safe water will definitely help improve my hygiene and sanitation levels as a whole," said 13-year-old student, Purity M. "It will also help me improve my academics in the long run. This project will definitely have a huge impact on my life and that of most students."

Purity drinks water from the new well.

"Being ejected from class to fetch water was quite a necessary evil," Purity continued. "This meant that my studies were greatly interrupted. With this waterpoint, I will be able to attend fully to my studies, which will improve my academic performance. Clean and safe drinking water will also help boost my personal hygiene and sanitation levels. This will greatly reduce the incidence of waterborne diseases as a result of consuming unsafe water brought from home."

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

Mr. Omoro pumps water at the new well.

"It will ease up my job as the school administrator, and [there will be] fewer struggles with absentee pupils due to waterborne illnesses," said teacher Teddy Omoro. "Also, [we will have] zero cases of missing pupils at home who had been sent from school to fetch water. We hope to attain high levels of discipline, especially with class attendance, as the project will have minimized [our] reasons for absenteeism. In the long run, this will help improve syllabi coverage and, subsequently, [our] academic performance as a school."

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, 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 70 meters with a final static water level of 12 meters. People of all ages came to watch the well’s progress.

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!
When the students and teachers arrived back at school, their enthusiasm for this much-anticipated project was overwhelming. We officially handed over the new borehole to the school.

Students, parents, staff, and school management 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. The clergymen who were present prayed over the water point, and students from the school's drama club sang and danced. 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 Elvis and Mildred deployed to the site to lead the event. 20 students attended the training, which we held in the shade of a classroom so everyone could shelter from the hot sun.

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.

The newly elected health club leaders.

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 demonstrate how to filter water through a clean cotton cloth.

The students learned the most during our lesson on water handling and storage.

"Most of [the students] admitted to having unknowingly contaminated water during fetching and transportation," said our field officer, Elvis. "The participants were glad to learn better ways of handling and treating drinking water to help avoid [the] contamination of water through handling."

Another enlightening topic was dental hygiene. Students admitted that they were lax with their dental hygiene routines, with some not brushing twice a day. Facilitators explained how this could contribute to tooth decay in the future.

A student shows off his tooth-brushing skills.


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!

October, 2022: Eshikhuyu Primary School Borehole Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Eshikhuyu 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: Time to Attend Lessons!

December, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Eshikhuyu 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!

Rose K., 12, recalled what life was like at Eshikhuyu Primary School before her school's well was installed last year.

"I used to carry water from home to school; this made me tired, and I couldn't concentrate in class. At some point, I could collect passing water in the stream, which was not safe for drinking or cooking," said Rose.

Collecting water is now easier and quicker for Rose and the other students at Eshikhuyu Primary School.

"I can access water within the school compound. No more carrying water from home or outside the school compound, collecting water from a stream. This has enabled me to work easily, and I can do manual cleaning and attend lessons on time," continued Rose.

Having ready access to water from the well has made a difference for Rose and the other students, allowing them to improve the school's overall hygiene and have time to focus on learning.

"Water will enable me to clean classes and also latrines on time. This will enhance cleanness within our school and uphold the spirit of hygiene standards," concluded Rose.

Right now, there are others 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 Eshikhuyu 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 Eshikhuyu 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.


Numa Church KC
Numa Church KC
Apes4Change Campaign for Water
4 individual donor(s)