Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/06/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

The distance from Kakamega Town to Munungo Community is very long. It took us two hours and 45 minutes to get to the community location. The ride at the beginning of the journey was enjoyable since the road is tarmacked. But after a while, we took a turn onto a mud road where it was dusty and bumpy.

The Munungo Community area is a peaceful and slightly vegetated rural area. The buildings in this area are mostly mud block walls and iron sheet roofing.

The average family consists of ten people. You can find extended family members living with the nuclear family on many occasions. Most people here are peasant farmers. They grow sugarcane as a cash crop.

In this community, it is the responsibility of the mother to take care of the children and the house while it is the responsibility of the father to earn money and feed the family. They also keep farm animals and sometimes engage in brick making.


Most people travel a mile or more to reach the unprotected water source. Since the nearby drilled well is broken, the people of this community are stranded.

Every day, girls and women have to wake up very early to ensure that they have looked for water before they can do anything. We are currently in the dry season and the hand-dug well is too shallow and about to dry up.

The water quantity in the current well is not enough for the whole community. There is a school nearby which also depends on the same water point.

"Water is a very scarce commodity in this community," Mrs. Emily Wanyama, a retired smallscale businesswoman, said.

"The lack of water has caused life to be very difficult for an old woman like me. I am so old and sickly and I don't have the strength to walk around looking for water."

The known negative consequences are many, though I will mention a few. To begin with, it is waste of time for both mothers and daughters since it sometimes takes the whole day to fetch water. Poor performance is common for girls in schools since they miss school regularly to look for water.

Poverty in the community remains because women are not involved in any income generating activity due to the time spent fetching water. And then there is the outbreak of waterborne diseases in this community because they consume contaminated and untreated water. Finally, women and girls risk attacks when they walk late in the evening to fetch the water.


All homes in the community have latrines. The sanitation conditions of the latrines we observed were very poor. They were dirty because there is no water to wash them.

"People here in this community are enlightened when it comes to hygienic issues because of education," Levy Barasa, a local farmer, said.

"The challenge in this community is that we have no water to enable us to practice hygienic measures. Because of water problems, hygiene has deteriorated."

This community is doing well when it comes to hanging their clothes on the clothesline for drying after washing. They are also using the dish rack to put their utensils to dry after cleaning them.

The biggest areas that need improvement are handling drinking water and storage of drinking water, hand washing, and general hygienic measures such as cleaning the animal waste all over the compound.

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. Handwashing 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

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

July, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Munungo community

Our teams are working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Join us in our fight against the virus while maintaining access to clean, reliable water.

We are carrying out awareness and prevention trainings on the virus in every community we serve. Very often, our teams are the first (and only) to bring news and information of the virus to rural communities like Munungo, Kenya.

We trained community members on the symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention of COVID-19. Due to public gathering concerns, we worked with trusted community leaders to gather a select group of community members who would then relay the information learned to the rest of their family and friends.

We covered essential hygiene lessons:

- Demonstrations on how to build a simple handwashing station

- Proper handwashing technique

- The importance of using soap and clean water for handwashing

- Cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces including at the water point.

We covered COVID-19-specific guidance in line with national and international standards:

- Information on the symptoms and transmission routes of COVID-19

- What social distancing is and how to practice it

- How to cough into an elbow

- Alternative ways to greet people without handshakes, fist bumps, etc.

- How to make and properly wear a facemask.

During training, we installed a new handwashing station with soap near the community’s water point, along with a sign with reminders of what we covered.

Due to the rampant spread of misinformation about COVID-19, we also dedicated time to a question and answer session to help debunk rumors about the disease and provide extra information where needed.

We continue to stay in touch with this community as the pandemic progresses. We want to ensure their water point remains functional and their community stays informed about the virus.

Water access, sanitation, and hygiene are at the crux of disease prevention. You can directly support our work on the frontlines of COVID-19 prevention in all of the communities we serve while maintaining their access to safe, clean, and reliable water.

September, 2019: Giving Update: Munungo Community

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

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

August, 2018: Munungo Community Project Complete

Water is flowing again from a borehole in Munungo, 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.


This well was once used by the community members but ended up failing due to lack of proper maintenance. The Nirrah pump was later stolen, rendering the community completely unable to access water from the well. They had no choice but to go back to unprotected sources.

In the process of carrying out the baseline survey of this project, there was clear evidence that 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

Water user committee training

The baseline also indicated that most of the community members don’t practice good hygiene and sanitation.

This, therefore, prompted the hygiene and sanitation department to come up with a two-day training plan focusing on the formation of an effective water user committee and a more general training on proper hygiene and sanitation practices for community members.

A man explains some of the issues that he and his community face.

Local leadership was extremely effective in gathering community members for training. Each water user committee member was there to learn about effective management, while the second day drew an audience from the larger community. Being the rainy season, we were nervous that weather and farming obligations would negatively impact our training. We were pleasantly surprised to find out this wasn't a factor at all. There was a great turnout!

We taught about waterborne diseases and the chain of contamination, as well as many different domains 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.

Community members worked in groups to identify the most prevalent diseases, of which the most common was typhoid. We could then analyze issues and find out how everyday practices are sometimes the root issue. Many of the older women were surprised that diseases aren't because of the changing seasons or from maize and beans, but are caused by bad hygiene.

People had a lot of fun working together to differentiate between good, bad, and in-between habits. Illustrations were held up, discussed, and put in their proper category.

Last but not least, we taught about the barriers that can be built to stop the spread of disease. Some of these include the construction of a pit latrine and a clean primary water source.

"I didn't know the five critical times I was supposed to wash my hands before this training," said Mr. Eliud Mang'ozi.

"What I have learned from this training will go a long way in helping me start practicing good hygiene habits back at home. I also believe the whole community will embrace good hygiene habits."

Well Rehabilitation

This well was so old that we had to spend a lot of time fixing the erosion around the source. It is important to seal any cracks so that there is little chance of contamination. We used regular cement mixed with waterproof cement for the reconstruction.

We used extra cement to firmly fix the new stainless steel AfriDev pump in place. However, the handle was detached until confirmation of clean water from the water quality test. After the report indicated the water was safe for drinking, we returned with the handle and then chlorinated the well.

Upon completion, community members invited us for an official ceremony. We also used this time to hand over four handwashing stations to the neediest families in this community. After we gathered around the well to witness clean water flowing for the first time in years, we celebrated by sharing a meal.

This woman is overjoyed to have a handwashing station to keep at home!

A cohesive love and hospitality were clearly demonstrated to us every step of the way. Each time we set foot in this community, we were welcomed with a song and dance and were invited to share a meal before we left. Our hearts melted with joy when we saw an elderly couple, each over 90 years-old, turning up to express their gratitude during the handing over ceremony! This was a clear demonstration of their relief to have clean drinking water again.

One of the older members of the community witnesses the clean water restored to this well.

"Access to clean water in this community has previously been a nightmare, especially for the elderly," shared Mr. Timothy Masatija.

"Rehabilitation of this well is miraculous for us. We did not anticipate it to happen anytime soon. But because the ways of God are not the ways of man, we now have our borehole in working condition. We are extremely grateful to those who have made this possible."

May, 2018: Munungo Community Project Underway

Dirty water from open sources is making people in Munungo Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to create a clean water point and much more.

Get to know your community through the narrative 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

Abundant water is often right under our feet! Beneath the Earth’s surface, rivers called aquifers flow through layers of sediment and rock, providing a constant supply of safe water. For borehole wells, we drill deep into the earth, allowing us to access this water which is naturally filtered and protected from sources of contamination at the surface level. First, we decide where to drill by surveying the area and determining where aquifers are likely to sit. To reach the underground water, our drill rigs plunge through meters (sometimes even hundreds of meters!) of soil, silt, rock, and more. Once the drill finds water, we build a well platform and attach a hand pump. If all goes as planned, the community is left with a safe, closed water source providing around five gallons of water per minute! Learn more here!

Giving Update: Munungo Community

September, 2019

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Munungo Community 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 well rehabilitation project in Munungo was completed last year, the lives of the people here have improved so much.

It is evident that when we conducted a baseline survey for this community, a lot of challenges arose from this community because of the lack of access to clean and safe water for drinking. For instance, we witnessed even the domestic animals dying due to lack of water since sometimes, the little water that was brought home by the children was prioritized for human consumption at the expense of the cattle.

But now, Munungo community members have enough water for drinking, they are healthy, their economic status is improving, and they are living at peace with their neighboring communities whom they have welcomed to their well. The functional water point has also brought prosperity for the people of Munungo and their neighbors, and together they have been very cooperative and appreciative of the help accorded to them concerning their rehabilitated well.

This community has really improved in terms of matters of hygiene. While conducting our interviews, we walked around the community making observations of whether the training on hygiene and sanitation that we conducted last year had any impact on the members of this community and we can confidently say that they were transformed.

In this community, 5% of the households did not have toilets so they were forced to practice open defecation, but now, every household has a toilet. We also noticed that they have installed handwashing stations in front of their toilets and they are lockable. Also, the latrine pit holes now are covered and there was ash placed there for handwashing. These are all clear indicators that the training on hygiene and sanitation was impactful for these community members.

Paul Ohoyo being interviewed by Field Officer Terry

"There are many changes that have occurred in our community since the rehabilitation of this water point last year," said Paul Ohoyo, a member of the water committee in Munungo.

"To begin with, we now have access to safe water every day and it is so [plentiful] that we also use it for our income-generating activities. Before this water was brought here, I was jobless but now because of this water, I have a thriving food stand at the [market] center where I am currently selling cooked food to people."

"This water has brought food security in our community. My wife and other women are growing indigenous vegetables and selling them to the community members [and even] though vegetables are a rare commodity because of the dry spell, we have vegetables at a cheaper price because of the efforts of our women and the availability of this water."

"Also, the community members are now healthier unlike before when they used to use water which is not safe. Our children can now afford to play and study since we are not sending them afar to fetch water and their school performance and health have now improved. In summary, I can confidently say that food security, good health, employment opportunities, and good performance in education are some of the biggest changes in this community since the rehabilitation of this water point."

One of those children Paul mentioned is Nickson Okhoya, a 13-year-old boy living in Munungo who along with his family depends on this well for their daily water needs.

Nickson Okhoya being interviewed by Field Officer Terry

"Since the water project was completed in our community last year, my life has really changed for the better," said Nickson.

"Nowadays, I have enough time to play, unlike before when I used to spend a lot of time looking for drinking water for my father's cattle. Secondly, I have enough time to study and my grades have improved so much this year. Lastly, I used to get sick more frequently because of consuming contaminated water. Since the water project was completed, I had never fallen sick, I feel strong and healthy, and what I can say is lots of thanks to The Water Project for giving us good life once again and may God Almighty bless you."

"There is not any other problem that [I] am facing, this is simply because we have water across seasons and though there is drought, today we can still have access to safe and clean water for drinking...My mother now has a kitchen garden where she grows vegetables and practices irrigation [using] this water project so we have food to eat even during the dry spell."

Paul and Nickson at the well

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 Munungo Community 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 Munungo Community – 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.