Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 255 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Oct 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/20/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Welcome to the Community

Ngwatanio ya Utui wa Maluvyu Self-Help Group was formed in the year 2015. The average size of each member's household is six, while the average age of the members is 54. The group is located in Maluvyu Village, which has a population of 255 people from 52 households.

50% of the group members said that they rely on agriculture as their main source of income while 45% of the group members get it from manual labor. 5% of the group members said that they rely on remittances from their relatives as their main source of income.

Water Situation

Some families living in Maluvyu have connected rainwater catchment tanks to their gutter systems. But even they have to travel to the river to fetch water. Since it's so dry in southeastern Kenya, holes must be dug in the riverbed to get to any water. Women dunk their plastic containers in this visibly contaminated water to fill them.

40% of Ngwatanio ya Maluvyu members travel a distance of less than one kilometer, which is within a range of acceptable access. But the rest of the group members still must travel more than one km to get to the water source every single day (30% of the members travel a distance of 1-2km to fetch their drinking water while 25% travel a distance of 2-3km to fetch their drinking water. The other 5% travel a distance of 3-4km to fetch their drinking water). When water is delivered home, it is emptied into larger storage containers ranging from 200 liters to 1500 liters.

Sanitation Situation

The people in Maluvyu have already had opportunities for hygiene and sanitation training provided by the government, so they are ahead of most other communities.

Almost all of the households here have their own pit latrine. In contrast, only a few of them have hand-washing stations or helpful tools like dish racks and clotheslines (you can see examples of what we found under the pictures tab).

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

The group will meet for two days for an extensive review on what they’ve learned about hygiene and sanitation. There are also holes in their knowledge, apparent by the lack of hand-washing facilities. During training sessions, group members will learn a locally sustainable way to construct their own 'handsfree' hand-washing station. We will also focus on safe water handling, storage, and safe food preparation.

Plans: Hand-Dug Well

This hand-dug well will be constructed adjacent to a sand dam on the riverbed. As the sand dam matures, it will build up sand and naturally filter the river's water and the rainwater supplied during the rainy season (click here to see the sand dam).

It will raise the water table and transform the land, making it fertile for farming. With the installation of this hand-dug well, water collected at this sand dam will be safely used for drinking.

Project Updates

September, 2018: A Year Later: Maluvyu Community Well

A year ago, generous donors helped build a sand dam and hand-dug well for Maluvyu Community in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories. Read more…

November, 2017: Clean Water Flowing in Maluvyu

We are so excited to report that clean water is now flowing from the well in Maluvyu. Patience has paid off! The water supply will continue to improve, becoming more reliable as the adjacent sand dam matures during the rainy season.

You make this transformation possible. Thank You!

October, 2017: Maluvyu Community Hand-Dug Well Complete

Maluvyu Community’s new hand-dug well is now installed, thanks to your support! It has been dug adjacent to a sand dam system. As rainy seasons occur over time, sand will build up behind the dam, storing and filtering water that will fill the well and raise the water table in the area. The self-help group members also attended 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, so make sure to check them out! We look forward to reaching out again when this well has clean water.

Project Result: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Hygiene and sanitation training was held for three days at one of the self-help group members' homesteads. 30 people attended in all.

5 kenya4759 training

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

10 kenya4759 training

This little girl remembered to use soap!

The trainer worked with the community to write up an action plan for implementation of all they learned. Each household will need to have important facilities like pit latrines, hand-washing stations, clotheslines, and dish racks. A select committee will work with the trainer to keep their neighbors accountable. This same committee will also oversee the management and maintenance of their sand dam system.

7 kenya4759 training

Can you read this hygiene and sanitation action plan for Maluvyu and its neighboring villages?

Project Result: Hand-Dug Well

We delivered the experts and materials, but the community helped get an extraordinary amount of work done. They collected local materials to supplement the project, including sand and water. When it was time to dig, they were there to excavate the well.

1 kenya4779 excavation

They managed to get this well a bit deeper than many other self-help groups this year!

A hole seven feet in diameter is excavated up 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.

3 kenya4779 well lining

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 mechanics arrive to install the pump as community members watch, learning how to manage and maintain the pump for themselves. The well is then given a few days after installing the pump, allowing the joints to completely dry. After it rains, 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 that for a while, the water becomes clean and clear.

4 kenya4779 finished well

Once the dam has received a good amount of rain, it will store water to be accessed through this hand-dug well.

This hand-dug well was built simultaneously with its adjacent sand dam (to see the sand dam, click here). The sand dam will collect sand that stores and filters huge amounts of water, water that will then be accessed through the pump. The well platform appears to be raised above the ground in anticipation of the sand that will build up around it during the next few years’ rainy seasons.

Mr. Musyoka Masaku told us that "this will be our new water source for the four villages of Maluvyu, Masaani, Ngomeni, and Nthunguni. There will be no more lining up at the River Ikaasu which is far away. Our plan is to start growing vegetables immediately because there's enough water at the dam, and we already have planted kale and coriander. When we sell the surplus, it will boost our income."

Project Photos

Project Type

Hand-dug wells have been an important source of water throughout human history! Now, we have so many different types of water sources, but hand-dug wells still have their place. Hand dug wells are not as deep as borehole wells, and work best in areas where there is a ready supply of water just under the surface of the ground, such as next to a mature sand dam. Our artisans dig down through the layers of the ground and then line the hole with bricks, stone, or concrete, which prevent contamination and collapse. Then, back up at surface level, we install a well platform and a hand pump so people can draw up the water easily.


Project Sponsor - The Lifeplus Foundation