Borehole Drilling in Kenya: Costs, Requirements, and More

Learn how borehole drilling in Kenya has become an alternative water source. Explore the costs, methods, and geographical variations for successful drilling.

Oct 1, 2023 - 19:08
 Borehole Drilling in Kenya: Costs, Requirements, and More
 Borehole Drilling in Kenya: Costs, Requirements, and More

Water scarcity has made boreholes an essential solution for many in Kenya. As the demand increases, so does the need to understand the intricate details of drilling a borehole in Kenya, its costs, and requirements. This comprehensive guide aims to give you a complete understanding of the subject, ensuring you make an informed decision. So, what does it take to tap into this underground treasure? Let's delve in!

Why Drill a Borehole in Kenya? 

Boreholes in Kenya have become an alternative water source in areas lacking a readily available freshwater supply. With the advent of drilling machines replacing traditional manual digging, the process has become quicker and more efficient, but what does it entail?

How Borehole Drilling Costs are Determined:

1. By Drilling Method:

  • Air Drilling / Pneumatic Percussion Drilling: This under-balanced drilling technique uses compressed air or nitrogen to cool the drilling bit and remove well-bore cuttings instead of fluids. It's best suited for stable grounds with proper rock formations.
    • Cost: Approximately KES 6,500 per meter.
  • Mud Rotary Drilling: In this method, fluid is pumped down a hollow drill pipe and forced out of drill bit jets. It is primarily used on loose grounds with minimal or no rock beneath. Chemicals like Bentonite clay (Gel), Barium sulfate (Barite), Calcium carbonate (chalk), and Hematite play crucial roles in this process.
    • Cost: Roughly KES 14,050 per meter.

2. By Geographical Location:

    • The borehole drilling cost varies significantly based on the geographical location. For instance, drilling in Nairobi might cost between KES 6,500 to KES 9,500, whereas in Kisumu, it might be between KES 7,500 to KES 9,500. Different counties have their specific cost ranges, as illustrated in Sample 1.

3. Additional Costs:

  • Besides the basic drilling costs, there are other additional costs involved:
    • Mobilization, drilling, casing, graveling, healthy development, test pumping, and chemical analysis. These costs can range from KES 420 for mobilization or test pumping to KES 3,220 for drilling using the Air drilling method.

Who Determines the Borehole Drilling Costs? 

The borehole drilling company you hire plays a significant role in cost determination. Although the price discrepancies among different providers may be minor, it's essential to factor in the quality of service provided. Companies such as Grekkon Limited and Waterman Drilling Africa Limited are among the reputable firms in the industry.

The Drilling Process Explained:

  1. Mobilization: This involves moving human resources and equipment to the drilling site.
  2. Drilling: This is the core activity where an 8″ diameter well is sunk into the ground.
  3. Casing: 6" diameter tubes, either PVC or metallic, are installed to support the well, preventing it from collapsing.
  4. Graveling: Gravel is applied in the gap between the well and casings, holding the casings in place and sieving the water.
  5. Well Development: This step involves cleaning the well to remove debris.
  6. Test Pumping: The borehole's water is pumped out for 24 hours, determining the water recharge rate and the static water level.
  7. Water Chemical Analysis: Finally, a water sample is taken to the laboratory to determine its chemical composition, which is crucial for assessing the water's suitability for various purposes, including irrigation.

Borehole Drilling Prices by County

The cost of drilling a borehole in Kenya varies by geographical location. Here are approximate price ranges for selected counties:

County Cost (Min) Cost (Max)
Nairobi KES 6,500 KES 9,500
Kajiado KES 6,500 KES 9,500
Machakos KES 6,600 KES 9,500
Kitui KES 6,800 KES 9,500
Makueni KES 6,700 KES 9,500
Kiambu KES 6,500 KES 9,500
Nakuru KES 6,800 KES 9,500
Kisumu KES 7,500 KES 9,500
Turkana KES 8,000 KES 9,500
Bungoma KES 6,900 KES 9,500
Busia KES 7,700 KES 9,500
Narok KES 6,800 KES 9,500
Mombasa KES 7,500 KES 9,500
Kilifi KES 7,500 KES 9,500
Kwale KES 7,600 KES 9,500
Baringo KES 6,900 KES 9,500
Siaya KES 7,600 KES 9,500
Homabay KES 7,600 KES 9,500
Uasin Gishu KES 6,900 KES 9,500

READ ALSO:Qualifications for Engineering Courses in Kenya and Their Requirements

Final Thoughts

Drilling a borehole in Kenya may appear daunting, especially with varying costs and requirements. But, with a comprehensive understanding of the processes and costs, you are better equipped to make an informed decision. Remember, the essence is not just in obtaining water but in ensuring it's of the right quality for your intended use. Your choice of a drilling company will, therefore, be pivotal. Good luck with your borehole drilling journey! stands proudly as a preeminent Publication Blog in Kenya, dedicated to delivering an unparalleled wealth of informative content across a multitude of subjects that resonate with both the Kenyan audience and the global community at large. Our unwavering commitment to quality and accuracy has made us a trusted resource for readers not only in Kenya but also in the United States and South Africa.