Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Program: Wells for Kenya

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2010

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/05/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Summary:  In cooperation with Community Development Fund in Kenya, The Water Project is funding a new well and water distribution system at a medical clinic in Western Kenya serving tens of thousands of people.


The clinic at Bushiri came into being as a community led facility in the late 1960s, and was run as a community led organization until it was taken over by the Kenyan Government in 1989. At that point, the clinic consisted of a single nurse and a casual cleaner serving approximately 20 local people every week. 20 years on, and the clinic is staffed by nine nurses, two Registered Clinical Officers, seven support staff and a team of 50 Community Health Workers (CHWs). The current Nursing Officer in Charge (NOC), Mrs Janerose Nasambu Juma estimates that the clinic now sees between 180 and 200 patients per day. Acute cases are treated in the wards, which consist of 12 beds, four cots as well as four maternity suites. In addition to front line services, the clinic now also boasts a working laboratory, allowing for efficient diagnosis of common diseases.

Areas of Work

Malaria is the greatest concern in this area of Western Kenya. With this in mind the clinic provides free medication to under 5s and pregnant women. HIV/AIDS is also prevalent. In addition the clinic also sees a great number of water related disease, including typhoid, diarrhea, amoebic dysentery, scabies (skin disease) and cholera.

Community Work

As well as patients seen at the clinic, the CHWs are responsible for promoting good health, hygiene and sanitation practices in the surrounding communities, and as such continue to reach out to the broader population of some 47,000 people.

Current Supply

Since the time of government intervention in 1989, the center has anticipated the arrival of piped potable water, to the extent that the buildings are already fitted with pipes, taps and sinks, flush toilets and bathing areas. The compound boasts a water tower. However, due to a lack of funding water has never flowed through the pipes.

Currently the clinic pays local water carriers to fetch water in jerry cans from the nearby community hand pump, some 250 meters away. This is a considerable burden on the finances of the facility, and restricts investment, particularly in terms of maintenance of the buildings. Staff estimate that the clinic spends approximately US$16 per day on water, a considerable sum for a rural clinic in Kenya.

Hygiene and Sanitation

The lack of adequate supply impacts greatly on service provision. Basic hygiene standards are almost impossible to uphold. Cleaning bedding, washing equipment and sterilizing medical tools are daily tasks greatly complicated by the relative lack of water. Staff have identified cross infection as a real concern, particularly given the lack of hand washing between patients.  This, coupled with a scarcity of disposable gloves appears to be a highly dangerous practice.

Sanitation is also impacted upon by the water scarcity. During the day in patients use the flush toilets in the wards which are then flushed manually, whilst out patients use the vertical pit latrines in the compound. At night, however, in patients use the flush toilets without water to flush. This is a particular problem with cases of diarrhea and dysentery, and greatly compromises the environmental sanitation standards of the facility.

Impact of proposed scheme

The provision of water by the Bridge Water Project with the support of The Water Project and in conjunction with the Community Development Fund in Kenya will have a visible and measurable impact on the capacity of the clinic to provide high quality health care services. Particular benefits in the areas of infection prevention, sterilization of instruments, hand washing, and overall cleanliness were cited by staff at the facility. In addition, financial savings (see above), a reduction in dust from the nearby road (especially in the dry season) and an increase in efficiency through time-savings are anticipated. All such savings will then be channeled into infrastructure repair, with replacing the aging and ineffective asbestos roof the next priority.

Project Updates

July, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Bushiri Medical Clinic

Our teams are working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Join us in our fight against the virus while maintaining access to clean, reliable water.

We are carrying out awareness and prevention trainings on the virus in every community we serve. Very often, our teams are the first (and only) to bring news and information of the virus to rural communities like Bushiri, Kenya.

We trained community members on the symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention of COVID-19. Due to public gathering concerns, we worked with trusted community leaders to gather a select group of community members who would then relay the information learned to the rest of their family and friends.

We covered essential hygiene lessons:

- Demonstrations on how to build a simple handwashing station

- Proper handwashing technique

- The importance of using soap and clean water for handwashing

- Cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces including at the water point.

We covered COVID-19-specific guidance in line with national and international standards:

- Information on the symptoms and transmission routes of COVID-19

- What social distancing is and how to practice it

- How to cough into an elbow

- Alternative ways to greet people without handshakes, fist bumps, etc.

- How to make and properly wear a facemask.

During training, we installed a new handwashing station with soap near the community’s water point, along with a sign with reminders of what we covered.

Due to the rampant spread of misinformation about COVID-19, we also dedicated time to a question and answer session to help debunk rumors about the disease and provide extra information where needed.

We continue to stay in touch with this community as the pandemic progresses. We want to ensure their water point remains functional and their community stays informed about the virus.

Water access, sanitation, and hygiene are at the crux of disease prevention. You can directly support our work on the frontlines of COVID-19 prevention in all of the communities we serve while maintaining their access to safe, clean, and reliable water.

Project Photos

Project Type

Abundant water is often right under our feet! Beneath the Earth’s surface, rivers called aquifers flow through layers of sediment and rock, providing a constant supply of safe water. For borehole wells, we drill deep into the earth, allowing us to access this water which is naturally filtered and protected from sources of contamination at the surface level. First, we decide where to drill by surveying the area and determining where aquifers are likely to sit. To reach the underground water, our drill rigs plunge through meters (sometimes even hundreds of meters!) of soil, silt, rock, and more. Once the drill finds water, we build a well platform and attach a hand pump. If all goes as planned, the community is left with a safe, closed water source providing around five gallons of water per minute! Learn more here!


1 individual donors