Mavusi Primary School Well Rehabilitation Project

Regional Program:
Western Kenya WaSH Program

Latitude 0.49
Longitude 34.77

500 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 School

Mavusi Primary School is a day school located in Kakamega County, Malava Sub-County, Mavusi Village. The school was started with the aim of eradicating poverty in Mavusi Village. The inhabitants of this community are peasant farmers who depend on their crop production to make a living. Even with the products harvested from their small farms, life is still a struggle for these farmers. Parents have no choice but to work even harder and longer to make the ends meet. Most families in this community live a “hand to mouth” lifestyle. This means that they do not have enough money to save, but must use what they have right away. The community doesn’t know anything about family planning, with most families having five children or more.

The school enrolls a total of 602 students, comprised of 281 boys and 321 girls. It employs 17 teachers and three supplementary staff. (Editor’s Note: While this many people may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only support a population of 350-500 people. This school and their community would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.) Every morning Monday to Friday, the pupils report to Mavusi Primary School with the hope of a better future. Apart from daily classes, the school also offers extracurricular sports.

Water Situation

In 1992, Kenya Finland Company installed a hand-dug well within the school compound. This well was fitted with a Nira pump which has since broken down. It’s very difficult for the students to use, and is unreliable and hard to repair. The well pad is also cracked and open to contamination from surface runoff and student activity. Students bring their own plastic containers which they use to fetch water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. The well’s water is consumed with no knowledge of treatment such as boiling to ensure its safety. After drinking, cases of waterborne disease are often reported, and students must stay home until healthy enough for class.

Sanitation Situation

Sanitation at the school is passable. There are 12 pit latrines, the majority of them new. However, the school has no hand-washing stations. Garbage is piled away from classrooms on school grounds, and burned when there it gets too high.

The school sent in an application appealing for well rehabilitation, and after a visit to the well, we agreed that we should meet this need.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Teachers and students will be trained for two days at the school compound. The facilitator will use the CHAST (Children’s Hygiene and Sanitation Training) method to help students discern between good and bad hygiene habits. Students will be taught how disease is spread at home and at school, and how to prevent this. An entire session will be devoted to teaching students when to wash hands and how to do it properly.

Plans: Hand-Washing Stations

Two hand-washing stations will be delivered to the school so that students can wash their hands after using the latrine and before eating. The school will make sure that these are filled with water and that a cleaning agent is always available.

Plans: Well Rehabilitation

The well is a hand-dug well fitted with culvert lining and a Nira pump, which does not function properly. At the time of our visit, the well had a total depth of 12 meters and a static water level of 5.3 meters. The well pad has worn-out edges and a cracked lining.

The rehabilitation process will include material collection, pad reconstruction, flushing, test pumping, water quality testing, water treatment, and then pump installation. The new pump will be an AfriDev, since it is easier for student to use and parts for repair are easily acquired.

The headteacher said that his school has a huge need for water and hygiene improvements. With this assistance, he believes that the academic performance of this school will improve. Students will no longer have to waste extra time pumping water that isn’t even safe for drinking. If the health of pupils can be improved, learning will also improve.

Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

11/15/2017: A Year Later: Mavusi Primary School

A year ago, generous donors helped rehabilitate a well for Mavusi Primary School 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 : 4531-yar-2

08/18/2016: Mavusi Primary School Well Rehabilitation Complete

We are excited to share that the rehabilitated well at Mavusi Primary School is now providing clean water. Hygiene and sanitation training was also conducted at school, which focused on healthy practices such as washing hands and using latrines. Two hand-washing stations were delivered upon the well’s completion. This water and new knowledge give the school a great foothold in eliminating water and sanitation-related illness! Please enjoy this update detailing all the work that was done at Mavusi Primary School, 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 for these students and their teachers. 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

Two different hygiene and sanitation trainings were held for lower and upper grades. These sessions were held in school classrooms, the first day of training meant for lower classes and the second for upper. A total of 25 students from each grade were selected to attend.

Students actively participated, and their teachers aided our facilitators with each learning activity. The lesson plan included sessions with the following titles: Clean is Beautiful, I Drink Safe Water, Going to the Latrine, My School is Beautiful, Germ-Free Food, and How to Prevent Diarrhea. The facilitator used group discussions, demonstrations, posters, and games to teach topics that will help these students and their families live healthy lives. At the end of each training session, we asked questions to ensure students’ comprehension.

After training, a boy in grade seven said, “We are so grateful about this training. The training has reminded us a lot of things that we all ignore. We promise to practice proper hygiene and sanitation from the training.”

18 kenya4531 older class training

Project Result: Well Rehabilitation and Hand-Washing Stations

Construction for this hand-dug well began on July 11th.

The rehabilitation process began with removal of the existing Nira pump, and then the well pad was removed to make way for a new one. The cover of the well was removed to make room for leveling the broken top edge of the culvert’s lining. This jagged edge had been allowing runoff water to flow back into the well. This was followed by plastering of the pad by applying a mixture of cement and sand. The new well pad was then constructed by lining the plastered well pad with a coat of regular cement mixed with waterproof cement. This was then left to dry for several days. Well development (flashing) was done with a compressor to clean out the inside of the well. Test pumping of this well was done using a submersible pump.

Finally, the well was finished off with the installation of an AfriDev pump. PVC pipes were fitted and anchor ropes were lowered to the desired depth. A plunger was attached to the rods, and then the cover and handle were attached to the pump.

40 kenya4531 pump installation

All the while, the parents, staff and students showed their support by cooking food, providing security for materials and lending helping hands. There were no challenges or delays to this implementation, and the school is very happy about their new well. Teacher Steven Main said, “We are so grateful for rehabilitation of our well and ensuring that there is consumption of good quality and safe water in our school and the community at large. The well serves a huge population including the secondary school and community. This is the only reliable source of clean water for the school and the community.”

The head teacher, Mr. Mwangale Benedict, had all of the students gather around the well when it was finished for the handing over ceremony. On behalf of the school, the head teacher expressed thanks and great joy – He believes the pump will save students from many hardships the experienced before. The two hand-washing stations were also delivered in time for the handing over ceremony, and thanks to thorough training, students know how to use them!

45 kenya4531 handing over

School leadership has promised to take full responsibility of the well by keeping it clean and maintained so that it will serve them and future generations. Mavusi Primary’s teachers are positive that the rehabilitated well will improve the health of students and improve overall academic performance. The school is even going to employ a new security guard to take care of the well so that it will never be vandalized again. The community and the school have united to form a stronger water user committee that will be in charge of operations and maintenance of the well. Joseph Andanje, a grade seven pupil was especially thankful for the hand-washing stations, knowing that they will help him and his peers maintain good health. The head teacher said “I am grateful for the new pump and maintaining the life of the young ones. We believe in your support and that this will ensure smooth learning. Thank you for clean and safe water!”

The Water Project : 42-kenya4531-handing-over

07/21/2016: Mavusi Primary School Well Rehabilitation Project Underway

We are excited to announce that, thanks to your willingness to help, Mavusi Primary School 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 students and staff will receive training in sanitation and hygiene and two new hand-washing stations. Together these resources will help stop the spread of disease in the area. We just posted a report including an introduction to the school, GPS coordinates, and pictures. We will keep you posted as work continues.

Click on the tabs above to read more, and Thank You for your help!

The Water Project : 9-kenya4531-students

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump
Location:  Kakamega, Mavusi
ProjectID: 4531
Install Date:  08/18/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 04/17/2018

Visit History:
04/04/2017 — Needs Attention
05/15/2017 — Functional
06/22/2017 — Functional
09/27/2017 — Functional
02/20/2018 — Needs Repair
02/22/2018 — Functional
04/17/2018 — Functional
04/17/2018 — Functional

A Year Later: Mavusi Primary School

October, 2017

“When am thirsty, I easily come to the source and drink water. We are now able to wash our plates after eating lunch in school. We are able to clean our classrooms and latrines every morning.”

A year ago, generous donors helped rehabilitate a well for Mavusi Primary School 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.

Shadrack Maleli, a 10 year old student at Mavusi Primary School, is excited about the changes the rehabilitated pump have brought. “When am thirsty, I easily come to the source and drink water. We are now able to wash our plates after eating lunch in school. We are able to clean our classrooms and latrines every morning.” Clean, safe water nearby means clean, safe students reaching unlocked potential!

4531 YAR 2

WASH officer Paul Weringa recently visited Mavusi Primary school and noticed some of the same things. “Since the project was rehabilitated, the school has been able to improve in the academic performance. The pupils have enough time in their classrooms with their teachers and therefore much is done in terms of studies and syllabus coverage. The school is able to host other schools for games and other activities. The availability of water in school has also enabled the school to stabilize their lunch program where the standard seven and eight eat lunch in school.”

4531 YAR 3

We are thrilled to hear of these great steps forward! But challenges still exist for this school. Through our regular monitoring visits to this site and conversations with the school staff, we have learned that this well can experience a lower yield during during the long periods between Kenyan rainy seasons, sometimes lasting 2-4 months. Extreme, longer dry seasons are proving to be a challenge to all water points in this part of Kenya, and we are working out solutions with our teams.

Hygiene and sanitation teacher Steven Maina shared, “During dry seasons, we were forced to regulate the usage of water especially during the day to allow everyone to access water.” Paul and the rest of his team are talking with Timbito about how this well can be further developed into a reliable source all year long.

Challenges like this are why we are so committed to monitoring all of the water sources we install. The work is far from done, but with the support of our monthly donors, we are learning more every day! Read more about our program and how you can help.


First Congregational Church of Chatham
Union Presbyterian Church
St. Malachy School
3 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.