Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 461 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/13/2024

Project Features

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The 449 students of Senende Primary School wake up early every morning to fetch water from the spring near their homes. Their school cannot provide sufficient water, so they must carry their full water containers the long distance to the school.

Understandably, students arrive exhausted, but they try their best to concentrate on learning until lunchtime. However, it isn't easy, especially when they know they must head back to the spring and stoop down on the spring's cement platform again to collect more water during their lunch period. But sadly, after all that expended time and energy, the water is very often still contaminated.

The school has a rain harvesting tank, but the 30,000-liter capacity is not large enough to sustain the entire student population and quickly runs dry.

Every Friday, the school attempts to buy water from a nearby church to clean the school. At times, they do not have the needed money, so pupils must sweep the classrooms instead of washing them, making the learning environment dirty and dusty and causing a lot of discomfort to the pupils while in class.

Student Sharleen K, in the photo below at the spring, shared, "I don't wash [my] hands regularly because we do not have enough water in school, and this makes me sad because we even sit in dirty and dusty classrooms. We do not have enough water to clean our classrooms and this has led to poor sanitation and hygiene in school."

Head Teacher Kipkosgey Chilan, in front of the school's rain tank in the photo below, shared his concerns regarding the school's ongoing water challenges. "The general sanitation and hygiene in [the] school are worrying because we do not have enough sanitation facilities. This has even become worse because we have no water in [the] school, and it is a challenge to run the school without water. Sometimes we are forced to buy water from the church so that we [can] help the children to sit in a clean environment. But it is not easy because we are not able as a school to buy water every day."

The proposed borehole will help students regain their time and access consistent, sufficient, clean drinking water. The sanitation and hygiene of the school will also improve, making it easier for students to concentrate 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

July, 2022: Senende Primary School Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Senende 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.

"Life in school has changed completely because we have access to clean and safe water," said student Sharleen K. who we spoke with previously about the challenges of attending school without sufficient water. "No more carrying water from home, and this has enabled me [to] concentrate more on my class work. Having water in school will enable us [to] enjoy our days in school and have enough time to interact with teachers and other pupils."

Sharleen celebrating.

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

"Economically, since we now have water in school, it will increase vegetable productivity in our school garden," said headteacher Kipkosgey Chilan. Previously, Mr. Chilan had shared how the school's limited resources were being used to buy needed water, but now that they have access to a reliable source of water, other projects at the school can flourish.

Mr. Chilan celebrating water.

Hopefully, the children and their academic performances will flourish, too. "The children's learning and contact with my pupils will improve too because they will have more time in school and not go to fetch water," commented Mr. Chilan.

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 30 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.

Adding well casings.

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.

Completing well pad.

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!

Installing the pump.

When the students and teachers arrived back at school, their enthusiasm for this much-anticipated project was overwhelming.

Students and staff celebrated the presence of clean water on campus. Pupils cheered, sang songs, and danced as we officially handed over the water point to the school and the Board of Management. 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 Olivia Bomji, Rose Serete, Nelly Mtai, and Elvis Afuya deployed to the site to lead the event. 19 students and teachers attended the training, which we held outside under a tree.

Training group.

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.

Soap making session.

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 taking notes during training.

Our field officer reported, "The most memorable topic was the maintenance of the borehole. After taking the participants through [the] borehole maintenance [session], they all promised to take care of the borehole. In fact, the borehole was [mentioned as] an additional family member to Senende Primary School and they swore to take good care of it and take action against whoever mishandles it."


"The training has made me learn and understand the importance of hygiene around the school and hygiene about myself," said Sharleen.


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!

June, 2022: Senende Primary School Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Senende 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: "I no longer have to worry about the safety of the water I drink..."

October, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Senende 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!

Jasmine J., 12, recalled what life was like at Senende Primary School before their well was installed last year.

"It was tiresome and risky fetching water from the stream. Going to the stream required crossing the nearby road, which is frequently used by speeding motorbikes."

But life is more hopeful for Jasmine and the other students at Senende now.

"I no longer have to worry about the safety of the water I drink as it is clean and safe. Access to water is directly in the school compound and this has guaranteed my safety. The time that I wasted while going to the stream, now I use in my studies because accessibility is fast and easy for me," said Jasmine.

Having ready access to water from the well has made a difference for Jasmine, allowing her time to study and improve her personal hygiene.

"Time wasted during water collection is now utilized for studies by students and teachers. I have been able to focus on my studies due to ample time. I foresee a major improvement in my academics. My personal hygiene standards have greatly improved. Currently, our school is a better place to be. I no longer (am) absent," concluded Jasmine.

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 Senende 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 Senende 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 - Craig Family