Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Program: Sand Dams in Kenya

Impact: 200 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Nov 2012

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/19/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

This project is being implemented by our partner African Sand Dam Foundation, and is focused on the construction of a shallow well with hand pump, and corresponding community education programs.

Below is unedited project information direct from our partner:


Wuumisyo wa Kiumoni self help group was formed in the year 2010. At the time of formation the group had a total of 44 members, although the community that will be served by the shallow well numbers around 200. The main reasons that led to the formation of the group are:-

1). Water insecurity

The area has acute water shortage. The main sources of water for the group are more than 4 kilometres away. This is at Machinery shopping centre. Due to the long distance means of carrying water is through bicycles and donkeys. The members are used to buying water from this water point at Ksh 4 shillings per 20 litre jerrican. Due to the distance one can only make one trip to fetch water in a day, this means that after the trip to the water point one is tired and cannot do any other productive work.

The situation is much worse during the dry periods of the year. This is because the available water points at the shopping centre are strained by the population around this area. The other alternative to fetching water is at River Kambu which is more than 8 kilometres away. This is where members take livestock to get water. At times the condition is tedious and the livestock go for days without water which has in turn affected the quality and health status of the livestock.

2). Food insecurity.

The area also has severe food insecurity due to the lack of reliable rains to support food production. The main form of agriculture in the area heavily depends on rain. On several occasions members have had severe crop failure that has lead to acute food shortage in the area. Since agriculture is the main form of livelihood, thus many farmers’ livelihood patterns have been affected. Lack of harvest means that children stay at home because of lack of school fees and families have to adopt to new poor eating habits.  Many families only eat one meal per day which has resulted to severe health complications. This further increases the burden of poverty in most families.

Another reason that contributes to low harvest is the type of seeds that are planted by the farmers. Most farmers rely heavily on uncertified seeds that are not able to do well in the current weather patterns. Most of the farmers plant maize and other type of seeds and they have no clue from where the seeds are from. The seeds require heavy rainfall that is rare in this area, therefore on most occasions most farmers do not have sufficient harvests.

The state of farms is also wanting since most of the farms are eroded and they are not terraced. The soil fertility is low therefore the farm yields and harvests are low. Most farmers rely on planting of maize and beans using the pure stand methods. This means that in case of low rainfall they will completely have no harvest.


The area has been experiencing severe droughts for the last three years and due to this a number of effects have been felt by the farmers which include:-

  • Severe distortion of the coping mechanisms of the community. Agriculture remains to be the main economic activity of the area. The area depends on rain fed agriculture. During the last three years the income generation through agriculture has been minimal. This leads to the disposal of important assets such as livestock in order to buy food and cater for other basic needs within the household.
  • Food prices have sky rocketed and so is the cost of living. “I have never bought maize at Ksh 45 since I was born. Most farmers sell the crop at Ksh 9 only to buy it at Ksh 45.I have a family and children in school who need school fees how will I raise the required money to buy food and make sure my children stay in school”. Savethi Mutinda.
This project will allow the community to access groundwater, to provide both clean water in the home as well as water for subsistence agriculture. African Sand Dam Foundation are working with the group on both hygiene knowledge and agricultural sustainability, to ensure that this water supply contributes to the groups development as much as possible.
This well was funded in connection with a sand dam constructed in a community where, due to difficult geology, a shallow well could not be constructed.  To see that project, click here.

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Project Photos

Project Type

Hand-dug wells have been an important source of water throughout human history! Now, we have so many different types of water sources, but hand-dug wells still have their place. Hand dug wells are not as deep as borehole wells, and work best in areas where there is a ready supply of water just under the surface of the ground, such as next to a mature sand dam. Our artisans dig down through the layers of the ground and then line the hole with bricks, stone, or concrete, which prevent contamination and collapse. Then, back up at surface level, we install a well platform and a hand pump so people can draw up the water easily.

Raising Hope Through Sand Dams

March, 2014

Her smile provides a welcoming embrace to all she meets, but her ambitious plans for her big family are equally radiant. 

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Wuumisyo Wa Kiumoni Community.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Wuumisyo Wa Kiumoni Community 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 all began when Loise Masila, a 68 year old mother of twelve heard of Africa Sand Dam Foundation (ASDF) and together with her group members of Wuumisyo wa Kiumoni Self Help Group asked for ASDFs’ support, through working together with them they have constructed four sand dams and one protected shallow well which has been their main source of drinking water.

After constructing the first sand dam which was sited at Loise’s land she quickly learned how beneficial growing vegetables and planting fruit trees could be to her family. With the water from the sand dams Loise started planting fruits trees such as mangoes, pawpaw’s, (papaya) graviola, and vegetables such as okra, spinach kale and tomatoes for consumption and selling the surplus to earn income.


Her smile provides a welcoming embrace to all she meets, but her ambitious plans for her big family are equally radiant. Her goal was to turn her major asset, her farm into an investment for the future. The more vegetable and fruits she grows, the more she diversifies her farm and her family’s diet. Loise can also provide a better education for her children with extra income earned from the farm; she is not only a farmer but also a businesswoman with big dreams.


Despite drought and famine Loise would walk six kilometres a day in search of water for her family in Kiumoni village. Loise tells her story: “We relied on a piped water kiosk at the railway station in Ngwata which was many many miles away. During our long trek to the kiosk we would encounter buffalos posing a danger to our lives that was back in the year 1968, when the wild animals were still hovering around our homestead, because we border Tsavo National Park.

In1976 the situation became better because a villager dug a shallow well and would sell to us a twenty-liter jerrican for one cent. In 1980’s due to heavy rains and desertification, a river formed but it only had water during rainy seasons. In the dry season we would dig very deep scoop holes to get only a few jericans of water, which tasted very salty. Also, there used to be very long queues at the scoop hole since the entire village depended on it as their only source of water.”


Today, thanks to the ASDF in partnership with The Water Project there is new hope and dreams within the Self Help group where Loise is a member, because of a newly constructed shallow well in one of their sand dams. With water from the shallow well farmers have been able to get clean water for drinking, grow vegetables for home consumption and then go on to sell the surplus to buy goats. As of September 2013, the group has bought four goats. The women also work together to dig farm terraces so as to curb soil erosion and improve farm production.

For women like Loise who no longer have to make this dangerous journey to collect water, they now have the time and the means to turn their lands into a profitable mix of agriculture both rain fed and irrigated. Instead of walking six kilometres a day in search of water, the women in the group can till their farms and even have time for attending weekly group meetings to discuss challenges and how to overcome them and plan ahead for their future and their children’s future. 

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 Wuumisyo Wa Kiumoni Community 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 Wuumisyo Wa Kiumoni Community – 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.