Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/11/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Bukhubalo Primary School opened in 1988 and has grown to have 565 students enrolled this year. They employ 11 teachers and two support staff.

The classrooms are overcrowded. Though there's plenty of land, there aren't enough funds for new classrooms.

A normal day at Bukhubalo Primary starts very early in the morning by 6am as pupils arrive carrying water in their small jerrycans of either three or five liters. This will be used for cleaning their classrooms before the day's lessons. After cleaning, they attend a morning study hall for 30 minutes until assembly, when the teacher on duty makes announcements. The lessons begin at 8am and go until lunch, then they come back at 2pm for more classes and then games.


Students are required to carry not only their books to school every day, but their share of water, too. The headteacher has decided that this is really the only possible solution for not having a water source at school. If students finish their water by lunch, they can go back home and find water for the afternoon.

Since students come from all different directions, there's no way to ascertain the quality of water they bring. It's apparent that students aren't frequenting clean water sources, since open sources are often the most convenient stops on the way to school. After drinking this water, students suffer from waterborne diseases and miss days of class at a time. When at school, students should only have to concern theirselves about their studies, not about whether or not the water they have is safe.


There aren't enough sanitation facilities for the hundreds of students here, just like there aren't enough classrooms. Tons of students have to wait in line for latrines during class breaks, and many can't wait their turn. This shortage results in the practice of open defecation on school grounds. The condition of current latrines is so poor that the Department of Public Health recently issued a closure notice stating that if the school doesn't solve this issue soon, it will be forced to send its students home indefinitely.

School board chairman, Humphrey Wesonga said, "I am very saddened when I think of many pupils in this school suffering because of lack of enough latrines, which makes the pupils uncomfortable."

Here’s what we plan to do about it:

You make this possible. Thank You for joining us in providing clean water, sanitation facilities, and important health information for these students and teachers.


Training will be held for two days. The facilitator will use PHAST (participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation), ABCD (asset-based community development), CTC (child to child), lectures, group discussions, and handouts to teach health topics and ways to promote good practices within the school. The CTC method will prepare students to lead other students into healthy habits, as well as kickstart a CTC club for the school.

Hand-Washing Stations

This CTC club will oversee the new facilities, such as hand-washing stations, and make sure they are kept clean and in working condition. The two hand-washing stations will be delivered to the school, and the club will fill them with water on a daily basis and make sure there is always a cleaning agent such as soap or ash.

VIP Latrines

Two triple-door latrines will be constructed with local materials that the school will help gather. Three doors will serve the girls while the other three serve the boys. And with a new source of water on school grounds, students and staff should have enough to keep these new latrines clean.

Rainwater Catchment Tank

A 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank will help alleviate the water crisis at this school. The school will also help gather the needed materials such as sand, rocks, and water for mixing cement. Once finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff. Students will no longer have to tire themselves finding enough water along the way to school every day.

We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. These higher standards will translate to better academic performance!

This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water And Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO). Our team is pleased to provide the reports for this project (edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates

July, 2019: Giving Update: Bukhubalo Primary School

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to build a rainwater tank for Bukhubalo Primary School in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories. Read more…

May, 2018: Bukhubalo Primary School Project Complete

Bukhubalo Primary School in Kenya now has a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your generous donation! A new rainwater catchment system was been built, and there are now six new latrines in use. Two hand-washing stations were installed, and students received training in sanitation and hygiene.

New Knowledge

We worked with Headteacher Stanley Mugoli to plan a hygiene and sanitation training for students. There were six boys and six girls, a teacher, and two of our staff trainers. We had to meet outside because all of the classrooms were occupied, which made the students fairly happy!

They were also excited because these topics are beyond what they learn during their normal classes.

We taught that hygiene entails personal cleanliness, water and food safety, and the environment. Attention needs to be given to each facet of hygiene to enjoy a healthy life.

We covered topics including but not limited to:

– Water pollution and water treatment

– Health starts with a clean self and clean environment

– Group dynamics, leadership, and governance

– Forming an effective CTC (child to child) club

– Hand-washing

Demonstrations were used for handwashing, toothbrushing, and many other topics. We facilitated group discussions and presentations, and students took part in role-plays. The students also received handouts to help them teach hygiene and sanitation to their peers.

The CTC club includes both students and teachers who want to take responsibility for spreading the message of good health and hygiene among their peers. They are also responsible for managing handwashing stations, cleaning latrines, and keeping the school environment tidy. A water user committee was formed by parents and school administration, which is responsible for overseeing and maintaining the new facilities.

Students were particularly enthusiastic throughout the handwashing training when they got to hold the spotlight that revealed the germs on their hands and demonstrate each step they learned. They also enjoyed planning the CTC club, appreciating the fact that they get to take the driver's seat and be responsible for its success.

They look forward to sharing what they learned about hygiene!

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines. All of these latrines are easy to use and clean. And with a rainwater catchment tank, there should be enough water to keep them clean all the time.

"On behalf of my fellow pupils and the entire school, I really appreciate the new facilities," 12-year-old David Masakhalia said.

"They will help improve the hygiene and sanitation standards at our school. Initially, the school had only a few latrines, and this led to crowds when used."

David Masakhalia

Handwashing Stations

The two handwashing stations were delivered to the school and handed over to the CTC club. These were placed outside of the boys’ and girls’ latrines to encourage hand-washing after latrine use. CTC club members teach other students how to properly wash their hands at the stations, and make sure there is always soap or ash available. Now the school has the stations they need, and they have the water to fill them.

Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction for this 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank was successful!

Parents, staff, and students helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction. All the while, women cooked meals for the artisans, and the school provided accommodations for the artisans during their work. Local men and women helped our artisans with their manual labor, too.

The process officially began with our staff and school administration looking around the school compound to try and determine the best location for a new rainwater catchment tank. This needed to be the best site with good, clean roofing to catch the rainwater.

Then, we cleared the site: excavating the soil within the required measurements to make level ground for the tank foundation. The foundation was cast by laying gravel on a level ground and then reinforcing it using steel, concrete and waterproof cement.

Both the drawing pipe as well as the washout pipe were affixed as the foundation was lain. The wall was built with ferro-cement techniques through six layers. The inner wall was plastered while rough casting was done on the outer part. Finally, the catchment area was dug, plastered, and a staircase installed.

Putting the finishing touches on the catchment area.

Dome construction could begin after the superstructure had been given enough time to settle. The manhole cover was fitted, inlet pipes were connected to the roof gutters, inlet screens, ventilation pipes and overflow pipes were all done to standards.

Once finished, the tank was given three to four weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Bukhubalo Primary School.

There were smiles all around as students and staff witnessed water coming from the tap for the first time!

March, 2018: Bukhubalo Primary School Project Underway

Bukhubalo Primary School in Kenya has begun building a new source of safe, clean water because of your generous donation. A rainwater catchment tank and new latrines are being constructed, hand-washing stations provided, and the school is being trained on proper sanitation and hygiene practices. Imagine the impact this will have on these students! Thank you for noticing the need here, and we’ll keep you posted as the work continues. Check out the new stories, pictures, and maps of this school we've shared with you, and we look forward to reaching out again with more great news.

Project Photos

Project Type

For a rainwater collection system, we build gutters around a building with good, clean roofing to channel rain where we want it. From there, the water falls through a filtered inlet pipe into a high-capacity storage tank, the size of which is based on population and average rainfall patterns. In the tank, water can be stored for months, where it is easily treated and accessed. Learn more here!

Giving Update: Bukhubalo Primary School

July, 2019

A year ago, you funded a rainwater tank at Bukhubalo Primary School in Kenya – creating a life-changing moment for Milton Mmala. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Bukhubalo Primary School.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Bukhubalo Primary School maintain access to safe, reliable water. Together, they keep The Water Promise.

We’re confident you'll love joining this world-changing group committed to sustainability!

After Bukhubalo Primary School received their water and sanitation projects a little over a year ago, things around the school have changed for the better.

Pupils here are now enjoying water within the compound. General cleanliness has really improved, and students and teachers wash their hands after visiting the latrines. The school latrines and classrooms look cleaner since the hygiene training, which was in no small part made possible by the availability of water in the school compound.

Teacher Hellen Wanami knows the importance of these changes, and how they are helping her school and her students every day.

"Initially the children used to bring water from home, but now they access water easily from the tank," said Hellen.

"The school didn't clean classes in the past, but now they clean the classrooms on Fridays. Absenteeism as a result of water-related diseases has reduced as pupils have embraced good hygiene," Hellen added.

Milton Mmala, a 15-year-old student, said that "life has improved because nowadays we clean our hands unlike before" when there was no water to do so.

While there remain other obstacles for Milton and the rest of his friends at Bukhubalo Primary to overcome, we will continue to work to ensure that at least water is not one of them.

Hellen and Milton

Navigating through intense dry spells, performing preventative maintenance, conducting quality repairs when needed and continuing to assist community leaders to manage water points are all normal parts of keeping projects sustainable. The Water Promise community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Bukhubalo Primary School maintain access to safe, reliable water.

We’d love for you to join this world-changing group committed to sustainability.

The most impactful way to continue your support of Bukhubalo Primary School – and hundreds of other places just like this – is by joining our community of monthly givers.

Your monthly giving will help provide clean water, every month... keeping The Water Promise.


Project Sponsor - Sipco Bioengineering