Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/14/2024

Project Features

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It takes quite a while to get to Elukho Community not because it's far away, but because the roads are extremely poor. The dirt road even has rocks jutting out here and there, which caused trouble even for our heavy-duty vehicle.

It's a peaceful rural community where most people are farmers. They grow sugarcane, which takes at least two years to mature. In the between time, they're planting maize and beans. There are hundreds of households in this area, made of mud walls and earthen floors.

While men are on the farm throughout the day, women do house chores before they take their family's extra produce to the market for trade or sale. Some of the young men have bought cheap motorbikes to ferry others for a small fee.


Women and children fetch water first thing in the morning so that they can prepare food and have water to wash their breakfast utensils. There are quite a few protected springs in the area, but the majority were dry at the time of our visit! We built Rosa Spring and were happy to see women fetching clean water there.

However, this is an area with over 700 people! One clean water source can't possibly meet all of their needs. (Learn more about how we estimate the number of people served here.) During these dry months, women dig to find water, uncovering springs that have a more reliable supply of water. But without the construction to protect them, these unearthed springs are completely open to contamination. Nonetheless, when a family needs water right away, they often have to resort to this dirty water. We observed dry grass, dirt, frogs, and algae in this water.

People suffer from typhoid, stomach ulcers, and amoebiasis after drinking this dirty water. Mr. Peter Ongare Akatsatsiri said, "Most people in this community have stomach ulcers (Induasi ya kapene), both children and the elderly. Almost all households do not practice handwashing after visiting the toilet, since access to clean water is limited. This exposes most of us in this community to stomach ailments."


A fifth of households in this area still lack latrines. Out of all of the homes we visited, we only found one hand-washing station, and it didn't even have any water in it. The one positive is that every single household had a clothesline for safely drying their clothes up off the ground.

Mr. Akatsatsiri added, "'Some people in this community don't have latrines, one of them being one of our village elder. This village elder cannot take measures to encourage those people who lack latrines as part of his responsibility because the community members will not listen to him since he himself doesn't have one. Although he his in the process of constructing one, which is good. Also to be honest, many people in this community don't wash their hands after visiting latrines. If I say they do, I will be lying!''

Here's what we're going to do about it:


Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least two days. This training will ensure participants have the knowledge they need about healthy practices and their importance. The facilitator plans to use PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation), CLTS (Community-Led Total Sanitation), ABCD (Asset-Based Community Development), group discussions, handouts, and demonstrations at the spring. One of the most important topics we plan to cover is the handling, storage, and treatment of water. Having a clean water source will be extremely helpful, but it is useless if water gets contaminated by the time it’s consumed. Hand-washing will also be a big topic.

Training will also result in the formation of a committee that will oversee operations and maintenance at the well.

Well Rehabilitation

When Rosa Spring is too busy, community members will no longer have to fetch contaminated water from unprotected springs.

A functional well will provide community members with an alternative clean water source that will relieve the pressure on Rosa Spring. Right now, this well is actually just an open hole in the ground with water that's completely open to contamination. Since community members report that the water in this hole is there throughout the dry season, we decided to perform a submersible pump test. We pumped the water for three hours and it never went dry; the recharge was sufficient. Once we've cleaned out the well, we'll construct a protective well pad and install a new stainless steel AfriDev pump.

This project is a part of our shared program with Safe Water and Sustainable Hygiene Initiative (SAWASHI). Our team is pleased to provide the reports for this project (edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates

September, 2019: Giving Update: Elukho Community A

A year ago, your generous donation helped Elukho Community in Kenya access clean water.

There’s an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Elukho. Month after month, their giving supports ongoing sustainability programs that help this community maintain access to safe, reliable water. Read more…

September, 2018: Elukho Community Project Complete

Water is flowing again from a hand-dug well in Elukho, Kenya. People are thrilled about this development that has further unified them as a community. They also attended hygiene and sanitation training, and the water user committee has been strengthened to better take care of their well.

New Knowledge

In the process of carrying out the baseline survey of this project, there was clear evidence that when this well was first installed, major aspects of water project sustainability were lacking. This included:

– A functional water user committee

– A sense of ownership of the project among the community members

Our baseline household visits also revealed that people are not practicing good hygiene and sanitation.

These facts prompted the hygiene and sanitation department to come up with a two-day training focusing on the formation and training of an effective water user committee and a general training on proper hygiene and sanitation for all community members.

We faced challenges getting the community members together in one place. They were busy on their farms, and we had to keep on setting and postponing dates until we finally got a good community representation. The water committee training was held at a local leader's household, while the larger hygiene and sanitation training was held at a secondary school's meeting hall.

Water User Committee training

We taught about waterborne diseases and the chain of contamination, as well as many different areas of hygiene: personal, household, water, and food. There were lots of different ways we communicated new ideas, but our favorites had community members working together and discussing new things. Many of the group activities had them brainstorming and analyzing issues they face on a daily basis.

One of our activities had people work together to make a season calendar to record the most prevalent illnesses during each of the four seasons. Participants split up into groups to brainstorm these lists and would present them to the rest of the groups. We then discussed the links between each season and the sicknesses that come with them. Most of these are from contaminated water and poor hygiene habits. Before this session, people thought that the changes in weather caused a lot of their sicknesses.

One of three groups creating a seasonal calendar to identify common illnesses.

We taught about the barriers they can build to prevent the spread of germs. Our clean water project would be one big step towards better health, while community members should work at the household level to build latrines, erect handwashing stations, and treat food and water carefully.

"I am happy because I have received this training today. I personally had never been trained in hygienic matters. The knowledge that I have acquired from this training will be of great help to me and my family at large, and even the entire community," said Village Head James Manasi.

"From this day onward, I pledge to change my lifestyle and start practicing what I have been taught today so that I can be able to live disease-free. Thank you so much The Water Project, for the training."

By the time construction on the well was finished, 60% of households had installed a handwashing station.

Well Rehabilitation

We did not construct a new well pad from its very foundation, rather, we reconstructed the existing pad to seal cracks and any other openings. Community members helped gather sand that would be mixed with the cement, while we provided five bags of cement and a packet of waterproof cement. The waterproof cement was mainly used around the drawing point to prevent water damage. We installed the base of the new stainless steel AfriDev hand-pump so that it would be firmly sealed in the concrete.

The reconstructed pad was left to cure for three days, with the community members taking the responsibility of wetting the cement each morning so that it would dry without cracks.

The well was flushed out with water before the mechanics installed the pump.

The handle was not installed until water quality results came back to our office signifying good quality. At the good news, we returned to the community to install the handle and celebrate clean water together. The well was chlorinated and handed over to Elukho, though it will be routinely visited through our monitoring and evaluation program.

The community invited a local pastor to come and dedicate the project to God before they began to use it. We gave new handwashing stations to families who needed them most.

The school where we held training will also benefit from this well. Everyone is so relieved to have this well up and running again. They are proud of the new, clean cement, and have built a fence around it to protect it.

"I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank The Water Project," shared Ruth Butsili Makabila.

"Being a mother, a wife and at the same time a teacher, it has not been easy for me just because we lacked a reliable source of safe water in this community since this water point was rendered non-functional."

She continued, "I am very grateful because this rehabilitated well has now come to our rescue. The pump itself is also easy to use and it can draw water for people of all ages with ease."

July, 2018: Elukho Community Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage in Elukho Community drains people’s time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know your community through the introduction and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!

Project Photos

Project Type

Hand-dug wells have been an important source of water throughout human history! Now, we have so many different types of water sources, but hand-dug wells still have their place. Hand dug wells are not as deep as borehole wells, and work best in areas where there is a ready supply of water just under the surface of the ground, such as next to a mature sand dam. Our artisans dig down through the layers of the ground and then line the hole with bricks, stone, or concrete, which prevent contamination and collapse. Then, back up at surface level, we install a well platform and a hand pump so people can draw up the water easily.

Giving Update: Elukho Community A

September, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Elukho Community in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Christine Nyapola. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Elukho Community A.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Elukho Community A maintain access to safe, reliable water. Together, they keep The Water Promise.

We’re confident you'll love joining this world-changing group committed to sustainability!

Since the rehabilitation of the well in Elukho last year, there has been great improvement in the lives of the community members. It is evident that the functioning water point has helped to unlock the potential of the people here.

To begin with, there is an improvement in the economic status of both women and the youths in this community. What has raised the economic status of both women and the youths in this community is that, since their water point was rehabilitated, they no longer spend too much time looking for water.

They now use this recovered time to engage in income-generating activities, and most of them have now started up small business enterprises where they earn some small money to cater for their family. The women, in particular, are embracing any opportunity that is coming their way as long as it will be of benefit to both them and the next generation.

It is also evident that the health status of people and especially of children in this community has changed for the better. Women and children used to get sick frequently due to drinking contaminated water. But now, they appear to be healthier and happier because now they have access to clean and safe water all the time.

Christine Nyapola uses the pump

The other area where there is an improvement is in the education sector of this community. Because of the functional water point, there is now increased school enrollment at the local primary school. As a result, the government has decided to expand the school's amenities and now they are constructing new classrooms. This construction project is good because young people in the area are now employed and working at that construction site.

It was amazing to see how active these young people were, and how optimistic they are to succeed in their endeavors.

"One of the biggest changes that has been happening since the rehabilitation of this water point last year is that we can now access clean and safe water without difficulties...Since this water project was completed, we have never experienced any challenges as far as access to water is concerned," said Christine Nyapola, a community member who serves as the caretaker of the well.

"We also save a lot of time, which we engage in other activities that we never used to do before that are beneficial to our lives. We are now healthier and cleaner because we have time to concentrate fully on our families. Our children, they are not only attending school fully but are focussing on school and their grades have improved. I have nothing to offer The Water Project other than sincere love and gratitude for transforming the lives of our community members in such a big manner."

Field Officer Terry interviews Margaret Yvonne

One of those children Christine spoke of is Margaret Yvonne, a 10-year-old girl in Ekhulo. Margaret was eager to share her thoughts on the well too.

"Before I begin, I would like to say thank you to The Water Project for bringing us water and making our lives easier as children. Since the water project was completed in our community, there have been a number of changes experienced in my life as a kid," she said.

"First and foremost, I no longer get sick frequently because now I drink safe and clean water. But before the project, I used to get sick of typhoid frequently and spent a lot of time in hospital seeking treatment [which is] painful. The other change is that I get enough time to study since it does not take long to look for water anymore. [With this extra time] I have made more friends now in my neighborhood whom I play with after school."

Margaret at the pump, Christine off to the side

Navigating through intense dry spells, performing preventative maintenance, conducting quality repairs when needed and continuing to assist community leaders to manage water points are all normal parts of keeping projects sustainable. The Water Promise community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Elukho Community A maintain access to safe, reliable water.

We’d love for you to join this world-changing group committed to sustainability.

The most impactful way to continue your support of Elukho Community A – and hundreds of other places just like this – is by joining our community of monthly givers.

Your monthly giving will help provide clean water, every month... keeping The Water Promise.