Chebwai B Community Well Rehabilitation Project

Regional Program:
Western Kenya WaSH Program

Latitude 0.30
Longitude 34.49

450 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

Chebwai B Community consists of middle-class people who rely on farming and raising livestock. The community is entirely surrounded by maize plantations. Most homesteads are grass-thatched while others are semi-permanent (concrete). People in this community are Christians who attend different denominations such as Catholic, Pentecostal Assemblies of God, and Friends Church Quakers. Every family in this community is made up of a husband, wife and children. Society has set the roles of each family member: Husbands are the breadwinners of their families, providing security, shelter, food and basic needs for their families. Wives carry out household chores such as cooking, fetching water and cleaning. Every child goes to school. When they’re not in school, they’re helping their parents with jobs like collecting firewood, looking after livestock, and fetching water.

The assistant chief wants to help his community, and thus wrote an application letter to SAWASHI describing Chebwai B’s needs. Chebwai is home to approximately 370 people from 37 different households, however the water point will serve people from surrounding communities as well.

Water Situation

The village uses the old, broken well as their water source. The well was installed in 1989 by the Kenya Finland Company. During our initial survey of the Chebwai Community, the pump was missing. Nobody knows exactly when this happened, but most likely the pump was stolen and then sold in parts. For as long as the community can remember, they have been using a bucket tied to a rope to access the well’s water.

Without a proper well pad or a pump, rainwater and “backwash” leak back into the well. It is unprotected from contaminants that are surely reaching the water inside. A new well pad must be constructed and a new Afridev pump installed.

Once women and children get this contaminated water back home, they empty some of it into clay pots. The clay pots keep the water cooler, so they are set aside just for drinking. Some locals boil their water before drinking, but outbreaks of diarrhea and typhoid are still the norm. Local farmer Juma Alfayo says that “outbreak of waterborne diseases such as typhoid is commonly experienced because of taking contaminated water in which most of us do not treat. This results to spending a lot of money on [medicinal] treatment!”

Sanitation Situation

More than half of households have a pit latrine. Most of these have doors, but they have come unattached from heir hinges. The pit holes do not have covers, and let odor out and flies in.

The same number of homes have bathing rooms meant for bathing and brushing teeth. Many of these households have helpful tools like dish racks and clotheslines, but no hand-washing stations were observed during our visit.

Locals tend to dispose of their garbage in the open fields and plantations that surround the community.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training and Hand-Washing Stations

Community members will be trained on hygiene and sanitation practices for two days. The facilitator will use the PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Training) method to teach about topics like:

  • Proper water storage and treatment
  • Hand-washing
  • Proper food preparation and storage
  • Waste disposal
  • How disease is spread and how to block its transmission

Training will result in the formation of a water user committee which will oversee, manage, and maintain the rehabilitated well.

We also plan on delivering two hand-washing stations in time for training, so that they may be used for demonstrations and practice.

Plans: Well Rehabilitation

The well has sufficient supply of water that has never run dry (even in the driest seasons!). The well has a total depth of 10 meters and a static water level of 4.2 meters.

The rehabilitation process will include material collection, pad reconstruction, flushing, test pumping, water quality testing, water treatment, and then pump installation.

Everyone in the Chebwai B Community is very excited about this project. They are fully involved in ensuring that our team has everything necessary for successful training and well rehabilitation! The local government has been playing their part in keeping the community informed and motivated, and we look forward to working with them more.

Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

12/20/2017: A Year Later: Chebwai B Community

A year ago, generous donors helped rehabilitate a well with the Chebwai 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 : chebwayi-be-community-1

07/29/2016: Chebwai B Well Rehabilitation Project Complete

We are excited to share that the rehabilitated well in Chebwai B Community is now providing clean water. Hygiene and sanitation training was also conducted nearby the well site, which focused on healthy practices such as washing hands and using latrines. Two hand-washing stations were delivered at the well’s completion. This water and new knowledge give the community a great foothold in eliminating water and sanitation-related illness! Please enjoy this update detailing all the work that was done in Chebwai B Community, and make sure to click on the “See Photos & Video” tab above to find new pictures of the finished project.

Thank You for unlocking potential in this community. You made clean water a reality, and now you have a chance to make sure it keeps flowing. Join our team of monthly donors and help us maintain this well and hundreds of other projects!

Project Result: New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was held at a community member’s home. Attendance included both men and women, and it was confirmed that at least one representative from each household was present. By the end of training, the community set goals that they will work to achieve. These include opening of a bank account for well maintenance, ensuring every home has sanitation facilities like a latrine and hand-washing station, and that the water point remains secure and clean. We consider the training a success because of the community’s motivation to achieve these goals and change their daily behavior for a healthier lifestyle. We met local farmer and father Alfayo Saidi Manyasi who said, “I appreciate the fact that SAWASHI have come to help us change attitude towards hygiene and sanitation. We promise to change behavior, especially in hand-washing whereby we are used to wash hands without soap or warm water. It’s of great pleasure that we now get the knowledge of washing hands with running water and soap or ash.”

The group facilitator 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. Participants split up into groups and used poster paper to brainstorm their ideas. By the end of training, everybody got to practice the steps of proper hand-washing.

7 kenya4529 training

Project Result: Hand-Washing Stations

Two hand-washing stations were delivered at the well’s completion. Community members will be responsible for making sure that the containers always have water and a cleaning agent available. These stations are in the form of barrels with taps, on a raised stand, seen in pictures under the “See Photos & Video” tab.

43 kenya4529 handing over

Project Result: Well Rehabilitation

The rehabilitation process began on June 12th.

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.

31 kenya4529 pump installation

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

On the final day, the community gathered for a handing over ceremony. We joined as an organization and commissioned the project and handed it over to the management committee to oversee its operation and maintenance. Chebwai B Community has a reason to smile again after a long, aggravating time of drawing water by use of a rope and bucket. The village elder thanked God for sending people to save lives. The community promised to combine their efforts to ensure their water system is safe and well-maintained. They also plan to construct a fence around the well. The elder is sure that “with the hand pump, time for fetching water will decrease.” Everyone expressed their gratefulness for having a safe, clean and good quality water supply.

Farmer Juma Manyasi joyfully shared, “We are so happy for the rehabilitation of our project which will serve so many people within the village. The water is a permanent source and will help in providing water during the dry periods, minor watering of crops and other economic activities such as brick making in the area. We are so grateful for these service”.

The Water Project : 38-kenya4529-handing-over

06/23/2016: Chebwai B Well Rehabilitation Project Underway

We are excited to announce that, thanks to your willingness to help, Chebwai B Community will soon have a new source of safe, clean water. A broken well is being rehabilitated so it will be a protected, safe source of water, 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 : 15-kenya4529-unprotected-well

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump
Location:  Kakamega North, Chebwai
ProjectID: 4529
Install Date:  07/21/2016

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

Visit History:
03/22/2017 — Functional
06/20/2017 — Functional
09/20/2017 — Functional
02/25/2018 — Functional

A Year Later: Chebwai B Community

December, 2017

We now drink clean water since a pump was installed on the hole, so there’s no more disease outbreak. We used to be diagnosed with typhoid, but since the rehabilitation we have had no problems.

A year ago, generous donors helped rehabilitate a well with the Chebwai 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.

This clean water well has been extraordinarily helpful to the community. The people here are happy and healthy, for they no longer spend their time and money fighting waterborne diseases. Now, they’re busy on their farms providing for their families.

Paul observes the well’s functionality as Agness pumps clean water.

We met with Agness Masungo, who is the treasurer for the water user committee here – those most responsible for managing and maintaining the water point. “We don’t experience back and chest pains since we no longer have to pull the bucket tied on the rope” to fetch water. Agness continued, “We now drink clean water since a pump was installed on the hole, so there’s no more disease outbreak. We used to be diagnosed with typhoid, but since the rehabilitation we have had no problems.” She also added that having clean water “has brought more cohesion and peace among” the people of Chebwai.

The only issue that she brought up is how busy this well gets sometimes. During the dry months, there’s a water shortage all throughout this region. That means Chebwai Community has people coming from both near and far to get clean water. This overuse affects the water levels in this well, and if you’re next in line you have to wait a while before there’s enough water for you to fill your jerrycan. At the time of this interview, there was more than enough clean water in this well.

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.