Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 537 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2023

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/07/2024

Project Features

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The 522 students at Madeya Primary School used to fetch water in the morning before school, but the long trek outside the school grounds always made them late for their morning classes. Now, they fetch it after the school day ends, which eats into their play, study, and relaxation time.

The sooner they finish this task, the sooner students can go home, which causes them to rush and argue at the stream to fetch water first. But with the rocky terrain around the school, this often leads to injuries. Recently, one student had to be rushed to the hospital by ambulance after falling near the stream.

"A lot of our precious time is wasted in search of water," said 13-year-old student, Faith L. (in the picture below). "This has resulted [in] poor performance in our academics. If helped, we are promising to improve a lot on our performance."

Once they have the water, the students' problems don't stop there.

The school has one tiny rain harvesting tank, but even if it were to fill up every morning, it still wouldn't have enough water to serve the 537 students and teachers. During the rainy seasons, a teacher has been appointed to ensure that students drink only from the rain tank to avoid illnesses among the student population. But in the dry seasons, this is impossible. So, inevitably, the students get sick and have to miss school.

"Every morning, [I] am forced to come [to school] with at least four 20-liter jerrycans of water from my home," said Milan Aduvaka, a 38-year-old teacher (in the picture below).

"This was due to [the] rising number of waterborne diseases we had at the school after consuming water from the stream. [The] number of absences has been too high. We do not have a choice but to try [and] look for solutions. I did this voluntarily, but still, the water is not enough, which forces some of us to stay thirsty all day when [the] water is used up."

With water on school grounds, Madeya's students will be healthier, and will therefore be in class more often, brightening their futures and relieving them and teachers of such heavy responsibilities.

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

February, 2023: Madeya Primary School Borehole Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Madeya 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.

"[I] am happy because, initially, when we were [asked] to bring water to school, pupils would fetch [it] from different sources, which really affected most of [the] pupils healthwise—especially [the] ECD (Early Childhood Development) pupils," said 14-year-old Faith, whom we spoke to on our first visit to Madeya Primary School. "Now, we have clean and safe water within our school, and I strongly believe [the] cases of waterborne diseases are gone forever."

Faith splashes water at the new well.

Faith also put forth a promise during our first visit to the school that the students will improve their academic performance now that they have access to reliable water. When we visit Madeya Primary School next year, we'll be sure to show you how they did!

"Our facilitators have given us an idea of planting vegetables on our school plot, which we will [to] make good use of the water," Faith added. "This will enable us [to] have some money after selling the vegetables, which we will use to buy some of [the] sanitation facilities we need as [a] school."

Students splash water at the new well.

We also spoke to 39-year-old teacher Milan Aduvaka when we first visited, and he's just as excited as his students about the new well.

"As a teacher in this school, I must say that [I] am very grateful for the work well done," Milan said. "A lot of time was wasted when pupils were asked to get water, and as teachers, we were very worried because the water sources were unknown. But now we have water within our school compound and confidence that we have clean water."

Milan rinses his hands in the well's water while another teacher pumps.

"Since we have water within our reach, we will have more time for revision (studying) with pupils, and by doing so, our academic performance will improve," Milan added. "Also, our school attendance will improve, unlike before when both pupils and teachers [would] miss school due to poor health after consuming dirty water."

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.

Students participate in a groundbreaking prayer.

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 49 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.

Testing the well.

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!

A completed well with a pump!

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 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

Faith washes 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 Stella and Betty deployed to the site to lead the event. 18 students and teachers attended the training, which we held on the school compound.

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 students' favorite topic was soap-making.

"Most pupils confirmed that they [had] never seen how soap is made, and they [had] never imagined anything like soap-making," said our field officer Stella. "To them, it was a dream, but they later realized that all things are possible so long as you have knowledge and resources. They all were active and alert during the process."

Students were also interested to learn that they had been neglecting integral parts of dental hygiene, like brushing their tongues as well as the insides of their teeth. After the demonstration, they promised to make sure their friends and family were also aware of the best toothbrushing methods.

Students demonstrate toothbrushing.

"[I] am among those people who don't brush my teeth after meals," said 11-year-old Splendour. "I would only do it when reminded by my mother. Now, having learned the importance of brushing [my] teeth, I will try my level best to ensure that my teeth are well taken care of."

Splendour washes her hands.


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!

January, 2023: Madeya Primary School Borehole Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Madeya 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!

Laurah has time for reading and learning!

April, 2024

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Madeya 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!

Laurah, 12, recalled what life was like at Madeya Primary School before its well was implemented last year.

"We carried water from home. I used to pass by a spring to collect water before coming to school. The process was tedious; I had to carry books and water at the same time," shared Laurah.

Collecting water is now more straightforward and less time-consuming for Laurah and the other students at the school.

"I feel good and happy because water is just at the school compound. We only carry empty containers to fetch water from the borehole and do necessary school activities," said Laurah.

Having ready access to water from the well has made a difference for Laurah, allowing her to have time and energy to read and learn.

Laurah (right) with another student watering the school garden.

"This water point has helped me come early to school and read. It has also helped us concentrate in classes because water for cleaning, drinking, and cooking is available in school," Laurah said.

Laurah near 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 Madeya 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 Madeya 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.