Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Apr 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/28/2024

Project Features

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There are 1,458 students attending Lumakanda Township Primary School, and they do not have a reliable source for water.

"We have had problems with water in this school for a very long time," said Teacher Julie Wambanda.

"At one point, the public health department almost closed the school for dirty and contaminated water. At another time, the school risked being closed for lack of pit latrines. As if that is not enough we were warned about our well and how risky it is to our pupils."

Recently, the government made an effort to bring services closer to the people. To do this, they decided to increase the number of sub-counties. In Kakamega County, 13 sub-counties were created, Lugari being one of them. Lumakanda Center was picked to be the headquarters. This led to a sudden increase in population and social amenities as well. This is how Lumakanda Township Primary School grew so drastically in enrollment and became an important school in this region.

When the school first opened, they had no water. The Parent Teacher Association did what they could by digging for water. When they reached some water, they build a cement cover and installed a hatch. Students use a bucket and rope system to get the water out.

Unfortunately, the water levels drop during the driest months of the year. This makes school life even more difficult. Not only is it difficult and dangerous to get water out from the well, but the water itself is dirty. The water got so dirty last year that children had to pick worms out of their water. The school was condemned by the national water services board due to unhygienic water and the risk posed to pupils by the poor soil structure around the well. This could collapse at any time.


What we can do:


Training on good hygiene habits 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 school is currently using temporary latrines that are not in good condition.

"We have a problem with latrines in this school. Recently, eight pit latrines meant for the boys sunk, prompting the school to close for one month. At the moment, we are sharing latrines with Lumakanda Secondary and Nursery School making the latrines so dirty," said Teacher Paul Simiyu.

"We need assistance."

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 from the spring for mixing cement.

Once finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s 1,458 students and their teachers. While this many students may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only fully support a population of 350-500 people. This school would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so that adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.

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

April, 2019: Lumakanda Township Primary School Project Complete

There is a new rainwater catchment system at Lumakanda Township 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 of this new rainwater catchment tank was a big success!

When our team arrived to celebrate the finished tank, the students were already waiting for us. Pupils and teachers had composed songs which had themes about water, sanitation, and hygiene. We were welcomed by the headteacher who gave a formal vote of thanks, and we, in turn, thanked the school for their cooperation and urged them to take care of the tank and latrines as we taught them.

"On behalf of Lumakanda Township fraternity, I want to thank [you] for choosing our school and for considering us for the project. This project will really help our school to solve the perennial problem of water shortage. We are certain that this will also help us to improve in our school's national exam mean score," said Teacher Sitaya.

"We shall do all it takes to protect and maintain the project. May God bless everyone who has contributed in whichever way to make this project a success."

School administration celebrating water flowing from the tank!

Lumakanda Township Primary does not only have a school headteacher, but a visionary leader. He ensured that all supplementary materials like dirt and stones were available long before the artisans arrived. The people who were supposed to assist our artisans arrived on time and were very cooperative. The artisans were well taken care of in terms of feeding and accommodation. The right people with the right mindset made this difficult task easy.

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. A metal cover with a lock was placed over the catchment area to avoid water wastage.

Excavating the catchment area so that students can 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 Lumakanda Township Primary School, though we will continue to offer them great support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.

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.

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.

New Knowledge

After consultations with the school headteacher, he went ahead and assisted us in recruiting participants for a hygiene and sanitation training. Attendance for the training was exactly as we expected. Teachers, support staff, parents, and students were well represented during the training. These representatives are taught about how to be ambassadors of good health, hygiene and sanitation among their peers, colleagues, and families at home.

The students and their teachers needed knowledge on how to improve standards of hygiene and ensure that the sanitation facilities given to them are well-maintained for years to come. Some of the topics we covered included water pollution and treatment methods, handwashing, dental hygiene, operations and maintenance of the facilities, and group dynamics along with leadership and governance for the newly formed child to child (CTC) health club.

Handwashing demonstration

There was one girl who really admired the female trainer, Jacklyne, from the articulate way she talked and how she was dressed. It's for this reason that the girl determined to vie for leadership in the CTC club - she now wants to become a leader like the trainer. She further made a decision to work hard in class and pursue her education to be successful.

Trainer Jacklyne poses with the elected leaders of the new CTC club

The training did not have any major challenges except for time: The session was so interactive that the pupils wished it could last the whole day, but there were other school activities that had to to be attended to.

"Education in our country is exam-oriented, where learners are only equipped with a lot of knowledge without the practical aspect. Today we have learned a lot through the demonstrations presented to us and I believe this will have a positive impact for our learners. When learners learn through seeing whatever they acquire, it tends to stick in their minds longer and they can easily apply it in their daily lives," said Teacher Chivolo.

Thank You for making all of this possible!

February, 2019: Lumakanda Township Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Lumakanda Township Primary School drains students’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to build a clean water point on school grounds 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: Lumakanda Township Primary School

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Lumakanda Township 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!

"Before the project, fetching water was so difficult. With the high population, it was even more difficult to access water and to observe proper sanitation."

"Accessing clean and safe water at the tank is so easy and fast. We no longer get worried about consuming water."

"I no longer miss class lessons since I am no longer absent, and this has made my performance improve significantly."

"The project has helped us to achieve better performance and also maintain good health."

Natasha and Field Officer Jacklyne posing at the rain tank, before the pandemic.

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 Lumakanda Township 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 Lumakanda Township 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.