Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 598 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Oct 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/05/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Kapsotik Secondary School can't provide enough water to serve its 579 students and 19 staff members. The school currently has a few rainwater tanks installed with pipes running to the kitchen and some standpipes meant for handwashing, but as the population has grown and rains have decreased, more and more often these tanks and pipes run empty.

This leaves students bringing water to school and going out to fetch it during lunchtime. The closest spring is still far away and difficult to access. Even the cleanest portions of the stream are brown and riddled with algae. But the students have no option but to brave the rocky, hilly path and drink the contaminated water each day.

Principal James Chembu (in the below photo, in front of one of the school's empty rain tanks) explained how the water crises affects him. "Survival in school is difficult because of lack of water. I cannot manage to run a school with teachers and students who cannot have access to clean water. This affects me a lot because they look up to me to ensure that they have water in school."

The most telling aspect of this situation, as school administrators told us, is that as soon as the water from the rain tanks runs dry, students lose momentum in their studies, including those who are usually their best students. This shows that it's not for a lack of trying that students' performance suffers. It's drinking the dirty water and making the long, arduous journey to fetch it multiple times per day.

"Lack of water in school has affected my health and my academic performance," 15-year-old Michel M said (she's in the above picture, fetching water at the spring). "This is because most of the time, [I] am sick and this forces me to miss classes."

With a new well on school grounds, students will be able to use their energy on studying. They will no longer suffer from draining illnesses or miss class time trekking through the forest.

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

October, 2022: Kapsotik Secondary School Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Kapsotik Secondary 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.

Happy students!

"Access to clean water in school will guarantee me good health because the water is clean and easily accessible," said Mitchel M. "[I] am sure I will get enough time to read and do my assignments. Before the water point was installed in our school, it was hard to concentrate in class because I used to get tired carrying water every day."

Mitchel at the new well.

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

"[I] am so happy because the students and the teachers will have enough time to interact in class and not carry water from the spring every day," said Principal James Chembu. "The students and teachers will now follow the school timetable as required because they have access to clean flowing water in school, and [I] am sure their grades will improve."

James Chembu.

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.

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 15 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!

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.

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 Patience, Rachel, and Millicent deployed to the site to lead the event. 18 students and teachers attended the training, which we held outside.

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.

The most memorable topic was handwashing. The participants were happy to learn the ten steps of handwashing because it will ensure that their hands are washed well and truly clean. They kept singing the birthday song as they washed their hands so they could be sure to scrub for the required amount of time.

"The training [broadened] my thinking on general sanitation and hygiene. I now know how important it is to practice good personal hygiene as a girl," said Mitchel M.

Mitchel stirs soap.


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!

August, 2022: Kapsotik Secondary School Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Kapsotik Secondary 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: More Time Invested in Students!

November, 2023

A year ago, your generous donation helped Kapsotik Secondary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for James and his students. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kapsotik Secondary 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!

Teacher James Maina, 40, recalled what life was like at the Kapsotik Secondary School before his school's well was installed last year.

"We sent our students during lunchtime down [to] the stream to get water for use in the school. They always lamented on [the] quality of water they fetched and [the] distance. It wasn't a good gesture for school-going students who were expected to be in classes to find water. It was difficult and always put us in an awkward situation," he shared.

Finding and collecting water is much simpler for Mr. Maina and the other teachers and students at Kapsotik now.

"You people have made the water available to us; this has facilitated the smooth flow of the school timetable. We have minimized time wastage and utilized it in classes," he continued.

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 Kapsotik Secondary 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 Kapsotik Secondary 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 Sponsor - The Virnig Family
6 individual donor(s)