Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 215 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2016

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/19/2024

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 walk to the nearest spring to fetch water that is used for both drinking and domestic activities. This spring has yet to be protected, so it is open to contamination from containers dipped into the water, animals brought there to drink, and surface runoff.

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.

So many people suffer in this community because of a lack of safe water. The quality of water from the spring where they now go is on a dangerous level; the spring is located in an open area where it is easily contaminated. The color of the water itself is black, but this does not stop the community from accessing the spring... they have no other choice. The older folks in this community often complain of typhoid and diarrhea diseases. There is no better time for this intervention to provide clean, safe water for community members.

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. Local farmer Patrick Matolo says that "We try our level best to maintain good hygiene and sanitation although most of our people have not observed due to lack of knowledge."

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.

Construction Plans

The well set to be rehabilitated was installed by the Kenya Finland Company in 1999. The community was only able to access its water for a short time before the Nira pump was stolen. When this was realized, the community decided their only option was to return to the unprotected spring.

To repair the damage done, the well pad will be fully removed and a new one recast. After the pad has had time to cure, a new Afridev pump will be installed.

Project Results


The training was held in the home of one of the community members. It was planned based on the specific training needs identified during the baseline study in the community. The participants were selected from each beneficiary household where at least one member from each household was to attend. The meeting was attended by both men and women from the community. The attendance was average where most households set to benefit had a representative. There were more women than men in the training sessions. The community members actively participated in the training exercise by asking and answering questions.

Topics covered during the training sessions included:

  • Relationships between the community and the development organization
  • Identify the common diseases in the community and the seasons in which they occur
  • Differences between good and bad hygiene practices in the community
  • Disease transmission routes
  • How diseases spread
  • Blocking disease transmission routes
  • Hand washing

Training methods used included group discussions, role playing, demonstrations, and opportunities or questions and answers.

From the training, the community members set targets that they will be working to achieve. These include opening of a bank account by the management committee, ensuring every home will have sanitation facilities and will ensure the water point is secure. The training was a success since the community members present all agreed to behavior change.

Beatrice Matolo, a small scale farmer said, "We are glad that you have made us understand the need of maintaining good sanitation and hygiene practices. We have learned things that we had little knowledge but did not practice. We are used to ignoring some things in life but it has come to our understanding that those minor things are of great importance to our lives."

Well Rehabilitation

The existing well had a worn out well pad. The construction process began by scrabbling of the old surface of the existing well pad leaving exposed bricks that were used previously. The cover of the shallow well was then removed giving room for leveling of the broken top-edges of the culvert lining that allowed runoff water to flow into the well. This was followed by plastering of the pad by applying a mixture of cement and sand. The finishing of the well pad was done by lining the plastered well pad with a coat cement mixed with waterproof cement. This was then left to dry for several days.

The well development (flushing) was done through airlifting by a compressor on site to clean the well. Test pumping of this well was conducted using a submersible pump. Constant rate test was used where pumping was done at a constant discharge over a period of time.

Pump installation was done by fitting an Afridev pump base. 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 depth and later tied onto the steel plate on the pump head. Rods were fitted with a plunger at the bottom end and lowered, the handle placed, and cover fitted onto the pump head.

The community contributed sand used during the construction phase. They provided other tools required on site during the construction phase such as wheelbarrows, pangas (a bladed tool like a machete) and other tools. The community also prepared meals for the construction team during the construction process.

There was a heavy downpour after the finishing repair works on the well pad that washed off the fine layer used during the finishing process. This led to the construction team redoing the work.

Formation of a strong water committee was done to oversee the operation and maintenance of the water point. The committee will ensure the users contribute towards the sustainability of the project. SAWASHI has put in place a monitoring schedule to monitor the progress and status of the project at all times. We have an Operations and Maintenance team that is responsible for the repair in case of any breakdowns.

Patrick Matolo, a local farmer said, "As a beneficiary of this project, I will ensure the area around the well is clean. We as the committee will make rules on how to maintain our well, putting in mind the duration time for fetching water. Every member will be required to contribute some amount at the end of the month as the maintenance fee for our well."

Handing Over

The community came together on the handing over day. SAWASHI joined as an organization and commissioned the project officially and handed it over to the management committee of the project to oversee its operation and maintenance. Leaders from our organization gave a brief talk to the members gathered around. Representatives from the community gave a vote of thanks and expressed the community members' joy.

Luyeshe community members have a reason to smile again after a very long time searching for safe and quality water. The community borehole failed long time ago whereby it forced the members to go back to the stream which caries a lot of contaminants. The rehabilitation of the well will be of great help to the members since they have been suffering for waterborne diseases such as diarrhea and typhoid which cost them a lot of money in treatment. This project will reduce the distance and time for fetching water. This will also reduce waterborne diseases and they promised to commit their efforts together to ensure their water project is safe and well maintained.

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

We're just getting started, check back soon!

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.


Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation
Network for Good
National Christian Foundation/Michael G. Radler
Medtronic/Peggy Meillier
Lafayette Street School Grade 8 2016
6th grade Kearney Middle School
The Hermosillo Family
Brownie Troop 50341
Dani and Natalie
Brownsburg East Middle School
77 individual donor(s)