Project information

Massai Need Water

WellBoring will provide a borehole for the Massai in Melelo in Kenya. The borehole will provide safe water for around 800 people. It will end their daily struggle for water, save the women and children from walking vast distances to find water and save the lives of children who are dying every year.

January 2014 - March 2014

Charity information: WellBoring

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  • Need


    Kenya’s people are, according to the United Nations, one of the most struggling peoples of the world. People in farming communities like those of Melelo struggle the most because they are subsistence farmers in the Arid and Semi-arid Lands.

    55% of people living in rural areas like Melelo don’t have access to clean, safe water. Every year that they continue to use dirty river water 1 in 10 children will die before their 5th birthday, close to half will be water-related deaths.


    Bring clean water close to 800 of the widely dispersed 8,000 people;
    Protect their children from parasites, typhoid and cholera and save lives. Clean water would save the lives of approximately 100 of Melelo’s children under the age of 5 in the next decade alone;
    Reduce water collection time which improves cattle condition and milk availability, and frees women up to improve their lives in other ways;
    Keep more children in school as they won’t have to search for water when the rains fail.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Provide a borehole for the Melelo Massai to give them safe drinking water for around 800 people.


    » Community engagement through working with the Massai so that they are fully committed to the project and see the outcome as their own.
    » Project design and contractor engagement such that all the work is carried out according to a design specification and supervised by WellBoring.
    » Implementation where the contractors arrive on site and drilling, building, electrical and plumbing works commence, supervised by WellBoring.
    » Commissioning and maintenance team training and post commissioning monitoring.

    What success will look like

    Success will be when the borehole is consistently producing clean water that is being consumed by around 800 of the Melelo inhabitants, and water related disease is eradicated.

  • Impact


    Safe locally accessible water will:
    Save lives,
    Protect children from parasites, typhoid and cholera,
    Save the lives of approximately 100 Melelo children aged under 5 in the next decade,
    Reduce water collection time for women and children,
    Keep more children in school,
    Reduce poverty,
    Protect against catastrophic food shortages,
    Reduce migration to city slums.


    A big risk with drilling is proceeding with no hydrogeological knowledge of the ground structure and therefore no knowledge of the presence of water. WellBoring has already completed hydrogeological surveys and determined there is water in the ground and at known depths reachable through drilling a borehole. Another area of concern is community engagement and WellBoring deals with this through a process of meetings and community involvement in the project, and by community ownership and training


    Reporting is done through regular blog posts as the project evolves right through the implementation phase and post commissioning. Supporters receive a newsletter and a specific project update, both in the run up to, during implementation and post project commissioning. The AGM provides summaries.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £25,350

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £18,500 Subcontracts Drilling, Civils, Electrical, Mechanical and supply of materials
      £2,050 Salaries, Surveys Salary for Engineering project leader & surveys
      £3,300 Capital Equipment Pump, cables, control gear
      £1,500 Travel Flight, in country travel, goods transportation
  • Background


    A farming community in the arid and semi-arid lands of Kenya near to Narok, Melelo is situated at high altitude close to the Rift valley. 8000 Massai live in very basic accommodation, many of which are mud huts with thatch roofs. There is a river running through the region from which the people collect their water, however, it contains excessive levels of sulphide, ammonia and iron, and high bacteria counts. 2 children contract typhoid from drinking this river water each week.


    Around 800 Massai people living around the new borehole location will collect clean safe drinking water locally instead of the women and children trekking several hours to collect and carry 20 litre drums of dirty contaminated river water. The wider community will also benefit because there will be improved school attendance, particularly from the girls, and therefore their educational outcomes will improve and they will get better jobs with better life chances.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    WellBoring is a small charity with very low overheads and strong connections in Kenya where we have an experienced Kenyan engineering project leader called Lucy who manages the community engagement and project work herself. She speaks 5 languages and is well respected by the communities with which we work and also by the subcontractors for her technical expertise. WellBoring understands the importance of community engagement and always ensures their involvement to guarantee long term success.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Lucy Njoroge

    Engineering project leader. She has a degree in water and soil mechanics and has worked with major players in the Kenyan water industry.

    Graeme Vousden

    Trustee and Engineer. He directs WellBoring's engineering and projects operations. Based in the UK with annual trips to Kenya to meet communities.

Currently this is the only source of water


Borehole pump

2 children get typhoid every week from drinking dirty river water.

Graeme Vousden