Lurambi Community Well Rehabilitation Project

Regional Program:
Western Kenya WaSH Program

Latitude 0.29
Longitude 34.49

300 Served

Project Status:

Take a Tour

Explore The Project

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

The Lurambi Community is one of many communities in a highly-populated area. Most of Lurambi’s people are peasant farmers. They tend to small scale farms where they grow maize, vegetables, potatoes, bananas and sugarcane. Most of the children in this community attend one of the two public primary schools, Timbito or Namanja Primary.

Women here are the family members primarily responsible for household work and taking care of young children, while men take on the role of breadwinner. Most people here are religious, attending churches from different denominations such as Seventh Day Adventist, Catholic, Friends Quaker and PEFA Church Fellowship.

The assistant chief recognized the water crisis in his community and quickly applied for a project. He leads an approximate population of 300 people from 24 different households (this is because extended families live together!). Below are the details we gathered on our first visit to his community.

Water Situation

Lurambi Community relies on an unprotected well that is open to contamination. This is because the well has no pump with which to safely draw water. Instead, there is a hatch opening that can somewhat protect the well when it is not in use. However, when the hatch is opened, there is no good way to draw water. Locals decided to tie a bucket to the end of a rope, lowering it inside to pull up well water. When not in use, this bucket rests on the dirty ground.

There’s a possibility that at one point in the 1980s or 90s, this well had a pump. Since then, it has disappeared, leaving just a concrete slab with an opening! Nobody in the community had any information about when or by whom the well was dug.

Women and children are most often seen at the hatch with their own plastic containers, which they occasionally clean by friction with sand and leaves. Once this water reaches home, it is separated into different containers by use. Drinking water is normally stored in clay pots with covers, because earthenware keeps the water cooler. Water for washing and cleaning is normally kept in the container with which the water was fetched. Before drinking, a person will make sure that all visible debris is filtered out of the water. However, this doesn’t make the water safe for drinking; community members often complain of cases of typhoid and suffer from constant diarrhea. This is a terrible issue, because diarrhea dehydrates the body, and the body will crave more of this dirty water!

The well in Lurambi Community needs to be protected with a pump.

Sanitation Situation

Over half of the households in Lurambi have some for of pit latrine. The average latrine is made of mud with an iron roof. Personal hygiene was not observed to be a big deal here, because less than a quarter of these same homes had a bathing room. It’s important to have a place to wash up in private!

We couldn’t find any hand-washing stations in the entire area, and around half of the households had helpful sanitation tools like dish racks and clotheslines. Since most practice farming, families collect and then sort their garbage and waste at the edge of their farms. Biodegradable materials will be turned into compost to help boost the soil’s fertility.

We noticed that a good percentage of the population has some degree of knowledge on proper hygiene and sanitation, manifest in dish racks and clotheslines. Disease will still be an issue until everyone’s on board, though. Hygiene and sanitation training will sensitize the entire community to the need for good health practices, and motivate them to encourage and support neighbors to do the same. An old farmer named Sarah Wafula said, “We appreciate you for considering our community to have this project to be upgraded. At least we will be sure with the safety of our water point. Also, your training on hygiene and sanitation will be of great impact in our day to day activities, because most of us forget this important issues!” Check out the “See Photos & Video” tab to find a picture of Sarah.

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. They will also encourage every household to build new sanitation facilities like latrines, bathing rooms, dish racks, and clotheslines.

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. The well has a total depth of nine meters and a brick lining that protects the well from collapse and keeps the water from siltation.

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

With this well protected, community members will suffer less and less from waterborne disease. If they practice what they learn in hygiene and sanitation training, the will suffer less and less from communicable disease. Less disease means less money spent on medical treatment, and more time spent earning a living.

Thank You for noticing Lurambi Community’s need for new knowledge and clean water that unlocks potential!

Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

12/15/2017: A Year Later: Lurambi Community

A year ago, generous donors joined the Lurambi community in Western Kenya in the work of rehabilitating a shallow well. Because of these gifts and contributions from 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 from our partner, Paul Weringa, with you.

The Water Project : 4535_yar_1

09/16/2016: Lurambi Community Well Rehabilitation Project Complete

We are excited to share that the rehabilitated well in Lurambi Community is now providing clean water. Hygiene and sanitation training was also conducted, which invited all community members 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 community a great foothold in eliminating water and sanitation-related illness! Please enjoy this update detailing all the work that was done in Lurambi 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 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 in the in the shade of a tarp stretched over central meeting place in Lurambi Community. At least one representative of each household was present. Whether man, woman, or child, everyone actively participated in each lesson.

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.

2 kenya4535 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 kenya4535 training

One of the most important results of training was the list of goals the community set together. They made a timeline to construct sanitation facilities in each home, such as pit latrines and tippy taps (hand-washing stations made of jerrycans, ropes, and sticks). The water user committee also has a plan to open a bank account for small monthly fees that will be collected from each household that uses the well. The money in this account will be reserved for upkeep of the pump’s wearable parts.

Housewife and mother Beatrice Matanda attended training and was grateful for what she learned. “We are not used to washing hands with soap and running water. That is a great idea that we have learned today and we appreciate that. We look forward to doing it practically every time!”

10 kenya4535 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.

37 kenya4535 dedication

Project Result: Well Rehabilitation

Construction for this well rehabilitation began on August 8th.

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.

16 kenya4535 construction

The community helped a lot by gathering sand, bricks, ballast, and other tools to be used by our artisans. They also gathered around as we undertook the project and offered a helping hand when needed. There were no delays or challenges during this process!

31 kenya4535 pump installation

Once the project was completed, we gathered with the community at the well. This is when we officially handed the system over to the water user committee. Mercy Ambia was there to celebrate on behalf of herself and her family. She said, “We appreciate the team’s work done in our community. We hope this will be done unto others out there. With this it will reduce the time of fetching water, and reduce waterborne diseases.”

Lurambi Community promises to unite in order to see improvement in their area. The water user committee will take precious care of their water well, and the surrounding community plans to practice what was taught during hygiene and sanitation training. With these measures, less time will be spent at the water source fetching dirty water. Now, the water is both accessible and clean, and disease will decrease. Both time and effort can be spent on income-generating activities on the farm.

Thank You for unlocking potential in Lurambi Community!

The Water Project : 38-kenya4535-dedication

08/19/2016: Lurambi Community Well Rehabilitation Project Underway

We are excited to announce that, thanks to your willingness to help, the Lurambi 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 : 11-kenya4535-fetching-water

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump
Location:  Kakamega, Lurambi
ProjectID: 4535
Install Date:  09/16/2016

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

Visit History:
03/22/2017 — Needs Repair
05/30/2017 — Functional
06/20/2017 — Functional
09/20/2017 — Functional
02/20/2018 — Needs Attention

A Year Later: Lurambi Community

November, 2017

“After the borehole was fitted a new afridev pump, things changed. Now, the method of collecting water for the source is safe leading to reduced outbreak of diseases like typhoid and diarrhea which were constant. The costs that could spent on medication, is now saved for other purposes like paying school fees for children and buying food for the family.”

A year ago, generous donors joined the Lurambi community in Western Kenya in the work of rehabilitating a shallow well. Because of these gifts and contributions from 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 from our partner, Paul Weringa, with you.

Prior to this project the Lurambi community was lowering a bucket down an unprotected and open hole.  The water that was available to the community through these means was contaminated, and many people in the community were suffering from waterborne sickness.  Mercy Ambia, a woman who holds a position in community security, shares, “The water is now clean. We don’t spend much for hospital bills and we now use the money for other purposes.  Most of the community members have really kept in practice on what we were trained on during the initial stages of project implementation.

The well does go dry during the extended dry seasons.  During these times the women and children walk to an unprotected source to access water.  SAWASHI is working together with the community to find a solution to this problem, with talks of deepening the well so that the water might be available year round.

The situation in Lurambi reveals the great impact of clean water and the ongoing need for partnership in order to face challenges of year-round water access.  We are excited to stay in touch with this community and to report the impact in the Lurambi community as they continue on their journey with 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.


Project Sponsor - Jessica and Colin Davis

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.