Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 158 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 12/12/2022

Project Features

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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

Kyandwiki Self-Help Group was formed in the year 2015 by those living in Katitu. It has 33 members, 10 males and 23 females. The average size of a household is six members each. The main economic activity for the community is farming, with 62.5% of the respondents saying they depend entirely on farming as their livelihood. To supplement farming, 19% of respondents engage in casual labour as a means of earning a living. In this case, casual labor means doing menial jobs like digging terraces or fetching water to sell, herding livestock, among other related activities.

Water Situation

The main sources of water in the area are a natural spring and a seasonal river, where people dig scoop holes to get water. 62.5% of the respondents fetch water from natural springs while 37.5% fetch water from the river. On average, it takes 1-2 hours to travel to a water point.

The limitation in availability of alternative water sources has created a business opportunity for the youth in the area. The youth spend all of their time fetching water from the spring and transport the water to the nearby town where they sell it at a fee for those who are unable to travel that far. It costs 10-30 shillings per 20-liter jerrycan of water. Due to all of these factors, there are long queues at the water point throughout the day. If one cannot afford to pay for their water, they must fetch it very early in the morning before 5 AM to avoid the long lines.

Water is transported home either by donkeys, ox-pulled carts, or human backs. The transport depends on the money each household can spend. Since water insecurity has been a continuous challenge, it's normal for a household to have a donkey. One donkey can carry up to 100 liters of water, while the ox-pulled cart can carry about 400 liters.

To prevent families from making daily frequent trips to the water point, each household has a specific day for fetching water. Most prefer fetching water during weekends when the children are around to help. However, this also means that during those days there will be long queues. On water-fetching days, more than three trips are made to fetch water. When delivered home, the water is stored in large reservoirs to be rationed throughout the rest of the week.

Sanitation Situation

Since we've been in relationship with Kyandwiki Self-Help Group and the people of Katitu since the beginning of last year, we've seen great hygiene and sanitation improvements. 100% of households in Katitu now have a pit latrine, the majority of them well-constructed and roofed. They are frequently cleaned, too.

All of these households also have bathing rooms for privacy for when they practice personal hygiene. Most also have helpful tools like dish racks and clotheslines, but a great many families still need to set up a station at which to wash hands.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Review

The group will meet for three days for an extensive review on what they’ve learned about hygiene and sanitation. After visiting many of their homes in person, we decided to focus on hand-washing with them again. While we were there, Mrs. Ndinda Muendo said, "I rarely treat my water, though am not sure of the quality of water. We have had cases of waterborne diseases." We will also use these sessions to highlight water treatment methods that are affordable for those living in Katitu.

Plans: Hand-Dug Well

Using the tools and guidance we provide, the community will excavate a hand-dug well adjacent to their new sand dam, giving them a safe place to draw drinking water. When finished digging, our artisan will arrive to install casing, the well pad, and the new AfriDev pump. The adjacent sand dam will bring more water to the people living farthest away from the older sand dam (click here to view the sand dam). It will raise the water table and transform the land, making it fertile for farming.

Project Updates

06/15/2017: Katitu Community Hand-Dug Well Complete

Katitu Community has a new source of clean, safe water thanks to your support! A new hand-dug well has been constructed adjacent to a sand dam, which is building up sand to raise the water table and naturally filter water. The self-help group members have also attended an intensive review training on 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: Important Reminder

19 community representatives set aside their valuable time to attend hygiene and sanitation training for three days.

The main topics we covered were:

– How to prevent the spread of germs

– Common diseases and germ routes

– Water hygiene: types of treatment

– Using the latrine

– Proper waste disposal

– Building sanitation facilities (dish racks and clotheslines)

– Hand-washing and how to build a hand-washing station

11 kenya4756 training

A community member impresses her peers with thorough hand-washing!

Mr. Mutyota Kavoi is a farmer who operates a motorcycle taxi on the side. He took a break from his livelihood to attend training, confident that what he'd learn would easily make up for the three days' income he sacrificed. "Before the training, we did not know that it was important to wash hands after visiting the toilet or before handling food but now we know. We also didn't know that dish racks and trash pits could help us improve hygiene at our homes. We now get manure for use in our farms from the trash pits," he shared gratefully.

The trainer scheduled a visit for two days later when she would visit randomly-selected households to check for implementation of dish racks, hand-washing stations, pit latrines, and compost pits. From this-follow up, Veronica concluded that the adoption of lessons from the PHAST training was at 70%. Although all homes had pit latrines, some lacked dish racks, trash pits and tippy taps (hand-washing stations). She decided there is an urgent need for a review training, which is planned for later this month.

5 kenya4756 training

Locals work with the trainer to make an action plan for the coming months.

Project Result: Hand-Dug Well

Construction on this hand-dug well began in the end of March.

The self-help community members excavated the hole and collected all of the local materials required for successful completion of the project. They also provided unskilled labour when actual construction work started.

A hole seven feet in diameter is excavated as close as possible to a recommended depth of 25 feet. (Most hand-dug wells don't reach that depth due to the existence of hard rocks between 10-18 ft.). The diameter then shrinks to five feet when construction of the hand-dug well lining is completed. This lining is made of brick and mortar with perforations to allow for water to seep through.

1 kenya4776 well construction

Community members are taking a break from lining this well with brick and mortar. This part of the process is rushed to beat any rains that could flood the inside of the well.

Once the construction of the lining reaches ground level, a precast concrete slab is laid on top and joined to the wall using mortar. Four bolts for the hand-pump are fixed on the slab during casting. The well is then given a few days after installing the pump, allowing the joints to completely dry. Communities are advised to pump out the first water that seeps into the well because it often has a foul smell and a bad taste. After pumping for a while, the water becomes clear.

4 kenya4776 finished well

A man and his wife take turns pumping clean water from the new well!

This hand-dug well ended up being 18 feet deep, and was fitted with an AfriDev pump. It is adjacent to the new sand dam in Katitu (click here to see that project), which will build up sand and raise the water table to supply reliable water to this well.

Mr. Mutyota Kavoi told us that "this shallow well is not only a source of clean drinking water, it is also a source of income. We sell it for five shillings per twenty-liter jerrycan. Besides, it has saved us the two kilometers that we used to walk to the church borehole or the hours we spent queuing at the river. We very much appreciate this support that has been extended to us."

Project Photos

Project Type

Dug Well and Hand Pump

Hand-dug wells are best suited for clay, sand, gravel and mixed soil ground formations. A large diameter well is dug by hand, and then lined with either bricks or concrete to prevent contamination and collapse of the well. Once a water table is hit, the well is capped and a hand-pump is installed – creating a complete and enclosed water system.


Project Sponsor - Barbara Belle Ash Dougan Foundation