Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 1,589 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 01/18/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

In recent years, Ebwaliro Primary School has grown to 1,527 students from the Early Childhood Class through Grade 8. The school boasts of being champions in music and drama clubs, and excellent players of football and netball (similar to volleyball) as evidenced by trophies inside the Headteacher’s office.

Understandably, with such a large student population, the demands for water are huge to provide enough water for drinking, cooking, and school hygiene.

Currently, the school has two rain tanks and a protected dug well, but due to seasonality, they cannot be relied upon to provide the needed water. Most of the time they are dry and it is up to the students to bring water from home each day.

"Carrying water in the morning is heavy and it makes me very tired which causes me to be late. I need to come in early," said Sakinah K. ( in the photo below), age 12.

Using water from unknown contaminated sources is leading to children and teachers getting sick with water-related illnesses like diarrhea, amoeba, and typhoid. This causes a lot of absenteeism and affects the overall school performance.

“It really affects performance because when students get sick, they are absent, and delivering results becomes a challenge to me as the school head. I really need a permanent solution to the water crisis,” said David Nduku, a 52-year-old teacher.

Drilling a borehole well will meet the water needs of the school and allow students the opportunity to focus on learning so they can have a bright future.

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

May, 2022: Ebwaliro Primary School Borehole Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Ebwaliro Primary School in Kenya now has access to a 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.

"The water will help me [with] drinking, cleaning, and also washing my classroom," said 14-year-old Dismus.

Dismus at the new well.

"I will be coming to school early because there is water," Dismus continued. "I used to come late so that [I would] not [be] told to go fetch water outside. This will help me achieve good marks."

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

"As [a] sanitation teacher, this water point will help me have a clean and safe environment," said teacher Anastacia Chekayi. "There will be also enough water to drink, and since I know the source, I will not be spending money on buying drinking water."

Anastacia at the well.

"This water point has come at a time when the school has just started improving its mean [exam] score," Anastacia continued. "The water source will reduce absenteeism, therefore the school's mean score will go higher."

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 90 meters with a final static water level of nine 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 storage for their 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.

Dedication ceremony.

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.

Handwashing Stations

Dismus demonstrates proper handwashing technique to his fellow students.

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 Protus Ekesa and Purity Ilolo deployed to the site to lead the event. 19 students and teachers attended the training, which we held on the 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. 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 training was valuable to me because I have [learned] how to make a simple leaky tin," said 14-year-old student Saumu. "I will make one at home."

Saumu on the day of the hygiene training.

For context, leaky tins are simple, inexpensive handwashing stations that can be made using any container.

The most memorable training topic for the students was water handling and management. When the trainers asked students how they normally drink water, most responded that they just use their hands cupped beneath a well spout. We cautioned students to drink water using clean cups, bottles, or containers instead, which will hopefully cut down on disease transmission for this community.

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!

April, 2022: Ebwaliro Primary School Well Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Ebwaliro 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 know I will pass with flying colors when the exams come."

May, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Ebwaliro 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!

Before we installed a borehole well at Ebwaliro Primary School last year, the students had to bring water with them from home every day.

"Before this borehole was drilled, as a school, [we] had a challenge in getting clean water," explained headteacher David Nduku, whom we spoke to each time we visited. "Teachers had to ask students to carry water from their homes every day. Sometimes, the water that was carried from their homes was not sufficient, so the students had to skip some lessons in order to get water from a nearby spring or the from the secondary school."

"Getting water before was tiresome," said 14-year-old student Sakinah K., whom we interviewed on our first visit to the school. "Carrying water plus books was a tiresome exercise. Sometimes you [would] have to put drinking water in the bag, plus books. At times, before reaching school, the bottle [would open] and all the water [would pour] out on the books. At school, you [would be] punished for being careless. You [would] have to wait for the books to dry before writing your notes. This [would] make you next time not carry your drinking water. You have to bear with the thirst, or borrow water from friends."

But the water situation didn't only affect the students in the morning; it would haunt them through their entire school day.

"At school, you [would] arrive tired, making you not concentrate," Sakinah said. "Sometimes, you [would] doze off because of the tiredness and the fact that you woke up early to look for water before going to school."

But now, all those worries are behind them, and pupils can focus on what matters most.

"[I] am excited that this project was brought to this school," Sakinah said. "We now have water throughout the term. No more carrying water from home. This has helped me have enough time to sleep. I come to school on time, feeling refreshed. I'm alert in class, and this has made my grades improve greatly."

"Now we are sure of the safety of the water at school," said Mr. Nduku. "We are living healthy lives. The cases of absenteeism [have] greatly reduced. This water point has enabled us as a school to grow our own vegetables. These vegetables grow throughout the year. It has helped us to save much as a school."

With more time and energy, Sakinah is now excitedly working toward her future.

"Being [an exam] candidate, I need to have enough time to study in order to pass my exams, which will come before [the] end of this year," Sakinah said. "This water at school has helped me concentrate and study. I no longer worry [about] how I will carry water to school. I have enough time to study, and I know that I will pass with flying colors when the exams come."

Sakinah rinses her hands in the well 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 Ebwaliro 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 Ebwaliro 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