Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/05/2024

Project Features

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Mukhweya Primary School has been open for over 70 years. It's consistently grown to have 14 classrooms and staff offices that host 746 students, 13 teachers, and three support staff.

Mukhweya Primary School does not have its own water source. Students must walk to the nearby secondary school to get water from their borehole. Unfortunately, these primary students not only wait in line behind the older secondary students but behind community members as well. This well is open to the entire community, so hundreds rely on it for water! This is a very overused water source. The primary students waste so much class time waiting in line for the water they need.

Everyone reports that the more the borehole is used, the dirtier the water becomes.

"Due to the large number of users at the borehole, clean water is quite limited. At times, people are forced to fetch the dirty water at the bottom of the borehole to avoid missing this water entirely. This results in numerous cases of stomach upsets and diarrhea, which translates to high medical costs hence constraint of financial resources," said Headteacher Kucho.

The available pit latrines are almost full and very smelly. This is because cleaning is not done on a regular schedule due to water scarcity at the school.

These primary students would greatly benefit from having a way to collect and store water of their own.

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.

They need training on proper water handling, storage, treatment, food handling, latrine cleanliness, handwashing, and many other topics.

Handwashing Stations

"We really urge you to consider our school for additional sanitation facilities. Sanitation facilities, as you have seen, are so wanting. More so, we don't have even a single handwashing station where our pupils can wash their hands after visiting the few available pit latrines," said Headteacher Kucho.

We will deliver two handwashing stations 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. 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

Mukhweya Primary School is one of the schools in Kakamega County that is sometimes misidentified as a Bungoma County school. It is only a walking distance to Bungoma County, and some of the pupils cross the border to attend here. The school sometimes misses resource allocation from the county government because of its location. The school records good performance in the county through the school is encountering so many challenges ranging from insufficient facilities to old infrastructure. Blessing this school with these new facilities will improve the school a lot.

Pupils will have access to safe, clean water for drinking and cleanliness. Wasted time queuing for water will be eliminated.

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

August, 2019: Mukhweya Primary School Project Complete!

Mukhweya Primary School in Kenya now has access to a new source of safe, clean water thanks to the completion of their rain tank, which has the ability to collect 50,000 liters of water. We installed new latrines for students, handwashing stations, and we trained students and staff on improved sanitation and hygiene practices. All of these components work together to unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

Rain Tank

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

Parents, staff, and students helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction. All the while, women cooked meals for the artisans, and the school provided accommodations for the artisans during their work. Local men and women helped our artisans with their manual labor, too.

Students carry bricks to the construction site

Building the tank, one brick at a time

The process officially began with our staff and school administration looking around the school compound to try and determine the best location for a new rain tank. This needed to be the best site with good, clean roofing to catch the rainwater.

Building the tank foundation

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 hardcore on level ground and then reinforcing it using steel, concrete and waterproof cement.

Student-brought water at the tank site

Both the drawing pipe as well as the washout pipe were affixed as the foundation was laid. The wall was built with ferro-cement techniques through 6 layers. The inner wall was plastered while rough casting was done on the outer part. Finally, the catchment area was dug, plastered, and a staircase installed.

Tank walls curing

Cutting bricks

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.

Plastering the inside of the tank

Once finished, the tank was given 3 to 4 weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Mukhweya Primary School, though we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.

Though there were no formal handing over ceremony, Head Teacher Mr. Francis Kucho and the school chairperson had organized a parent meeting at the school to pray together and thank God for the projects. The celebration was a great chance for us to acknowledge the school administration and students as the primary parties entrusted with the tools we’ve given, as well as remind them of our continued support as they develop.

"We have been having numerous challenges [with] water in our school...Now, with the tank of this huge capacity, we have a reason to thank God and the donors who made all these things happen. Our pupils will [now have] accessible, clean water from a known source," said teacher Mrs. Jacqueline Otiko.

VIP Latrines

Latrine construction begins

This project funded the installation of 6 new ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines. All of these new latrines have cement floors that are designed to be easy to use and clean. And with a rain tank right on school property, there should be enough water to keep them clean.

Latrine construction

The staff, in particular, were very pleased with the new student latrines, calling them both very beautiful and up to standard. Some teachers admired the new VIP latrines so much, one joked that the latrines are truly of VIP status and should be reserved for teachers and guests!

But of course, the latrines are designed for students, with 3 doors assigned to the girls and 3 doors assigned to the boys.

Completed girls' latrines

Handwashing Stations

The 2 handwashing stations were delivered to the school and handed over to the Child to Child health club. These were placed outside of the girls’ and boys’ latrines to encourage handwashing after latrine use.

Standing proud with a new handwashing station

Health club members teach other students how to properly wash their hands at the stations, make sure the stations are filled with water and work to ensure that there is always soap or ash available.


New Knowledge

Training begins

Hygiene and sanitation training was scheduled with the help of the school principal and the Head Teacher, Mr. Francis Kucho, who ensured that the training date would be convenient for students, staff, and parent representatives. Individual teachers helped by selecting students from each class to represent the others.

Say Ah! Dental hygiene training

Some 23 students and staff attended training, which was held inside a classroom. A number of topics were covered, including personal hygiene such as bathing, oral hygiene, and handwashing with soap as a barrier from germs; and operation and maintenance of the new facilities, with each person understanding their role for long-lasting clean water and good health.

The new student health club will be greatly involved in project management and will be responsible for encouraging good health and hygiene practices amongst their peers, teachers, and the larger community.

Handwashing training

Handwashing practice

The attendees participated very well. Initially, they were so shy but after getting used to what training was all about, they participated well, asking questions and seeking clarification when they did not understand something. During the dental hygiene session, students immediately picked up the proper toothbrushing techniques and started demonstrating how to brush the outer tooth surface in circular movements. This was exciting to watch their fast learning.

Handwashing practice

While discussing proper maintenance and operation of the tank and all sanitation facilities, we started with the tank and let the students know that each component of the tank has a unique, important function to the tank. We then tasked students with not vandalizing any component of the tank.

What made this topic special was that participants showed their appreciation for the lesson and felt they were ready to take care of the facilities having known the challenges of carrying water to the school every day.

Training complete!

"We are very grateful for today's' training. I personally have learned a lot of things which I didn't know at my age. It has been said learning is a continuous process and indeed it is so. [Now] knowing what we were not aware of, we will adopt [these new practices] because it is better to prevent diseases than curing [them]," said teacher Mr. Noah Kennedy Munalah.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

July, 2019: Mukhweya Primary School Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Mukhweya 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 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!


Project Underwriter - The Patyrak Family
Abraham Lincoln School's Act of Kindness
3 individual donor(s)