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: 05/11/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

There is no reliable and safe source of water to meet the needs of the 1,075 students attending St. Francis Majengo Primary School.

In an effort to provide water on school grounds, they dug an open well. However, they dug this during one of the rainier months, and ended up not going deep enough. There’s no water in the well when it hasn’t rained recently. This problem is amplified by the fact that the school population suddenly increased.

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 Francis Majengo Primary School grew so drastically in enrollment and became an important school in this region.

The school has a big parcel of land, so they went ahead and donated three acres to establish a secondary school, too.

It is also risky for the pupils, especially the youngest ones, to draw water from an open well using a rope tied to a container. And because it’s an open well, it’s completely open to contamination.

The well is meant for both the primary and secondary section. It is inadequate and cannot meet the demand for water in both schools.

"Water is life, and without it, learning cannot go on in a school. We use water for cleaning, cooking and drinking. Hygiene standards in school are not as good as we would want them to be and we are grateful that this is soon coming to an end," said Teacher Michael Indimuli.

What we can do:


Clean water is very important, but poor water handling and storage can negatively impact the quality of drinking water. We train students to ensure that water is safe for drinking and good hygiene is practiced at all times.

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

14 latrines are shared with the new secondary school, which puts a ton of pressure on the facilities. They are overused and get filthy very fast.

St. Francis Majengo was served with a closure notice due to poor sanitation. If things aren’t addressed properly, they’ll have to shut their gates next semester.

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 1,075 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: Majengo Primary School Project Complete

There is a new rainwater catchment system at Majengo 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!

"We have been experiencing water shortage and our school is located in a region that receives a lot of rainfall each year. Now that we have a water catchment tank, we know the water problem has now been totally solved. A school cannot operate without water - and sufficient water for that matter." said Teacher Luvandwa.

"We are grateful!"

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. The students were so excited about the construction project that they carried extra water for our artisans to mix cement.

Students delivering water to the construction site so that artisans can mix the bags of cement we brought

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.

Bricking up the catchment area below 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.

The mesh reinforcement for the tank dome

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

Handwashing stations were placed by the new latrines

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

During our baseline survey, we managed to get the total number of pupils in the school and the number of sections per class. We also went ahead and found out the number of staff at the school. It is from these numbers that we were able to determine the number of representatives needed from each group. These representatives attend a hygiene and sanitation training on behalf of their peers and colleagues and are equipped with the tools to share the health information they learn.

The participants formed a new CTC club that will spread the good message of health both at school and at home

There were 26 participants who met us outside under the share of trees within view of the tank as it was under construction. Participation was so encouraging as participants were motivated and responded well whenever they were called upon. Most of them wanted to take part in any and all demonstrations, such as the handwashing demonstration.

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.

One student made light of how they eat food from the nearby market vendors and eat it without washing hands, highlighting how he has never fallen ill. On further interrogation, he admitted to having come across other people who vomit and diarrhea after contracting cholera. He was able to understand that the same could happen to him if he doesn't wash his hands and observe good hygiene.

Most children here grew up without adequate information on proper sanitation and hygiene. This was evident from the faces of the pupils as they learned this information for the first time.

"Knowledge is power and right information will always empower an individual. I hope, I believe, and I am convinced that the information we have received today will go a long way in transforming our lives. From today I know the rate of absenteeism will drop drastically. It is my prayer that the pupils will share this information with their relatives at home and even with the neighbors," said Teacher Khabelwa.

Thank You for making all of this possible!

February, 2019: Majengo Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Majengo 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: Majengo Primary School

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Majengo 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, access to clean and safe water in this school was very difficult."

"It was so tiresome and frustrating drawing water from the unprotected well that was within the school compound. The water, being drawn manually, posed a hazard to us as we became exhausted when drawing it and consumed a lot of class time as the water table had really gone down."

"Furthermore, the water was also dirty with a foul smell. But we were forced to consume it, and unfortunately, a majority of us would be absent due to being sick."

"Drawing water from the rainwater harvesting tank is the greatest achievement. It's so easy to access water and the drawn water is clean and safe for consumption."

"Absenteeism is the problem of the past, and better academic performance is our portion."

"We now enjoy total concentration on academic lessons, timely syllabus coverage, and extremely better academic performance."

Nelson posing with Field Officer Jacklyne 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 Majengo 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 Majengo 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 - REAL BIG TIME LLC
Facebook Donations
The River of Grace Church
The River of Grace Church
11 individual donor(s)