Kyangundi New Well Project

Regional Program:
Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Latitude -1.61
Longitude 37.46

345 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 Kyangundi Water Project Self-Help Group, as the name suggests, was formed with the sole purpose of addressing water insecurity in the area. Group members are from Kalawa Village, which is home to 345 people from 55 different households.

The self-help group has been able to work with the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), an institution that was formed in bid by the government to devolve broader services to a more local level. The first project undertaken by the group was a hand-dug well built beside a spring. The community has great self-motivation to seek partners like CDF. They are resolved and resilient, taking water scarcity head-on.

The community is located amidst hilly terrain and water supply is a huge challenge. After their first hand-dug well, the group wasn’t able to continue because of financial constraints. Thus, the group sought ASDF’s support to unite with them in tackling water shortage in their region. The group has already worked with ASDF for two years and has been able to complete two sand dams. To access clean drinking water, the community has asked for this project to be a hand-dug well adjacent to one of the sand dams.

Current Water Situation

For now, the community digs scoop holes next to their sand dams. Though these holes are full of good water, they are completely open to contamination from outside sources, such as dirty rainwater and animals. A mother or child will tote a 20-liter jerrycan to the scoop hole, and literally scoop the water up with their container! When we visited, we saw this process firsthand. Some of the water-fetching containers appear to be dirty, and most likely further contaminate the scoop hole’s water. Once the water is brought back home, it is poured into a larger reservoir of 100-200 liters.

Fetching water from the scoop holes is time-consuming. On many occasions, a new scoop hole must be dug to access fresh water. On others, fetching water can be dangerous for young children at risk of falling in the large hole. Looking at the pictures, you’ll also notice that water isn’t only fetched from scoop holes, but directly from the dam itself as water drips and trickles over the ledge.

Current Sanitation Situation

All of the self-help group’s households have pit latrines walled with concrete and roofed with iron sheets. These are cleaned regularly. All latrines have hand-washing stations outside, too! Almost all homes have dish racks and clotheslines. Families throw their garbage in compost pits that benefit their farms. Maybe these good conditions cause curiosity? Since the self-help group is on their third year of a five year program with ASDF, so they have been trained on healthy sanitation and hygiene habits already!

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training Review

Since the community has already attended extensive training on hygiene and sanitation, we will offer one day of review. A lot of content will focus around the new well being constructed next to the sand dam: how to use, manage, and maintain the pump.

Plans: New Well

Construction is expected to take two months start to finish. It will be lined with concrete and fitted with an Afridev pump. Its location next to the sand dam will ensure that there is always a good supply of water accessible from the pump. This is because a mature sand dam not only naturally filters water, but raises the water table.

Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

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

A year ago, generous donors helped build a hand-dug well for the Kyangundi 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_kyangundi-water-project-shg_year-after-interviews-3

11/16/2016: Kyangundi Project Complete

We are very excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, the members of the Kyangundi 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 has built up sand to raise the water table and naturally filter water pumped by the well. The self-help group members have also attended a review 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 review sessions were held at one of the self-help group members’ household. His home is their regular meeting place since it is central to all living in the area. Our training officers worked directly with the community to determine the best time to hold training, and after agreeing on a date, we started planning.

There was a great turnout. Every single member of the self-help group attended our review! There was a strong interest and an apparent need for developed understanding of basic hygiene and sanitation. Members kept asking questions on various topics, especially about water treatment and how to detect and then prevent disease in the community. We also focused on topics including but not limited to: Fetching water and its storage, proper waste disposal, handling food, and hand-washing. We also reminded community members of an easy way to make a hand-washing station with a jerrycan, rope, and sticks.

2 kenya4634 training

We were also able to follow up in the action plan the community agreed to last year. They had set a target for each household to have their own functional hand-washing station, garbage disposal pit, and dish rack by this time. We visited a few homes to figure out whether or not this target was reached. We found that over 85% of households had implemented the above actions. The remaining households were in the process of implementing the same. Mother and farmer Syombua Mbinya is a member of the self-help group who enjoyed both reviewing hygiene and sanitation training and learning new concepts. She said, “I have been using the tippy tap (hand-washing station) after visiting the toilet. My neighbors visited and asked me what that was and when I visited them recently I found that they had installed the same. This training is helping also non-group members.”

We also made sure to strengthen the water user committee that is in charge of all water points in the community. They will oversee and maintain this new well.

6 kenya4634 training

Project Result: Hand-Dug Well

Construction on this hand-dug well began on August 13th.

The well site is located very close to the group’s first sand dam, which will help boost the water quantity available for pumping.

The construction process for this particular site was full of challenges. The initial site that the group had chosen was found to have a hard rock halfway through excavation that prevented any further work. Thankfully, the group had only gotten six feet when they made this discovery. Either way, the idea of starting over again was a huge blow to morale.

8 kenya4634 construction

After consultation with the ASDF technical team, the group re-sited the well and finished a successful excavation over a period of 18 days. After excavation, the technical artisan was sent to support the group in installing the casing, well pad, and AfriDev hand pump. This took a total of eight days. Our experience proves that wells with an average depth of 18 feet or more will last much longer without drying. This motivated the men to dig to a total depth of 19 feet. Congratulations to a community that undertook challenges and persevered to the finish!

The community was well-invested in this process. The men volunteered to excavated the well while women transported stones, sand and water to the construction site. Men and women were also present to witness the installation of the hand-pump, which enabled them to learn a little bit about how it works.

9 kenya4634 construction

Mr. Mathia Nzomo was one of the men who volunteered his time and effort to make this project a success. He knows that “this shallow well will provide water for the community who are far away… After excavating it to a deeper depth, we found water that will last longer to benefit us all.”

Mr. Nzomo can be sure that the water user committee will do what it takes to keep the water flowing. In case of challenges with the pump or water level, the water user committee will convene and make a plan of action. They are keeping an active bank account where funds are kept to pay for future repairs, and will contact our office anytime they need help.

The Water Project : 16-kenya4634-finished-well

10/28/2016: Kyangundi Water Project Complete: Details Coming Soon!

We talked with our partner ASDF just yesterday  to check on the status of Kyangundi. We know that the group met bedrock during the excavation process, and was struggling to break through to the water table. We’re happy to hear that this group’s hard work has finally paid off!

There is now a new well that’s serving Kyangundi and their families, and we look forward to sharing a detailed report with you soon. Thank you for your patience!

The Water Project : 1-kenya4634-fetching-water

06/22/2016: Kyangundi New Well Project Underway

Back in March we introduced you to the community of Mikuyuni Muumoni as a new well project was just getting under way. We are sad to report that, because of some unfortunate geology, that project has been cancelled for the time being. Shallow bedrock made excavation of the new well too difficult for the community.

But you gave out of your generosity to provide clean water. So we want to introduce you to Kyangundi, a new project where a well is being constructed. The project page tells the story of this community with pictures and GPS coordinates. We’ll keep you posted as the work continues.

Our partner will continue to work with Mikuyuni Muumoni to find a clean water solution. But for now, take a look, and enjoy reading about Kyangundi!

And Thank You for your help!

The Water Project : 5-kenya4634-fetching-water

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump
Location:  Machakos, Kalawa
ProjectID: 4634
Install Date:  11/16/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 12/21/2017

Visit History:
05/22/2017 — Functional
09/14/2017 — Functional
12/21/2017 — Functional

A Year Later: Kyangundi Hand-Dug Well

December, 2017

This water has helped me construct my three bedroom house and now my home looks beautiful. I have also established a small garden with my favorite type of flowers.

A year ago, generous donors helped build a hand-dug well for the Kyangundi 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.

Life for these members has changed in many ways. They are now practicing vegetable farming and tree planting. They sell water from the well and currently have 420 shillings saved in their bank account. The citrus trees they had planted in their nurseries are now ready to sell, and the money from the tree seedlings will be used for group development. Before this project, clean water for drinking was scarce; the members could only dig holes in the sandy riverbeds in hopes of finding any water at all.

Thus, this well has been of great benefit to both the self-help group members and the non-members who use the water. They also had attended a training on sanitation and hygiene which has impacted their lives positively, and water-related diseases have not been reported.

Josephine Kyalo and Mbatha Maingi at their clean water source.

We met the group’s vice secretary, Josephine Kyalo at the well. She and her family have used the water for making bricks. “This water has helped me construct my three bedroom house and now my home looks beautiful. I have also established a small garden with my favorite type of flowers. We never used to treat our drinking water, but since the project we have constantly been treating the water and storing it in a safe place. This has resulted in fewer cases of typhoid and amoeba. We sell water from the well and use the money for maintenance expenses. Our children have improved their school performance because they use time initially wasted going to fetch water on reading and doing their homework instead. The water has boosted tree planting since the survival rate has increased compared to before as you can see our tree nursery is doing well and we have transplanted them to our farms!” she explained excitedly.

Two boys showed up to fetch water during our interview.

15-year-old Mbatha Maingi was also at the well. She told us, “My personal hygiene has improved because water is available. This has happened to nearly all the students in the area, and they are now comfortable. Before, some would fail to attend classes as well as church. They are now comfortable and their performance has improved. We grow vegetables and fruits at our farms which have improved our nutrition. Before this project, we used to waste a lot of time walking for long distances, and at times we’d be forced to go home late due to long lines. Distance has decreased and time taken is less than 30 minutes.”

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.


The Leosz Family
South Congregational Church
Tolken Family
Nells Coffee
48 individual donor(s)

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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.