Lurambi Church of Light Well Rehabilitation Project

Regional Program:
Western Kenya WaSH Program

Latitude 0.30
Longitude 34.48

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 Community

Lurambi Church of Light was started in 1992 with the purpose of being an educational and spiritual center for the surrounding community. Through the efforts of this church, an early education program was started, benefiting many young children. In the year 1998, the church also started an agricultural program to plant crops such as sweet potatoes, cassava, bananas, and many other different kinds of vegetables. This program trains community members on the importance of growing crops to decrease poverty. To boost this agricultural program, the church dug a well on its grounds, reducing the distance from the community to clean water.

The people around Lurambi Church of Light are peasant farmers who practice smallscale farming. Their crops of sugarcane, maize, beans, vegetables, bananas, sweet potatoes and cassava generate all of their income. Most women and children can be seen hawking at the nearby shopping center selling bananas, vegetables and sweet potatoes. Since most of the fields here are very small, income is low, and so are the living standards.

Though men are considered to be the heads of their families, both men and women work equally hard on and off the farms. Children are educated in the church program, and most locals are Christians.

This specific area is home to about 600 people from about 30 different households. Yes, it’s normal for an average of 20 people to live in one household compound – Extended families live and work together! (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 community would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so that adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)

Water Situation

Since the hand-dug well was installed, community members have relied on it as their main water source. A bucket is tied to a rope and lowered inside to retrieve water, which can be taxing on small children. It’s also dangerous, since the hole is large enough for a toddler to fall into! And since the well is not covered, it is unprotected from outside contamination.

When women or children get their fetched water home, it is separated into containers by use. Drinking water is stored in covered clay pots, since the clay keeps water cooler than plastic. Water for domestic use is kept uncovered. Keeping drinking water covered doesn’t change the fact that the water is already unsafe for drinking. Surface runoff, dirt, and garbage washes into the well when it rains! Users don’t have any knowledge of water treatment, and often complain of stomachaches, diarrhea, and typhoid after drinking. Though the well that was dug by the church makes water more accessible for the church members and neighbors, they are still suffering from ill health.

Sanitation Situation

Over half of homes in this area have some form of pit latrine. Most of these are made of mud and have cloth draped over the entrance for a little privacy. We couldn’t find and hand-washing stations, but we spotted a few other 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: Importance of Using Latrines, Good and Bad Hygiene Behavior, Water Treatment, Water Storage, Food Preparation and Storage, Disease Transmission Routes, Blocking the Spread of Disease, and last but not least, Hand-Washing!

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

The community affirms that this well has sufficient water that will supply them throughout all seasons. It already has a brick lining, and a total depth of 10.2 meters. The static water level is 7.6 meters.

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 Lurambi Church of Light 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: Lurambi Church of Light

A year ago, generous donors helped rehabilitate a well with Lurambi Church of Light 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 : 4534-yar-1

09/16/2016: Lurambi Church of Light Well Rehabilitation Project Complete

We are excited to share that the rehabilitated well at Lurambi Church of Light is now providing clean water to church members and the surrounding community. Hygiene and sanitation training was also conducted at the church, which invited all people to learn about practices like washing hands and using latrines. Two hand-washing stations were delivered upon the well’s completion. This water and new knowledge give the church and their community a great foothold in eliminating water and sanitation-related illness! Please enjoy this update detailing all the work that was done at and around Lurambi Church of Light, 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 people. 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 outside the church at the well site. We made sure that at least one representative of every household was in attendance. Both the men and women actively participated by answering our questions and asking questions as needed.

We focused on the role of the community once the well rehabilitation project is handed over to them. Training participants will form a water user committee that is responsible for overseeing and maintaining the well. We want locals to feel that the water system belongs to them so that they will keep it clean and use it with care.

11 kenya4534 training

We used illustrations to help teach the difference between a good and bad hygiene practice. By the end of our discussions, community members were able to discern between the two. Most importantly, everyone now understands the reason it is so important to choose good hygiene practices over bad. We taught about the disease transmission route by making connections between everyday habits. Where do people use the restroom? Where do they store food? Are flies not attracted to both? Last but not least, we demonstrated the proper way to wash hands. This is the simplest and most effective way to stop the transmission of disease. Each participant had a chance to practice with a partner!

14 kenya4534 training

One of the most important results of training was the list of goals the community has set for themselves. The leadership in this area will keep households accountable; for example, he will soon check that every family has their own pit latrine, and that it is being used.

Local housewife Sarah Lunam attended all of the training sessions, with her children playing in the grassy area behind her. She told us, “My family do not observe proper sanitation and hygiene practices. From today’s training, I will observe the proper sanitation and hygiene practices, especially hand-washing techniques and installing a tippy tap (a hand-washing station made from a jerrycan, rope, and sticks).”

10 kenya4534 training

Project Result: Hand-Washing Stations

Two hand-washing stations were delivered by the time the well rehabilitation was complete. These come in the form of plastic buckets raised on metal stands and fitted with taps. Training participants learned how to properly wash hands and will be able to teach their families and neighbors to follow suit. The same committee responsible for the water well will make sure the stations are filled with clean water on a daily basis, and that a cleaning agent like soap or ash is available. Since only two hand-washing stations aren’t enough, families are expected to construct their own just like Sarah Lunam plans.

42 kenya4534 handing over

Project Result: Well Rehabilitation

Construction for this rehabilitation began on August 5th.

Since there was no well pad to begin with, we started by building our own. A well cover was constructed with concrete and reinforced with steel. To construct the well pad, first we dig a little around the well hole and set up bricks in circumference. This is then built up and plastered with cement. To finish the well pad, sand is tied with waterproof cement and is left to cure for days. Next, the well is flushed out, which removed any debris that gathered there during construction or during the days it was uncovered. The AfriDev pump is installed once we test pump to make sure that the water yield is sufficient.

There were no delays or challenges during this process!

24 kenya4534 construction

Mr. Zakayo Lunam, Sarah’s husband, is a farmer. He was there to celebrate when we completed the rehabilitation project. He said, “We are happy for rescuing us from consuming contaminated water. The mode of fetching water was making us have frequent waterborne diseases. The rehabilitation will reduce time for fetching water and waterborne diseases in the community.” Salome Wadongo, another local farmer, was there with Mr. Lunam. He expressed his joy along with his friend, and promised to commit his efforts together with his community to ensure that the water  well is secure, safe, and well-maintained. With clean water, pit latrines, and good hygiene practices in place, the rate of diarrhea and typhoid in the community will decrease, and time and health will be saved.

The community around Lurambi Church of Light is again full of smiles after a long time searching for safe water. They thank God for whoever was generous enough to donate the money needed to fix their well. They promise to unite to ensure that this well serves themselves and their children for a long time. The assistant chief of the area, Mr. Caleb Wadongo, said “We are happy to have lessons of hygiene and sanitation practices that are going to improve our hygiene status. We will maintain proper hygiene and sanitation to minimize the outbreak of diseases. We wish to be blessed with another project like this in our community!”

The Water Project : 44-kenya4534-handing-over

08/18/2016: Lurambi Church of Light Well Rehabilitation Project Underway

We are excited to announce that, thanks to your willingness to help, the Lurambi Church of Light 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 : 7-kenya4534-current-source

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump
Location:  Kakamega, Lurambi, Lurambi Church of Light
ProjectID: 4534
Install Date:  09/16/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Needs Repair
Last Visit: 02/20/2018

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 — Functional
08/04/2017 — Functional
09/04/2017 — Functional
02/20/2018 — Needs Repair

A Year Later: Lurambi Church of Light

December, 2017

Since the pump was installed on the well, I now know I am drinking clean water. And for that reason, I don’t suffer from diarrhea like before.

A year ago, generous donors helped rehabilitate a well with Lurambi Church of Light 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.

Before this project, this water point was just a hole in the ground. Community members had to keep a bucket and rope by the hole to lower for water. But after lining of the well, construction of a well pad, and installation of a new AfriDev pump last year, the community has had safe and easy access to clean water.

Thanks to a year of clean water in Lurambi, there are less cases of waterborne disease.

We met Abigael Wadongo, who says she relies on this well for all of her water needs. “Accessing water from the well by use of a pump is a big achievement. This is because anytime we would pull the heavy bucket loaded with water from the well, our backs and chests would pain all through! And by using the rope and the bucket, we knew we were consuming dirty water. This could be felt when all our household members were diagnoses of typhoid,” she shared. She even mentioned that they’d find dead frogs and other small creatures decomposing in the water.

Paul interviewing little Tito at the well.

Field Officer Paul also met 5-year-old Tito Luta at the well. Though he was too small to fetch water from the open hole before, he can help his mother now that the well is safe with a platform and pump. He said, “Since the pump was installed on the well, I now know I am drinking clean water. And for that reason, I don’t suffer from diarrhea like before.”

It’s taken a lot of work to keep water flowing in Lurambi Church of Light. Back in June of this year when the rain stopped, we found the well with no water. Our mechanic Justus joined the community in uninstalling the pump, deepening the well, cleaning it, and putting the pump back on once they reached water. This was a lot of work! We are so thankful for the quick restoration of clean water to Lurambi.

Water flowing again in Lurambi after digging deeper.

The team repairing the well pad once they confirmed the restoration of clean water.

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.


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Sam and Nicole Galambos

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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.