Loading images...
The Water Project : 4618_yar_3
The Water Project : 4681_yar_2
The Water Project : 4618_yar_1
The Water Project : 27-kenya4618-finished-project
The Water Project : 26-kenya4618-finished-project
The Water Project : 25-kenya4618-finished-project
The Water Project : 24-kenya4618-finished-project
The Water Project : 23-kenya4618-finished-project
The Water Project : 28-kenya4618-finished-project
The Water Project : 22-kenya4618-finished-project
The Water Project : 21-kenya4618-finished-project
The Water Project : 20-kenya4618-finished-project
The Water Project : 19-kenya4618-finished-project
The Water Project : 18-kenya4618-finished-project
The Water Project : 17-kenya4618-construction
The Water Project : 16-kenya4618-construction
The Water Project : 15-kenya4618-construction
The Water Project : 14-kenya4618-construction
The Water Project : 13-kenya4618-construction
The Water Project : 12-kenya4618-construction
The Water Project : 11-kenya4618-construction
The Water Project : 10-kenya4618-construction
The Water Project : 9-kenya4618-construction
The Water Project : 8-kenya4618-cement-work
The Water Project : 7-kenya4618-cement-work
The Water Project : 6-kenya4618-training
The Water Project : 5-kenya4618-training
The Water Project : 4-kenya4618-training
The Water Project : 3-kenya4618-training
The Water Project : 2-kenya4618-training
The Water Project : 1-kenya4618-training
The Water Project : 14-kenya4618-hand-washing-station
The Water Project : 13-kenya4618-latrines
The Water Project : 12-kenya4618-latrines
The Water Project : 11-kenya4618-latrines
The Water Project : 10-kenya4618-bathing-room
The Water Project : 9-kenya4618-bathing-room
The Water Project : 8-kenya4618-current-water-source
The Water Project : 7-kenya4618-current-water-source
The Water Project : 6-kenya4618-current-water-source
The Water Project : 5-kenya4618-current-water-source
The Water Project : 4-kenya4618-students
The Water Project : 3-kenya4618-classroom
The Water Project : 2-kenya4618-classroom
The Water Project : 1-kenya4618-school-motto

Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  Installed

Functionality Status:  Functional

Community Profile & Stories

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.

Recent 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

11/28/2016: Ewamakhumbi Primary School Project Complete

We are very excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, the students and staff of Ewamakhumbi Primary School in Kenya have a new source of safe, clean water: A new rainwater catchment system has been built, and there are now six new latrines being used. Two hand-washing stations have been installed, and the entire student body has received training in sanitation and hygiene. Just imagine the difference these resources will make in the lives of these students!

You made it happen, now help keep the water flowing! Join our team of monthly donors and help us maintain this rainwater catchment tank 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

Hygiene and sanitation training was held in one of the school classrooms. With the help of the administration, we were able to organize the time, place and participants. We decided to train students from classes four, five, and six since they still have a good amount of time left in the school. We recruited four students from each class; three girls and one boy. We also invited one school board member and three teachers responsible for the CTC (child to child) health club at the school.

There were 17 participants total. Sessions were scheduled over three days. The students actively participated in each activity, asking and answering questions as they came up. We covered topics including but not limited to:

– Water pollution and water treatment

– Personal and environmental hygiene

– Group dynamics, leadership, and governance

– Forming an effective CTC (child to child) club

– Hand-washing

We used a number of different ways to teach the above topics. Demonstrations were used for hand-washing. We facilitated group discussions and presentations. The girls and boys also received handouts which will help them teach hygiene and sanitation to their peers.

The child to child club will include both students and teachers who want to take responsibility for spreading the message of good health and hygiene among their peers. They will also be responsible for taking care of the new hand-washing stations, making sure they are always filled with water and that a cleaning agent like soap or ash is available. A water user committee has also been formed by parents and school administration, which will be responsible for overseeing and maintaining the new facilities.

Mr. Wilson Shikanga is one of the teachers responsible for the CTC club. He couldn’t hide his joy when we spoke with him after training. “Your coming to this needy school is big blessing. By helping the children in this needy school, you are doing God’s work and it is not in vain,” said Mr. Shikanga.

2 kenya4618 training

Project Result: Hand-Washing Stations

The two hand-washing stations were delivered to school and handed over to the CTC club. They will teach other students how to properly wash their hands at these stations, and will make sure there is always soap or ash available.

26 kenya4618 finished project

Project Result: VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new VIP (ventilated improved pit) latrines. These latrines are easy to use and easy to clean. And with a rainwater catchment tank, there should be enough water to keep them clean all the time! These new latrines will replace the old ones that were no longer being used. Celestine Juma is a grade six girl who couldn’t hide her excitement. “These latrines have changed the face of the school, and children, especially the girls, are so excited! Girls will no longer spend a lot of time lining up to use the latrines,” she said.

27 kenya4618 finished project

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction on this 30,000-liter rainwater catchment tank began on August 15th.

First, the location was chosen with the collaboration of school leadership. We had to find a place that provided enough roof for a gutter system. We then cleared the ground, set and cast the foundational slab, built the five-inch-thick wall, built roofing, and installed the fittings such as delivery pipes, vent pipes, and screens. Finally, good drainage was ensured. Before the tank could begin collecting rainwater, we had it cure for three weeks. Once dry, we could remove supportive beams and then install the gutter system.

13 kenya4618 construction

Students, parents, and neighbors helped throughout the process. They provided accommodations for the tank artisans, and volunteered to help the artisans. They also collected all of the local materials like sand and ballast and delivered them to the site. However, we encountered a challenge with the mobilization of construction materials. The contractor who the school hired couldn’t navigate the rocky, bumpy roads. His vehicle had mechanical issues, so we had to find a new contractor to help transport heavy materials. This delayed our process by a few days.

7 kenya4618 cement work

Celestine was one of the students who attended training, and was so excited about the new tank on campus. “I have a chance to bring positive change to this school and community at large in terms of hygiene. These facilities will go a long way to improve our livelihood and human dignity. Pupils queueing at the hand-dug well to draw water is now a thing of the past, and we have no reasons to fail in our studies.”

The Water Project : 23-kenya4618-finished-project

09/15/2016: Ewamakhumbi Primary School Project Underway

We are excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, Ewamakhumbi Primary School in Kenya is building a new source of safe, clean water. A rainwater catchment tank and new latrines are being constructed, hand-washing stations provided, and the school is being trained on proper sanitation and hygiene practices. Imagine the impact this will have on these students! Thank you for noticing the need here, and we’ll keep you posted as the work continues.

Thank You for your care and generosity that unlocks potential at Ewamakhumbi Primary School!

The Water Project : 7-kenya4618-current-water-source

Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment
Location:  Kakamega, Ewamakhumbi
ProjectID: 4618
Install Date:  11/28/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 01/16/2018

Visit History:
11/07/2016 — Functional
12/17/2016 — Functional
02/10/2017 — Functional
05/26/2017 — Functional
07/05/2017 — Functional
08/02/2017 — Functional
01/16/2018 — Functional

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.

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.

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.