Friends School Chegulo Rainwater Catchment Project

Regional Program:
Western Kenya WaSH Program

Latitude 0.49
Longitude 34.79

500 Served

Project Status:

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Stories and Community Profile

This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water And Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO). Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).

Welcome to the School

Friends School Chegulo Primary was established in the year 1936 by the Friends Church, its sponsor. It is located in Chegulo Village, Mahusi sub-location, Chegulo location, Butali Chegulo Ward, Malava Sub-County, Kakamega County.

The school has both day and boarding sections that were established in the year 2010, which have a total population of 586 pupils. 315 of these are boys, 271 are girls. There is a special needs department which serves 33 boys and 23 girls, and an early childhood development department (ECD). The ECD has a total population of 70 pupils, 39 of which are boys and 31 girls. All departments combined, this puts the total student population at 792 students. The school employs 15 teachers, out of which 11 are employed by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), while four are PTA employees. There are six support staff: two watchmen, two cooks, one bursar and one matron who cater for the boarding students.

(Editor’s Note: While this many people may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only support a population of 350-500 people. This school would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)

Being an agricultural region, most community members engage in sugarcane farming while the students are in school. The numerous plantations make for good scenery when viewed from the hilltops. Men tend to focus on their farms, and women focus on domestic chores such as fetching water from springs, washing, and cooking.

Water Situation

Students waste approximately an hour each school day to get water. The school has an electric borehole which is expensive for the school to maintain. They have to keep up on paying the electricity bill, which makes it unreliable. Even when the pump is working, it can barely serve the growing population of boarding students. Most of the time, pupils have to wait for a long time in line to fetch water. When the wait is too long, students sometimes return home and fetch water from there. Sometimes they get water from dirty, contaminated sources which affect students with waterborne complications like typhoid, diarrhea, and stomachaches. Thus, the rate of absenteeism is high.

Students carry their own jerrycans for water, and once they arrive at school, it is poured into larger plastic containers. These larger containers are not covered, and often have dry leaves and garbage floating in them.

Sanitation Situation

The school has a total of 15 VIP (ventilation improved pit) latrines and one urinal, out of which two are reserved for teachers, six for boys, and seven for girls. Some of these lack doors, giving students no privacy! The latrines are not enough for the school population and results in pupils wasting a lot of time queuing during break. Four other doors were condemned because they are in such poor condition.

There is one improvised hand-washing facility intended for teachers’ use, but nothing for students to use. This has heightened the transmission risk of diarrhea diseases. The pupils who live on school grounds are most affected because of the poor sanitation facilities. This includes bathing rooms, which are made of poles and iron sheets with no doors or roofs.

There isn’t enough water to keep facilities clean, and there’s no structure in place for maintenance. Students and teachers lack hygiene and sanitation knowledge in general! Caroline, a teacher at the school, says, “We have a big problem with water and sanitation facilities in our school, especially with the increasing number of enrollment within our boarding section who require water to wash, bathe and clean their dormitories. We have a big problem with the way we handle hygiene issues in our institution, and we need to be enlightened on issues to do with sanitation and hygiene.”

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

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. This CTC club will oversee the new facilities and make sure they are kept clean and in working condition.

Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank and VIP Latrines

The school community is willing to contribute the local materials to be used in the construction of a 30,000-liter water catchment tank and additional VIP latrines. These new facilities will go a long way in reducing the rate of waterborne diseases among pupils and teachers. In the meantime, the school has agreed to start treating drinking water in order to immediately reduce waterborne disease.

Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

12/20/2017: A Year Later: Friends School Chegulo

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater harvesting tank and latrines for the Chegulo Friends Primary School in Western Kenya. Because of these gifts and the contributions of our monthly donors, our partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from our partner, Faith Muthama, with you.

The Water Project : 4613-monitoring-3

08/16/2016: Friends School Chegulo Rainwater Catchment Project Complete

We are very excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, the students and staff of Friends School Chegulo in Kenya have a new source of safe, clean water. A new rainwater catchment system and new latrines have been built. Two hand-washing stations have been installed, and the students and community have received training in sanitation and hygiene. You made it happen, now help keep the water flowing! Join our team of monthly donors and help us maintain this well and many other projects.

The report below from our partner gives the latest details of the project. We also just updated the project page with new pictures. Make sure to click on the “See Photos & Video” tab to check them out!

Project Result: New Knowledge and Hand-Washing Stations

Hygiene and sanitation training was held in one of the school’s classrooms. School administration worked with us to determine the best dates for as many participants as possible, and then set out to encourage teachers, students, and other leadership to attend. A total of 16 participants attended training, comprised of students with leadership skills from grades four through seven, and one of their teachers. The students were very active and engaged with the training facilitator, asking questions at whenever they didn’t understand something.

2 kenya4613 training

The facilitator used handouts, pictures, demonstrations, role-plays, onsite training and group discussions to teach on topics including: Promoting Good Health, Steps of Hand-Washing, Operation of Facilities (rainwater catchment tank, latrines, and hand-washing stations). Students also learned about how to construct their own hand-washing stations so that they can supplement the two, more permanent stations being delivered. In fact, they’ve already built “tippy taps” made of jerrycans, ropes, and sticks. Students can step on the rope to tip the jerrycan that’s hung from sticks, pouring water needed for hand-washing! Since then, the two hand-washing stations have been delivered. Washing hands is critical to preventing communicable disease in a school of such a large student enrollment.

We observed behavior change quickly after training was over. Students would use the latrine and go straight to the hand-washing station. Teacher Stellah Ajuck said, “As a school, we are grateful to WEWASAFO for the health and hygiene training. Our pupils are now enlightened on proper ways to maintain high standards of hygiene, thus issue of outbreak of diseases such as diarrhea is drastically reduced. Bravo to the donor!”

4 kenya4613 training

Project Result: VIP Latrines

Construction of the two triple-door VIP latrines is also complete, and they are ready to be used. The pupils say that the additional latrines are very nice and easy to use, without the problems of bad odor and urine on the floors. Additional latrines have also shortened the lines during class break, easing the discomfort of a long wait. And thanks to the water tank, the latrines will also be cleaned regularly.

14 kenya4613 finished latrines

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction for this 30,000-liter rainwater catchment tank began on April 30th.

The process began with site clearance, setting and casting the foundational slab, construction of the wall, roofing, and installation of fittings such as delivery pipes, vent pipes, and screens. Finally, good drainage was ensured.

The parents provided many materials that were used to build the structure, such as bricks, sand, hardcore, ballast, sugar sacks, and poles. The school also made sure that the construction team was taken care of well, providing both meals and accommodation.


6 kenya4613 construction

The school now has access to clean, safe drinking water within their compound. Pupils no longer have to leave school walls to fetch dirty water from the well or carry water from home. The tank especially alleviates the burden that boarding students faced. As a result, pupils have saved a lot of valuable class time which they previously lost when making several trips in search of enough water enough for cleaning, cooking and drinking. The pupils are now making good use of their saved time to study. Academic performance is expected to improve tremendously! There are already new requests for enrollment from parents.

Cases of absenteeism in the school have already decreased. With the availability of water in the school, more girls have been motivated to attend since they know they will not be sent in search of water. Girls no longer risk harassment and sexual assault going outside the school compound during class hours. Teachers no longer worry about sending students across the dangerous road where they may be knocked down by fast motorbikes.

Best of all, general health is improving! The severe outbreaks of diarrhea suffered among children after drinking contaminated water will drastically decrease. One of the teachers, Mrs. Carolyne, said “As a headteacher I am very happy that our children now have access to safe water and sanitation, they initially wasted a lot of time going to fetch water away from school. This has been unsafe for them and also many wasted time instead of being in class to study. Bravo!”

The Water Project : 16-kenya4613-finished-tank

07/26/2016: Friends School Chegulo Project Underway

We are excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, Friends School Chegulo in Kenya will soon have a new source of safe, clean water. A rainwater catchment tank and new latrines will be constructed, hand-washing stations will be provided, and the school will be trained in proper sanitation and hygiene practices. Imagine the impact this will have on these students! We just posted an initial report including information about the school, GPS coordinates, and pictures. We’ll keep you posted as the work continues.

Take a look, and Thank You for your help!

The Water Project : 5-kenya4613-classroom

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment
Location:  Kakamega, Malava, Butali Chegulo, Chegulo, Mahusi, Chegulo Village
ProjectID: 4613
Install Date:  08/16/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 02/09/2018

Visit History:
08/25/2016 — Functional
11/07/2016 — Functional
02/27/2017 — Functional
05/09/2017 — Functional
08/22/2017 — Functional
02/09/2018 — Functional

A Year Later: Friends School Chegulo

December, 2017

The population of Chegulo Friends Primary School has increased by around 150 pupils since the facilities were installed in the school. This is a blessing in disguise for the facilities attracted more pupils.

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater harvesting tank and latrines for the Chegulo Friends Primary School in Western Kenya. Because of these gifts and the contributions of our monthly donors, our partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from our partner, Faith Muthama, with you.

The ongoing survival of many schools in Kenya is threatened if they are not able to provide water and sanitary facilities for the schools, yet it is difficult for parents to pay these expenses in addition to usual school fees.  The Water Project and WEWASAFO have targeted schools just like this because of the potential that can be unlocked for both students and staff when clean water and sanitation is available.

Faith Muthama, shares the impact that she has witnessed as a WEWASAFO employee who has seen the growth at Chegulo since the project began: “The life of the project beneficiaries has really changed. Initially the school had no clean classrooms but now they have clean classrooms and a good environment for the pupils to learn. The children both the boarders and the day scholars had no safe drinking water now they have and also the boarders had to go to the river to fetch water for bathing but now they get it from the tank. The cooks now have sufficient water for the kitchen.”

Faith Muthama standing between Mrs. Norah Mulongo and 12-year-old Oscar Omar at the tank.

Perhaps the biggest impact on the health of the students at the school occurs through hygiene and sanitation behavior changes, such as handwashing. Oscar Omar, a twelve year old student at Chegulo Friends School proclaims, “This project has changed our life totally. We have developed a habit of washing our hands after visiting the toilet, a practice that has reduced waterborne diseases among us.”

Access to clean water and new latrines provides students with improved health and more time for both school and family life. We are excited to stay in touch with the students and community connected to the Chegulo Primary School and to report the impact as they continue on their journey with clean water.

A teacher supervising her students as they fetch drinking water from the tank.

One issue that both Oscar Omar and Norah Mulongo, one of the support staff reported was that there are low water levels during the dry months. One of the exciting effects of water and sanitation access for schools is the ability to draw more students to enroll. This presents both an opportunity and a challenge with water access. The WEWASAFO staff is working with the school to manage the tank’s water supply to ensure that it can last through weeks without rains in Western Kenya, and they are also exploring options to build larger tanks in future schools.

The Water Project and our partners are committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by monthly donors, allows us to visit communities up to 4 times a year. Read more about our program and how you can help.


Project Underwriter - St. Andrew Faith Formation
Lauren, Leah and Anna's Campaign for Water

And 1 other fundraising page(s)

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Country Details


Population: 39.8 Million
Lacking clean water: 43%
Below poverty line: 50%

Partner Profile

Western Water and Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO) works together with less privileged and marginalized members of communities in Western Kenya to reduce poverty through harnessing and utilization of local resources for sustainable development.