December 1, 2023

Transformation in Mitero, Kenya

Mitero Primary School is the only place for its 160 students to attend class for many kilometers. Nestled in rural Laikipia County, and not far from Ol Pejeta Conservancy, the community comprises over 500 households, accommodating nearly 4,000 residents who reside within close proximity to the school. This beautiful community depends on seasonal and shallow boreholes that are each a 2 hour walk, and even when there is water in these wells, they are often unreliable or in disrepair.

Mitero Primary already has water storage tanks and some roof guttering, which they utilize for collecting rainwater, but these tanks fall significantly short of meeting the school’s water requirements, and the water is not treated after collection, making it very unsafe for consumption.

In addition to the school’s immense challenges with safe water, the school is now also unable to maintain its government feeding program. Insufficient water supply necessitates purchasing water whenever funds are available, resulting in periods when the children go without food entirely.

The scarcity of water has also resulted in a decline of livestock numbers, the inability to cook, clean and prepare food, exorbitant charges when purchasing water from vendors, and the prevalence of waterborne diseases due to consuming contaminated surface water. These issues have compounded the hardships faced by the students and surrounding community. This December, in partnership with the Chris Long Foundation, Well Aware plans to construct a new, solar-powered deep borehole that holds the potential to transform the entire Mitero community. By providing access to plentiful clean drinking water, community members will no longer be forced to walk long distances to contaminated sources. Both the school and the community will have an immediate decline in waterborne illnesses, enabling children to stay healthy and in the classroom. Mitero Primary will be able to sustain its feeding program and the community will be able to have healthy livestock to support the local economy.

Moreover, Mitero’s new water well and distribution scheme will address all water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) requirements for both the community and the school, allowing the construction of additional classroom blocks to accommodate even more students eager for an education. We will also be implementing latrines at the school in 2024 to further enable gender equality with girls being able to stay in school when they begin menstruation.

The community members and the school are filled with equal parts anticipation and enthusiasm for the promising future that lies ahead. With their strong sense of unity and harmony, Mitero is poised for an incredible journey of community development with attainment of clean, dependable water resources.

“Every conversation with a community member during our visits has been filled with gratitude and sincere appreciation for the profound impact this system will have on their lives. Witnessing the transformation that will occur for these children and the entire community, as they gain access to clean, abundant, and sustainable water, fills us with a sense of limitless potential.” – Joe Mbagia, Well Aware Community Manager


Meet some of the students that will be gaining clean water very soon!


Shanice is 12 years old and a student at Mitero Junior Secondary School. Some of her duties at home include fetching water, washing utensils and clothes, and helping her father with their grazing cows and goats. She walks 1 km to school and their current water source is a 2km walk. Shanice loves going to school because she admires how her teachers have instilled good values and discipline in her and her peers. Her favorite subjects are math and Swahili and she hopes to be a teacher when she grows up. Shanice will no longer have to walk 2 km to fetch water and will be able to spend more time focusing on her dreams!


Perpetual is a 13 year old student that loves studying computer science because it is a valuable skill used all over the world and connects the world together. At school she drinks collected, untreated rainwater if there is any and at home she walks to a river for water collection. Perpetual wants to be a doctor when she grows up to help sick people. She currently walks 8 km from her home to fetch water from a river. With clean water, she knows everything will change. “Water is life. With it, waterborne illnesses are no more.”


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