Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 798 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2023

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 10/10/2023

Project Features

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Community Profile

Manda K Primary School has a massive student population of 780 students who are tired of second place when it comes to water access.

They share a borehole well on the campus of the nearby secondary school, but it is not an easy or reliable solution. The older students feel no shame about using their size and influence to push the younger children aside, causing them to wait in long queues, leaving them late to class or unable to collect sufficient water before they must race back to school.

"This water point (the well), of course, always helps us, but accessibility is always a challenge. If we can get our own [well], then we will appreciate [it] and improve [our] hygiene and sanitation in our school," said 12-year-old Mitchell N. (shown below).

Since the well is shared, it is overtaxed and experiences frequent breakdowns, causing students from both schools to rely on the local spring instead.  But the spring has its own issues with a slow discharge rate, particularly during the dry season when the water slows to barely a trickle. People must fetch water from a nearby pool of cloudy, dirty water instead, which everyone knows may make them ill since it's most likely contaminated.

And sadly, once again, the younger students are at a disadvantage due to their size when the older students and even community members push them aside to access water first.

"Teachers have had fears of contracting typhoid when students bring water from home or [the] spring. The containers carrying water are always dirty. You have seen how the spring looks like; it is pathetic," said teacher Mark Mukalo, shown below at the secondary school's well.

Our field officer Amos reported: "Access to this water is challenging and results [in] low performance in academics among students as a result of time wastage. The spring location is a distance from [the] school. I took personal time to visit the spring, which took us 25 minutes round trip with one pupil."

The students at this school need a well of their own so they can return to class quickly and concentrate on learning and hopefully feel like they deserve clean, accessible water as much as anyone else in the community.

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

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

May, 2023: Manda K Primary School Borehole Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Manda K Primary School in Kenya now has access to a new safe water source thanks to the completion of their borehole well! Students and staff are already using the well’s flowing water, which will provide them with a reliable water source 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 felt uncomfortable when we carried water from home because it made my luggage heavy in the morning," said 11-year-old Vincent W. "Crowding at the borehole in [the] secondary [school's] section could make us be sent away by the security guard, accusing us of misuse, noise or vandalism. This is likely to change with [the] presence of our own water point."


"We carried water from home, and our sources were different," Vincent continued. "When this water was mixed, it could get dirty because of [all the] different sources and containers. As a result, we could get even sick. But right now, my health, together with the rest of the school, shall be of standard because of the water we have now. Fetching water at [the] secondary school was strenuous because the secondary section and community depend on it. The borehole could go dry, and even the spring we used to fetch water [from] could go dry. We wasted time, and hopefully, with this borehole, we will have enough time for academics. With sufficient time, we as a school shall experience an improvement in performance."

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

"Access to safe water will help my pupils access clean water for consumption," said headteacher Mark Kakai, whom we interviewed during our first visit to the school. "With this water, they will be able to get their food prepared with clean water and on time. I believe the conflict between secondary school, primary school, and [the] community about water will end. There has been [a] strain on that one water source, and [this] has made our pupils waste a lot of time there. This water point is here to make us be time-observant and even improve more on [our] sanitation practices."

Mr. Kakai.

How We Got the Water Flowing

Parents, staff, and students all contributed to 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.

Staff, parents, and artisans gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony before the start of drilling.

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 90 meters with a final static water level of 16 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.

Capping 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!

We officially handed over the new borehole to the school’s students and teachers.

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

Members of the new student health club show off a new handwashing station.

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 Amos and Mildred deployed to the site to lead the event. 20 students and teachers attended the training, which we held on school grounds under a shady mango tree.

Students giggle while doing an icebreaker together.

We focused on personal, menstrual, oral, and environmental hygiene; proper water handling; soap-making and the ten steps of handwashing; the importance of primary health care, the prevention of teen pregnancy and COVID-19; child rights; the operation and maintenance of the pump, well, latrines, and handwashing stations; and leadership and governance. During the latter, the students elected their peers to lead their newly formed student health club.

The student health club 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 children loved showing off their knowledge of dental hygiene, which apparently they had just covered in class. They were eager to show off their tooth-brushing skills and to list the consequences of not taking good care of their teeth.

"The training was wonderful and has helped [me] to learn a lot of things about hygiene and sanitation," said student Dickson S. "Some of the things we have been taught here added knowledge on what we [were] taught in classes, [like] dental care."


This project required a substantial collaboration between our staff, our in-country teams, and the community members. 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!

March, 2023: Manda K Primary School Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Manda K 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!


Project Sponsor - Milliman IntelliScript