Lusengeli Secondary School

Regional Program:
Western Kenya WaSH Program

Latitude 0.11
Longitude 34.81

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

Lusengeli Secondary School is a day school located in Lusengeli Village, Wodanga location, Sabatia Sub-County along Chavakali-Kapsabet Highway in Vihiga County. The school has a total population of 867 people comprised of 815 students, 36 teaching staff and 16 support staff. The student population is made up of 452 boys and 363 girls. (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.)

The institution is not only a giant academic performer among the neighboring schools, but also does well in co-curriculum activities such as the “student science congress,” and the engineering fair. Participants in the engineering fair sometimes make it to the national level! Many of the students at Lusengeli are orphaned, their parents having died from HIV/AIDS. They now live with their grandparents, and are proof of perseverance through trial.

A normal day for a Lusengeli students starts at 7am and stretches to 5pm when class is dismissed.

The inhabitants of Lusengeli Community are primarily peasant farmers who grow maize and tea at a small scale. Lusengeli is special because it even has its own school farm to help provide for the school lunch feeding program.

One of the teachers at Lusengeli Secondary heard about WEWASAFO and decided to send in an application for a water and sanitation project. Upon receipt of this application, we sent out a team to conduct a survey on school conditions.

Water Situation

The school has one 10,000-liter tank that can hardly meet the needs of such a huge population. To illustrate this, we even found students fetching water from the tank’s manhole since there were too many students waiting to use the tap. When the tank is emptied, the school has to spend money to chlorinate water from a nearby stream. Students are often sent there to fetch water used for cleaning the classrooms, which of course doesn’t have to be chlorinated. It’s best to save the tank’s water for drinking only.

The school needs to have enough water of its own so students are no longer sent to the spring. Frequent trips to the spring waste valuable class and study time, and subject students to danger. Plus, the unprotected stream’s water is contaminated and dangerous for consumption even after treatment.

Sanitation Situation

The school has a total of 22 latrine doors; eight for boys, nine for girls, and five serving the teaching staff. However, some of these latrines are too full to use. They are dirty, smelly, and many can’t be locked from the inside. Considering these conditions, only 12 latrines can really be used. “One of the reoccurring challenges we’ve been having,” said the deputy principal, “is the poor soil structure that latrines are built on. We hope that one day we will be able to construct pour flush modern latrines that are both long-lasting and save on space.” Because of poor latrine conditions, open defecation seems to be an issue on school grounds. Students cannot wait in line or are deterred by the odor, and instead find a private place in the bushes or behind school buildings. The school has a neat, clean kitchen with a dish rack nearby. Nevertheless, the condition of the school compost pit was pathetic; it was unkempt, dirty and disorganized with trash everywhere! There are no hand-washing stations, so hands are not clean after using the latrines and before eating.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training and Hand-Washing Stations

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, such as hand-washing stations, and make sure they are kept clean and in working condition. The two hand-washing stations will be delivered 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.

Plans: VIP Latrines

Two triple-door latrines will be constructed with local materials that the school will help gather. Normally, we designate three doors for each gender. Lusengeli needs all six doors to serve the boys, though, since the boys’ latrines recently collapsed due to soft, shifting soil.

Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank

A 30,000-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 only. Students will no longer have to leave their school in search of water!

Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

12/16/2017: A Year Later: Lusengeli Secondary School

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater catchment system and latrines for Lusengeli Secondary School in Western Kenya. Because of these gifts and contributions from our monthly donors, partners can visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with 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, Janet Kayi, with you.

The Water Project : 4621_yar_3

11/28/2016: Lusengeli Secondary School Project Complete

We are very excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, the students and staff of Lusengeli Secondary 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

The first hygiene and sanitation training session was held in the school dining hall, since it was the only room free at the time. The students requested that the following sessions be held in the WEWASAFO office so that they could meet the rest of the staff and get a glimpse of other water, sanitation, and hygiene projects in the area. Students were very inquisitive and took advantage of their time with staff!

The deputy principal selected two students from each grade, one boy and one girl. The students selected for training were already established leaders in the classroom and members of the CTC (child to child) club. School board management and two teachers also attended the training, totaling 25 training participants each day.

6 kenya4621 training

Some of the topics included but were not limited to:

– Water pollution

– Personal and environmental hygiene

– Operation and maintenance of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities

– Forming a healthy CTC club

– Hand-washing

Proper hand-washing with clean water and soap reduces the chance of diarrheal disease by 80%. We teach ten important steps for thorough, effective hand-washing. The majority of students acknowledged the importance of hand-washing and promised to practice them before and after eating, after using the latrine, and at all other critical times. However, a few students complained that ten steps are far too cumbersome when food is set on the table or when there is a long line at the hand-washing station. Either way, we encouraged them to do as much as they could manage.

3 kenya4621 training

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 students 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.

The students promised to teach what they learned to their peers. Lusengeli Secondary School also visited Shieywe Secondary School to share experiences and ideas with the CTC club there. As a result of this exchange program, there has been a steady increase in the number of club members at Lusengeli Secondary. Students from the two institutions discussed what had been taught in CTC training and shared new ideas for generating income to maintain the facilities in their respective schools. They were able to challenge one another to maintain high standards of hygiene, maintain the sanitation facilities constructed in their schools, and also to work hard in class and excel academically. The students proceeded to Bweseletse Spring where they interacted with the community and learned about the spring protection project there.

Mrs. Purity Mengesa is one of the teachers at Lusengeli who attended the training sessions. “This is one of the best enlightening moments that has come our way this year so far. We have witnessed many malfunctioning water tanks in other schools, but through this training we have been thoroughly empowered to avoid that fate. The session has been very educative where both parents and students, male and female participants had an equal platform to learn from each other on matters pertaining to hygiene and sanitation,” she said. Mrs. Mengesa is one of many grateful participants!

5 kenya4621 training

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 could no longer be used. The school principal said that before, “teachers would have to wait for quite some time for students to get back from short breaks because they had to wait on long queues to ease themselves.”

19 kenya4621 finished project

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.

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction for this 30,000-liter rainwater catchment tank began on July 20th.

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.

8 kenya4621 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.

When the long-awaited project was finally finished, people gathered around the board of management chairperson for the handing over ceremony. The occasion was joyful and lively, with the school music team presenting a song of gratefulness. This was a timely intervention for over 800 students, some who have made a ten-kilometer trek to school their daily routine. Now these students will not only receive their right to education, but their right to clean water as well.

27 kenya4621 finished project

Ruth is a form two student who was touched by this project. She had a lot to say:

“In a male-dominated community like ours, girls and women suffer a lot of discouragement because our daily routine has to start in the early hours of the day, around 4AM for a school girl like me. I must be able to do the house chores and start the long journey walk to Lusengeli Secondary School, while secretly praying no harm befalls me. It has alway been a repetitive plight of being sent to look for water to do cleaning with. But thanks to you for the 30,000-liter rainwater tank that has lifted a great weight off our shoulders…”

A tremendous change has been witnessed in a very short time, and the teachers feel that an improvement in national examination scores is to come. Teacher Nelson Ligaga said “Our students used to waste a lot of time outside the school, looking for water every Friday. Now I believe that maximum time will be utilized in classwork to improve on performance, since even a minute wasted can lead to great loss.”


The Water Project : 26-kenya4621-finished-project

09/26/2016: Lusengeli Secondary School Project Underway

We are excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, Lusengeli Secondary 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 Lusengeli Secondary School!

The Water Project : 2-kenya4621-classroom

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment
Location:  Vihiga, Lusengeli
ProjectID: 4621
Install Date:  11/28/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 02/19/2018

Visit History:
11/16/2016 — Functional
02/10/2017 — Functional
05/30/2017 — Functional
07/22/2017 — Functional
02/19/2018 — Functional

A Year Later: Lusengeli Secondary School

November, 2017

The school community is very appreciative, concerned and mindful of their water project. The CTC clubbers are so active and determined to see that the project leaves a permanent positive mark in their lives and for those coming after them.

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater catchment system and latrines for Lusengeli Secondary School in Western Kenya. Because of these gifts and contributions from our monthly donors, partners can visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with 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, Janet Kayi, with you.

Students have improved in their academic performance. The positive change is attributed to the time saved during lunch hours because they easily get water from the water tank situated near the dining hall.

School principal Mageso Mathews Idagiza shared how the rainwater catchment system has impacted the school since it was installed one year ago. “There has been revived interest among students to give their best in academics. Students do feel loved, cared for and appreciated when they see people sacrifice to put up new sanitation facilities for their sake and general well-being in the school. As a result, the school enrollment has gone a notch high, by 100 new students, due to the improved water and sanitation status in the school.”

“The improvement in population has also put a lot of pressure on the water and sanitation facilities that are currently available. For example, water in the tank gets depleted so fast due to the direct dependence of the water by the students to meet all their daily needs.”

Evance Businya, a 17-year-old student at the school shares how this water project has inspired him in his daily life. “The coming of the project and its successful implementation helped me to find my life bearing to a great deal. The health and hygiene messages provided during the CTC workshop inspired us to view health more holistically and responsibly. The water tank plus the latrines also boosted our self-esteem because we have been made comfortable to give our best attention to class work because we now don’t have to worry about water for use in school. For example, we wash our utensils and our hands anytime when need be.”

The school community is very appreciative, concerned and mindful of their water project. The CTC clubbers are so active and determined to see that the project leaves a permanent positive mark in their lives and for those coming after them. The school administration is also willing to chip in to do repair works for the boys’ latrine so that the current congestion on the remaining latrine doors can be addressed with speed. The girls still need improved sanitation facilities to ease the congestion due to increased students’ population. We will continue to provide health and hygiene information to help girls and boys maintain high standards of hygiene in their latrines.

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.


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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.