Maiuni Community A

Regional Program:
Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Latitude -1.54
Longitude 37.45

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 Maiuni Self-Help Group is of Kithuiya village, Kiambwa sub-location, Kiteta location, of Kiteta division. Kithuiya Village has a population of 1050 people. (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. That’s why a five-year program to access clean water and good hygiene makes so much sense! To learn more about this, click here.) The self-help group was formed in the 2011 by a total of 46 members, with 33 members being female and 13 males. The primary reason for forming the group was to increase water security for the area’s residents. Other reasons were soil conservation through digging terraces; starting horticultural projects i.e. planting vegetables and fruit trees; and merry-go-round (a community fund-sharing program) to help members raise income that could help in paying school fees and meeting other basic needs.

Maiuni Self-Help Group has been working with ASDF for the last four years. Its top two priorities have been to increase water’s availability through the construction of sand dams, and to conserve soil on farms through terracing and planting trees. The group has been able to construct two sand dams already. The sand dams have changed the lives of many community members, providing them with access to water throughout the year. The self-help group members have been able to grow great harvests, thus improving their family income levels. And more members of the community have started planting vegetables, which creates a greater water demand, and thus results in the community considering this construction of an additional water point to be used specifically for drinking.

Water Situation

Locals are getting water from their two sand dams. To access the water on reserve at the dams, scoop holes must be dug. These holes fill with water from the water table. Unfortunately, they are also open to contamination from surface runoff and human and animal activity. The water fetched from these scoop holes has greatly aided farmers in agriculture and domestic chores, but is not safe for drinking.

Women and children use 20-liter jerrycans for water, covering the water during the trip back home. Once water is returned home, it is dumped into a larger barrel with a 100 to 200-liter capacity. Water containers are cleaned once a week. You can see examples of these water containers under the “See Photos & Video” tab; both Winnie and Ruth have small containers for fetching water and larger ones for storage.

Sanitation Situation

Since the Maiuni Self-Help Group has already worked on their water and hygiene program for four years, their knowledge of important facilities, tools, and healthy practices is extensive. All households have a pit latrine, though each in a different condition according to income level. The cheapest are made of mud, while the most expensive are made of cement and include ventilation systems. These same families also have a dedicated room for personal hygiene, where members bathe, brush teethe, or cut their nails. About 75% of these homes have a usable hand-washing station, and most have dish racks and clotheslines.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

The benefits of training haven’t even been limited to Maiuni Self-Help Group alone. Group members have been sharing their knowledge with all families, with or without membership. They want to see their entire village improve. Self-help group member Aaron Mbuva said, “After learning how to make tippy-taps (a type of hand-washing station) and treating water, we have also been sharing this with our neighbors who are not members of the self-help group. This will help reduce diseases for all families in the village!”

We will hold a review training that highlights the importance of keeping water containers clean. A session will also review water treatment methods such as chlorination and filtration. These sessions will be held over the course of one day.

Plans: Hand-Dug Well

This well is planned to be adjacent to the group’s first dam, since the first dam has had the longest to mature. The mature sand dam has raised the water table enough that a hand-dug well will provide safe and adequate access to water, and the community hopes that this well will provide them with much cleaner water for use in their homes.

Construction for this well is projected to take about two months. The well will be lined with concrete and fitted with an AfriDev pump. Self-help group members will be trained on basic well maintenance, and have our contact information if anything major needs fixing.

Thank You for working with Maiuni Self-Help Group to unlock the potential of their community!

Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

12/20/2017: A Year Later: Maiuni Hand-Dug Well

A year ago, generous donors helped build a hand-dug well for the Maiuni 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 Mutheu Mutune with you.

The Water Project : asdf_maiuni-sand-dam-water-project-shg_year-after-2

09/26/2016: Maiuni New Well Project Complete

We are very excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, the members of the Maiuni 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

The self-help group decided to hold hygiene and sanitation training at the group secretary’s home. Her home was chosen because it is central to all members and is spacious enough to host a large crowd. Since the self-help group was already meeting on a monthly basis, it was easy to coordinate and plan for these training sessions.

Together, group members set goals and priorities for what they want to see accomplished in regards to water, sanitation and hygiene over the next few years. Every single group member showed up on time for training, excited to learn and participate in each activity.

It was fun to see how involved participants were in what they were learning; facial expressions changed drastically according to each topic, particularly during talks about open defecation and improper waste disposal! These members weren’t only eager to learn for their own benefit, but brought pens and papers to record information for their family members and friends.

7 kenya4490 training

Training topics included but were not limited to:

– Germs and how they spread

– Personal hygiene

– Proper waste disposal

– Water treatment

– Hand-washing and the construction of hand-washing stations

The facilitator used lectures, demonstrations, illustrations, group discussions, and transect walks to help participants understand the new material. Everybody had a chance to practice hand-washing with soap and water.

One of the most obvious results of training was the “road map” that the group created for their community. This plan will be used to execute the improvements learned about during training. Through follow-up visits to the community, the facilitator will be able to hold household interviews to assess progress.

70-year-old farmer Stanley Ngosi attended the two days of training. He said, “Even at an old age there is always something new to learn. I have learnt that keeping germs and diseases away is the responsibility of each member of the community, and not the government.”

8 kenya4490 training

Project Result: New Well

Construction for this new hand-dug well began on July 18th.

This was done in the river channel next to the sand dam the self-help group completed two years ago. This dam is considered mature, having collected enough sand to raise the water table and naturally filter that water. This hand-dug well will give locals a safe and easy way to access that water.

In fact, there was so much water that it impeded the digging process! The well filled up as men tried to dig deeper. Because of this issue, the group decided to borrow a motorized water pump to clear the well for the diggers.

22 kenya4490 construction

The community picked three days a week to work on excavation. Each work day, staff would visit the site to check on progress. From past experience, we learned that these wells must be dug to at least 20 feet to ensure the best water quantity and quality. Thus, the group’s goal was to forge a way through the dirt and rock to 20 feet or deeper.

Once excavated, the artisan arrived to prepare and install the casing. This took three days, and then the AfriDev pump was installed. The hand-dug well is a total of 24-feet deep and is six feet wide.

This was a key achievement for the self-help group. 81-year-old Joshua Kititu, the self-help group chairman, helped labor over the well. His old, wrinkled face tells you that he is tired, but beaming on that face is the smile of a proud man who has fulfilled his role as leader. He said, “This is a dream come true. My greatest achievement! I want to be remembered as one of the people that helped the village get a clean and reliable source of water.” Joshua’s greatest ambition as group leader for the past 10 years has been to bring a reliable source of water to his community. He has children and grandchildren. He has installed a rainwater catchment system at his own home, but noticed the constant hardships of his neighbors. The struggles of his community gave him restless nights, and this restlessness and care motivated him to start the self-help group in his community. This gave his people an opportunity to work together to address the severe water shortage in the area. “No one can live alone. We all need each other.”

33 kenya4490 finished well

The self-help group will oversee and maintain their new well, ensuring that Joshua and all the generations to come will have water. They have opened a bank account to collect repairs for any future pump repairs, and have also set rules for pump use. This is the group’s first well, and they intend to take good care of it.

Project Result: Huge Strides and Dreams

To date, the group has built two sand dams and this hand-dug well, all funded by people like you.

Chairman Joshua remarks that “it was not easy to mobilize the group. Most people abused me saying that I was taking advantage of them. Few believed that we could have water like we now have. I never gave up hope, and today the story is different. I am famous, and people who even never took part in the hard work are now reaping our efforts!”

The group has managed to buy a new piece of land, plant vegetables, and sell the harvest to generate income that has changed lives. Members who used to depend on only the rain for their crops can invest more in their harvests, since it now takes less than 30 minutes to fetch water. The change that the community has experience over the last three years is real and tangible.

“I wish to see water pumped from the river channel to upstream where we will build a reservoir tank to supply water to the community by gravity. I have shared this desire with ASDF and I hope one day this will be achieved,” says Joshua.

At this moment, Joshua is at home weak with illness. It is after such encounters that you realize that big things, big changes, and big impacts are made possible not by the great and mighty men but by the focused, normal men who have a dream. When supported, these people can create a lasting change. Joshua may not live to see the water pumped to the upstream reservoir tanks and distributed to each household, but it was during his lifetime that he gave people reliable water through sand dams and a hand-dug well.

The Water Project : 31-kenya4490-finished-well

07/29/2016: Maiuni Hand-Dug Well Project Underway

We are excited to announce that a project to provide clean water for the Maiuni Self-Help Group and their community in Kenya is underway. A new well is being constructed, and the community will attend a review training on 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 an introduction to the community, GPS coordinates, and pictures. We’ll keep you posted as the work continues.

Please click the tabs above to learn more, and Thank You for your generous help!

The Water Project : 2-kenya4490-water-source

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump
Location:  Makueni, Tawa
ProjectID: 4490
Install Date:  09/27/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 04/10/2018

Visit History:
12/14/2016 — Functional
05/22/2017 — Functional
09/08/2017 — Functional
12/20/2017 — Functional
04/10/2018 — Functional

A Year Later: Maiuni Hand-Dug Well

December, 2017

I am now able to concentrate more in class, and I sleep enough sleep. I used to dread going home after school because it included a routine that I go fetch water. I would return very late and tired, which affected my concentration in class the following morning. That is a thing of the past now!

A year ago, generous donors helped build a hand-dug well for the Maiuni 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 Mutheu Mutune with you.

Before this project was implemented last year, clean and safe water for drinking was scarce here. The only way one could reach water was by digging scoop holes in the sandy riverbeds or by buying from water vendors. It has been of great benefit to the members and non-members who use the water for drinking and for household chores.

After the training, most members are now treating their drinking water, and as a result waterborne diseases have drastically decreased. Some members have started vegetable plots and cash crop farming of green beans to sell to a company called Kenya Fresh. They now supply the neighboring markets with green maize and other vegetables. Health has improved, since this clean drinking water has also supplied enough water for successful harvests.

Beatrice pumping clean water for Mr. Ngosi.

Stanley Ngosi is the secretary for Maiuni. He met us at the well to talk about how life has changed over the past year. He said, “Planting trees was a challenge for the people around here because water was scarce and this river used to dry up. Nowadays, our trees are surviving because even when the dam dries up, the well provides you with water throughout the dry season. Most members have irrigated their farms using this water and the crop yields have fetched money for them. The income received from these kinds of projects is used to meet basic needs like school fees, buying school uniforms, other clothes, food and such. The water is soft for washing clothes and we use little soap in doing our washing. The citrus fruits that I planted are almost mature and soon I’ll be getting an income. Some of the members use the water to make bricks, which they use in the construction of their homes.”

Beatrice Nduku is so grateful to have water nearby. “Before this project we used to waste a lot of time walking long distances. Distance has now decreased and time taken reduced to less than 30 minutes. I have used the water to establish a tree nursery at our home, and the survival has been good compared to before. At our home we have made bricks using the water, which in turn have been used to construct my brother’s house. Our home is now presentable because of better structures. Some contagious diseases which used to get transmitted to our livestock before no longer exist because our livestock don’t go for long distances in search for drinking water. I am now able to concentrate more in class, and I sleep enough sleep. I used to dread going home after school because it included a routine that I go fetch water. I would return very late and tired, which affected my concentration in class the following morning. That is a thing of the past now! I get home and find that my mother has already cooked supper for us, so I just eat and do my homework, then take a bath and sleep,” she shared with a smile.

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.