Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 400 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2016

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 12/07/2022

Project Features

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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

Luyeshe Community consists of people from Kenyan society’s middle class; most are peasant farmers who grow sugarcane as their main cash crop and seasonal crops such as maize, beans, and other vegetables. People of this community have a certain set of beliefs and traditions which are used as a compass to guide them through harmonious and peaceful days. For instance, some of the more interesting beliefs and traditions include:

1. A father-in-law and daughter-in-law are not allowed to greet each other directly by using their hands.
2. Latrines cannot be shared between in-laws.
3. Parents are not allowed to visit nor stay in the house of their daughter or son for more than three hours.

Every family in this community has a traditional structure of a husband, wife and children. The society has set the roles for each as the following: As a husband, one is expected to provide security for his family, provide shelter, and provide food and basic needs. As a wife, one is expected to carry out all household chores such as cooking, fetching water for the family’s use, and maintaining good hygiene and sanitation standards for the family. A wife must also help her husband with manual jobs like farming. The children are expected to help their parents by also participating in manual jobs like looking after livestock, collecting firewood, and fetching water.

Most of the Luyeshe people are Christians who go to different churches like the Friends Church, Seventh Day Adventist (S.D.A) Church, Catholic Church, Salvation Army Church and PEFA Church. Due to the level of poverty in this community, most children go to a public primary school called Shirongo Primary School or St. Martine Secondary School.

The need in Luyeshe Community was introduced by the chief who sadly passed away last year before he could see this project implemented.

The Current Source

Locals are still trying to use a well constructed by the Kenya Finland Company in 1991. Kenya Finland Company installed a Nira pump on this hand-dug well but never considered the nonexistent supply chain for its repair parts. Since 1991, this pump has worn down and is barely functioning; it takes an extremely long time to pump an adequate supply of water. The well pad is also cracked, allowing dirt and runoff inside.

Women and children will bring clay pots or 20-liter jerrycans to fetch water. The clay containers are normally set aside for drinking while the plastic ones are used for cooking. Unfortunately, community members are not treating water before drinking, which has resulted in outbreaks of typhoid and diarrhea.

Sanitation Situation

Over 75% of households report to have pit latrines, but most of these lack privacy without doors. There is also a noticeable odor because the holes need to be covered. After the initial visit to this community, it was obvious that open defecation is an issue that needs to be solved.

No hand-washing stations were seen, but many households have constructed dish racks and clotheslines to safely dry their belongings. Garbage is generally disposed of in surrounding banana plantations.

Edith Wanyama, a local woman, says that "everyone in this community has tried to observe good practices of hygiene and sanitation, although hand-washing is an issue. This is so, because they keep on forgetting to maintain the hand-washing containers!" Edith and her community are ready and willing to participate in upcoming hygiene and sanitation training from which they should greatly benefit.

Two hand-washing stations will also be installed in the form of “tippy taps.” Tippy taps are containers tied to ropes, which tip to pour water for hand-washing. Community members will learn how and when to use these stations during hygiene and sanitation training.

Training Sessions

Community members will be trained for three days using the PHAST (Participatory Health and Sanitation Training) method. Training topics include:

  • Proper water handling and storage
  • Latrine use and the risks of open defecation
  • The steps of hand-washing
  • Proper food handling, preparation, and storage

People are very excited for this project, and have promised to do everything in their power to maintain a renewed water source. They are forming and preparing a water user committee that will oversee well management and maintenance.

This well is located right inside the local church compound where a school was also started five years ago. Therefore, this project will also benefit both the school and the church. The community members agreed that the school's head teacher together with the village elder should take lead roles in the formation of the water user committee.

One of the things that bring about the failure of a water project is a lack of commitment by the beneficiaries. Many families will often avoid paying a small fee to provide maintenance for a well or water system. This problem has been acknowledged by the Luyeshe community members, who have already promised to responsibly pay the amount decided by the water user committee.

Project Results


The training was held at Shilonga Primary school compound. It was planned based on the specific training needs identified during the baseline. The participants were selected from each beneficiary household where at least one member from each household was to attend. Teachers from the school where the project was located were also selected to attend training. The meeting was attended by both men and women from the community with women making up the majority. The attendance was average where most households set to benefit had a representative. The school was represented in the training by the school head as well as teachers. The community members actively participated in the training exercise by asking and answering questions.

Topics covered during the training included:

  • Role of the community and the development organization
  • The Common diseases in the community
  • Problem analysis
  • Good and bad hygiene habits
  • Disease transmission routes
  • Hand washing

Tools used during the training included group discussions, demonstrations, and opportunities for questions and answers.

As a result of the training more community members were challenged by the Water User Committee chairman that every household must maintain hygiene and sanitation by having and using the sanitation facilities in their homesteads such as a latrine, hand washing point, dish rack, compost, and bathing room.

Alfayo Tindo, a local farmer, commented, "Our children have been suffering frequently from typhoid and diarrhea but we never knew the cause. This is because we lacked the hygiene and sanitation knowledge. We will put this knowledge into practice hoping for a great change." Thank you for helping make that hope a reality!

Well Rehabilitation

The construction work started by uninstalling existing worn out pump and scabbling of the old surface of the existing well pad leaving a rough surface. This followed by the plastering of the pad by apply a mixture of cement and sand. The finishing of the well pad was done by lining the plastered well pad with a coat of cement mixed with waterproof cement. This was then left to dry for several days.

Borehole development was done through airlifting by a compressor on site to clean the well by removing cuttings and other particles. Test pumping of this well was conducted using a submersible pump. Constant rate testing was used where pumping was done at a constant discharge over the period of time.

Pump installation followed the test pumping exercise where an Afridev pump base was installed. This was followed by installing the riser main PVC pipes fitted with a cylinder at the bottom end. These were then fitted with anchor ropes and lowered into the well to the desired depths and later tied onto the steel plate on the pump head. Rods are then fitted into the well, handle placed, and cover fitted onto the pump head.

The community provided with the required materials and tools used during the well pad construction. The community members participated by assisting the implementation team. The major challenge experienced during this project was weather. Heavy rainfall disrupted the pad construction and leading to the damage of the fresh concrete which had to be repaired.

Lydia Shilongo, a female teacher at the school said, "We appreciate the assistance accorded to us by rehabilitating our water project. Students and teachers used to fetch and carry water from their respective homes which was tiresome. This source will help both the community and the school in accessing clean water and reduce risk of disease associated with contaminated water."

The community formed a Water User Committee whose role is to oversee the operation and maintenance of the water point. The members resolved to contribute towards the sustaining of the project. The community will collaborate with the school in managing the water project. SAWASHI will provide constant monitoring of the project and provide repair services in times of need through our Operation and Maintenance team.

Handing Over

The community members, teachers and students assembled around the well on the handing over day. SAWASHI joined as an organization and commissioned the project officially and handed it over to the management committee to oversee its operation and maintenance. Leaders from our organization gave a brief talk to the students, teachers and community members gathered around. A community and school representative, on behalf of the members present, gave their sincere appreciation for the great favor accorded to them.

The well serves both the school and the community. The school administration together with the community members provided a good and conducive environment for the implementation of the project. With clean and safe water in this community, it will save time, reduce waterborne diseases, and improve the hygiene and sanitation of the entire community. This project is a boost to this school since they had already put in place hand washing stations within the school but lacked a reliable source of clean and adequate water.

Thank you to all who made this project possible.  Thank You for unlocking potential!

Project Updates

12/20/2017: A Year Later: Shilongo Primary School

A year ago, generous donors helped rehabilitate a well for the community in Luyeshe at Shilongo Primary School in Western Kenya. Because of these gifts and the contributions of our monthly donors, our partners are able to 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.

12/07/2017: Shilongo Primary School Enjoying Clean Water

Monitoring visits over the past year have revealed that this project first called "Luyeshe 2 Community" is primarily serving Shilongo Primary School. The well is actually on school grounds, and in light of this we have decided to change the project name to best reflect its location.

Project Photos

Project Type

Dug Well and Hand Pump

Hand-dug wells are best suited for clay, sand, gravel and mixed soil ground formations. A large diameter well is dug by hand, and then lined with either bricks or concrete to prevent contamination and collapse of the well. Once a water table is hit, the well is capped and a hand-pump is installed – creating a complete and enclosed water system.

A Year Later: Shilongo Primary School

December, 2017

Since the AfriDev pump was installed on this well, we have never gone back to the stream. We are now able to wash and clean our toilets and classrooms on time. Children drink water every time whenever they feel thirsty. They no longer have to go out of the school.

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Shilongo Primary School.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Shilongo Primary School maintain access to safe, reliable water. Together, they keep The Water Promise.

We’re confident you'll love joining this world-changing group committed to sustainability!

A year ago, generous donors helped rehabilitate a well for the community in Luyeshe at Shilongo Primary School in Western Kenya. Because of these gifts and the contributions of our monthly donors, our partners are able to 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 ongoing survival of many schools in Kenya is threatened if they are not able to provide water and sanitary facilities for the schools, yet it is difficult for parents to pay these expenses in addition to usual school fees.  The Water Project and SAWASHI have targeted schools just like this because of the potential that can be unlocked for both students and staff when clean water and sanitation is available.

Shilongo Primary School is one of the prime examples where clean water and latrines has provided this kind of impact. Paul Weringa, a field officer for SAWASHI, reports, "The academic performance of this school has improved over the past one year though there was a time when the school was closed down by the ministry of health for lack of enough latrines and classrooms." The work at Shilongo has allowed the school to improve and has also helped the situation in the surrounding community of Luyeshe. Mr Agrey Lumbasi, a hygiene and sanitation teacher at the school shares, "During the past dry season, this is the only water source around that never dried up. People from all over the community and the neighboring communities lined up here to fetch water. This therefore means that the water source is of great help even to the community."

Students gather around as Mr. Agrey Lumbasi answers questions about how he and his students have been doing since clean water was restored to the school last year.

One of the students, Anastancia Iminza, age 18, testifies to the changes that she has experienced over the past year in school: "The project has helped me concentrate in my studies. Initially, I would spend much of my time to the stream looking for water. This affected my academic performance, where I performed poorly...Using water from the springs caused stomachache among the pupils. We have no more stomach pains since the project was rehabilitated."

As SAWASHI continues to provide safe drinking water to the school and the surrounding community at Luyeshe, students and families are experiencing improved health and quality of life. We are excited to stay in touch with this community and report back more positive stories.

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.

Navigating through intense dry spells, performing preventative maintenance, conducting quality repairs when needed and continuing to assist community leaders to manage water points are all normal parts of keeping projects sustainable. The Water Promise community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Shilongo Primary School maintain access to safe, reliable water.

We’d love for you to join this world-changing group committed to sustainability.

The most impactful way to continue your support of Shilongo Primary School – and hundreds of other places just like this – is by joining our community of monthly givers.

Your monthly giving will help provide clean water, every month... keeping The Water Promise!


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