Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 971 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2023

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 01/09/2024

Project Features

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The 904 students and 67 teachers at Shieywe Secondary School struggle to collect water to meet their daily water needs. And even though they have access to several water options, the amount they can collect is still insufficient.

The local municipality supplies piped water to the school through a single tap, but the water is often rationed, making it unreliable. But even when the pipe functions at full capacity, it does not provide enough water for the school's needs. Students fight for access to the single pipe, and inevitably, time is wasted waiting in lines, making them miss valuable class time.

"[The] shortage of water in the school has greatly affected sanitation and hygiene standards in the school. Cleaning [the] toilets is not done as it should [be], and this turns to be a health hazard. Generally, as a school, we have not observed hygiene standards to the level we would wish to," said 42-year-old teacher Imboni Mbenedict (shown below).

The school also has a 30,000-liter rainwater tank that was installed several years ago, but since then, the student population has increased. The tank cannot hold enough water for the drinking, cleaning, cooking, and hygiene needs of the entire school population. And with the unpredictable rainy seasons in Kenya over the last several years due to climate change, the school administration never knows how full the tank will be.

When the tank is empty, students are forced to visit a nearby stream to collect water instead, along with a large portion of the community. With all the time spent off the school campus collecting water, the students are missing valuable learning time needed to build brighter futures.

"Programs in any formal learning institution are structured and well timetabled. Each program has time allocated for it, and whenever there is a delay in one program, it affects all the other programs. Delay at the water queue is enough to disrupt all other activities of the day. This makes it difficult to meet daily targets, which eventually affects [my] academic performance," said 17-year-old student Leah J. (shown above).

With a well right on the school campus, hopefully, students will be able to return to class and save their resources of time and energy for learning.

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: Shieywe Secondary School Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Shieywe Secondary 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.

Students celebrate clean water!

"[I] am so lucky to be in school [at] such a time. [I] am one clean girl, and I love to stay in a clean environment. The water project is going to make my life so comfortable and conducive for learning. My academic performance is automatically going to improve significantly," said 17-year-old Leah J.

Leah fetching water.

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

"[I] am a teacher who loves my students so much. [I] am excited seeing students get access to clean water. This indicates that my mathematics subject will generally improve in its performance as students will have more time to study," said 42-year-old teacher Imboti Benedict.

Teacher Imboti Benedict.

Mr. Benedict continued, "I have always [desired] to have a kitchen garden in school that will always supply us with vegetables [during] all seasons. This water point will help greatly in irrigating the farm during dry seasons. It will also help us make soap and sell [it] to the school courtesy of the CTC (Child to Child) health club formed."

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.

Preparing the drilling rig.

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 71 meters with a final static water level of 27 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.

Water at last!

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.

Completing the pump.

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.

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

Students in front of a new latrine.

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

Boys at the 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 Jacklyne and Joel deployed to the site to lead the event. 21 students and teachers attended the training, which we held under some shade trees.

Students and teachers practice washing their hands.

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 child health club (CHC).

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.

A teacher demonstrates brushing her teeth.

The topic of proper dental hygiene was interesting. One of the male students got a laugh when he confirmed that he had been using the same toothbrush for the last four years without changing it. This was normal to him since he couldn't remember ever seeing his father get a new toothbrush. Needless to say, when he was given a new toothbrush during the session, he was very excited.

When the topic of menstrual hygiene was raised, everyone kept quiet and did not want to respond at first, but as the session proceeded, every participant took part. The male teachers impressed the field officers when they promised to ensure that the girls have access to sanitary towels and to initiate the construction of a bathroom dedicated specifically to female students so they can feel more comfortable during their menses.

Learning how to make soap.

"The training was very educative and memorable. There are topics on dental hygiene and environmental hygiene that form three students could not recall well [that] we were taught long ago while in form one. This information will not only help me to improve on my hygiene standards, but also it has formed a basis of subject revision in preparation for my upcoming exams," said 17-year-old Hillary S., the Child Health Club president.


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!

April, 2023: Shieywe Secondary School New Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Shieywe Secondary 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!


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