Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/04/2024

Project Features

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Lugango Primary School is located in Shamakhanga Village of Kakamega County, Kenya. It currently has a student enrollment of 510. It employs 15 teachers and three support staff. (Editor’s Note: While this many people may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only support a population of 350-500 people. To learn more about how we determine the number of people served, click here.)

The headteacher and oldest students arrive much earlier than the rest, by 6am every morning. They attend a study hall together that's meant to prepare them for final exams. Students then work together to complete assigned chores like sweeping and picking up litter. Normal classes stretch throughout the day with an hour's lunch in the middle. Games are played in the evening before dismissal.

Most of the students attending here either don't have adults in their homes, or their grandparents are the breadwinners. This forces many of the students, especially boys, to hunt through the local vegetation to find common herbs to sell and make a living for themselves during market days.


There is no reliable water on school grounds. When the school opened, it was connected to a local pipeline that turns out to not be much help at all; half the time when the students or staff turn the faucet, no water comes out.

So, students have to go out into the community during class breaks to find the water they need for drinking. If they didn't have enough water to clean their classrooms and the latrines in the morning before classes, they have to gather enough water throughout the day to clean after dismissal. There's also a school kitchen that cooks lunch for the oldest students and staff, which needs to have enough water too.

"Most of my pupils miss school, and the report is usually the same - that they have severe stomachaches accompanied by diarrhea. These are clear indications of water-related diseases," Headteacher Mr. Shikondi said.

"The teachers on weekly duties usually supervise morning and evening cleaning, although the challenge remains on water, as the students use any water for cleaning, but washing hands and drinking becomes difficult, thus the health of the pupils is usually at risk!"


There are not enough latrines for the students to use. Many of these are in poor condition, and there are some that the students have written off entirely, fearing that they'll collapse while in use. There is only one handwashing station for 510 students, so the majority doesn't have a chance to clean up before heading back to class.

Here's what we're going to do about it:


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.

Handwashing Stations

This CTC club will oversee the new facilities, such as handwashing stations, and make sure they are kept clean and in working condition. The two handwashing 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. 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 from the spring for mixing cement. Once finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff.

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

Project Updates

October, 2019: Giving Update: Lugango Primary School

A year ago, your generous donation helped Lugango Primary School in Kenya access clean water.

There’s an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water at Lugango Primary School. Month after month, their giving supports ongoing sustainability programs that help this school maintain access to safe, reliable water. Read more…

February, 2019: Lugango Primary School Project Complete

There is a new rainwater catchment system at Lugango Primary School! Students have a source of safe, clean water thanks to your support. Handwashing stations were installed so that students can clean up after using their new latrines, and students and staff have received training in sanitation and hygiene.

Rainwater Catchment Tank

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


The project was delayed a bit because it was hard to find good, clean sand to mix with the cement. Community members had delivered some sand but it was not fine enough. Even though school had closed for the holiday season at that time, parents and caring community members still rallied together to find what Lugango Primary School needed.

"We had been sending the pupils back to the spring for water all the way until now. But now we are the proud owners of a whole tank. This is almost unbelievable!" Headteacher Shikondi exclaimed.

"The struggle has been there but we are now so happy we will enjoy having clean water throughout the year. This is a huge blessing to us and we do not take it for granted. This, I am sure, will also improve the already good performance of the school. I am certain of it!"

Headteacher Shikondi was so excited to see his students return after Christmas break to find clean water on school grounds.

The Process:

Our staff and the school administration started by looking around the school to determine the best location for their 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 stones on 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.

The catchment area was dug, plastered, and a staircase installed so students can easily get water from the tap.

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 (breathers) and overflow pipes were all done to standard.

Once finished, the tank was given three weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Lugango Primary School, though we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.

VIP Latrines

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

Handwashing Stations

Pupils can now enjoy washing their hands with soap thanks to the two handwashing stations that were delivered to their school. These new handwashing opportunities will help reduce cases of hygiene-related illness. The training on hygiene has motivated these students to share what they’ve learned with their peers at school and families at home.

New Knowledge

We worked with the headteacher to recruit student representatives from each grade. These students will form a child to child (CTC) student health club that will hold activities and meetings to teach their peers about what they learned. Student attendance was good as we had expected, but we had been hoping more of their parents would attend too.

This is usually a season of drought all over the country. The days and nights are all hot. This particular day the sun was bright, so we were very grateful that the headteacher provided us with an empty classroom.

The girls looked more interested with the training than the boys at the start, but as we went on the boys started picking up excitement slowly but surely. We believe they had developed an attitude against the training when they heard it was about cleaning, as in Kenyan communities matters related to cleaning usually concern the girls only. But as we introduced more topics they became more attentive and their interest developed.

We covered topics including:

– primary healthcare
– taking care of the new facilities
– common illnesses and their prevention
– waterborne illnesses
– CTC club activities
– handwashing

Students went with the trainer outside to use the new handwashing station for practicing the steps of proper handwashing

– dental hygiene

Leadership and governance were also taught to equip the CTC student health club with good leadership skills as they teach the rest of the student body what they learned. The training ended with the election of the club cabinet leadership.

"Today I have found a reason to keep working hard. This training has opened my eyes to the opportunities that are out there and has enlightened me more on issues of hygiene," said 16-year-old Vivian.

Thank Your for making all of this possible!

December, 2018: Lugango Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Lugango Primary School drains students’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this school through the introduction and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good 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: Lugango Primary School

October, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Lugango Primary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Mary Khatenje. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Lugango 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!

A lot has changed at Lugango Primary School since the installation of their raintank a year ago.

Upon entering the school's compound on a recent visit, we saw how the school's sanitation has improved. The school's compound is kept clean, and the rain tank has helped to provide access to clean water right on campus. Today, all classrooms have cemented floors, which are an improvement from dirt. This has helped them a lot because they can get enough water to clean the classes and offices from the rain tank.

Time is also saved because before last year, the children could waste a lot of time going to the river and this could delay the whole process even of preparing food for them. Time management is now observed, and this, in turn, has resulted in improved academic performance among the students.

This group has a very keen interest in improving their health and hygiene, especially when water is treated as they eagerly follow every step and can give a narration of what is done. The school head is also so positive about all the comments and feedback he receives about the maintenance of the projects. He promised to work with the sanitation teacher and the school at large to improve their current practices, which are already in good standing.

Mrs. Jessica Mideva with student Mary Khatenje at the rain tank

"Since last year, pupils no longer face harassment from the community members [at the river]. This affected their self-esteem, but since the implementation of the project, getting water is no longer an issue," said Sanitation Teacher Mrs. Jessica Mideva.

"They can now easily run to the tap and fetch water at their convenience. Ever since the training on how we should maintain the projects, we always remember to follow what we were trained on. We do this all together in a jovial mood."

15-year-old student Mary Khatenje reflected on how her experience as a pupil at Lugango Primary has changed over the last year because of the WaSH projects.

"Cases of waterborne diseases are no longer experienced. We are healthy and are able to concentrate on our studies. We are also able to perform our assigned duties on time like when we are assigned to clean the classes [for] which we have to use water. It's no longer a struggle. No more harassment from the community members since we now have our water."

Field Officer Laura Alulu with Mary and Mrs. Mideva at the rain tank

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 Lugango 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 Lugango 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 Underwriter - H2O For Life
The McAvoy Family
Mary Mother of the Redeemer Catholic School
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Matching Gift
20 individual donor(s)