Timbito Community Well Rehabilitation Project

Regional Program:
Western Kenya WaSH Program

Latitude 0.51
Longitude 34.81

400 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

Timbito is home to a middle class community that practices small-scale farming. Looking around, you can notice that the community is surrounded by sugarcane plantations, since sugarcane sells very well to local factories. You’ll also notice that most of the homes here are made of thatched grass. The local farmers also grow beans, maize, sorghum, and other kinds of vegetables in their own gardens. Besides tending to their crops, farmers tend to and raise livestock. Timbito Community has an approximate population of 400 people from 40 different households.

Most of the young people in this community are jobless, which greatly stymies economic growth for Timbito. Many families are religious and attend different denominations such as Catholic, Pentecostal Assemblies of God, Seventh Day Adventist, Salvation Army and Friends Church Quakers. The Timbito people strongly believe in the importance of their traditions and culture, which they use as a tool to guide them live in harmony and peace. The women in this community have a strong role in groups like One Acre Fund, which gives loans to farmers who return the loan with a small interest.

On receipt of Timbito Community’s application sent by the area’s assistant chief, we scheduled an initial visit to assess their specific needs.

Water Situation

There is a hand-dug well in Timbito Community, but it is currently unprotected. The well was installed by Kenya Finland Company in 1978, but the pump has since been removed. The pump was vandalized soon after its installation. The simplest “solution” was to remove the well’s cover to access the water inside! The well has culvert lining on its walls, but we could not discern the actual depth because of heavy silt and litter at the bottom. The well pad is also very worn out around the edges. In fact, the well was out of use and covered with a concrete slab at the time of our visit.

There is another hand-dug well created by locals who bring their 20-liter jerrycans to fetch water. The top of the well is only fortified by sticks and branches! This is practically a simple hole in the ground. Since there’s no pump, a bucket must be lowered down into the water by a rope. When the bucket isn’t in use, it sits on the ground besides the well. Lowering this dirty bucket further contaminates the well’s water. This open hole allows surface runoff and litter to wash inside. Families are not aware of water treatment methods, and thus drink this water the way it is. After drinking, community members complain of typhoid and diarrhea running rampant through their homes. At the time of our visit, many community members were being treated for typhoid.

Women or children are often forced to search for unprotected springs which are open to even more contamination than this hand-dug well. These springs are also quite a journey; women report that the closest spring is three kilometers away. Local teacher and mother Mary Benjamin, pictured under the “See Photos & Video” tab shared, “I have been suffering from typhoid diseases for several years. This is because of taking the contaminated water from unprotected well.”

Sanitation Situation

Over 50% of households have a pit latrine made of grass and mud. It is also common to attach a sheet of metal or piece of cloth to function as a door. Even less homes have a dedicated room for personal hygiene; for activities such as bathing and brushing teeth. No hand-washing stations were observed in any location.

The farmers and their families pile up garbage and compost waste alongside their plantations. There is a little knowledge of good hygiene and sanitation, manifest in the fact that about half of families use helpful tools like dish racks and clotheslines.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Community members will be trained for two days on applicable hygiene and sanitation practices. 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.

Plans: Hand-Washing Stations

Two hand-washing stations are scheduled for delivery by the time well rehabilitation is complete. Training participants will be taught the steps to effective hand-washing, and of the importance of using a cleaning agent such as soap or ash. Water user committee members will also check that there is water inside the containers on a daily basis.

Plans: Well Rehabilitation

Before rehabilitation construction can even begin, there’s a lot of cleaning to be done! The inside of the well is so full of garbage that someone will have to be lowered to clear it out. Once we clean the inside of the well, we will be able to discern the water’s depth, though the community is sure that the well provides adequate water throughout all seasons. It’s our job to make sure it becomes safe and clean water! The rehabilitation process will include material collection, pad reconstruction, flushing, test pumping, water quality testing, water treatment, and then pump installation.

Thank You for noticing Timbito Community’s need for a water, sanitation and hygiene project that will unlock great potential!

Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

12/20/2017: A Year Later: Timbito Community

A year ago, generous donors helped rehabilitate a well with the Timbito 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 : yar_4530_3

08/18/2016: Timbito Well Rehabilitation Complete

We are excited to share that the rehabilitated well in Timbito 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 Timbito 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 in a community member’s home central to everyone in the village. During our initial visit to the community, we were able to determine the topics that needed focus, including: Foundational Hygiene and Sanitation Practices (brushing teeth, using latrines, etc.), Avoiding Bad Behavior (open defecation, storing water on the ground, etc.), Disease Transmission Routes and Building Barriers, and Hand-Washing. The facilitator used role-plays, group discussions, pictures, and presentations to help explain good and bad practices to the participants.

We aimed to have at least one representative from every household in Timbito Community. Attendance was average, with almost every household having a man or woman go on their behalf. There were more women than men, because women are viewed as primarily responsible for household hygiene and water-related tasks. Community members actively participated, both answering and asking questions.

14 kenya4530 training

By the end of training, participants had set targets that they will constantly be working to achieve. This includes fencing around the well to ensure the pump is secure, and also ensuring that each household has their own pit latrine.  Another training result was the formation of a water user committee that will take responsibility for overseeing, managing, and maintaining the well.

The elected secretary of the water user committee, Nashon Shimuli Agnes, spoke on behalf of most training participants. “Today’s training has made me to learn that I have a hand-washing agent I cannot buy (ash), and am very embraced with the knowledge and promise to practice proper hygiene and sanitation, especially in treating water before use. The rehabilitation of the well is of great importance since we will access safe and quality water, hence reduction of waterborne diseases in our community.”

10 kenya4530 training

Project Result: Hand-Washing Stations

Two permanent hand-washing solutions were delivered to Timbito Community. These come in the form of two plastic barrels on metal stands that will be filled with clean water on a daily basis. These were delivered by the time the handing over ceremony was conducted at the well. And since there was thorough training on proper hand-washing, locals will be sure to not only have clean water, but also clean hands! Beyond these two hand-washing stations, we taught the community how to make their own more temporary stations. This involves a jerrycan, ropes, and sticks – we call this kind of hand-washing station a “tippy tap.”

35 kenya4530 handing over

Project Result: Well Rehabilitation

The rehabilitation process began on July 13th.

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.

23 kenya4530 well pad

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. Locals prepared meals for our construction teams, and the men provided storage and security for our tools and machinery.

32 kenya4530 pump installation

Now that the well is repaired, community members no longer have to walk long distances to fetch dirty water; they have clean water right at home. Local farmer Nashon Panyako said, “We are so happy for the rehabilitation of our well. We had water scarcity in the community since the previous source was far. The community members will now spend more time in their farming than in looking for water. This will also provide water for the nearby school.”

With the encouragement of this water, community members have promised to maintain proper hygiene to reduce disease in their community. The village elder himself promises that every single homestead will have a tippy tap by the time we return!

The Water Project : 36-kenya4530-handing-over

07/29/2016: Timbito Well Rehabilitation Project Underway

We are excited to announce that, thanks to your willingness to help, Timbito Community in Kenya 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. They will also receive two new hand-washing stations, and be encouraged to build their own. Together these resources will help stop the spread of disease in the area. We just posted a report including an introduction to the community, GPS coordinates, and pictures. We will keep you posted as work continues.

Click on the tabs above to find out more, and Thank You for your generous help!

The Water Project : 2-kenya4530-current-source

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump
Location:  Malava, Timbito
ProjectID: 4530
Install Date:  08/18/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Needs Repair
Last Visit: 02/21/2018

We are actively working with this partner to resolve the issues in this community. The "last visit" date is not necessarily the date we were notified by the partner of any potential problems. Once informed of downtime, we work to respond quickly. We will update the project status when these issues are resolved.

Visit History:
03/22/2017 — Needs Repair
04/13/2017 — Needs Repair
09/04/2017 — Functional
02/21/2018 — Needs Repair

A Year Later: Timbito Community

December, 2017

The sanitation and hygiene condition at the household level has also improved since the community members have the knowledge of proper water storage methods and food handling.

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

Since the rehabilitation of this project was done, cases of waterborne diseases have been reduced. This is because the community members have access to clean and safe water from the rehabilitated borehole.

The community members now spend 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 and typhoid.

“Before the project was rehabilitated, our children used to cough because of drinking water from the unprotected sources,” remembers Norah Nalwa. “Typhoid was also a great threat for both the elderly and young people who spent most of their time in the hospital seeking medication.”

“Our livestock do enjoy the water from this borehole. Unlike before when we lost more of our livestock though death that came as a result of drinking contaminated water from other sources. It’s now easier to fetch water and give to our animals. The sanitation and hygiene condition at the household level has also improved since the community members have the knowledge of proper water storage methods and food handling,” says Norah.

“My life has really improved in terms of hygiene and sanitation,” explains 7-year-old Dan Esau.  “I always bathe every day. I no longer complain when my mother sends me to fetch water for her. This is because they way to fetch water is easier.”

This project needs an improvement in the area of water management and sustainability issue. We will continue re-engaging the community and their Water User Committee until we observe a behavior change among them.

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.


Holy Trinity School
Buffett Magnet Middle School
Setronix Algérie
St. Virgil Academy
Customer Service Team
Christ Outreach Church Women of Faith
125 individual donor(s)

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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.