Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 702 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Apr 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/04/2024

Project Features

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The 702 students of Eluche Primary School have two options for water, and neither of them is a guarantee. If it's the wet season, they go to their well on school grounds—the one that's contaminated and infects the students and teachers alike with countless cases of cholera and typhoid every year.

If it's the dry season, their well doesn't have any water. So, water attempt #2 brings students next door to the secondary school. This well usually has water, but the pump is broken more often than not. So even after this trip, they may return to school with empty jerrycans.

14-year-old student Valary (pictured below) explained: "When [the well] dries up, we are forced to fetch from [the] secondary school, which also breaks down most of the time. For sure, it has been a challenge."

But the student's water problems don't come only during the dry season. In the wet season, even when the well has water, students are forced to wait in line for their chance to get water.

"The dug well is shared with the community, which creates hostility with the pupils," Valary said, "because community members believe they should fetch water first before we do."

The school's Head Teacher, George Matete, elaborated on the problem. "Though water is life, its inadequacy can impact negatively on academic performance and interference of school routine due to time-wasting, as learners queue at the dug well waiting for their turn to draw water."

The students in this community are plagued by scarcity both at school and at home. Students wear too-small uniforms, no shoes, and dust-browned masks. Because they are constantly plagued by water-related illnesses, their health is poor. And because water at Eluche is scarce, the classrooms and latrines are rarely cleaned.

In the past, the students' parents would have earned income and provided food for their families by farming. However, most of the community's land was recently sold to a nearby nuclear power plant, which left many without land in which to plant vegetables or keep livestock.

With a borehole well at school, these children will have a reliable source of nourishment and cleanliness. Their health will improve, and so too will their visions for their futures.

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 season.

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 hand-pump. Once finished, the school’s students and staff will use water from the well and staff for drinking, handwashing, cooking, cleaning, and much more.

The school and we 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 unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

Handwashing Stations

The student health club will oversee two new handwashing stations we will provide and ensure 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

Two triple-door latrine blocks will be constructed with local materials that the school will help gather. Three doors will serve the girls, and three doors will serve the boys. These new latrines will have cement floors designed to be easy to use and clean. And with a rain tank 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 rain tank, latrines, and handwashing stations. There will be a special emphasis on handwashing.

Our team of facilitators will use various 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 home. We will also lead lectures, group discussions and provide illustrative handouts to teach health topics and promote good hygiene practices within the school, including handwashing and water treatment. We will then conduct a series of follow-up training before transitioning to our regularly scheduled support visits throughout the year.

Project Updates

April, 2022: Eluche Primary School Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Eluche 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 on improved sanitation and hygiene practices. Together, these components will unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

With access to the new well, things will be different for students like Valary M., 14, who said, "I will not be carrying water from home and will be keeping time to settle in class to learn."

Valary washes her hands.

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

"It will help save time, reduce [the] risk of waterborne disease and generally improve [the] health of both the students and the school at large. This will give me peace as the school headteacher," said George Matete, 57.

Mr. Matete.

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.

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 12 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.

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 show this water is 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.

The dedication ceremony was a celebration for the entire school. The students were happy to finally be relieved of the burden of coming to school with water every morning and the teachers and parents promised to 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: 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.

Handwashing Stations

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 Elvine, Adelaide, Joyce, Protus, Joy, and Edmond deployed to the site to lead the event. 15 students and teachers attended the training, which we held in a classroom.

Our training covered several topics, including personal hygiene, oral hygiene, the ten steps of handwashing, environmental hygiene, child rights, operation and maintenance of the well and pump, latrines, handwashing stations, and leadership.

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.

During the water handling and management session, a favorite topic of the training, a facilitator explained ways to make water safe for drinking. Students knew of boiling, chlorination, and water filtration, but the facilitator also taught the students the process of solar purification. They were very excited to learn a new way of providing safe drinking water.

Students learn how to make soap.

The session about the ten steps of handwashing was also popular. The trainer shared with participants that they should wash their hands after every activity. The participants were amazed since most of them only wash their hands before eating. They agreed to change the way they look at handwashing and adopt the new techniques they've acquired through the training.

"The training has helped me to know how to take care of myself," said Riziki, 14.

Ridziki R.

He continued, "I have also learned how to brush my teeth and maintain [the] hygiene of my body and my clothes. I have also learned how to keep [the] water clean to get clean and safe water."

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.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

March, 2022: Eluche Primary School New Well Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage Eluche 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: Clean Water, Big Dreams!

July, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Eluche 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!

Bilal O., 11, recalled what life was like in Eluche Primary School before his school’s well was installed last year.

"I used to get tired [from] carrying water from home to school every day. I never liked it at all," Bilal shared.

But life is much more comfortable for Bilal and the other students at Eluche Primary School now.

"I can easily access water for drinking, and even cleaning whenever I need to. I am no longer worried about [the] mornings [like] when I used to carry water to school. I am happy that I can sit in a clean environment and concentrate on my studies," he continued.

Having ready access to water from the borehole well has made a difference for Bilal, allowing him to prioritize his studies.

"I plan to study hard so that I can pass [my] exams and achieve my dream of saving our family from poverty," Bilal concluded.

Thank you for helping Bilal access clean water and giving him tools to help him achieve his dreams.

Right now, there are others just like him 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.

Excited for clean water!

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 Eluche 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 Eluche 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 - StossWater