St Veronica Weonia Primary School

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Wells for Schools - Kenya

Latitude 0.61
Longitude 34.68

500 Served

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Stories and Community Profile

This content has been provided by our partner IcFEM.


Sikhendu sits on the slopes of Mount Elgon, accessed via mud roads off the main potholed tarmac road from Kitale to Webuye. From Sikhendu there are amazing views over this area of Western Kenya, surrounded by different varieties of trees and even the occasional field of sunflowers in season. Sikhendu borders the areas of Kamukuywa and Naitiri, and is not far from Kiminini.

Sikhendu is known as a peaceful area, and some people fled and stayed in Sikhendu during the post election violence of 2007. The majority of people in Sikhendu rely on subsistence farming, growing crops such as maize, beans, sweet potatoes and local vegetables such as sukuma-wiki which is a bit like spinach. A few farmers manage to rear cows or goats for dairy products. The area is fertile and good for growing a variety of crops.

The young (and even the more senior) villagers of Sikhendu are partial to sports and you will often find a game of football, volleyball or netball taking place. The area has even produced a national volleyball star called Violet Baras, and also boasts a squad of people living with a disability who meet regularly to play wheelchair volleyball.

Everlyne Wafula is a farmer and a resident of Sirisia village in Weonia location. One week ago, she was diagnosed with typhoid as a result of taking contaminated water from the only spring available in the village.

Her case exemplifies the suffering of the people of Weonia location due to poor sanitation (lack of proper toilets) and the consumption of water from unsafe sources. The problem is compounded by the distance that women and children have to cover (over 3 kilometers) to obtain the scarce resource.

The project will benefit over 300 families in the village and 900 pupils from the school who have had to carry water from their homes or from the village spring, plus many other families from surrounding villages.

According to Stephen Kiberenge, the Chairman of the School Committee, the borehole will reduce the time wasted in the search for water, help in construction of the school; the increase of clay works in the village to provide employment, the provision of water to the local Weonia Community Dispensary and encouraging the growth of the local market.

However, problems abound in this village such as a high rate of school dropout (only 3 people in the village have university education) and a general state of poverty among the people. It is hoped that the introduction of clean water will be the catalyst for a series of improvements in living conditions and a move out of poverty for all in the local communities.

Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

01/03/2012: Water flowing at St Veronica!

Bridge Water Project and IcFEM have been in touch with us with fantastic news that the project hardware has been installed and water is flowing at St Veronica!

This is such a great step forward for the pupils of the school and the local community. It’s also a great way for us all to start the new year – with inspiring news of effective community development in Kenya!   

The Water Project : happy-st-veronica-pupils-celebrating-2 The Water Project : water-flowing-st-veronica-primary-school-1-2 The Water Project : water-flowing-st-veronica-primary-school-2 The Water Project : water-flowing-st-veronica-primary-2

12/20/2011: St Veronica site flushed and test pumped!

IcFEM have confirmed that the borehole at St Veronica has been flushed and test pumped, and is primed for the concrete works and pump installation. This is great news after long delay. We are expecting further news of progress later this week. For now we are delighted that the project is progressing and that the people of St Veronica can look forward to a clean water source for the new year. 

The Water Project : flushing-st-veronica-school-3-2 The Water Project : flushing-st-veronica-school_1-2

10/05/2011: Update on project progress at St Veronica

IcFEM have completed the community education, and report a great response from the community and a real improvement on the ground. Hygiene and sanitation has been a focus of this education, but IcFEM have also worked through ideas relating to water source management and sustainability. 

The borehole has been drilled, and it has a great yield, suitable for either a submersible electric pump or a simple handpump. We are so happy to be able to report this! 

However, during this time there have also been some logistical issues with the District Water Office in Western Kenya relating to the paper work required. Ourselves at TWP, the contractor we hired for the borehole drilling, and IcFEM are all working hard to push these issues through, and hope to be able to complete this project soon. 

08/22/2011: St Veronica Primary School Update

An update for the St Veronica Primary School site in Sikhendu:

Empowering Local Community Health Representatives
Community health representatives from the Sikhendu area were given the opportunity to receive training in good practice relating to sanitation and hygiene, thanks to the partnership between IcFEM and The Water Project. There was an excellent response from the local health leaders, with the sessions based upon a PILLARS training manual from Tear Fund (Encouraging Good Hygiene and Sanitation). 

The training took place over 3 days in a local church hall close to the project site, led by a combination of IcFEM staff and 3 locally-selected Trainers of Trainers (TOT) who had received training during a previous session at IcFEM HQ. Following the training sessions, each person was tasked with returning to their home villages to pass on the knowledge they had learnt to their peers in the community. This will reduce the number of people suffering from avoidable illnesses caused by poor sanitation and hygiene, which when complimented by the addition of the new borehole will noticeably improve the quality of life for people living in the rural village communities around the St Veronica Primary School water project site. 

The Water Project : st-veronica-icfems-janet-bakasa-facilitating-the-tot-training The Water Project : st-veronica-local-leader-leonard-speaking-during-the-tot-training The Water Project : st-veronica-tot-group-shot The Water Project : st-veronica-tot-training-day-2 The Water Project : st-veronica-tot-training-day-2a

05/03/2011: St Veronica Weonia

This project is one of ten that form a ten project programme with IcFEM and Water For All. 

IcFEM (Interchristians Fellowships’ Evangelical Mission) are a large Christian development organisation based in Western Kenya, but with support from the UK. 
They will be looking after all the community outreach on this project – all the hygiene and sanitation promotion, community liaison and capacity building that goes into our work. IcFEM are already active within the community, and have well established relationships with community members and the local leadership. They can call upon a rich experience when it comes to community outreach, and we will be supporting them as they role out their program. 
Water For All are based in South Africa, and fund the development and provision of solar water systems. Once this borehole has been developed, Water For All will come in and install a solar powered pump, tower and tap at the site. 
In the coming days and weeks IcFEM will begin their community outreach. We will bring you updates on this as soon as we have them. 
We at The Water Project are really excited about this collaboration, and the impact it will have on people’s lives. 
Expect more as we get it! 

The Water Project : st-veronica-sikhendu-a-schoolgirl-carrying-water-for-her-household-1280x960-3

Project Data

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Solar Pump
Location:  Near Kakamega, Kenya
ProjectID: 462
Install Date:  01/02/2012


Country Details


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

Partner Profile

IcFEM is an indigenous Kenyan organization based in Kimilili, Western Kenya with a mission of smooth integration of community development, evangelism and innovative provision of holistic care. IcFEM aims at building people, especially in rural areas, both spiritually and practically to become self supporting.