Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 317 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/09/2024

Project Features

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On the day we first traveled to Lwakhupa Secondary School, the weather was cold in the morning and later in the afternoon it started raining heavily. This forced us to stop at different stages because we had no umbrella to cover us.

Lwakhupa Mixed Secondary School was started in the year 2013. Being a newer school, the government has helped in the construction of two classrooms and donated one plastic tank with a capacity of 10,000 liters. That plastic tank is the only source of water on school grounds, and is really only available during the rainy seasons. During the dry season, these 317 students and staff have to leave school grounds to find water.

They most often take their buckets to a spring in the community, the one that the adjacent primary school's students also frequent.

A clean water shortage has severely limited the amount of water available for students to drink and clean their environment. After finding out we visited Lwakhupa Primary School, the secondary school administration asked us to consider them because they too are facing the same issues. With added storage to capture rain, they know that there will be enough water for their students to sate their thirst at any point throughout the day.

Students study languages, mathematics, religion, biology, and chemistry. They are eager to have enough water so that they can focus on their subjects and do well enough to enter university.

What we can do:


"This school suffers a lot due to lack of enough knowledge about water, sanitation, and hygiene. If only they could get that information, they could be in a better place," said Mr. Benson Wasike, a teacher at the school.

"Ignorance is the root cause of many problems faced in this village and school, the community just needs sensitization on how they should live a healthy life and all will be well."

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.

After visiting with teachers and students, we determined to address personal hygiene; leadership and management; handwashing; water handling; water treatment.

Handwashing Stations

Students are not washing their hands because there are no handwashing stations available, nor would there be enough water to fill them.

Two handwashing stations will be delivered to the school, and the CTC 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

There are only three latrines for each gender. These are not in good condition because there are too many students using them and are not clean because there isn't enough water.

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 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

May, 2019: Lwakhupa Mixed Secondary School Project Complete

There is a new rainwater catchment system at Lwakhupa Mixed 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 received training in sanitation and hygiene.

Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction of this new rainwater catchment tank was a big success.

"This water point is a well-timed solution for our school. Initially, we had a 5,000-liter plastic tank that could not serve the school for more than one month. We had to spend the rest of the term fetching water from the nearby spring. This made us waste a lot of learning time looking for water," said Principal Mukhwana.

"The rate of absenteeism was also high, and this dropped our academic scores for many years. Now then! We have a water tank that will store enough water for our school, and our academic and sanitation standards will improve tremendously."

The only challenge during construction was water scarcity. We need water to build a water project! Someone was hired to ferry water from the spring on their motorbikes, and the water was used to mix cement.

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.

Upon the decision of the construction site, the top earth layer is excavated and cleared. Stones are then carefully packed onto the excavated area to create a strong foundation.

The foundation is cast with sand, cement, ballast, and waterproof cement. As this is being done, the wall’s skeleton of wire mesh and rebar is erected and secured into the foundation. Upon completion of the foundation, the walls are cemented and plastered to completion both inside and outside.

The catchment area is dug, plastered, and a staircase installed so students can easily get water from the tap. A metal cover with a lock is placed over the catchment area to avoid water wastage.

A concrete reinforcement pillar is built up to support the dome, which is also made of a strong wire mesh and concrete. A hatch is installed in the dome to allow the tank to be cleaned out before heavy rain, and the gutter system is also installed at this time.

Once finished, the tank was given three weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Lwakhupa Mixed Secondary 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, three latrine doors for the boys and three latrine doors for the girls. 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

We immediately started talking to the school and the local leadership to get permission for holding a hygiene and sanitation training. The school principal helped us set a convenient date, and once agreed, he worked with teachers to select student representatives from each grade. The students in attendance formed a child to child (CTC) health club that will share what they learned with their peers and families at home.

All of the participants were very active during the entire training session. They were asking questions for clarity and were willing to demonstrate whatever the trainer required of them.

We taught students 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 ways to treat water for drinking
– handwashing

– dental hygiene

Every participant wanted to take part in the demonstrations for dental hygiene. They were also extremely happy to learn how to brush their teeth correctly. The board of management representative was amazed because the proper way of dental care was simple compared to what he was accustomed to.

– personal and environmental hygiene
– group dynamics along with leadership and governance for the newly formed CTC health club

During the topic of leadership and governance, the participants brainstormed the qualities of a good leader. They then elected their leaders democratically and the facilitator trained them on their roles and duties. The female participants were more willing to take on leadership roles than their male counterparts, which is unusual for a school CTC training. Most top leadership positions attract more male students than female. Seeing the girls step up here at Lwakhupa Mixed Secondary School was great!

– operations and maintenance of the facilities

"I am glad to be a participant, and I feel lucky and blessed for that. I have learned many things today that will help my life and my school and my family back at home. Initially, I did not know the ten steps of handwashing, and I was also not aware of the correct ways of brushing teeth so as to avoid injuring the gums," said 19-year-old Derrick.

"Now that I know, I will put this information into consideration and I will also teach my colleagues and family on good hygiene practices so that we together enhance the health standards in our school and at home."

Thank You for making all of this possible!

March, 2019: Lwakhupa Mixed Secondary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Lwakhupa Mixed Secondary School drains students’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to build 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 new of success!

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: Lwakhupa Mixed Secondary School

February, 2021

A year ago, your generous donation helped Lwakhupa Mixed Secondary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Bernice. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Lwakhupa Mixed 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!

"As students, we used to waste our precious time fetching water from the spring for drinking and cleaning."

"Now, we have more time to study and this has led to improved performance. This year, six students will join the university through direct entry."

"Having water at school has really improved performance and the environment is ever clean. The toilets are clean too."

Bernice (center) and other students 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 Lwakhupa Mixed 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 Lwakhupa Mixed 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 - Blanke Foundation