Makhwabuyu Well Rehabilitation Project

Water Point
 Rehabilitation Project
Project Features
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The Water Promise - Kenya

Latitude 0.43
Longitude 34.90

275 Served

Project Status:

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Stories and Community Profile

This project is a part of our shared program with Safe Water and Sustainable Hygiene Initiative (SAWASHI). Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).

Background Information

Makhwabuyu Village is located in Kimanget Location, East Kabras Division, Malava Sub-County of Kakamega North County. There are approximately 45 households in the village, with five to eight family members in each. These families depend mainly on farming of sugarcane and maize crops.

The women of each household are responsible for finding and fetching water regardless of the time it takes, the distance, or water quality.

In 1992, a hand-dug well was made by the Finland Company with the aim of reducing the distance women had to walk for water. The hand pump of this well was vandalized in 2004, and community members had to break open the well pad and had to start using a bucket and rope to haul up water. Now that the well has been broken open, the water has become contaminated and after drinking, community members have noticed a great increase in waterborne diseases.

The community is asked for help to install a replacement pump so they can once again access safe, clean water. This water will be used for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and farming.

Current Water Source

The community depends on the defunct shallow well which is now open to contamination.

Hygiene and Sanitation

The children and elderly are especially prone to cases of waterborne diseases, especially typhoid and diarrhea-related sickness. This is a result of drinking from the broken well and handling food improperly.

Few households have sanitation facilities like dish racks, clotheslines, or compost pits.

There is a need for training that will change the behaviors and attitudes of this community. They must be educated on proper hand-washing, handling food and its preparation, water storage, and good personal hygiene.

Water Committee

Community members have formed a strong Water Committee that will be in charge of the rehabilitated well’s management and maintenance.

Training Sessions

Training was held around the project site, which is a convenient location for most members of the community. Participants were recruited with help from the village elder. There ended up being more women than men present, and these women were also much more involved than the men. The women’s responsiveness was great compared to the men’s, specifically in terms of asking and answering questions that arose during training. As a norm, this community believes that women are the ones to be associated with hygiene and sanitation issues. This could be the reason why the response from men was low compared to women. Training was held over a total of three days: two days were set aside for hygiene and sanitation education, and the third day was dedicated to forming and training a water user committee.

The facilitator used posters illustrating both good and bad behaviors related to sanitation and hygiene. Topics highlighted over the two days were:

– Proper hand-washing

– Food preparation and storage

– Water collection and storage

– Waterborne diseases and their prevention (particularly typhoid and diarrhea)

– Water treatment methods

– General cleanliness of households

Participants learned about these topics in dynamic settings, such as lectures, group discussions, and pair work.

On the third day of training, participants voted on members for a water user committee. This committee is in charge of managing and maintaining the water point. They must agree on rules for proper behavior around the well, collect fees, and report any issues to the project implementor. The community has great hope for their water user committee because it includes members that were formerly involved in government leadership. Their presence will help the entire community cooperate and adhere to the set rules and regulations.

Women raised many concerns about household hygiene and challenged their counterparts (the men) to help them improve the situation. A follow-up will be held so as to ascertain whether there was a noticeable impact from training, because changes to behavior do not occur automatically but are a gradual process.

Project Result: Rehabilitated Hand-Dug Well

During this process, community members prepared meals for the team. One of the biggest challenges to construction was constant rain, but community members also volunteered their time and efforts to build a shelter for workers. Community member Annah Jerah looked on with expectation, saying, “We are really waiting for this project to be completed as we also hope that it will reduce our stress of using rope to draw water. We also anticipate a healthy living now that we shall have clean and safe water for use at all times.”

The construction team began their work on January 22. The team reconstructed the well pad which had cracks that were allowing re‐contamination. A good ratio of cement, sand and concrete was mixed and used to re-construct the well pad. This process took a period of three days after which the well pad was left to cure. Water quality testing is scheduled for February 5, and workers will return to the site in April to make sure this well is still in good working condition.

Community members like Annah Thank You for unlocking potential!


Project Videos

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Recent Project Updates

12/20/2017: A Year Later: Makhwabuyu Community

A year ago, generous donors helped rehabilitate a well with the Makhwabuyu Community in Western Kenya. Because of these gifts and contributions from our monthly donors, partners can visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from our partner, Paul Weringa, with you.

The Water Project : makhwabuyu-community-13

02/02/2016: Makhwabuyu Well Rehabilitation Project Complete

We are excited to inform you that the well in Makhwabuyu Village is now protected and in working condition! A sustainable project doesn’t result from rushing into an area, drilling a hole and leaving it; wells don’t last forever! That’s why rehabilitation projects are so important, and why monitoring this well is a priority. The community also formed a water user committee that will manage and maintain the water well. This committee, along with others from their community, also participated in a comprehensive hygiene and sanitation training. You can find updated training and construction details in the online project report, including new pictures. Please take a moment to enjoy all the work you made possible.

The Water Project and people of Makhwabuyu Village Thank You for unlocking potential!

The Water Project : kenya4399-water-flowing

12/08/2015: Update from Makhwabuyu Village Well Rehabilitation Project

We wanted to give you the latest news from the Makhwabuyu village well rehabilitation project in Kenya. Community education and training is currently happening. Due to some equipment challenges and the upcoming holidays (in Kenya, most work stops from December 20th through the end of the year), we don’t expect the actual well rehabilitation to happen until the beginning of January. We have adjusted the expected completion date accordingly.

Thank you for your patience. We’ll let you know as soon as we receive anything new.

The Water Project : kenya4399-05-household

12/02/2015: Makhwabuyu Well Rehabilitation Project Underway

We want you to know how much we appreciate you supporting us in the work to bring clean water. We know you have waited quite a while to hear about the community you are helping.

We are excited to announce that, thanks to your willingness to help, Makhwabuyu Village will soon have a new source of safe, clean water. A broken well is being rehabilitated so it will be a reliable resource, and the community will receive training in sanitation and hygiene. Together these resources will help stop the spread of disease in the area. We just posted a report including information about the community, GPS coordinates and pictures. We’ll keep you posted as the work continues.

Take a look, and Thank You for your help!

The Water Project : kenya4399-04-broken-well

10/29/2015: News Of Clean Water Is On The Way

We wanted to let you know that your project is coming soon! Check out the project page and click on the green ‘Read About The Community’ bar for a special message from our partner in Kenya.

Thank You for working with us to bring clean water!

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump
Location:  Kakamega, Kenya
ProjectID: 4399
Install Date:  01/31/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 02/23/2018

Visit History:
08/01/2016 — Functional
08/15/2016 — Functional
12/06/2016 — Functional
03/03/2017 — Needs Attention
05/17/2017 — Functional
07/25/2017 — Functional
09/20/2017 — Functional
12/04/2017 — Functional
02/23/2018 — Functional

A Year Later: Makhwabuyu Community

December, 2017

With the pump in place, our husbands are willing to help us fetch water when necessary!

A year ago, generous donors helped rehabilitate a well with the Makhwabuyu Community in Western Kenya. Because of these gifts and contributions from our monthly donors, partners can visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from our partner, Paul Weringa, with you.

Waterborne diseases like typhoid are no longer a problem for people living in Makhwabuyu. Rehabilitating the well by installing an AfriDev pump, building a well pad, and training the community members on good hygiene and sanitation has really improved health here. People are doing a great job with how they handle drinking water, store it, and treat it.

Paul met the caretaker, Annah Jerah, at the well to talk about how life has changed over the last year. “We are now a relieved people that have clean water. We are able to save the little money we have and buy food for our families. Instead of spending time in the hospitals, we now spend time in our small farms planting and harvesting our crops.

Paul interviewing Mrs. Annah Jerah at the well.

When we used to pull a bucket from the well to get water, we used to experience chest and back pains. This problem has been solved by the installation of the pump, and now fetching water has become easier. With the pump in place, our husbands are willing to help us fetch water when necessary!” she exclaimed.

Even 5-year-old Joseph Amani showed up at the well to help his mom by fetching clean water. He said he was never allowed to fetch water before this project, since the open hole was too dangerous for him. He also said “my mother ensures that I am clean all the time, since water is now near to our homes.”

The only challenge here is that many people are still not willing to contribute fees for their well, which would be used for maintenance. They have the idea that water should be free, but the well is really providing a service that needs to be maintained to ensure sustainability. Our team continues to engage with them on this through our quarterly monitoring visits and other trainings.

The Water Project and our partners are committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by monthly donors, allows us to visit communities up to 4 times a year. Read more about our program and how you can help.

Country Details


Population: 39.8 Million
Lacking clean water: 43%
Below poverty line: 50%

Partner Profile

Bridge Water Project has been funded by The Water Project almost since they got their start in 2007.  This local Kenyan NGO works directly with the communities and neighbors they know well.  Building relationships with these villages and the local government helps ensure that the water projects we fund are sustainable in the long term.

BWP works to repair up to four wells for every new one they install.  In this area of Kenya, many old and broken down water points still exist.  We have found that restoring these water points and establishing new plans for maintenance and monitoring, is quite cost effective.

We work closely with partners like BWP to strengthen their teams, through professional development growing their impact and quality of work over time.  Your donations make it all possible.