Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 693 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/04/2024

Project Features

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Ekapwonje Primary School has a large student population of 673 students and 20 teachers. But sadly, the school constantly faces a water crisis and is limited in its progress. There are two small plastic rainwater tanks, but they cannot serve the entire school, especially since they are nonfunctional for most of the year, except during the short rainy season.

Teacher Nancy Wambulwa (in the photo above), 33, shared, "I am in charge of sanitation in this school. It's my role to ensure that all classes and sanitation facilities are cleaned throughout the week. Without water within the school compound, it becomes so hard; we end up cleaning our classes twice or thrice per week."

Pupils must bring water from home every morning to remedy the ongoing water crisis. And whenever they need more water throughout the school day, there is a roster to show which class is responsible for leaving school and collecting water.

Beatrice A.(in the photo above), a 13-year-old student, commented, "There are [a] number of pupils who have dropped out of school because of [the] water challenges in school. Whenever they are sent for water, they involve themselves in undisciplined behavior that leads to school dropout or suspension."

Most pupils choose to draw water from an off-campus hand-dug community well (in the photo above). But the well is wide open, so it is dangerous for students and leaves the water vulnerable to contamination. Between that and the student's unclean collection containers, the water is not safe for human consumption.

The alternative water source for students to collect from is a community spring (in the photo above). The spring sits at the bottom of a hill and is difficult to access, especially during the rainy season when the path is muddy and slippery. The area around the water collection point is dirty, and like the well, any water collected in dirty containers will end up contaminated and unsafe to consume.

Regardless of where students collect water, it is unsafe for drinking, makes students and teachers ill, and wastes valuable learning time. The school needs a clean, safe water solution to use throughout the entire year so students and teachers can be well and focus on 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

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

September, 2022: Ekapwonje Primary School Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Ekapwonje 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.

Jumping for joy!

"Everything has been made easy as [we] already have clean and safe water within our school compound. With water within the school compound, I will have time to do my revision and my studies. Other pupils' performance will also improve significantly," said 16-year-old Denis O.


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

"Currently, [I] am at peace. With water within our school compound, everything has been made possible, easy, and sufficient for the entire population," said 34-year-old teacher Nancy Atieno.

Teacher Nancy Atieno.

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 100 meters with a final static water level of eight 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.

Students in the background watch the drilling process.

People of all ages came to watch the well’s progress.

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.

Flushing 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!

Students' and teachers' enthusiasm for this much-anticipated project was overwhelming. We officially handed over the new borehole to the school.

Happy for water!

Students and staff celebrated the presence of clean water on campus. During the headteacher's speech, Mr. Maxwell promised that he and the school would take good care of the project. 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

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 Betty Muhongo and Stella Inganji deployed to the site to lead the event. 23 students and teachers attended the training, which we held outside under a big mango tree 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.

Practicing dental hygiene.

The session on dental hygiene was interesting. Most students confessed they go the whole week without brushing their teeth. When the facilitator asked the pupils why, they blamed a lack of toothbrushes and toothpaste. The facilitator shared with students how they can create a toothbrush and toothpaste using a chewed stick and a pinch of salt. They all promised to brush their teeth on a daily basis going forward.


"[I] am so happy to be one of the pupils that were selected to attend the training," said Mitchel M., age 13. She continued, "It was last month that I started having my monthly periods, and I was afraid to come to school, but with the knowledge acquired, I will keep myself neat and smart. There will be no single day I will miss school because of my periods."


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!

July, 2022: Ekapwonje Primary School Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Ekapwonje 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 Videos

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: "I'm happier than I was before."

October, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Ekapwonje 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!

Kepha A., 13, recalled what life was like at Ekapwonje Primary School before his school's well was installed last year.

"It was risky because the nearby spring is only accessible via a steep and slippery path. Fetching water early in the morning or the evening wasn't safe because the area is bushy and usually dark. A lot of time was wasted, and this had a negative impact on my studies as sometimes we would be sent to fetch water, and on many occasions, I would find lessons ongoing. It was not easy to maintain high hygiene standards," said Kepha.

But collecting water is much easier for Kepha and the other students at Ekapwonje Primary School now.

"I feel much safer than before because I don't have to go to the spring. I'm now able to concentrate on my studies. I don't fall sick as often as before because I am now able to wash my hands regularly. The general cleanliness of my school has improved," said Kepha.

Having ready access to water from the well has made a difference for Kepha, allowing him to focus on learning and feeling free to enjoy each day.

"My grades have greatly improved. I'm happier than I was before," concluded Kepha.

Kephas at the new well.

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 Ekapwonje 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 Ekapwonje 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 Sponsor - SolenisGives
2 individual donor(s)