Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Program: The Water Promise - Kenya

Impact: 200 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2015

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 01/31/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

This project is a part of our shared program with Bridge Water Project. Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).


Emutsiliba is a community that has mixed levels of people economically with different levels of education. Community members came together and sought help from a well wisher who sponsored and drilled a well in the center of the community in the year 2010 with the aim of providing access to clean and sufficient water.

As is often present where there is a shortage of clean water, outbreaks of water borne diseases like typhoid and diarrhea are also a major problem that needs to be eradicated.

The presence of the water system in the community brought advancements in terms of good hygiene and sanitation, and also farming. However, the well began having mechanical issues, requiring special attention from a technician who could resolve the problems. Instead the community members engaged untrained local people to repair the water system. The local people who were hired were not able to repair the well and a technician was never called. With the well in disrepair, the community, not knowing what else to do or who to call, left the well broken. Eventually it was vandalized and stolen.

Lack of proper management for the water system is another reason why the well was not sustained. Without the well, community members, especially women, are forced to walk a long distance (3km) to fetch water from a stream in a neighboring community.


The community depends on a stream, which is situated 3km away in a neighboring community. The stream is seasonal and is easily contaminated by the waste materials, which are carried by rain water since the stream is situated on the lower side of a hill.

The stream does not provide adequate water for the population and therefore there has been a wave of conflicts between the communities regarding who should have access to the water first.

During rainy seasons, the color of water is turbid due to impurities. According to our baseline interviews, the water collected from this stream is not being treated at the household level.


There are approximately 30 households in the village, each containing 5 to 7 family members. There is also a Full Gospel church, which holds a maximum number of 65 Christian believers.


A large percentage of people in this community are diagnosed with typhoid and diarrheal diseases. This is the result of drinking untreated water and eating dirty food. Women in this community do not have knowledge on proper food preparation and handling, and water storage.

Men, on the other hand, have no knowledge on how to keep good sanitation standards in their homes. For example, not many are aware of the need to clear bushes, dig dumping sites, construct dish racks, and collect litter in their home compounds.

Most community members seem to be ignorant about the aspects of good hygiene and sanitation. Therefore there is a need for sanitation trainings, leading to behavioral changes. This will include proper practices for food preparation and handling, water storage, prevention of diarrheal diseases, and good personal hygiene.


To overcome the problem of outbreaks of water borne diseases and to reduce the distance traveled in search of clean and adequate water, the community needs this project in order to have safe water for drinking, washing, farming and other related purposes.


The community members will be the immediate beneficiaries of this project as well as the Full Gospel Church, which holds conferences at least every month

Women will have relief from walking long distances now that water will be available right in the community.


The community members have agreed to come together and choose among themselves people who will form a strong water committee that shall be in charge of the operation and maintenance of the water system once it is rehabilitated. BWP will help facilitate this before the implementation of the project.



People from this community are often diagnosed with typhoid and diarrheal diseases. This is a result of drinking untreated water and eating dirty food.

To help the community practice good hygiene and sanitation, a thorough training was conducted for men and women. A baseline survey that was carried out earlier revealed that most community members were unconcerned about practicing better of hygiene and sanitation.

Various topics were dealt with so as to address the problems of waterborne diseases like typhoid and diarrhea. The topics included:

Use and maintenance of all the latrines in the community

The community was encouraged to clean the latrines regularly to avoid flies and a bad odor, and to maintain a clear path to the latrine.

The community members were encouraged to use local materials like ash to clear the smell.

Proper hand washing

Hands should be washed after visiting latrines and before and after eating. In order to facilitate this, the community must ensure the availability of hand washing facilities, soap, and water close to the latrines.

Good personal hygiene

The community members were encouraged to clean their clothes and bedding regularly and bathe every day.

Maintaining cleanness of the compound and the houses

During the training, men agreed to take on the task of keeping their compounds clean by clearing all the bushes around the home. Women took the responsibility of keeping their houses clean. Both were encouraged to take responsibility for the health and hygiene of their children.


After the hygiene and sanitation team facilitated the training, the Bridge Water Project service team traveled to the community for the construction of the well pad.

The women and men of this community were excited to see their well rehabilitated. Women helped the workmen in fetching water which was used for construction and prepared meals for them. The men helped in transporting local materials like stones and sand to the site.

The men begun the work by hacking the old parches of the concrete slab. This took approximately two hours. Fresh concrete was applied and thorough cement work done. The well pad was then left to cure.

The well pad is expected to cure after three to four days.


After the well pad had cured, the service teams mobilized to the site for pump installation and handing over. As we have seen in this community, men and women were present at the site ready to see how their long awaited dream of having an access to clean water would come true. Women were busy in the kitchen preparing meals which were contributed by every house hold in the community as men helped the service team with the installation of the pump.

Immediately after the pump installation was complete, the community members did not hesitate to ask us to hand over the rehab well to them. Women sang songs of joy as a sign of happiness. In their songs, which were sung in the Luhya language, they declared that never again would they look back. That means never going back to the old sources which caused the outbreaks of water borne diseases as well as wasting time.

The community, through their water committee, promised to keep vigil on the water source to ensure that all is done for proper maintenance and operation.

The rehabilitated well is anticipated to play a big role in addressing the problems of the outbreak of the waterborne diseases like typhoid and cholera.


Project Updates

August, 2020: Through Their Eyes: COVID-19 Chronicles with Peter Shabana Yeswa

This post is part of a new series by The Water Project meant to highlight the perspectives and experiences of the people we serve and how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting them. We invite you to read more of their stories here.

Our team recently visited Emutsiliba Community to conduct a COVID-19 prevention training (read more about it below!) and monitor their water point. Shortly after, we returned to check in on the community, offer a COVID-19 refresher training, and ask how the pandemic is affecting their lives.

Peter Sabana Yeswa at his home.

It was during this most recent visit that Peter Shabana Yeswa shared his story of how the coronavirus has impacted his life.

Field Officer Susan Kamole met Peter outside his home to conduct the interview. Both Susan and Peter observed social distancing and other precautions throughout the visit to ensure their health and safety. The following is Peter’s story, in his own words.

Peter takes part in the community COVID sensitization training.

What is one thing that has changed in your community since the construction of the well?

"Since the installation of this water point, cases of sicknesses like typhoid have reduced greatly."

How has having a clean water point helped you through the pandemic so far?

"It has helped us greatly in that washing hands is not a problem because water is available and keeping hygiene becomes very easy."

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Kenya, has fetching water changed for you because of restrictions, new rules, or your concerns about the virus?

"There has been no change in water fetching since the COVID-19 outbreak."

Peter washes his hands

How has COVID-19 impacted your family?

"As a businessman, the lack of open markets has reduced my income. My wife is not going to work and children are staying at home and not going to school. My children have missed going to school and are asking every day when they would be going back to school."

What other challenges are you experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

"I am experiencing low income and my maid had to lose her now that my wife who is a school librarian and children are at home. They help with household chores. The lockdown problem has hindered me from going to Nairobi to buy goods for selling. Staying at home is quite boring for me."

What hygiene and sanitation steps have you and your community taken to stop the spread of the virus?

"I bought a handwashing facility for use at home and also made a leaky tin that is placed outside the latrine. I only wear a mask when going out in public places but not everyone does."

Peter at the well

When asked where he receives information about COVID-19, Peter listed the radio, television, newspaper, word of mouth, and our team's sensitization training.

What has been the most valuable part of the COVID-19 sensitization training you received from our team?

"I learned the correct steps of washing hands, simple way of making a mask, and the proper way of putting on a facemask."

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 Underwriter - Paul and Caryn Koenig
Bethany Evangelical Lutheran Church
DuVal High School/DuVal African Students Association
The New York Community Trust/Serena Laughlin/Alexander M. Laughlin
Mercer Family
Pinups for a cause
William O Douglas Chapter of Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternaty
Huntington Independent School District
Stewart Ave. Public School
Connect Sports London Inc.
Amira, Areesha, Emma and Pelly
For Dr. Philip Sarff
WHHHS English Department
39 individual donor(s)