Itatini New Well Project

Regional Program:
Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Latitude -1.59
Longitude 37.56

500 Served

Project Status:

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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).

Welcome to the Community

The Itatini Self-Help Group was formed in the year 2012. It has a membership of 37 different households that come from three different villages: Mukimwani Village, Kivani Village, and Katitu Village. The total population from all three of the villages is about 1400. The villages are located in Mukimwani Sub-Location which has a population 5202 people as of last year. The area is one of the most densely populated areas and thus has a massive water shortage. (Editor’s Note: While this many people may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only support a population of 350-500 people. This community would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)


As of a 2015 survey, the main socio-economic activities for the group members include:

– 16.67% depend on causal labour. Causal labour is an activity where one engages on household related jobs which are not frequently available. They also depend on the season e.g. most causal labour happens during harvest time and planting season.

– 10 % are employed members in different professionals e.g. teachers

– 66.67 % of the group depend on farming while 6.67% operate small businesses.

Agricultural Practices

Agriculture is the livelihood for the community. ASDF works to empower farmers in practicing climate-smart agriculture which entails planting drought-tolerant seeds, tree-planting and digging of terraces to help conserve soil from erosion and boost soil fertility, thus improving the harvests of the farmers.

Water Situation

Itatini Self-Help Group’s first sand dam was constructed at the end of 2015. The 2015 sand dam has only caught one rainfall, and needs one more before it is fully matured. This means that the community still doesn’t have sufficient water to meet all of their agricultural needs, but looks forward to it in the future. People are accessing water from the scope holes dug by the sand dam, because the shallow well constructed alongside the dam is still surrounded by water. Once enough sand builds up, locals will be able to pump water that is naturally filtered by that sand. This first sand dam has reduced the water shortage, and prolonged rains have resulted in the sand dam harvesting water and building up sand to mature faster. However, another sand dam and shallow well are still needed to reduce the two kilometers traveled by some community members living further out.

In order to ensure equitable access of water for the large population, the community has decided to build several sand dams and shallow wells along the main river channels to ensure that all members have a fair distance to travel for water. A second sand dam is now being constructed. This hand-dug well is being placed adjacent to this new sand dam, and will save locals time often wasted digging scoop holes. The sand dam will follow the maturity process as outlined above, building up sand and raising the water table to create a natural, sustainable, filtered water source that is accessed from this well! Take a look at the sand dam project here!

Sanitation Situation

Since this is the second year of intervention with this self-help group, members have already attended hygiene and sanitation training. 100% of households have pit latrines that are well-ventilated, dug to no less than 15 feet, and are very clean. With these great conditions, open defecation isn’t an issue anymore.  All of the households have useful tools like dish racks and clotheslines to dry belongings. Farmers have also been taught about composting, so each household has a large pit for compostable waste and a smaller one for garbage.

Most community members have at least received a basic education, providing them with a little knowledge on hygiene and sanitation. Even though training was conducted last year, minimal emphasis is put on practices like hand-washing and water treatment.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

The refresher hygiene and sanitation training will be held for two days in the community. Self-help group members will share their schedules so that the most convenient time can be agreed on, and everyone will be alerted ahead of time. After our recent check-in with the community, the facilitator has decided to focus on the topics of hand-washing and water treatment.

Plans: Hand-Dug Well

The hand-dug well construction process is projected to take one month. The well will be lined with concrete and fitted with an Afridev pump. As the sand dam matures and provides more water for the well, the self-help group will monitor usage to ensure there is enough to go around.

This community’s hard work and success during their first year, 2015, has inspired other self-help groups in the area. Many other members of the community who were not part of a self-help group have started the registration process! The Itatini Group is a role model for new groups as they start up, and these new groups are also looking to partner with us to build new water points in their communities!

Thank You for unlocking potential for the people in Itatini Self-Help Group so that they can inspire others and unlock their potential, too!

Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

12/19/2017: A Year Later: Itatini Self-Help Group Well

A year ago, generous donors helped build a shallow well for the Itatini Self Help Group in Kenya. Because of these gifts and our monthly donors, partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from partners Mutheu Mutune, Joe Kioko and Titus Mbithi with you.

The Water Project : 4465-yar-4

09/19/2016: Itatini Hand-Dug Well Project Complete

We are very excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, the members of the Itatini Self-Help Group and their families in Kenya have a new source of safe, clean water. A new hand-dug well has been constructed adjacent to a sand dam, which will build up sand to raise the water table and naturally filter water pumped by the well. The self-help group members have also received training in sanitation and hygiene, and plan to share what they learned with their families and neighbors. You made it happen, now help keep the water flowing! Join our team of monthly donors and help us maintain this well and many other projects.

The report below from our partner gives the latest details of the project. We also just updated the project page with new pictures. Make sure to click on the “See Photos & Video” tab to check them out!

Project Result: New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was held at a group member’s homestead, located in an area convenient to all self-help group members. The group’s committee and each member was notified that they should come to agreement on the best days for training to ensure a good turnout. A total of 50 group members ended up attending! There were even some neighbors who hadn’t yet joined the group, but were interested in learning, possibly joining, and being part of the process.

The training facilitator decided to focus on topics specific to this community:

  • Disease transmission paths
  • Water treatment
  • Personal hygiene and hand-washing

Check out the pictures of the hand-washing station the participants learned how to construct! A temporary station can be made with only a plastic container, rope, and sticks.

7 kenya4465 training

The community worked together to come up with an implementation plan that would see to the construction of hand-washing stations, dish racks, latrines, and other tools that will enhance hygiene. Since this is a five-year engagement plan, we will be able to check up on their progress over the following years.

Mrs. Jane Sammy attended all of the training sessions and shared, “The acquired knowledge will be used to help us live healthy lives and avoid falling sick more often. I will make sure that I used soap each time before handling meals!”

5 kenya4465 training

Project Result: Hand-Dug Well

Construction for Itatini’s hand-dug well began on April 14th. It is located adjacent to the group’s second sand dam, which they built at the same time. As the sand dam matures, it will build up sand that both raises the water table and naturally filters its water (click here to see that project!).

26 kenya4465 finished sand dam

The community had already gathered all of the construction materials necessary before they needed to begin digging, since the construction of the sand dam was ongoing. These local materials included sand, water, ballast, and stone.

Excavation took 17 days, because workers kept hitting bedrock. Finally, the met impenetrable rock at 15 feet deep. Walling of the well began on May 2nd, and took five days. Once this and the well pad structures were completed, they left the well to rest for three weeks so that the cement could cure. This will ensure that the water inside is fully protected from outside contaminants. After this wait time, an AfriDev pump was installed.

3 kenya4486 construction

Beatrice Makau, a farmer and member of the self-help group, was motivated to help because of the great benefit the new water sources will bring to her community. She said, “Water from the hand-dug well will help us reduce the distance and time we used to fetch water, and we can use this time to engage in other income-generating activities.” This hand-dug well will provide much more water to Itatini’s community, for both drinking and agricultural purposes. Community members who live in different parts of the village will now have access to water just a short distance away.

The Water Project : 8-kenya4486-finished-hand-dug-well

06/27/2016: Itatini New Well Project Underway

We are excited to announce that a project to provide clean water for the Itatini Self-Help Group and their community in Kenya is underway. A new well is being constructed and the community will receive training in sanitation and hygiene. Together these resources will go a long way toward stopping the spread of disease in the area. We just posted a report including information about the community, GPS coordinates, and pictures. Notice that construction has already begun! We’ll keep you posted as the work continues.

Take a look, and Thank You for your help!

The Water Project : 18-kenya4486-fetching-water

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump
Location:  Makueni, Mbumbuni
ProjectID: 4486
Install Date:  09/01/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 04/11/2018

Visit History:
12/15/2016 — Functional
05/22/2017 — Functional
09/14/2017 — Functional
12/20/2017 — Functional
04/11/2018 — Functional

A Year Later: Itatini Hand-Dug Well

November, 2017

Before this project, we would travel long distances in order to search for water – but since it came we no longer waste time because it is less than half an hour to reach this water point.

A year ago, generous donors helped build a shallow well for the Itatini Self Help Group in Kenya. Because of these gifts and our monthly donors, partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from partners Mutheu Mutune, Joe Kioko and Titus Mbithi with you.

This hand-dug well has supported the community with clean water that is transforming lives. Time that was initially wasted looking for water is now used for income-generating activities. Livestock no longer lack drinking water and die during the dry months. Washing clothes is made easy due to the soft water from the project.

Thanks to the clean water this hand-dug well provides, cases of waterborne disease are at a minimum. As the adjacent sand dam continues to mature, more clean water will be available for even longer periods of time. The land itself is transforming from brown to green.

Justina Pius sharing about how her community has changed since just last year.

Justina Pius, the chairwoman overseeing this water project, had a lot to say. “The water from the well is soft and cooking our meals has been easy. The project has supported us through growing vegetables, and even the non self-help group members use the flowing water to irrigate their farms. This has transformed our environment and our children never lack food or even basic needs because we sell the farm products and get money. Our vegetables survive for long, unlike before. This project has enlightened us on income-generating activities… I had planted kales, spinach, pumpkins, onions and maize and income from these crop sales have enabled me to clear the school fee balance for my children! My family never lacks food to eat and we take three meals a day, unlike before when food was very scarce due to erratic rainfall. The environment has also changed and we hope to see it change [more] in the next few years.”

Justina Pius proudly stands amidst all of the vegetables she’s planted since this project’s completion.

Her daughter Mwongeli told us, “I have become more clean and healthier because of the water available for washing my clothes and bathing. Before this project, we would travel long distances in order to search for water – but since it came we no longer waste time because it is less than half an hour to reach this water point. I could come home from school and go to fetch water at a far place back then. Due to long lines, sometimes I could go home without water at very late hours having waited for long! This was very risky for me because I was being exposed to dangers on my way back. I am now very grateful!”

The Water Project and our partners are committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by monthly donors, allows us to visit communities up to four times a year. Read more about our program and how you can help.

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.