Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 1,054 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/04/2024

Project Features

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Bulapi Secondary School's 1,002 students are tired. Each day, they spend a significant amount of time and energy collecting and carrying water since the school's unprotected dug well does not provide sufficient water for its large population. Still, students cannot collect enough water to meet the high demand, and the school must purchase water from a water-selling truck, which is costly.

The unprotected dug well on the school campus is seasonal and runs low during the dry season. When the well does not produce enough water, students must leave the campus to fetch water from a community spring and carry it back.

When the unprotected well does provide water, it is often contaminated. The collection area is dirty and open to runoff, especially during the rainy season. Students lower their jugs into the well to scoop up water, but their containers are often unclean. As a result of drinking the contaminated water, students and staff alike suffer from waterborne illnesses such as typhoid, cholera, and diarrhea.

"Life has not been good to us," said Sawala Isaac, a teacher at the school shown above, collecting water from the unprotected well. "Lack of enough clean water has really affected our school program in terms of syllabus coverage, and also attending classes some of our pupils miss lessons. As a teacher concentrating on teaching, [having too] few pupils becomes a challenge."

The school program should start early with morning lessons, but the lack of water has interfered with academics since students spend so much time out of school looking for water. The hygiene standards of the school also suffer. Daily cleaning is impossible due to the lack of available water.

Student Maureen S., shown above collecting water from the community spring, said, "Since I joined this school, we have really faced challenges concerning access to clean and safe water, which has really contributed to absenteeism among students, [and] poor performance due to lack of enough time to study. Manual cleaning is not done enough for the entire school, hence [the] hygiene is not up to standard."

It is time for the students of Bulupi like Maureen to concentrate on learning and not carry the burden of providing water for their school. A new well will make that possible.

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

June, 2022: Friends Bulupi Secondary School Borehole Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Friends Bulupi 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.

Cheers for clean water!

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.

"[The well] will improve time management within the school since we shall now be able to get meals on time," said 17-year-old student Sharon.

Sharon fills a glass at the new well while teacher Sawala Isaac pumps water.

"It will also boost hygiene standards through handwashing and general hygiene. With adequate water in school, academic performance will improve drastically."

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

"[The well] will save time, which will be converted to teaching time," said 36-year-old teacher Sawala Isaac, who we interviewed when we first visited Friends Bulupi Secondary School.

On the left, Sawala struggles to fetch water from the school's old shallow well. In the right picture, he is second from the left smiling with teachers and students at the new borehole.

"This will go a long way in helping us in syllabus coverage," Sawala continued. "It will also go a long way in aiding the improvement of our health. This project will further improve [our] handwashing culture, which will, in turn, promote sanitation and hygiene in our school."

Before, students had to venture off-campus to fetch water, which was a real struggle for students and teachers. Sawala had said it was difficult to teach students when the classroom wasn't full. But now, students won't have to leave school grounds.

Sawala at the well.

"[The well] will help us to improve [the] performance of the students in academics as they will always be in school," Sawala explained. "School enrolment will definitely improve. The community will be allowed to fetch water, which will foster the relationship between [the] school and [the] community."

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, drilling commenced with excitement in the air.

Students, teachers, and our staff meet for a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off drilling.

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 85 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.

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.

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 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: three for the girls and three for the boys. 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.

We set up two handwashing stations outside of the girls’ and boys’ 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 deployed to the site to lead the event. 20 students and teachers attended the training, which we held on school grounds.

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.

Health club election.

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 were most interested in soap-making, which they decided to practice regularly in order to sell the product to the school and neighboring communities.

One sorely needed topic was dental hygiene. A few of the students said that most of their teeth had to be extracted due to tooth decay. Trainers asked if they brushed their teeth regularly, and the students responded that they didn't. Trainers warned students to brush their teeth twice a day with a clean toothbrush and toothpaste to avoid having any more teeth extracted.

Trainer Jacklyne explains dental hygiene. 


This project required a substantial collaboration between our staff, our partners, 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 our field officers to assist them.

Also, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our ongoing monitoring and maintenance program. We have an ongoing commitment to walk with each community, cooperatively problem-solving when they face challenges of any kind: with functionality, seasonality, or water quality. With all these components together, we strive to ensure 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.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

April, 2022: Friends Bulupi Secondary School Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Friends Bulupi 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: Easy water access leads to better health!

August, 2023

A year ago, your generous donation helped Friends Bulupi Secondary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Jantistine. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Friends Bulupi 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!

Jantistine K., 16, recalled what life was like at Friends Bulupi Secondary School before her school's well was implemented last year.

"Things were not easy because most of the time, we were out of the school in order to fetch water from the spring. A lot of conflicts arose between the community members and us," said Jantistine.

But life is much less burdensome for her and the other Friends Bulupi Secondary School students now.

"Now it is easier because the well is on the school grounds. I can easily access water when I am [in] need which has caused my health to improve," said Jantistine.

Having ready access to water from the well has made a difference for Jantistine, allowing her to drink water whenever she is thirsty and to see her health improve.

"The water point has helped me achieve in my studies because my academic performance has really improved. This has resulted [in a] good relationship between me and my parents," concluded Jantistine.

Thank you for helping Jantistine access clean water and get along better with her parents because she has the time and effort to devote to a brighter future.

Right now, there are others just like her 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 Friends Bulupi 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 Friends Bulupi 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 - Da Bomb Bath Fizzers
Project Sponsor - Da Bomb Bath Fizzers