Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Program: The Water Promise - Kenya

Impact: 170 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2015

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 01/16/2023

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

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).

Background Information

Bunuku Village is located in Chesero, East Kabras Division, Kakamega North Sub-County of Kakamega County.

The people of Bunuku have mixed economic levels, most women are housewives and the majority of men are breadwinners.
In 1990, the community benefitted from a well drilled by the Kenya Finland company, aiming to help the community members have access to clean and safe water. According to the committee members that were present during the original implementation of this project and who still currently live there, the borehole greatly reduced the outbreak of sicknesses among the community such as typhoid and diarrhea. These waterborne diseases were a big problem.

Since original committee members were still living in that community we were able to learn more information about the community when the water system was functioning. We were told my committee members that with the presence of the water system, the community improved their hygiene and sanitation practices and general health improved.

Over the years, the well was able to be repaired as need, but eventually failed to function in 2012 as continual repairs became unsuccessful, according to the elders. This forced the community to abandon the well, which was vandalized thereafter and parts stolen. Without a working well, community members, especially women, have been forced to walk the long distance of 2km to fetch water from a stream found in the neighboring community.

Current Water Source

The community depends on a protected spring which is situated 3km away in the neighboring community. The stream’s water level depends on the season. During rainy weather, the spring is also easily contaminated by dirty runoff since it is situated on the lower side of a hill.

It is obvious by the water’s color that it has more impurities after rainfall. Despite this dirtiness, the water from the stream is still not treated at the household level as the community members have not been properly trained on how to treat such water. (boiling, chlorinating).


There are approximately 30 households each containing five to seven family members.

Hygiene and Sanitation

A large percentage of people in this community are diagnosed with typhoid and diarrhea diseases. This is a result of drinking untreated water and eating dirty food.

Men and women have no knowledge on how to maintain good sanitation standards in their homes. For example, the clearing of bushes, digging of dump sites, construction of dish racks, and the collection of litter would greatly improve home compounds. Most community members have ignored the important steps to achieve good hygiene and sanitation and therefore there is a need of proper training. This training will begin to address the need for behavioral change, and will teach how to properly wash hands, prepare and handle food, store water, practice personal hygiene, and prevent diarrheal diseases.

Assessing the Need

The community needs this project in order to decrease cases of waterborne diseases. They also need to reduce the distance between them and clean, adequate drinking water. They need enough safe water for drinking, washing, farming, and other domestic chores.

Project Beneficiaries

The Bunuku community members will be the immediate beneficiaries of this rehabilitation project.

Water Committee

The community members have agreed to come together and choose those people equipped to form a water committee. The formation of the water committee will be done by the help of Bridge Water Project staff before the implementation of this project.

Hygiene and Sanitation Training

The responsibility of ensuring good hygiene and sanitation at the family level is tasked to both men and women. Women have the responsibility of ensuring that the household is clean. This includes cleaning the house, washing utensils, storing water, etc. Men have to ensure that the surrounding environment of the home is in good condition. For example, the men have to ensure that the compost pit, latrine, bathing room, dish racks and clotheslines are in place.

Even though many people are aware of the above responsibilities and tasks, most households have overlooked the best hygiene and sanitation practices. Due to this, the community has experienced multiple outbreaks of waterborne diseases such as diarrhea, malaria, typhoid, and cholera. These four waterborne diseases have been especially apparent during seasons of long rains. Many households have stagnant water all over their fields, no dish racks, and drinking water is poorly stored and thus easily contaminated.

The important aspects of good hygiene and sanitation that were dealt with in training include but are not limited to:

1. Safe disposal of feces and other wastes:

– Ensure all feces are disposed of in the latrine to avoid the spread of disease.

– Other wastes should be disposed of in a compost pit.

– Every household should have at least one latrine.

2. Hand-washing practice by the use of soap or ash at all critical times:

– Always use correct hand-washing techniques .i.e. Rub hands together at least three times, especially fingers; use a cleansing agent; use dripping or running water if possible; air dry.

– Always wash at critical moments, i.e. After going to the bathroom, before eating, feeding, or cooking.

3. Food preparation and its safety:

– Always peel or wash fresh food before eating.

– Always heat or reheat cooked foods at a high temperature shortly before eating.

– Wash food preparation surface with soap and water.

– Never consume animal products that have been improperly prepared for consumption.

– Keep flies off of food.

4. Consumption of clean and safe water:

– Treat all water used for drinking and cooking by chlorination, filtration, or boiling to reduce pathogens.

– Always cover water storage containers or use containers with narrow necks.

– Get water from a tap or use a clean utensil.

– Place containers where young children cannot get to them.

– Always use a different (clean) vessel to transfer water for drinking.

Construction Of The Well Pad

After the hygiene and sanitation training, the Sawashi service team mobilized to the community for the construction of the well pad.

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. Men on the other hand 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 two days. A fresh layer of 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.

Pump Installation and Handing Over

After the well pad had cured, the service teams mobilized to the site for pump installation and handing over.  During the installation, women were busy in the kitchen preparing meals which were contributed by every house hold in the community as men helped the service team in the installation of the pump.

Immediately after the pump installation complete, the community members were happy to see water flowing again after a long period of 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.

Thank you for partnering with this community to make safe water a reality! This is not possible without you.

We're just getting started, check back soon!

Project Videos

Project Photos

Project Type

Borehole and Hand Pump

Girls and women walk long distances for water when safe water is very often right under their feet! Underground rivers, called aquifers, often contain a constant supply of safe water – but you have to get to it. No matter what machine or piece of equipment is used, all drilling is aiming for a borehole that reaches into an aquifer. If the aquifer has water - and after the well is developed - we are able to pull water to the surface utilizing a hand-pump. If all goes as planned, the community is left with a safe, closed water source providing around 5 gallons of water a minute through a hand-pump.