Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 1,071 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2024

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features

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Jeptulu Primary School has a whopping population of 1040 students and 31 teachers without a reliable, safe way to get their needed water throughout the year. The daily struggle to access sufficient water is a burden that rests heavily on the students' shoulders, quite literally.

A few water sources are available to the school, yet each has specific issues that pose significant risks.

There is a rain tank on the school grounds, but it depends on the rains and is unusable during the dry season. Even when it rains, and the tank fills with such a large population, it drains quickly, forcing students to search elsewhere for water.

The other option is for students to walk to a nearby unprotected spring by crossing a dangerous road. Collecting water here is a slow, tedious process, wasting students' time that should be used in class learning. And to top it off, the water they spend so much time collecting puts everyone who consumes it at risk of water-related illnesses since it is not filtered properly.

"The other alternative source which pupils use is [a] partially unprotected spring. The source is open to contamination, hard to access because of [the] terrain of the land, and more [challenging is] the distance which is far and dangerous when crossing the road," said field officer Victor Musemi.

"I have been a teacher for this school for a long period of time. Really we have suffered as a school. [The] majority of our pupils miss lessons getting water from outside the school, and this as a teacher is really demoralizing me as I cannot teach [a] few pupils [and] leave [the] others. [In] the month of January this year we really got many complaints from our pupils about stomachaches. This raised concerns [for] the entire [staff], as we forced pupils to seek medication before coming back to school," said teacher Antony Masioli, shown below collecting water from the unprotected spring.

“Having been given a chance to study in this school, I was a happy person, never knowing the challenges [the] school is facing. I have encountered problems related to water, especially when the tank lacks water, thus forcing us to collect water from other sources outside the school, which is tiresome," said 12-year-old Stacia I., shown below refilling the school's kitchen water containers.

"Surely I can’t concentrate in class when the teacher is teaching. I remember last term, during [our] exam time, we were forced to collect water before doing exams and this demoralized me. I didn’t perform [well during] the exam [because] my mind was not set at that time due to tiredness," she concluded.

Installing a well on Jeptulu's campus will enable students like Stacia and teachers like Antony to have plenty of water to drink and improve the school's learning environment. Then with water, everyone can concentrate on learning, and students will have time to dream and be hopeful about the future.

Water at schools is unique, which is why we need unique solutions.

The Proposed Solution, Determined Together...

At The Water Project, everyone has a part in conversations and solutions. We operate in transparency, believing it benefits everyone. We expect reliability from one another as well as our water solutions. Everyone involved makes this possible through hard work and dedication.

In a joint discovery process, community members determine their most advantageous water solution alongside our technical experts. Read more specifics about this solution on the What We're Building tab of this project page. Then, community members lend their support by collecting needed construction materials (sometimes for months ahead of time!), providing labor alongside our artisans, sheltering and feeding the builders, and supplying additional resources.

Water Access for Everyone

This water project is one piece in a large puzzle. In Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Uganda, we're working toward complete coverage of reliable, maintained water sources that guarantee public access now and in the future within a 30-minute round trip for each community, household, school, and health center. One day, we hope to report that this has been achieved!

Training on Health, Hygiene & More

With the community's input, we've identified topics where training will increase positive health outcomes at personal, household, and community levels. We'll coordinate with them to find the best training date. Some examples of what we train communities on are:

  • Improved hygiene, health, and sanitation habits
  • Safe water handling, storage & treatment
  • Disease prevention and proper handwashing
  • Income-generation
  • Community leadership, governance, & election of a water committee
  • Operation and maintenance of the water point

Handwashing Stations

Alongside each water source, we also provide two new gravity-fed handwashing stations that will allow everyone at the school to wash their hands without running water. Handwashing is so important to help prevent future water-related illnesses in the school community.

The student health club will maintain the stations, fill them with water, and supply them with soap (which we will teach the school community how to make during the training!).

VIP Latrines

In addition, we will construct two triple-door Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) latrine blocks designed to prevent fecal disease transmission. Each latrine will have a cement floor, which is easy to use and clean regularly. Three doors will serve the girls, and three doors will serve the boys.

Project Updates

June, 2024: Jeptulu Primary School Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Jeptulu 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.

Happy for clean water!

"Having a reliable water source will really help improve things for me. This is because, with a nearby source of water, which is the borehole, I will not have to miss school to fetch water from distant and unreliable sources. Therefore, this will mean that I will be able to attend classes regularly and make the most of my education," said 13-year-old Nicholas.


"Without the need to spend time fetching water, I will have more time to dedicate to my studies, homework, and extracurricular activities, allowing me to better my time and excel academically. Also, I will no longer have to worry about getting sick from contaminated water, allowing me to maintain better health and focus on my studies without the interruption of illnesses," continued Nicholas.

"For my teachers, access to clean water will help them spend less time worrying about water-related issues and more time focusing on lesson planning, instruction, and engaging with us as their students, leading to greater efficiency and effectiveness in their teaching," he shared, discussing how the new waterpoint would change his experience at school.

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

"Previously we had to travel long distances, [and] waste a lot of time just to rely on unsafe water sources. With this waterpoint being present, there is a sense of relief since we will no longer go through the troubles just to access water," said 40-year-old teacher Geoffrey Masiolo.

Teacher Geoffrey Masiolo.

"Access to clean water will positively affect my students. It will contribute to their well-being, such that clean water reduces the risk of waterborne diseases, leading to fewer absenteeism cases as a result of illness, and better overall health among my students. Also, with this nearby and reliable source of clean water, my students are more likely to attend school regularly instead of spending time going to fetch water from far [away]."

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.

Drilling begins.

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 7 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.

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

Building the 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

Students learn how to make soap that can be used in their 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, Joel Shitindo and Victor Musemi deployed to the site to lead the event. 31 students and teachers attended the training.


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.

Student Health Club.

"The topic that prompted the most discussions or interest from participants was hygiene and sanitation. We started by discussing why hygiene and sanitation are essential for overall health and well-being. We explored the link between good hygiene practices and preventing the spread of diseases, emphasizing how simple habits like handwashing can make a significant difference. To make the topic more engaging, we incorporated interactive activities such as role-playing scenarios, group discussions, demonstration of proper handwashing techniques, dental hygiene, and also soapmaking. These activities allowed students to actively participate and learn practical skills they could apply in their daily lives," shared Field Officer Joel Shitindo.

Dental hygiene session.

"The most memorable topic was dental hygiene and its practices. This is because we were taught proper brushing and flossing techniques. We were also shown the importance of thorough brushing and consistency. I had the opportunity to practice these techniques myself, ensuring I felt confident in my ability to maintain good oral hygiene," said Nicholas.


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, 2024: Jeptulu Primary School New Well Underway!

The lack of adequate water at Jeptulu 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!