Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 662 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2024

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features

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When looking at the photos of Ebubere Primary School, you might notice that the school already has a well. But the photos don't tell the whole story. As the photos suggest, the 662 students and staff members of the school do have access to a well, but it does not reliably provide sufficient, safe, clean water. Their unprotected, hand-dug well provides only dirty water, as evidenced by one look at the water's brown, murky color.

Students normally arrive at school by 6:30 a.m. each morning so they can collect water from the dug well, but the water discharge is slow, which inevitably delays the morning lessons for everyone. The contaminated water only gets dirtier the longer students pump, and as you can imagine, drinking it leaves students and school staff feeling ill and suffering from water-related illnesses like stomach and typhoid.

"When students and staff of the school use the water from the protected dug well, they suffer from typhoid, which affects the normal operation of the school," said 52-year-old teacher Roselida Makokha (shown below).

More serious issues present themselves when digging deeper into the truth about the current well. One of the greatest concerns is that the surrounding soil is unstable, so each time people stand near the well, it is at serious risk of collapsing. During the dry season each year, when the well dries up, students must collect water from a faraway spring, which consumes much of their time and energy. The waterpoint is also shared with many community members, and students are often told repeatedly that they must go to the back of the line by adults who prefer to go first.

Sometimes to avoid waiting in long lines to collect water, the students bring what water they can manage to collect from home instead, but that means they reach the school already tired and unable to fully concentrate during their lessons.

"I walk for long distances so that I can collect water for drinking and cooking in school. This makes me miss some classes, and also, when I come back from the spring, I am tired and cannot concentrate while the teacher is teaching," 15-year-old Melkzadick A. (shown below) said.

Hopefully, with a new, safer well that will provide protected, sufficient water to meet the needs at Ebubere Primary School, students will be able to get back to class and use their free time for other things instead of laboring to collect water.

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 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 new well right on school property, there should be enough water to keep them clean.

Training on Health, Hygiene, 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 disease 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 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.

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

February, 2024: Ebubere Primary School New Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Ebubere 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.

Celebrating clean water!

"I am now able to save a lot of time that I used to go to the river to fetch water. I will use that time for studying since the water is now easily accessible. It will also reduce the number of days I used to spend at home sick because of drinking dirty water from the river, and that will improve my health," said 13-year-old Purity P.


"I will use the time I used to go to the river to fetch water and now use it to study and excel in my studies," Purity concluded.

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

"I will now be able to take in clean water for both drinking and cooking, unlike before, where the water we used to drink was fetched by the students from a river which was not clean," said 53-year-old teacher Roselida Makokha.

Teacher Roselide at the new well.

"Now that this water point is complete, I am confident we are going to have a reduced rate of diseases among the students [that] are water-related. Also, it will reduce the time wasted in the morning by students going to the river to collect water for washing the toilets and cleaning classrooms. This will ensure a hundred percent attendance of learners, making the learning process swift and successful," continued Roselida.

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.

Groundbreaking ceremony.

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 80 meters with a final static water level of 3 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 showed this water was safe for drinking!

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

Installing the well pad and pump.

Students and staff celebrated the presence of clean water on campus.

"Students were dancing and singing at the water point, thanking you for making them achieve the dream of having a reliable source of water at their school," said Field Officer Edmond Otieno.

Students celebrating clean water!

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, Edmond Otieno, Adelaide Nasimiyu, Joyce Naliaka, and David Muthama were deployed to the site to lead the event. 14 students and teachers attended the training at the school.

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.

Learning how to make soap.

"The most memorable topic was water pollution and hygiene. During the training, students were asked how long drinking water should be stored in a container before changing it. Most of the students were surprised when they were told that the water should be changed after three days," said Edmond.


"I have learned how to maintain body cleanliness, food hygiene, and oral hygiene. The new knowledge I have acquired will help me improve my body cleanliness and how I handle food," said 15-year-old Brian A.


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 Kenya, Uganda, and Sierra Leone, we're working toward complete coverage. That means 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!

January, 2024: Ebubere Primary School Well Underway!

The lack of adequate water at Ebubere Primary School costs students time, energy, and health every single day. Clean water scarcity contributes to community instability and diminishes individuals’ personal progress.

But thanks to your recent generosity, things will soon improve here. We are now working to install a reliable water point and improve hygiene standards. We look forward to sharing inspiring news in the near future!

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