Sharambatsa Well Rehabilitation Project

Regional Program:
Western Kenya WaSH Program

Latitude 0.54
Longitude 34.82

300 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).

Welcome to the Community

Sharambatsa Community is situated in the center of Matsakha Village, and is home to 300 people from 25 different households. The community is surrounded by sugarcane plantations on all sides. Apart from sugarcane, Sharambatsa farmers also plant bananas, maize, beans, and other kinds of vegetables that when sold, provide their daily bread and income. Most houses are thatched with grass. In this community men are most concerned with raising school fees for their children and being there as family leaders.

For a normal day, women wake up early in the morning to till their small farms and then walk to fetch water for domestic use. Due to the high poverty level in this community, most children can’t afford to attend school. Instead they will help their parents earn money, and often get married at a very young age.

Water Situation

Kenya Finland Company installed a hand-dug well for this community in year 1989. However, the well was given with no warranty. Soon after, the pump was vandalized. Locals didn’t know how to source the replacement parts or even repair the pump if they had the means. They felt there was no other option but to remove the pump and access the water inside by another means. Today, women and children use a bucket tied to the end of a rope to fetch their water.

When the rope and bucket contraption isn’t being used, it sits on the ground. During our first visit, we immediately noticed that this plastic container and the rope were very dirty. Each time people use it to fetch water, there’s no doubt they’re rinsing a little of that dirt off in the well water. But even if they regularly cleaned the bucket, the absence of a pump and complete well pad is allowing contamination to wash back into the unprotected well’s water. Water from this source is used for cooking and drinking, though community members often complain of typhoid and diarrhea.

Sanitation Situation

Most households have pit latrines made of mud with cloth or banana leaves for doors. Some families have helpful tools like dish racks and clotheslines, while others do not. No hand-washing stations were observed. Relatively speaking, Sharambatsa community members have some knowledge about good hygiene and sanitation practices. The training facilitator has thus determined that sessions will be helpful in fortifying what some families know, while teaching the others what they didn’t. Unfortunately, even if one person chooses not to use a latrine or wash their hands, it can affect the entire community. Local farmer Ayan Kasiti says that “due to bad practice of hygiene and sanitation in our community, we are affected with waterborne diseases that cost us a lot in treatment.” Training will teach participants about the chain of contamination and how to prevent the spread of germs – to put a kink in the chain!

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Community members will be invited to attend hygiene and sanitation training for three days. The  facilitator will use the PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Training) method to teach the following topics:

  • Disease transmission routes
  • Creating barriers to disease
  • Proper food preparation and storage
  • General household hygiene
  • Forming a strong water user committee

After a tour of Sharambatsa and interviews with community members, the facilitator decided these would be the most important topics on which to focus their time.

Plans: Well Rehabilitation and Hand-Washing Stations

Two hand-washing stations will be delivered before training so that they may be used for demonstrations and practice. The community will also be taught about how to maintain the stations, filling them regularly and cleaning the containers. They will also need to keep an eye on the amount of cleaning agent (soap or ash) that is available.

The well is located on public property central to most in Sharambatsa. Second, the water level has never failed the community through even the dry seasons. Third, local leadership is highly involved in and excited about this water project. Upon our first visit, all of the leadership was present to give us a warm welcome. Leadership has promised to encourage each family to fully participate in both training and project construction. They have also agreed to fill a seat on the water user committee to ensure that the rehabilitated well can serve the community for a long, long time. Upon hearing of these three important factors and after meeting with Sharambatsa families and leadership, we have decided that this well is a wonderful candidate for a rehabilitation project.

Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

11/15/2017: A Year Later: Sharambatsa Community

A year ago, generous donors helped rehabilitate a well for Sharambatsa Community in Kenya. Because of these gifts and our monthly donors, 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 with you.

The Water Project : 4526-yar-1

07/21/2016: Sharambatsa Well Rehabilitation Project Complete

We are excited to report that clean water has come to the community of Sharambatsa in Kenya. A broken well has been rehabilitated, the community has received training in sanitation and hygiene, and hand-washing stations have been delivered. Thank You for unlocking potential for this community! You made it happen, now help keep the water flowing. Join our team of monthly donors and help us maintain this well and many other projects.

The report below from our partner gives the latest project information. And don’t miss the newest pictures under the tab above!

Project Results: Training

Hygiene and sanitation training was held at a community member’s home. Sessions were organized based on the community’s greatest needs, with participants selected from each household that benefits from the water well.

At least one member of each household showed for all sessions, including both men and women. There ended up being more women than men, since tradition puts the burden of household chores, hygiene, sanitation, and water on the mothers and children. Training participants actively involved themselves in group discussions, demonstrations, and by asking questions.

After training, participants set goals that they want to achieve. These include goals for their water user committee, ensuring every home has sanitation facilities like latrines and hand-washing stations, and that the well is overseen and kept secure. We consider the training a success, since all household representatives agreed on the importance of healthy habits and their need to change.

After training, housewife Ronica Makokha said, “We thank you for the knowledge of sanitation and hygiene, whereby we are impressed of how we can have a temporal structure of hand-washing from our local materials such as small jerricans. Also, the use of ash as a washing agent is very new to us, and we promise to use it!”

12 kenya4526 training

Project Results: Well Rehabilitation

The construction process began on June 8th.

The existing well had a worn-out well pad. Work began with demolishing the old surface of the existing well pad, leaving bricks exposed. The cover of the hand-dug well was removed, allowing room for leveling of the broken top edges of the culvert lining. This was followed by plastering the bricks, done with a mixture of cement and sand. The process was finished by lining the plastered well pad with a coat of normal cement mixed with waterproof cement. This was then left to dry for several days.

Well development (flushing) was done with a compressor. Test pumping of this well was done using a submersible pump. Yield testing was done over a period of time. Then, an AfriDev pump was fitted to the new well pad. This was followed by installing the riser main PVC pipes fitted with a cylinder at the bottom end. These were then connected with anchor ropes and lowered into the well to the desired depth and later tied onto the steel plate of the pump head. Rods were fitted with a plunger at the bottom end and lowered. Last but not least, the handle was attached and the cover put on the pump head.

All the while, community members provided the sand and tools necessary for well pad construction. They were there to constantly lend a helping hand. Mothers from different families prepared meals for our construction teams, and the men provided storage and security for our tools and machinery.

The water user committee established during community engagement will manage and help maintain the rehabilitated well. They have our contact information in the case of a serious breakdown. Our monitoring teams will be responsible for checking that this well is always providing water for the community, and our repair team will be mobilized in the case that the water system fails.

Many community members came out on the day the well rehabilitated was finished. We joined them to celebrate the finished project and to hand over the pump for their own use. They were very thankful and expressed their joyfulness, which you can see in the pictures below!

Joan, a mother who came to celebrate her new well, had a lot to say:

“We had no other source of safe and clean water around. With clean water, basic toilets, and good hygiene practices in place, it will reduce the rate of diarrhea and typhoid diseases and also poverty level in this community. The issue of drawing water by use of rope and bucket was tedious, risky and unsafe to human consumption. I promise to commit my efforts to ensure the water point is secured, safe and well-maintained.”

Thank you for caring for the thirsty!

The Water Project : 38-kenya4526-handing-over

06/15/2016: Sharambatsa Well Rehabilitation Project Underway

We are excited to announce that, thanks to your willingness to help, Sharambatsa Community will soon have a new source of safe, clean water. A broken well is being rehabilitated so it will be a safe and 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 will keep you posted as work continues.

Take a look, and Thank You for your help!

The Water Project : 8-kenya4526-unprotected-well

02/18/2016: Update From The Water Project

You’ve been assigned to a project! Check it out! And we’ll share more once the work begins!

The Water Project : kenya4333-twp-kenya-cheers

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump
Location:  North Kakamega, Matsakha Village, Sharambatsa Community
ProjectID: 4526
Install Date:  07/08/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 02/25/2018

Visit History:
12/07/2016 — Functional
02/10/2017 — Functional
07/17/2017 — Functional
09/20/2017 — Functional
02/25/2018 — Functional

A Year Later: Sharambatsa Community

October, 2017

“Compared to the previous years where the community used to drink contaminated water, there is a big improvement in health since the rehabilitation was done a year ago.”

A year ago, generous donors helped rehabilitate a well for Sharambatsa Community in Kenya. Because of these gifts and our monthly donors, 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 with you.

We never cease to be amazed by the many ways access to water and sanitation unlocks potential in communities. WASH officer Paul Weringa recently visited Sharambatsa to check on the status of the well and see how life has changed over the past year. “Compared to the previous years where the community used to drink contaminated water, there is a big improvement in health since the rehabilitation was done a year ago.” These are the results we always hope to see: clean water and proper sanitation leading to strong, healthy communities.

4526 YAR 3

Our eyes were opened by the conversation Paul had with community security officer Joyce Halma Wasike. “As a wife of my own family, it’s become easier to ensure that my family is clean and that the house is in order. Doing this by pulling a bucket from the well was difficult. As a result of pulling the bucket loaded with water from the well, back and chest pains were common among women and children. Since we have the Afridev pump on the well, it has saved us from such pains.” Rehabilitating the well a year ago not only protected the water inside from contamination, but also protected those gathering water from painful labor and the danger of falling in!

4526 YAR 2

While we are thrilled with the progress we see at Sharambatsa, there are still challenges to overcome. Ms. Wasike said, “Because of the pre-conceived idea that water is free, some of the community members are having difficulties in giving their monthly contributions towards the sustainability of the water project.” Paul and the SAWASHI team have noticed the same thing and are committed to working with the community to help them understand the importance of maintaining the well so that all of these positive changes continue.

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.


Corinthian International Foundation/Mariah Bailey
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. South Middlesex Alumnae Chap
The Swanson Family Charitable Fund
Wynne High School/Interact Club
Faith Chapel
Haircuts for Hope @ UChicago
23 individual donor(s)

Want to start your own campaign? Learn more »

Country Details


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

Partner Profile

Safe Water & Sustainable Hygiene Initiative (SAWASHI) provides safe, affordable and sustainable water supply services through rehabilitation of boreholes, strengthening of Water User Committees, WaSH training of target beneficiary communities and monitoring & evaluation of water systems.