Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2019

Functionality Status:  Low/No Water or Mechanical Breakdown

Last Checkup: 08/04/2023

Project Features

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Lwanda Secondary School is located in Busalwa Village, Kenya. There are 625 students here who attend classes like math, science, history, geography, and foreign language led by 15 teachers and 3 staff. A normal day begins at 6am when the older students arrive for study hall. There is a thorough cleaning at 7am by the younger students in preparation for morning assembly to raise the flag. The teacher on duty addresses the students and invites other teachers to give their remarks.

There is severe water scarcity at Lwanda Secondary. The administration thought their problems would be solved when a local water service installed a pipe system. Unfortunately, the school has been overwhelmed by the huge bills they are receiving each month. The bills are very high and the water is not even available throughout the week. They have reached out to the water company to learn more about why they're being charged so much, but they have not heard back.

Since the system ended up being unreliable, they placed some plastic tanks by the roofs to collect rainwater. These tanks are too small and go dry quickly. Water scarcity in the school has negatively impacted students' performance, as water from the plastic tanks is strictly rationed. There are students who complain of stomachaches on a daily basis.

"The rate of absenteeism is very high in this school. A number of students have reported cases of waterborne diseases like typhoid and a lot of money spent on medication instead of paying their school fees," shared Teacher John Serete.

This school is in desperate need of a new way to collect and store water that meets their drinking, lunch program, and cleaning needs.

What we can do:


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

The current latrines are in pathetic condition. They are dirty and full of bad odors, forcing the students to urinate behind the latrines. One of the pipe taps is connected near the latrines, but again the challenge is that the water doesn't always flow. If they had enough water, they'd be able to wash their latrines regularly. There aren't enough latrines, either.

"The situation in our community and especially the school has always been wanting since the sanitation facilities are not enough. Girls waste a lot of time lining up to use the facilities," shared Teacher Lewis Musonye.

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.

We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. These higher standards will translate to better health which will unlock the potential for higher academic achievement.

Project Updates

October, 2019: Giving Update: Lwanda Secondary School

A year ago, your generous donation helped Lwanda Secondary School in Kenya access clean water.

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

February, 2019: Lwanda Secondary School Project Complete

There is a new rainwater catchment system at Lwanda Secondary 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!

"We shall make sure the water tank is well managed, and the officials will take full responsibility of the same. We will not allow anybody to take us back to where we have been - without safe drinking water," said Mr. Felix.

The only challenge was finding enough water to mix cement for the tank and latrines. Local women ended up ferrying buckets of clean water to the school.

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.

Excavating the ground to make way for the tank foundation

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 Lwanda Secondary 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 principal 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.

It was a chilly morning when we arrived at school, since it had rained all during the night before. The training was conducted outside under a tree so that the participants could enjoy the warmth of the sun that was just shining through the heavy clouds.

We covered topics including:

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

When the facilitator said that you should not rinse the mouth out with water after brushing, everyone wanted to know the reason and some of them had a feeling that they were being misled. The facilitator had to explain to them at length, while saying that the toothpaste should not be rinsed off but left in the mouth to continue killing bacteria. There were mixed reactions as some people totally differed with the facilitator while others promised to try it out.

We had to take more time to explain the importance of handwashing because some of the students didn't see the need to wash every single trip to the bathroom. We detailed how easy it is for germs to spread and that there should be no compromise when it comes to handwashing.

"Our students have really benefited from the training and we are privileged to have hygiene ambassadors in our school and at home. Sometimes we neglect very crucial things about personal hygiene that we already know not knowing it leads to diseases," said Principal Amukuwa.

"We want to thank our facilitators for reminding us about proper handwashing, dental hygiene, and not forgetting operation and maintenance of the facilities."

Thank You for making all of this possible!

January, 2019: Lwanda Secondary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Lwanda Secondary 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 your 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: Lwanda Secondary School

October, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Lwanda Secondary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Renson Abung’ana. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Lwanda Secondary 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!

"The biggest changes in the school that have been happening since the tank was constructed are evident through the improved sanitation and the proper hygiene seen all over," said Senior Teacher Mr. Lawrence Ambunya, reflecting on the water projects installed at his school a year ago. He continued to share the following story with us:

"The tank has enabled the students to have clean classes, for they use this water for cleaning mostly. The level of cleanliness of the toilet has also improved  - no bad odor like initially because they are cleaned regularly. From the training that was conducted during that time, we appreciate [it] because there is some culture that was done away with. The training needed both girls and boys but in the school, there was a notion that the boys are not supposed to be involved in cleaning for that is a girl's affair. But, things changed after the [student health club] training. Now, both the girls and the boys participate in ensuring the school is clean, the drawing point of the tank is well maintained, and the boys can also wash their latrines. The girls did not have latrines but now they are enjoying the sufficient latrines constructed [for] them."

Senior Teacher Mr. Lawrence Ambunya at the rain tank's tap

"The tank again has helped very much in the agricultural sector because during the dry spell water had been preserved, which was then used for irrigation and that is why we have never lacked vegetables and food. The cattle have water through [dry season] and Napier grass is planted thus even in [the] dry spell it will still be there for we have water. Milk production has increased and all these changes have been made possible with the water project. We are very grateful as a school because of the initiative and we pray that God shall bless you in abundance."

Upon our arrival at Lwanda Secondary School on a recent visit, the clean and well-trimmed grass sparkles for the eyes and you would want to relax a bit and enjoy the green, vegetated, and soothing environment. You get to see handwashing stations and this is a clear indicator that the students wash their hands. Moving toward the toilets, you get to see clean and lockable latrines that are used by the students. You can even see some students drink around the vicinity of the latrines because it is very clean as they disinfect their latrines on a weekly basis.

All these changes came along by the water project which ensured there is a rain tank for clean, safe, and sufficient water in the school, VIP latrines for the students, handwashing stations, and the student health club training that really helped the students get knowledge and understand more about health and its promotion.

One such student is 16-year-old Renson Abung'ana, who reflected on how his experience at school has been different this last year since the WaSH projects came to his school.

Renson takes a drink from the rain tank

"My life here in school has changed since last year. When I was in Form 1, I came when we did not have enough water. We used to struggle to queue for the tapped water which at times used to not come regularly and being a [first year], we were mistreated and told to draw last. This made life difficult, especially when washing our plates after lunch and during evening time for cleaning."

"Right now I am the happiest because there is enough water and I can access [it] easily without struggle. I want to thank [you] because if it were not [for] this project in the school I could still be suffering, so [I] am very grateful you came to rescue me and many other students."

Mr. Ambunya and Renson 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 Lwanda Secondary 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 Lwanda Secondary 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 - Dedicated to Haywood O. Moore and Lillian Waller Moore