Matsakha A Community Well Rehabilitation Project

Regional Program:
Western Kenya WaSH Program

Latitude 0.54
Longitude 34.81

150 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

Matsakha A Community is surrounded by sugarcane plantation farms on all sides. The community’s farmers also plant short-seasoned crops such as beans, maize, potatoes and other kinds of vegetables. Matsakha A is home to 150 people from 15 different households. Both men and women are the breadwinners for their families. Most of the people are Christians who attend churches of different denominations such as Friends Church Quakers, Impact, and Deliverance Church. Most children in this community get their education in a public primary school called Matsakha Primary.

Due to alcoholism, a large number of men have abandoned there responsibilities as fathers and breadwinners, therefore making it difficult for many mothers to carry all the household responsibility. To ensure that their families are well-taken care of, women are therefore forced to engage in many different activities including small business and manual labor for which they are payed poorly. Overall, the living standards of people in this community is poor.

Water Situation

Kenya Finland Company approached Matsakha A Community to dig a hand-dug well in 1985. A few years later, the pump was stolen and most likely sold in parts. To take advantage of the water inside, community members soon after decided to tie a bucket to the end of a rope to replace the pump. Over 20 years later, this method of fetching water and an old, broken well pad are allowing a high level of contamination to reach the well’s water. Community members often complain of typhoid and diarrhea as a result of drinking this dirty water.

Sanitation Situation

Most households have dug a pit latrine made of mud and banana leaves, cloth, or iron sheets for doors. No more than half of families have a dedicated room for personal hygiene; for activities such as teeth-brushing or bathing. At least half of women have a clothesline and dish rack to dry their family’s things. Everyone disposes of their garbage in the surrounding fields and plantations. It’s apparent that some families have heard about good hygiene and sanitation practices, since they have a few good facilities. However, many still need to learn and be encouraged to take important steps in improving their health. Many tools are cheap and accessible even to the poorest of families. Just one family practicing an unhealthy lifestyle can spread disease in a tight-knit community. Farmer Jackton Kisembe says that “due to poor hygiene and sanitation practices in our community, the outbreaks of waterborne diseases have become rampant. This has affected our livelihood, since a lot of money is spent on medical bills.”

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

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

  • Proper water storage and treatment
  • Disease transmission
  • Personal and household hygiene
  • Proper waste disposal
  • Proper food preparation and storage
  • Building a strong water user committee

The facilitator also plans to take participants on a transect walk to identify and analyze practices among households. They will label what is detrimental or helpful to good health, and will brainstorm how to improve conditions. The water user committee will be tasked with overseeing and managing the rehabilitated well.

Plans: Well Rehabilitation and Hand-Washing Stations

The water point is a hand-dug well with culvert lining in it. It has a total depth of 8.7 meters and has a static water level of 3.4 meters. The well pad has cracks and dismantled edges. There is no pump in place on this well, but only a well cover. The well is littered by pieces of sticks, plastic bags, containers, and sugarcane cuttings. Someone will have to be lowered into the well to clear it out, and the well pad will have to be entirely demolished so a new one can be built. Once the new pad cures, a new Afridev pump will be installed.

Two hand-washing stations will be delivered in time for training so that they can be used for demonstrations and practice. The community will be taught how to fill and clean the containers.

The community’s chief has been pivotal in the start of this project. He sent us the application for rehabilitation and invited us to see the well and community firsthand. He has informed the entire community of upcoming training and construction efforts. He and all the local leadership have promised to help with any needs that may arise during the course of this water project.

Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

12/14/2017: A Year Later: Matsakha A Community

A year ago, generous donors helped rehabilitate a well for Matsakha 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 : 4527-yar-1

07/21/2016: Matsakha A Well Rehabilitation Project Complete

We are excited to report that clean water has come to the community of Matsakha A 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

Training was held in one of the community member’s homes. Sessions were planned based on the specific needs we identified during our initial engagement with the community. Attendance was comprised of 11 men and 11 women, who all actively participated in each exercise.

They used illustrations to lead discussions on good and bad hygiene practices and disease transmission routes. The community also identified some of the most common diseases in their area and when they occur. Everyone participated in a role-play to learn about working together.

At the end of training, the community set goals that they want to achieve. These include opening a bank account for well repair funds, ensuring each household has a latrine and bathing room, and managing and maintaining the well rehabilitation. We view the training as a success because of the eagerness the community had to take responsibility for a healthy change.

7 kenya4527 training

Project Results: Well Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation of Matsakha Community’s hand-dug well began on June 11th.

The existing well had a worn out well pad, so we started by demolishing the old surface of the existing well pad to leave the foundational bricks exposed. The cover of the well was removed, allowing enough room for leveling of the broken top edges of the culvert lining. This was followed by plastering of the pad using a mixture of cement and sand. We then coated the well pad with a cement mixed with waterproof cement. This was then left to dry for several days.

The well development (flushing) was done by a compressor. Test pumping of this well was conducted using a submersible pump. Yield testing was used to ensure a constant flow of water over a period of time. Next, we installed the AfriDev pump on the new well pad. This was followed by installing the riser main PVC pipes with a cylinder attached at the bottom. Anchor ropes we attached 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. Last but not least, the handle was attached and the pump head covered.

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.

The two hand-washing stations were also delivered in time for the well’s handing over ceremony.

Zakayo Wakisho, local farmer, shared that, “Four years ago, I was forced to dig a shallow well in my homestead which is not fully protected. It dries up during the dry season! We are very grateful for the well rehabilitation in our village, for it will provide safe and clean water for drinking for human consumption.” Zakayo and many others gathered at the well to celebrate its completion. Enjoy the new pictures that portray joyfulness and gratefulness abounding on that day!

Thank you for caring for the thirsty!

The Water Project : 37-kenya4527-handing-over

06/15/2016: Matsakha A Community Well Rehabilitation Underway

We are excited to announce that, thanks to your willingness to help, Matsakha A 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 : 13-kenya4527-unprotected-well

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump
Location:  Kakamega, Matsakha Village, Matsakha A Community
ProjectID: 4527
Install Date:  07/08/2016

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

Visit History:
12/07/2016 — Functional
04/01/2017 — Functional
07/17/2017 — Functional
09/20/2017 — Functional
12/05/2017 — Functional
02/25/2018 — Functional

A Year Later: Matsakha A Community

September, 2017

“The families are now able to produce more harvests from their farms since they have the strength to plough their farms.”

A year ago, generous donors helped rehabilitate a well for Matsakha 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.

When we think about providing clean water, the first thing that often come to mind is having safe water to drink. And certainly that is utterly important. But a year after rehabilitating the well at Matsakha, WASH officer Paul Weringa observed the incredible breadth of impact that access to water can bring. Cases of waterborne diseases have definitely reduced, but Paul also noted, “Men and women spent their good time in their small farms unlike before when much time was spent in the hospitals and dispensaries seeking medical for the treatment of diarrhea, typhoid, stomach ache and skin diseases in children. The families are now able to produce more harvests from their farms since they have the strength to plough their farms.”

4527 YAR 2

Twenty-two year old student and farmer Joshua Simiyu said, “By the fact that the well is located in our land, I am able to irrigate my vegetable gardens during dry seasons. In the past dry season, I was able to make some money out of the vegetables that I planted and irrigated by use of water from this source.”

Community member and chairman Joseph Mulongo shared, “For a long time, our wives complained of chest and back pains. This was as a result of pulling the rope tied on the bucket. There is a relieve for them since the pump was installed on the well… It’s become easier for me to water my animals since it’s easier to fetch water. Earlier before, I avoided fetching water for the livestock and letting my wife do the work. The production of milk is good. I am now able to sell the milk and take care of my family.”

4527 YAR 3

Healthy bodies, healthy livestock, and productive farms.  All of this is the result of access to safe, clean water!

Paul and Joseph both noted that there is still room for improvement in Matsakha. Some community members are still reluctant to contribute to the well’s maintenance and repair fund, an important part of sustaining this well. Our partner will continue working with the community to understand this critical need.

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

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.