Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 91 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/07/2024

Project Features

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Health centers need a steady supply of clean, safe water for treating patients and maintaining a sanitary environment. Unfortunately, in the dry season, this isn't the case at Eluche Health Center.

The Kenyan government has plans to expand this health facility to meet the growing health demands of the area, but won't provide the funding unless the Center can procure a reliable source of water.

The facility shares its small rainwater catchment tank with community members and a local church. When it rains, this isn't a problem. But the dry season causes significant trouble for the center and the surrounding community. Staff and patients' families are sent searching for water wherever it can be found. Most often, this is from a local water cart, whose water source has not been verified to be safe for human consumption.

"As the in-charge [nurse], when there is [a] lack of water, [I] am forced to buy [it], " said head nurse Nancy Kibiende, seen below at the rain tank. "We do not have a [budget] allocation for this. Imagine!"

Philip N., a 14-year-old student who happened to be an inpatient at the health center during our visit, explained what it's like to be a patient when the water has dried out. "I thirst for water so much, I just don’t know what to do," he said. "Especially after getting to the facility and I lack water to drink."

Staff told us that the reason they worry most about the lack of water is the expectant mothers who come there for birthing. Each birth requires a good deal of water, and the staff doesn't feel comfortable using the purchased water from the cart to clean the tired mothers and fragile newborns, but currently, they have no choice.

Everyone who works at the health center and everyone who depends on it for treatment is highly anticipating the implementation of the borehole well, and cannot wait for the project to be completed.

What We Can Do:

New Well

We conducted a hydrogeological survey and the results indicated the water table here 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 clinic's needs, even through the dry season.

The clinic 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 clinic will use water from the well and staff for drinking, handwashing, cleaning, and much more.

The clinic and we strongly believe that all of these components will work together to make the clinic easier to clean, which will aid in treatment and unlock the opportunity for patients and staff alike to live better, healthier lives.

Handwashing Stations

We will install two new handwashing stations and ensure they are kept clean and in working condition. The clinic staff will fill the handwashing stations with water daily and make sure they are always supplied with a cleaning agent such as soap or ash.

Training on Health, Hygiene, COVID-19, and More

We will hold a one-day intensive training session. 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 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 also lead lectures, group discussions and provide illustrative handouts to teach health topics and promote good hygiene practices, 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

March, 2022: Eluche Health Center Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Eluche Health Center in Kenya now has access to a new safe, clean water source, thanks to the completion of their new borehole well! The staff, patients, and community 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 installed new handwashing stations for staff and patients, and we trained participants on improved sanitation and hygiene practices, including COVID-19 prevention. These components work together to unlock the opportunity for the staff and their patients to live healthier lives.

Celebrating clean water!

"Access to clean and safe water will make my work easy as there will be enough water at the facility for the day-to-day operations of the facility," said 50-year-old nurse Nancy Kibiende.

Nurse Nancy splashing water.

She continued, "Now that we have water here, we are going to expand the dispensary so that we can build wards. It will help to improve the lives of the residents."

Our field officer, Protus Ekesa, shared that having a reliable water source at Eluche Health Center will make health center operations easier and allow the staff to expand their services to include inpatient wards. They are hopeful this will reduce deaths in the community because patients will no longer have to travel long distances at night searching for treatment.

Diana washes her hands.

Diana C., 17, who lives in the community, said, "I will be saving time that I would have used to go fetching water from far to do some other things. [I] am very happy. I will be able to save [the] money that I have been spending on water to start [a] business."

How We Got the Water Flowing

Staff and community members 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 the new well.

To prepare for the project, everyone helped collect fine sand and water for our artisans to use in making cement. When everything was ready, our drill team and staff arrived at the clinic to begin work.

The drill team arriving.

The drilling process can take up to three consecutive days to complete due to this region's hard bedrock, so when the drill team arrived, they set up a small camp where they could rest and refuel in shifts near the drill rig. The clinic's kitchen staff and community members helped provide meals for the team, while the clinic provided a safe place for the artisans' accommodations and materials. People of all ages came to watch the well's progress throughout each day.

Drilling commenced with excitement in the air. As the rig progressed, the team drove down a temporary casing to keep the walls from collapsing. We continued drilling to reach a final depth of 90 meters with a final static water level of 14 meters.

The team replaced the temporary casing with a permanent version and then bailed out the dirty water at the bottom of the well. They installed the pipes and flushed them, tested the well's yield, and chlorinated the water.

Following chlorination, we constructed a cement well pad to seal off the well from any ground-level contaminants. The pad includes tiles beneath the drawing area to help protect the cement from the erosive force of the water, and a short drainage channel to carry spilled water away from the pump, preventing standing water at the access point. At the end of the drainage channel, we also dug a soak pit that helps absorb the runoff into the ground, further eliminating stagnant water.

When the well pad was dry, we installed a new stainless steel AfriDev handpump and took a water quality test to send to a government lab. The results came back announcing that this water is safe for drinking!

We officially handed over the new borehole during a dedication ceremony. The local community administration, including the Assistant Chief, Stanley Musungu, attended the celebration full of excitement, ululation, and singing.

The event was an excellent chance for us to acknowledge the clinic administration and staff 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.

Handwashing Stations

The two handwashing stations were set up during training and handed over to the health center. The water user committee members will teach people how to wash their hands at the stations properly, make sure the stations are filled with water, and ensure that there is always a cleaning agent such as soap or ash available.

New Knowledge

We scheduled hygiene and sanitation training with the clinic staff, who ensured that the training date would be convenient for everyone involved. When the training day arrived, facilitators Protus, Elvine, Adelaide, and Joyce deployed to the site to lead the event. 18 clinic staff, community health volunteers, and representative community members attended the training, which we held outside in the fresh air.

We focused on COVID-19 prevention, transmission, and symptoms while also covering several other topics. These included personal hygiene and the ten steps of handwashing; environmental hygiene; operation and maintenance of the well and handwashing stations; income-generating projects; and leadership and governance. During the latter, everyone elected their peers to lead their newly formed water user committee.

The committee will be significantly involved in the water, sanitation, and hygiene project management at the clinic. It will be responsible for encouraging good health and hygiene practices amongst its peers, patients, and the larger community. By the end of the training, each participant understood their role in sustaining clean water and good health within their community.

Soapmaking session,

During the water handling and management session, the trainer told participants they should be washing their water containers daily. The participants were shocked to learn this. They noted that most of their containers were dirty but agreed to follow what they had learned.

Assistant Chief, Stanley Musungu.

The community's assistant chief, Stanley Musungu, said, "I will use the knowledge acquired in this training [to] empower my people economically. I will also be able to curb social vices."

When an issue arises concerning the well, the staff 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!

February, 2022: Eluche Health Center Well Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Eluche Health Center drains people’s time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this community health center 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: Access to water for drinking and medical care!

March, 2023

A year ago, your generous donation helped Eluche Health Center in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Kanipha. 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 Health Center.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Eluche Health Center 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!

"It was always hard for us to access water. Our lives together with our children were always at risk because we had to cross the road to get water from the other end, which also a long distance [away]," said 34-year-old Kanipha Wesonga, who serves as a community health volunteer.

But since a well was installed last year, things have been different for the staff of the health center and area community members.

"I am happy that I've been able to access water easily throughout the year, including [during the] dry season," said Kanipha.

With access to plenty of clean, safe water, Kanipha's role as a community health volunteer has become easier.

"I have been able to do my work as a CHV well, including cleaning the hospital and all the surfaces. Our patients are also able to get water for drinking and other purposes. It also helped me encourage my [fellow] community members on matters of hygiene and sanitation since they can easily access water all the time," concluded Kanipha.

Kanipha with other community health volunteers.

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 Health Center 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 Health Center – 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