Location of Lela relative to Africa

Location of Lela relative to Africa


Located in southwest Kenya, Lela is an agrarian community of approximately 2,000 people. In 2008, Lela submitted an application to EWB-USA, seeking access to a reliable source of potable water. Many women and children in the community spend several hours per day fetching water, which is often contaminated and causes health problems in young children. EWB-OSU adopted the Lela Community Water Project in 2009, and has committed to partnering with Lela through 2014.

Lela community well under construction – July 2012


After three years of preparation which included a health survey, technical water source assessment, GPS mapping, and an alternatives analysis, EWB-OSU determined the best options for implementation were to drill a community water well fitted with an Afridev hand pump, and to build a rainwater catchment system at the Lela Primary School. In July 2012, a team of students and one technical mentor traveled to Lela to oversee the construction of both systems. A team returned to Lela in 2013 to oversee the drilling of a second water well. During the 2014 Monitoring and Evaluation trip, team members gathered data to make an informed decision about the future of the project. The team established that there is a need for additional reliable water sources in Lela and that community leadership has demonstrated responsible care and ownership of the existing facilities. EWB-OSU is planning an implementation trip for 2015. 

  • January 2008: Project application submitted by Lela community to EWB-USA
  • May 2009: EWB-OSU officially adopts the Lela project
  • December 2009: First assessment trip (community needs and health assessment)
  • June 2011: Second assessment trip (technical assessment)
  • July 2012: First implementation trip (drilled well, rainwater catchment)
  • June 2013: Second implementation trip (drilled well)
  • July 2014: Monitoring & evaluation trip
  • July 2015: Third implementation trip (expected)

EWB-OSU travelers with the Lela Women’s Water Committe


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  • 2009-10: Aparna Shrivastava
  • 2010-11: Daniel Bailey
  • 2011-12: Jaynie Whinnery
  • 2012-13: Zachary Dunn
  • 2013-14: Katherine Lanfri
  • 2014-15: Martha McAlister
  • 2015-16: Judy Jiang