Water Harvesting

Managing the Process

A Story of Change

Typical Projects

Practical Technology


The average per capita income in Kitui is less than €2 per day

Water Projects


For a full list of our 2009/11 projects click HERE

Previous Friends of Kitui Water Projects

The water situation in Kitui is critical.  

Friends of Kitui will support simple, practical projects with a high chance of success.

It costs only €5- €10 per person to provide clean water!

In the Water Issues page we tell you more about the water situation in Kitui, and how the Diocesan Water Department works to improve matters for the people. By sponsoring water projects to provide safe water within easy walking distance of communities, we can greatly improve the living conditions of all the people- but most particularly the women. It's important to realise that the time saved by shortening the distance to safe water can be spent more productively in raising crops. In the Current Projects section you will find details of a number of water projects which we have undertaken to support in the coming year. We have also included detailed budget costings for these projects so that you can see how the money will be spent. All these projects are a partnership between the donor and the community. 
For as little as €1500 you could provide a safe water supply for up to 200 people.

In the Wells for Africa page you will see how one group has adopted a number of projects, and has already (July 2006) sponsored one shallow well for Musuoni.


Access to Water and Electricity across all provinces of  Kenya

  Access to water   Access to electricity  
Province   % of households with piped water in dwelling   % of people with water source less than 15min walk   % with electricity   % without electricity  
Nairobi   33.2   95.9 71.4 28.5
Central   11.8   70.9 19.2 80.4
Coast   8.1   63.9 19.3 80.5
Eastern (which includes  Kitui)   4.1   38.7 6.9 93.1
N. Eastern   0.6   22.1 3.2 95.9
Nyanza   0.6   31.6 5.1 94.9
Rift Valley   4.5   50.5 10.5 89.5
Western   1.3   44.6 1.6 98.2
Kenya overall   7.6   53.2 16.0 83.9

Left: A 50000 litre water storage tank at Makayauni school. The guttering which channels the rainwater can be seen on the right.

Right: A new shallow well under construction. As climate change takes effect and successive poor rains are experienced, water table depth is lowering, causing wells to run dry.

Keeping Up to Date- February 2009:

We continue to monitor completed projects to ensure that they continue to serve the community and to learn from any mistakes that might have been made.

During the February 2009 inspection visit, we discovered that two wells which had been dug in the 2006 programme were not now producing adequate water. The reason is that the depth of the water table has dropped due to the sequence of below-normal rains over the past three years. When first completed, the water flow was very good. We will now put in place the necessary funds to pay for deepening these wells further. This will be done over the coming weeks.

If the pattern of successive failed rainy seasons continues, we will probably find that more wells will run dry. We intend to keep a close eye on the situation

A dried-up earth dam on the Nairobi-Kitui road. Just one month after the end of the rains, this dam contains absolutely no water.

Left: A local girl holds a plaque noting the sponsorship of 3Sixty Marketing in the construction of this sand dam at Makongo

Right: People and animals share a water source on this seasonal river

We started in 2006/2007 with the first batch of 8 water projects. This was followed late 2007 with Round 2, comprising a further 12 projects. And now, December 2011, we have completed Round 4, bringing the total to 64.

Each project has the potential for supporting 250 to 350 people by providing them with a safer water supply, closer to their homes. For more background information  see the Water Issues page.


Examples of Friends of Kitui Water Projects

All 12 of the second ("Round 2")  batch of projects (listed right) were selected following a needs assessment carried out January 2008 by Jacinta Mutheu, Diocesan Water Officer, and a temporary engineer employed by Friends of Kitui to assist on this task. Initial budgets were prepared and compared with similar costings from work carried out by another agency. The final budgets were approved by Friends of Kitui and work commenced late February.  

The majority of the projects were completed by July. Six projects in Kyuso, including one on the mission compound, were started late on April 17th due to some difficulties in reaching procedural agreement between the Diocesan Development Department and the the parish of Kyuso. These projects were completed in August 2008.

In total, 4150 persons in about 520 households have benefited from this batch of 12 projects.


Water Projects Round 2- 

Programme Duration Jan-July 2008





Kyuso mission

Shallow well


Shallow well

Kanini Kaseo

Shallow well


Shallow well


Shallow well


Shallow well


Kyunduani primary School

50m3 water tank



Earth dam



Shallow well



Sub-surface/Sand dam


Makayauni primary School

50m3 water tank


Kimoini kya kati

Shallow well

Shallow wells

Right- Matia well under construction (May 2008)A


Below- A typical earth dam constructed as a joint effort between the Diocese and the community

   Click to enlarge



Water Tanks

Pictured here is the water tank at Makayauni school, during construction. This tank is now completed.

Sub-surface dam

Makongo sub-surface /sand dam is sponsored by 3Sixty Marketing, Gowran, Kilkenny. Initially a bit delayed (it took time to coordinate the local community who had to tend to their farms during the rains and could not take full participation), this project got underway in March 2008 and was completed July 2008. Three hundred families will benefit.

Kulukulu Earth Dam

Kulukulu earth dam was constructed by the community. Tools for excavation were allocated to the community and technical advice  was also given. Members of the project group work according to a roster where each individual is required to excavate a given amount in a single day.  The work was a bit challenging due to the late April rains which resulted to the existing pan filling up with water thereby slowing down the work, and making the task very onerous..