Loading images...
The Water Project : 1-kenya4785-well-excavation
The Water Project : 2-kenya4785-well-excavation
The Water Project : 3-kenya4785-well-construction
The Water Project : 4-kenya4785-well-construction
The Water Project : 5-kenya4785-well-construction
The Water Project : 6-kenya4785-clean-water
The Water Project : 7-kenya4785-clean-water
The Water Project : 8-kenya4785-clean-water
The Water Project : 9-kenya4785-clean-water
The Water Project : 10-kenya4785-clean-water
The Water Project : 11-kenya4785-clean-water
The Water Project : 12-kenya4785-clean-water
The Water Project : 6-kenya4765-training
The Water Project : 5-kenya4765-training
The Water Project : 4-kenya4765-training
The Water Project : 3-kenya4765-training
The Water Project : 2-kenya4765-training
The Water Project : 1-kenya4765-training
The Water Project : 17-kenya4765-household-2-latrines
The Water Project : 16-kenya4765-household-2-kitchen
The Water Project : 15-kenya4765-household-2dish-rack
The Water Project : 15-kenya4765-household-2-water-containers
The Water Project : 14-kenya4765-household-2-water-containers
The Water Project : 13-kenya4765-household-2-cart
The Water Project : 11-kenya4765-household-2
The Water Project : 10-kenya4765-household-2
The Water Project : 9-kenya4765-household-1
The Water Project : 8-kenya4765-household-1-bathing-room
The Water Project : 7-kenya4765-household-1-kitchen
The Water Project : 5-kenya4765-household-1-kitchen
The Water Project : 4-kenya4765-household-1-kitchen
The Water Project : 3-kenya4765-household-1
The Water Project : 2-kenya4765-household-1-water-containers
The Water Project : 1-kenya4765-household-1-water-containers

Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  Installed

Functionality Status: 

Community Profile & Stories

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

Kithito Andu Akuu ma Ngaa Self-Help Group was formed and certified in the year 2014. The group is found in Ngaa Village that is home to 800 households! This translates to thousands living in the area. (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 we’ve formed a relationship with this group and plan to support them to do multiple water projects over the next couple of years until adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)

The group’s main objective is to enhance their overall welfare by conducting fund sharing, establishing tree nurseries, and weaving baskets and sisal rope. Their mean age is 43, while the mean of the members in each household is five. In terms of education level, a recent survey established that household heads are the most learned – some of them have been to college or technical school.

Water Situation

Most of this group keeps large plastic containers outside to catch water when it rains. However, the dry season is long and forces families to search elsewhere. This search takes them over two kilometers away to the river.

Water isn’t flowing at this river. People have to dig in the riverbed until they hit water. They fill their 20-liter containers with the water from this hole, and load it onto a donkey or ox-drawn cart. If a family can’t afford a pack animal, they must hoist the heavy container up and carry it all the way home themselves.

This water is open to contaminants from many different sources. Livestock brought back and forth drink freely from the hole, often relieving themselves somewhere along the way. When it rains, even more waste is washed into this water source, not to mention the dirt itself that erodes and muddies the water.

There is rampant waterborne disease and the resulting treatment costs are huge, especially for these families that make so little. Long hours are spent walking to and lining up at the scoop holes.

Farmer Alice Nthenya Mulinge said, “We fetch water from open scoop holes in the river. This water is dirty because we often find all sort of dirt. We expect to access clean water from our sand dam and shallow well because it will be covered and water seeping in will be clean.”

Sanitation Situation

Every single group member’s home has a pit latrine. The buildings’ materials depend on the economic status of each household, ranging from sticks to concrete. However, less than half of households have and use hand-washing stations.

There is a collective positive attitude towards sanitation and hygiene; people do their best because they know living in a dirty environment can and will cause health issues.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

To address gaps in hygiene and sanitation practices in Ngaa Community, training will be offered to self-help group members on three consecutive days. The members will learn about useful practices and tools to improve health, and then will be able to share those with their families and neighbors. Water transport, storage, and treatment methods will be taught, and hand-washing will be a focus. Group members will learn how to make their own hand-washing stations with everyday materials. To motivate participants, we must show the links between these activities and their people’s health.

Plans: Hand-Dug Well

This hand-dug well will be one of many construction projects to come in the next few years. We will spend a total of five years unified with this community to address their clean water shortage. More sand dams will be built to transform the environment. As the sand dams mature and build up more sand, the water table will rise. To safely access this water, hand-dug wells like this one will be installed.

This particular hand-dug well is being built adjacent to this group’s ongoing sand dam project (click here to see). We have supplied the group with the tools needed for excavation. With the guidance of our artisans and mechanics, the excavated well will be cased, sealed with a well pad, and then finished with a new AfriDev pump.

Recent Project Updates

10/05/2017: Ngaa Community Hand-Dug Well Complete

Ngaa 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 after this system has matured and started providing clean water.

Project Result: New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was held at Ngaa Primary School, since it’s a central venue for all group members. The chairman of the group was the person responsible for notifying all members of training – where and when it would be. It was well attended, with most of the members there for all three days!

1 kenya4765 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

5 kenya4765 training

Demonstration on how to build and use a hand-washing station.

By the end of training, the group had developed their own action plan to implement the hygiene and sanitation practices they learned. Farmer Cosmas Wambua told us that “The training was good! I have learnt a lot about personal hygiene, compound hygiene, water hygiene, food hygiene and latrine hygiene. I have also learnt how to make liquid soap. We will now improve our hygiene and sanitation standards at the household level by using affordable soap. We did not have any income-generating activity for our group and we are very happy soap-making will be our first.”

2 kenya4765 training

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.

2 kenya4785 well excavation

Bailing water that fills the hole as they dig.

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 kenya4785 well construction

Plastering the well pad.

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. 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.

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.

11 kenya4785 clean water

The self-help group’s committee will continue to ensure implementation of hygiene and sanitation lessons learnt during this project. They will check on improvements made at each member’s homestead, like having a dish rack, pit latrine, rubbish pit, and hand-washing station etc. The group is also responsible for training new members that join. They will oversee operation and maintenance of the AfriDev pump, seeking our help when needed.

Mr. Wambua said, “We are very thankful for the support. We now have clean water for drinking, domestic use and farming. Our trees used to dry up due to lack of water, especially during dry periods. We are planning to plant trees and vegetables. We are very happy and we promise our donor that we are ready to build more sand dams and shallow wells!”

The Water Project : 10-kenya4785-clean-water

08/02/2017: Ngaa Community Hand-Dug Well Underway

Ngaa Community in Kenya will soon have a clean source of water, thanks to your generous donation. A new well is being constructed adjacent to a new sand dam, and the community will attend training on important sanitation and hygiene practices. Together, these resources will go a long way in addressing the clean water shortage in the area! We just posted a report including community details, maps, and pictures. We will keep you posted as the work continues.

The Water Project : 13-kenya4765-household-2-cart

Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Project Data

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump
Location:  Makueni, Ngiluni, Ngaa
ProjectID: 4785
Install Date:  10/05/2017


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.