Registered charity number 1142295

Projects / Combating Cholera and Dysentery at Nyakwere Primary School

According to the World Health Organization (2010) there are between 3 and 5 million cases of cholera across the world every year. There is a cruel irony to cholera as a disease; it is transmitted by drinking contaminated water, and has the effect of dehydration by diarrhoea, necessitating the consumption of more water.

In the United Kingdom, the connection between diarrhoea and water supply was famously discovered by John Snow, ‘the father of epidemiology’, by his disabling a water pump. (Ferrie, 2012) At Nyakwere Primary School in Kisumu County, Kenya, Wellboring is combating cholera by installing one.

Pupils of Nyakwere Primary School

Pupils of Nyakwere Primary School

At present Nyakwere has limited water supplies; a roof tank, which is only usable in the rainy season, and an untreated (and unreliable) stand post. This is used by 463 pupils and shared with 601 local households. At Nyakwere Primary School, 13% of pupil-days are lost to sickness, primarily cholera and dysentery.

The new water source is about to change that. At the time of writing a borehole of 60 metres has been drilled and the project is on track for delivery on Tuesday 26 June. The project is fully funded, and maintenance will be paid for by subscription fees from local households. The secure, clean water supply will reduce the incidence of cholera and dysentery, and improve school attendance and results.


Ferrie, J., 2012. Cholera, John Snow and the 2013 bicentennial meetings at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK. International Journal of Epidemiology, 41(6), pp. 1501-1502.

World Health Organization, 2010. Cholera vaccines: WHO position paper. Weekly Epidemiological Record, 85(13), pp. 117-128.