Kiluta Self Help Group Shallow Well Project

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Sand Dams in Kenya

Latitude -1.95
Longitude 37.52

500 Served

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Stories and Community Profile

This project is a part of our shared program with Africa Sand Dam Foundation. Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).

This shallow well project is only possible because of another project also going on in the same area. A sand dam has been constructed that will cause the water table in the area to rise. To see the sand dam project, click here.


Kiluta self-help group, in Ngaa area of Matiliku region, was formed in 2009. The aim of forming the group was to fight a common enemy that has afflicted the area for many years: an acute water shortage. So acute has this problem been that the members feel it is responsible for their poverty. They have been grounded, their entire lives made to revolve around the search for water.

There are three main sources of water for the people of Ngaa area. Kikuu River is one of them. It is approximately 4 kilometers away and it would take a member around 5 hours to go, fetch water and get back home. The other option is to buy water from the chief’s camp in Matiliku Market. One jerrican costs five shillings and one has to pay for a motor bike to transport the water to their home. This costs between 150 shillings and 200 shillings depending on one’s proximity to the market. It’s quite a costly affair.

The last and most preferred option is to fetch water at Kwa Mukuti Scoop Holes. This is along the Ikuma River and is quite close to their homes. The problem is the water takes time to sieve into the well and the people are forced to wait long hours to fill their containers. It takes about thirty minutes to fill one twenty-litre jerrican. Being the closest source of water for the community, everybody fetches water there and thus there are long queues that one has to wait out in order to fetch water. They fetch water late into the night, sometimes till the wee hours of the morning. This becomes very risky, especially for the women, who are exposed to security threats, the danger of animal attacks and other such risks.

The members of Kiluta Self-Help Group, are confident that the situation will change with the construction of sand dams. The sand dam recently constructed nearby transforms the area by raising the water table. The raised water table enables the construction of this shallow well, providing a safe, clean, close source of water for household and agricultural use. They hope to engage in irrigation farming and plant vegetables which they may sell and generate income for the group. They will set up tree nurseries and a demo farm for the group. Individually, the members could make bricks to sell. The prospects are endless!


A distribution of seeds and tree seedlings was conducted at the end of June. With the help of these seeds, Self Help Group members will continue to use the sustainable farming skills such as terracing and planting of specific plant species that help fight erosion along the river banks, where some of the farms are located. The distribution not only helps thwart off soil erosion but also assists farmers in growing their farms to a point where they can grow a surplus well beyond subsistence farming and sell in markets for extra income.


The construction was scheduled during a rainy season, so the shallow well could not be finished on time. Workers also discovered hard bedrock that prevented further excavation. However, since this is a good site, the depth is adequate for water to filter into the dam.

The pump was not installed right away because the well was surrounded by rainwater received in May and June. Workers were forced to wait until September to complete this project.


Three workers excavated the well over the course of two months, March and April. This excavation project took two full weeks of work.

Materials were collected by nine community members in April.

It took one week for six people to wall in the well. This was completed on April 30th.

The pump installation was delayed. It was finally installed in the month of September.

Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

11/02/2015: Kiluta Self Help Group Shallow Well Complete

We are thrilled to inform you that weather finally allowing, the community of Kiluta Self Help Group has a new source of safe, clean water. You can read about how our partner worked with the community to improve their farming techniques. This information can be found in the updated report along with pictures of sanitation and hygiene training and many other activities. The community is already enjoying and benefiting from these new resources, and is so grateful for the potential unlocked by this shallow well and its accompanying sand damn project.

The Water Project and Self Help Group Community Thank You for making clean water a reality.

The Water Project : kenya4313-23-complete

10/06/2015: Kiluta Shallow Well Project Progressing Well

We are excited to announce that, thanks to your willingness to help, the community of Kiluta Self Help Group will soon have a new source of safe clean water. A new shallow well is being constructed and our partner is working with the community to improve sanitation and hygiene practices and develop better farming techniques. We just posted a report including information about the community, GPS coordinates, and pictures. Because of some delays in the project caused by heavy rains, we have had to adjust the expected completion date. Shortly after construction started, the area was flooded with water, but work has resumed and is going well. We’ll keep you posted as the work continues.

Take a look, and Thank You for your help!

The Water Project : kenya4313-14-well-construction

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump
Location:  Central Kenya
ProjectID: 4313
Install Date:  09/02/2015

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 12/21/2017
Well Depth:  13.00M

Visit History:
04/07/2016 — Functional
08/22/2016 — Functional
12/06/2016 — Functional
06/04/2017 — Functional
09/06/2017 — Functional
12/21/2017 — Functional


Project Sponsor - Alan and Lesley Pedersen - Dedicated to Peace Corp Volunteers

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Country Details


Population: 39.8 Million
Lacking clean water: 43%
Below poverty line: 50%

Partner Profile

Africa Sand Dam Foundation (ASDF) supports self-help groups to harvest and conserve water through construction of sand dams & shallow wells, rock catchments and school roof catchments.