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The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -
The Water Project: Ewamakhumbi Primary School -

Project Status



Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Nov 2016

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/15/2019

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



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

Ewamakhumbi Primary School is located in Ewamakhumbi Village, Navokholo sub-location, North Butsotso location, Ematia Sub-County of Kakamega County. The school was started by the Church of God (Ingots Mission) and the community in 1975. They saw the plight of their young children who as young as 4-years-old had to travel for more than seven kilometers away to the ‘neighboring’ Bushiri Primary School. Most of the children would end up arriving at the school extremely late, missing a lot of their classes. Others would get distracted on the long trek and not reach the school at all! Some parents decided to keep their children at home instead of having them travel the long distance each day.

The school now has a student population of 1161, out of which 489 are primary boys, 516 are primary girls. The rest of the student body is comprised of very young early education students totaling 156. The school also has a section for kids with special needs. The school employs a total of 18 teachers. There are also four support staff that help throughout the week. (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 and their community would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so that adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)

Since this is a day school, students start trickling in from around 6:40am to 7am, because morning studies begin anywhere from 7:15am to 8am. Every morning Monday thru Friday, pupils assemble on parade for prayers and announcements, which are usually led by the teacher on duty and the Christian Union’s leader.

Normal class curriculum starts at 8:30am and stretches until 5:00pm with breaks in between. Grades seven and eight remain behind for extra study sessions for an average of one hour an evening.

Water Situation

The school had a well dug within the school compound. However, no pump was ever installed. Instead, students and staff use a bucket tied to rope to access the water. The small students sure spend a lot of energy pulling the full container all the way back up! It is also very dangerous for such small children to be around such a large opening; there is the risk that they will fall inside.

This unprotected well is used for all the school’s needs: water for cleaning the classroom, cooking meals for staff and students, and drinking. Before the well was dug, students always had to fetch water from an unprotected spring located one kilometer away from the school. But even now, girls are still asked to travel to the spring to fetch water when the well runs dry. Three girls from grade eight say they got pregnant as a result of being asked to go to the spring. In order to avoid this dangerous walk, some students choose to carry water from home in their own jerrycan. Since all of these water sources are unprotected, there have been cases of many communicable diseases like typhoid and diarrhea.

Sanitation Situation

The school only has a total of thirteen pit latrine for their huge population. Five doors are for boys, six for girls, and an extra urinary pit for boys that is dirty and dilapidated.

There were 12 other pit latrines that have since been rendered unusable. The teachers have a door for each gender. This shortage of latrines causes huge lines, especially among the female students. There is an average of 129 girls per one door; imagine the lines! Some of these girls can’t wait in such a line, and are forced to relieve themselves behind school buildings.

In fact, the entire school is old and nearly all the classrooms need to be rebuilt. The school doesn’t have enough chairs or desks for all the students, so many sit on the floor. The head teacher confessed that, “I am even afraid that classroom may collapse during the lessons because of the cracks on the walls of the old buildings.”

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training and Hand-Washing Stations

Students and staff will be trained over three days using Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Training (PHAST), Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), and Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) methods. Training will include group discussions, lectures, presentations, handouts, a transect walk, and demonstrations.

Based on the initial survey conducted at the school, topics covered will include but not be limited to preventing communicable disease, properly handling water and treatment before drinking, and how to properly operate and maintain the new water and sanitation facilities.

Two hand-washing stations will also be delivered to the school so that students can practice what they learned during training. The training facilitator will demonstrate how to properly wash hands, and then students will have a chance to practice in groups. These hand-washing stations come in the form of two 60-liter containers fitted with a tap. The CTC club that was formed during training will be responsible for filling the hand-washing containers on a daily basis.

Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank

A 30,000-liter rainwater catchment tank will be constructed on school grounds. Teachers, students, and parents will gather the materials needed for this project, including sand, ballast, bricks, and hardcore. This contribution will fuel a sense of responsibility for the school and community to take care of their new facilities. Once materials are mobilized, the WEWASAFO team will arrive to lead the construction effort.

Plans: VIP Latrines

Two triple-door latrines will be constructed, providing three new latrines for each gender. Latrine materials will be mobilized the same way as the tank, ensuring the school feels these facilities are truly theirs.

School administration and parents are positive that with these facilities, their students’ academic performance will improve. More importantly, they know having enough water on school grounds will protect vulnerable girls.

Project Updates


12/20/2017: A Year Later: Ewamakhumbi Primary School

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


The Water Project : 4618_yar_1


Project Photos


Project Type

Rainwater Catchment

Rainwater is collected off strategic areas of a roof, enters a custom guttering system (which filters out debris) and leads to a storage tank. Tanks can vary in sizes and are determined by population and average rainfall patterns. Water can be stored for months, is easily treated in the tank, and is accessible through taps. These projects are implemented at schools with proper roof lines and gutter systems to make them successful.


A Year Later: Ewamakhumbi Primary School

December, 2017

The population of the school has increased from 1,161 to 1,400 because of the facilities that were constructed in the school. Sanitation has also improved.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Ewamakhumbi 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!

Give Monthly

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater catchment tank and latrines for the Ewamakhumbi Primary School in Western Kenya. Because of these gifts and the contributions of our monthly donors, partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with schools and communities, and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from our partner, Betty Muhongo Majani, 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 Ewamakhumbi because of the potential that can be unlocked for both students and staff when clean water and sanitation is available.

The installation of the rainwater harvesting tank and the latrines has helped the Ewamakhumbi school to flourish, growing from 1,161 students to 1,400 students.  The responsibility of fetching water is primarily the responsibility of women and children in Western Kenya, and because of this it is often the women and children that benefit most directly from clean water access.  This has been the experience at Ewamakhumbi Primary School, as more and more students have access to education here!

However, one of the greatest signs of long-term sustainable health benefit can be seen through the behavior changes. Betty Muhongo Majani, a field officer for WEWASAFO, reports, “When we entered the school, we were able to see a number of children washing their hands after visiting the toilets and that clearly indicated that they took seriously what the learned during the Child To Child (hygiene) training. The school compound and the classrooms were also very clean showing the great impact that the water project has had to the school.” The improved school and compound cleanliness and the handwashing practices are signs of a team effort among the students, teachers, school administration, and WEWASAFO training staff.

Robert Odembo is the headteacher at Ewamakhumbi Primary School, and he believes that the increase of students at the school is because of the improved water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities. The growth accentuates not only the value for implementing water projects in schools, but also the ongoing need for commitment and investment in current and future projects in this area.

Celestine and a classmate at their water tank.

Celestine Juma, age 13, shares the direct impact that the water project at Ewamakhumbi has had on her life.  She says, “I have time to do my school work because the tank has given me enough water. I no longer go to the spring. The hand washing facility has really helped us to maintain our personal hygiene since everyone knows that he or she should wash hands after visiting latrine.” Clean water and hygiene training will impact Celestine and her classmates for years to come!


The investment in this water project has ripple effects throughout the lives of the students at Ewamakhumbi Primary Schools that extend to their families and into the larger community. We are excited to stay in touch with this school and to report the impact as they continue on their journey with clean water.

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.


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 Ewamakhumbi 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 Ewamakhumbi 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!

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