Yavili New Well Project

Regional Program:
Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Latitude -1.95
Longitude 37.51

250 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 group was formed in the year 2012. It has a membership of 18, comprised of 10 males and eight females.

As of a survey taken at the end of 2015, the average size of each group member’s household was five. 28% were of ages 20-40 years, while 57% were of the ages 40-55 years. 14% were of the age 55 years and above. Thus, this is fairly a mature group in terms of age, but they are still strong enough and able to execute heavy work such as building sand dams. The group is located in Kathuni Village which now has a population of 250 people.

The main socioeconomic activities for the group members include:

– 14% depend on causal labor. Causal labor is an activity where one engages on household-related jobs which are not always available. These jobs also depend on the season e.g. most causal labor happens during harvest time and planting season.

– 29 % are employed members of different professions e.g. teachers

– 14% operate small businesses

– the majority depend on farming

Agricultural Practice

Agriculture is the main livelihood of the community. As mentioned earlier, the majority of the community depends on agriculture as the sole form of income for their families. The average size of a farm is 2.5 acres. ASDF projects will seek to empower the farmers to practice climate-smart agriculture which entails planting drought-tolerant seeds, planting trees and digging terraces to help keep soil from eroding and boost its fertility.

Yavili Self-Help Group is in its second year of project engagement through the support of ASDF and TWP. A sand dam that was constructed at the end of last year has already greatly served the community. Located in a hilly area, the group’s focus is to rehabilitate its various rivers and streams. The main streams provide water to the community, but as a result of human activity and deforestation upstream, the rivers began to dry. Coupled with sand harvesting, the riverbeds really began to dry up, forcing this community to travel a distance of three kilometers uphill to fetch water. They used their backs to bear the burden of this water since the terrain is too hilly and rocky for anything else.

The first sand dam has brought to life one of the main river channels, with water flowing ever since its construction last year. With water available, the community has started planting trees and vegetables. With more sand dams planned, the group is hoping to increase the amount of water available to meet the diverse needs of farms and households.

Objectives for this community include:

1. Improving the water security in the area by construction of one sand dam and one shallow well to serve a population of 250 people. This will help reduce the distance traveled and time taken to fetch water.

2. Improving on food security by promoting soil and water conservation. Farmers will be supported with terracing tools, trained on digging terraces and using climate-smart agriculture to boost their yields.

3. Increase knowledge on hygiene and sanitation practices through the training and implementation of PHAST. The group will be trained on basic PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Training).

Sanitation Situation

Since this is the second year of community engagement, 100% of households have pit latrines. Thus, open defecation is not an issue. Over 75% of households have a dedicated bathing room for washing.

None of the households have a hand-washing station, but most have helpful tools like dish racks and clotheslines. The community seems to focus more on water treatment, such as boiling before drinking, but does not focus on personal hygiene.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

The self-help group members will be trained for two days on hygiene and sanitation. Based on our reassessment of the community, the facilitator will focus on personal hygiene. Disease  doesn’t spread just because of dirty water!

Plans: Hand-Dug Well Construction

This hand-dug well will be located adjacent to a sand dam the self-help group is building (click here to see their sand dam project). As the sand dam matures and builds up sand, the water table will rise and the sand will naturally filter water. Water accessed from this hand-dug well will become both clear and safe for drinking.

We expect construction of the well to take one month. It will be lined with concrete and finished with an Afridev pump. We will use monitoring software to ensure that this well doesn’t stop providing water to Yavili Self-Help Group and their community.

Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

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

A year ago, generous donors helped build a hand-dug well for the Yavili 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 our partner Titus Mbithi with you.

The Water Project : asdf_yavili-shg_yar_nduku-kyalo-mwanzia-muthike-titus-mbithi-14

09/01/2016: Yavili Hand-Dug Well Project Complete

We are very excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, the members of the Yavili 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 home, where it was most convenient for all. The schedule was organized in consultation with the group, so that the best time and place could ensure the best turnout.

Attendance was very good, with a representative of each household in the self-help group. Participants showed high interest in learning everything they could! Some of the main topics were chosen specific to the area:

– Personal hygiene

– Water treatment

– Water source protection and maintenance

– Waterborne and communicable disease transmission

The facilitator used demonstrations, group discussions, role-plays, lectures and illustrations to share this new information about how to live a healthy life.

6 kenya4467 training

By the end of training, the Yavili Self-Help Group had come up with an action plan to implement improvements such as hand-washing station, dish rack and latrine construction. They even had the opportunity to gather together and learn how to make a hand-washing station from materials they already have: a plastic container, ropes, and sticks.

Micheal Mwania was one of the local farmers who participated in this training. She said, “I now understand that prevention of diseases caused by germs is more easy than treating the diseases. It’s the role of everyone to practice hygiene management for healthy communities.”

3 kenya4467 training

Project Result: Hand-Dug Well

Construction for this hand-dug well began on July 8th.

The excavation process began in May, with the community searching for and then transporting materials such as stone, sand, and water to the well site. They dug to a depth of 18 feet, and cased the sides with concrete. Once the well pad was constructed, the entire system was left to dry for a total of three weeks. Making sure the concrete is thoroughly dry helps prevent cracks. Once dried, the AfriDev pump was installed.

3 kenya4488 construction

The group has been trained on how to take steps to ensure that water quality is high at both the well and at home. How water is fetched, transported, and stored  is important. As the adjacent sand dam matures (click here to check out the sand dam project), enough sand will gather to raise the water table and naturally filter the water. That filtered water can then be safely fetched from the hand-dug well.

Micheal is excited that “the water from the hand-dug well is clean, and the community will now have few cases of water-related diseases.” With two sand dam and hand-dug well systems in the community, all members will now have enough water nearby. Less time will be spent fetching, and more time will be spent on the farm earning income!

The Water Project : 6-kenya4488-finished-hand-dug-well

07/21/2016: Yavili New Well Project Underway

We are excited to announce that a project to provide clean water for the Yavili 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.

Click the tabs above to learn more, and Thank You for your help!

The Water Project : 15-kenya4467-garden

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump
Location:  Machakos, Kaani
ProjectID: 4488
Install Date:  09/01/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 12/20/2017

Visit History:
12/13/2016 — Functional
06/12/2017 — Functional
09/13/2017 — Functional
12/20/2017 — Functional

A Year Later: Yavili Hand-Dug Well

December, 2017

Now we fetch water nearer to our home, I usually run to the well. It takes me less than ten minutes to get back home, compared to the initial one hour which used to be tiring!

A year ago, generous donors helped build a hand-dug well for the Yavili 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 our partner Titus Mbithi with you.

This hand-dug well has supported the community with water that has improved lives. It has brought clean water so much closer, from an initial seven kilometers away to under one kilometer. Thanks to the proximity of clean water, community members are able to spend more time earning an income and caring for their families.

And thanks to the surplus of water an adjacent sand dam provides, this hand-dug well is able to pump clean, safe water from the catchment area. Though community members were trained on water handling and water treatment, we’ve noticed that they would benefit from a review.

We met two community members at the well; Mrs. Nduku Kyalo and 8-year-old Manzi Muthike, both who highlight their gratefulness for finally having water nearby.

Mrs. Nduku Kyalo

Mrs. Kyalo said that she would practically “sleep in rivers looking for water! But since the project implementation, access to water has become easy, providing clean water from a trusted source and from a short distance.” Women like Mrs. Kyalo and children like Manzia are still the family members most responsible for water, and this change has made their lives much easier.

Mwanzia added, “Now we fetch water nearer to our home, I usually run to the well. It takes me less than ten minutes to get back home, compared to the initial one hour which used to be tiring!” Now that Mwanzia saves time and energy, he can apply that to his academic studies at school.

Mrs. Kyalo pumps clean water for Mwanzia and his friend, just to show us how great the well still works.

And as the adjacent sand dam continues to mature through more rainy seasons, it will build up more sand and store even more clean water available at the well throughout the driest of months. This isn’t your average water project; it is not only transforming hundreds of lives for the better, but is transforming the environment from dry to fertile.

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.