The Water Project : 11-kenya4778-clean-water
The Water Project : 10-kenya4778-clean-water
The Water Project : 9-kenya4778-clean-water
The Water Project : 8-kenya4778-clean-water
The Water Project : 7-kenya4778-clean-water
The Water Project : 6-kenya4778-clean-water
The Water Project : 5-kenya4778-well-construction
The Water Project : 4-kenya4778-well-construction
The Water Project : 3-kenya4778-well-construction-2
The Water Project : 2-kenya4778-lining
The Water Project : 1-kenya4778-lining
The Water Project : 4-kenya4770-training
The Water Project : 3-kenya4770-training
The Water Project : 2-kenya4770-training
The Water Project : 1-kenya4770-training
The Water Project : 11-kenya4770-mulatya-latrines
The Water Project : 10-kenya4770-dish-rack
The Water Project : 9-kenya4770-catching-rainwater
The Water Project : 8-kenya4770-water-containers
The Water Project : 7-kenya4770-angelica-mulatya
The Water Project : 6-kenya4770-rose-nduku-hand-washing
The Water Project : 5-kenya4770-kitchen
The Water Project : 4-kenya4770-kitchen
The Water Project : 3-kenya4770-first-sand-dam
The Water Project : 2-kenya4770-rose-nduku-water-storage
The Water Project : 1-kenya4770-water-containers
The Water Project : 9-kenya4770-benjamin-household
The Water Project : 8-kenya4770-benjamin-household
The Water Project : 7-kenya4770-benjamin-household-watering-plants
The Water Project : 6-kenya4770-benjamin-household
The Water Project : 4-kenya4770-justina-pius-household-latrine
The Water Project : 3-kenya4770-justina-pius-and-her-jerrycans
The Water Project : 2-kenya4770-justina-pius-gathering-her-water-containers
The Water Project : 1-kenya4770-justina-pius-household-kitchen

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

The Masola Kaani Self-Help Group was formed in the year 2011 and has grown to a group of 49 farmers.

The main reason for forming the group was to bolster the economic prosperity of its members. These families live in one of the most densely populated areas of this county, which has a total population of 3,000 people. (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 five-year partnership with this community to construct accessible clean water points. To learn more, click here.) Originally, the area was famous for its massive production of vegetables, thanks to the River Ikiwe that could provide enough water for many crops. The group’s priority was to increase the harvest of vegetables so they could sell more and earn more. However, in the last years, drastic changes happened.

Their main source of water, River Ikiwe, eroded and no longer provided water throughout the year. This affected the availability of water for farming, for domestic use and other household water requirements. Many of the people that had been employed on vegetable farms had been rendered jobless, and many families struggled to meet their daily income needs. Longer queues at the water points and higher prices for buying drinking water became normal experiences. A jerrycan of water (20 liters) cost 30 shillings during the dry season; a price which many households cannot afford. By coming together, the group hopes construct several sand dams along the river channel. These will be used to provide water for all their household and agricultural needs, and restore the jobs that were lost.

Water Situation

The group finished their first sand dam (picture included on this page) last year, and it’s been a great success:

Benjamin Makewa, 63 years old, is one of the members of Masola Kaani Self-Help Group. He is a retired teacher and a farmer in his village. Benjamin shared with us about the first dam, saying, “We are thankful to our donor and we are ready to work on many [more] projects. We have benefited alot from the water harvested from the sand dam. We have planted vegetables (sukuma wiki, cabbage, and tomatoes) which we sell and earn income for our group. We no longer suffer from waterborne diseases. Some of the income we get from the sale of the vegetables is used to buy waterguard for all group members. This is meant to ensure that every group member treats his or her drinking water.”

Everyone travels to the oasis that the first sand dam has created (you can find the picture on this page) . There is also a hand-dug well that pumps clean drinking water. Though this is a blessing to all, there are still community members living far away who not only have to wait for the crowds at the dam, but have to walk that long distance to and from. We visited two of those households to learn about their water, sanitation and hygiene needs. Check out the pictures from our tours with Rose Nduku and Angelica Mulatya.

To decrease the amount of long trips to the first sand dam, these community members collect as many large containers as they can. Some are left open to collect rainwater, while others are on the receiving end of gutter pipes. However, the poorer the household the less plastic storage containers they can afford, and the more trips they must make to the sand dam and well system. This wastes valuable time that could have been spent on income-generating activities

Homes that can afford pack animals have them, loading them up with 20-liter jerrycans. Those who can’t have no other choice but to carry containers on their backs. Luckily, most households have at least one donkey.

Water quality tests have been done on the hand-dug well’s water, and they came back with zero coliform. The group is excited that as they build more dams and wells further down the river, they will bring more clean water to even more people in the villages of Kyanzasu and Kaani.

Sanitation Situation

Since the beginning of our relationship with these villages, we’ve seen pit latrine coverage go from 75% to 100%. The quality of these structure depend on the economic status of each household; the more money they can spare, the more permanent the structure. Some even have a cloth curtain hanging as a door. Because of this complete coverage, open defecation is no longer an issue here.

Now, over half of households have hand-washing stations, though the majority still needs to construct helpful tools like dish racks and clotheslines.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

The group will meet for one day to review weaknesses in their practice of hygiene and sanitation. The trainer has visited with and talked to these households, and they’ve agreed together that they should go over latrine care and hand-washing.

Hand-washing will be highlighted as one of the most effective ways to prevent disease, and locals will be taught how to build their own hand-washing station. The construction and use of latrines will also be strongly encouraged, and the group will agree on a plan to implement what they learned.

Plans: Hand-Dug Well

This hand-dug well is one of many construction projects taking place to transform this area. We spend a total of five years unified with each community to address their clean water shortage. More sand dams will be built to transform the environment – And as the sand dams mature and build up more sand over time, the water table will rise. To safely access this water, hand-dug wells like this one are installed.

The wells are always located next to sand dams, since they rely on the water stored by sand dams. The sand dam location is proposed by the self-help group and then approved by the technical team. The group always proposes sites that will be central and convenient for every group member to access.

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.

Excavation takes a month or more on average, depending on the nature of the rock beneath. Construction of the well lining and installation of the pump takes 12 days maximum. The well will be lined with a concrete wall with perforations so that once it rains, water will seep in through the sand.

Recent Project Updates

10/18/2017: Kaani Community Hand-Dug Well Complete

Kaani Community’s new hand-dug well is now installed and clean water flowing, 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!

Project Result: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

A hygiene and sanitation review session was held for the members of Masola Kaani Self-Help Group after a follow-up visit to assess current gaps in their practices and behaviors at home. Our trainer also took requests for particular topics the group wanted to review.

1 kenya4770 training

Some of these included:

  1. Food hygiene
  2. Personal hygiene
  3. Water hygiene and water treatment
  4. Compound hygiene
  5. Disease transmission routes
  6. Hand-washing
  7. Sanitation ladder
  8. How to prevent cholera
  9. And finally, they requested to learn how to make soap

Due to current cholera outbreaks in some parts of Kenya, the group members were taken through a brief training focusing on cholera. We want through the signs and symptoms of cholera, how cholera is transmitted, and how it can be prevented. Our trainer presented, facilitated review, and arranged participants in groups to discuss some of these topics. Each group got a piece of poster paper to enable them to review and draw out the disease transmission process, and then brainstorm the ways to build barriers to disease.

We polled group members and found that every family represented has a latrine, more than half have hand-washing stations, and 15 out of 20 families are treating their water before drinking. For those who are missing facilities or not treating water, we made an action plan to see these items realized.

In order to improve and promote sanitation and hygiene of community members, the group was taken through the soap-making process. This liquid soap is used in schools, hotels, at the household levels etc. Soap-making will not only improve their sanitation and hygiene but will also function as an income-generating activity to boost their finances. The initial investment of soap making materials (ingredients), enough to make 60 liters of soap, was provided by us. Community members provided water and containers for their soap.

4 kenya4770 training

The trainer oversees as community members try their hand at making soap for the first time.

The group was very excited to participate in this activity. Each group member took turns to participate in every stage of the process. The members agreed to sell the soap at 40 shillings per liter, and they all agreed that additional ingredients will be bought at Masii Town.

63-year-old Benjamin Makewa is one of the members of Masola Kaani. He is a retired teacher and a farmer in his village. Benjamin had this to say about the training: “The training was good, we have reviewed the training on PHAST that we learnt ealier this year. We will now earn more income from the soap-making business and also improve hygiene in our families. We are thankful to our donor and we are ready to work on many projects.”

ASDF_Masola Kaani SHG_PHAST Refresher_Benjamin Makewa, 63 (2)

Mr. Makewa

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 kenya4778 lining

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.

5 kenya4778 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 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.

11 kenya4778 clean water

Pumping that clean water!

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.

The Water Project : 8-kenya4778-clean-water

08/21/2017: Kaani Community Hand-Dug Well Underway

Kaani Community in Kenya will 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 stopping disease, hunger, and thirst 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 : 9-kenya4770-catching-rainwater

Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Project Data

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump
Location:  Machakos, Iveti, Kaani
ProjectID: 4788
Install Date:  10/15/2017


Project Sponsor - Alexa, Elvin & Gigi

Want to start your own campaign? Learn more »

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.