Khumuseno Primary School

Regional Program:
Western Kenya WaSH Program

Latitude 0.01
Longitude 34.56

444 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

Khumuseno Primary School was founded in the year 2008 by community members who fundraised for the land where the school is now built. The school is located in Khumuseno Village, Mwitako sub-location, Mukhalakhala location, Mwibona Ward, Luanda Sub-County of Vihiga County. The school has a population of 203 boys, 230 girls, three male teachers and six female teachers. The school also employs one cook and one security guard.

This is an impoverished yet growing school, since many local parents view their children’s education as a chance to lift them out of poverty. The school has a lot of land, but not enough classrooms for its high enrollment. Since they are poor, they don’t have the finances needed to build additional classrooms. The head teacher says, “The pupils congest in classes making many of them not fully getting the required attention from the teachers, especially low achievers. Also, due to this issue, quick spread of airborne diseases like the flu and tuberculosis is rampant.”

A normal day has students waking up by 6am to walk to school, carrying water in a five-liter jerrycan with which to clean their classrooms. After cleaning, they start with morning exercises for a half hour until teachers call them in for lessons. The lessons begin exactly at 8am and go to 10am. They get a short break to use the latrines and then return for lessons until lunch. Lunch is one hour until the lessons begin again at 2pm. Class is out at 3:45pm, when students get to play games and sports together until they wait for a 5pm release.

Water Situation

There is no source of water on the school campus. Since students carry water from several different locations, it’s hard to determine whether or not it is safe for consumption. The water brought from home is normally used for cleaning first, anyways. When that water is used up, teachers send students out to fetch more water. There are two sources students resort to: a nearby river that flows by a local university, or a protected spring that is over one kilometer away. Since the nearby river flows through so much activity, both solid and liquid waste has been observed in its waters. Students often prefer to walk a shorter distance to get water, but that water often causes them to suffer from typhoid and cholera. When their health suffers, academic performance suffers. If a student opts to fetch water from the faraway source, they sacrifice more of their study time, which also negatively impacts school performance!

Sanitation Situation

The school has eight doors of pit latrines: two for teachers and support staff, three for boys and three for girls. This does not meet the UNICEF recommendation of one door for every 30 boys and one for every 25 girls. Pupils have to form long lines during their breaks to wait, while others, especially the girls, end up abandoning the line and relieving themselves outside those latrines. Khumuseno Primary School needs extra pit latrines to serve their large student population.

The school compound is filthy with no clear waste disposal system, a clear sign that training on hygiene and sanitation will be very helpful for them. Furthermore, the headteacher welcomed our project and agreed to mobilize parents to help gather local materials like sand and rock to construct new latrines and the rainwater catchment tank. This institution is also in desperate need of hand-washing facilities so that students can wash their hands after using the latrine. Everybody runs straight from the latrine back to class! The two hand-washing stations we plan to deliver will be of good use.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Parents, teachers, and students will be trained through two days of sessions on hygiene and sanitation.

This training is meant to equip participants with the skills needed to practice good hygiene, and to promote these practices among peers and the greater community. The end goal is to eliminate water and hygiene-related diseases!

The facilitator plans to use PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Training), CTC (child to child), discussions, lectures, and demonstrations to teach topics including but not limited to disease transmission, hand-washing, and water treatment. The CTC method will prepare students to lead other students into healthy habits, as well as kickstart a CTC club for the school.

Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank

A 30,000-liter rainwater catchment tank will be constructed on school grounds. Teachers, students, and parents will gather the local 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.

New latrines will reduce the waiting time that is a huge strain on the large student body and thus reduce the rate of open defecation.

Plans: Hand-Washing Stations

Two hand-washing stations will be delivered to the school. These come in the form of two 60-liter containers fitted with a tap. Students will be taught how to properly wash hands, and each student will have a chance to practice in groups. The CTC club will be responsible for filling the hand-washing containers on a daily basis.

The actions described above will give students an environment that is conducive to learning. This is an opportunity they deserve!

Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

12/19/2017: A Year Later: Khumuseno Primary School

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater catchment system and latrines for Khumuseno Primary 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, Wilson Kipchoge, with you.

The Water Project : 4623_yar_4

12/19/2016: Khumuseno Primary School Project Complete

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

The entire hygiene and sanitation training was held in a classroom, organized through the help of the Khumuseno headteacher, Mr. Joanes. He selected students from grades four and five, along with two teachers and two parents who are natural leaders among their peers. All of these training participants are expected to spearhead hygiene and sanitation in their community. We ended up having a total of 11 people who actively participated in each session.

1 kenya4623 training

We taught an entire lesson on management and maintenance of the new tank and latrine facilities. Regular checking and cleaning of the gutter system is a must! It’s also important to treat the water while it is still in the tank. We also 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.

3 kenya4623 training

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.

We visited this school a couple weeks after training to check if this knowledge has been applied. We found the school compound clean, latrines clean, and observed students washing their hands after using the bathroom.

Emanuel Omatela is an 11-year-old student at Khumuseno Primary. He participated in training and is now a member of the CTC club. He was so grateful for all he learned and received through this project, saying “We thank God for blessing this community with a water tank and sanitation facilities. We are very happy to have learned much about aspects of sanitation and hygiene, for they are key to ensuring a healthy community. Just like you have empowered us, we too will share these health messages with other stakeholders in development such as our fellow pupils, parents, and friends.”

7 kenya4623 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. Now the school has the stations they need, and they have the water to fill them!

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 supplement the few the school already had.

19 kenya4623 finished latrines

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction for this 30,000-liter rainwater catchment tank began on July 21st.

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 two weeks. Once dry, we could remove the supportive beams and then install the gutter system.

10 kenya4623 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.

Mrs. Ann Mmbone has been an early childhood development teacher at Khumuseno Primary for a while now. As she watched the rainwater catchment tank and latrines being built, she said she found it hard to believe what she was seeing. “Many times a day I would pray for God to protect the pupils from getting waterborne diseases. But I thank God for speaking to you to reach the forgotten; thank you for putting hope on the faces of our pupils,” she tearfully expressed.

21 kenya4623 finished tank

“With this new source of safe water, we rest assured that our greatest challenge has been dealt with,” said Headteacher Joanes. “We have never had any safe source of water, but depended always on water brought by pupils from their homes. Previously, students would crowd themselves at the latrines as each tried to get in first so as to use the facility. But now I can say that things have taken a totally different direction! This project will be able to send a signal to our leaders that water and sanitation is a concern for all and should be taken more seriously.”

Khumuseno Primary School was one of the many schools in Kenya issued with a warning: Either improve the situation, or we will be forced to shut you down. With your help, this outcome has been avoided! Thanks to clean water and new latrines, these students will continue to receive the education that they need.

The Water Project : 16-kenya4623-finished-tank

11/29/2016: Khumuseno Primary School Project Underway

We are excited to share that project implementation at Khumuseno Primary School in Kenya has begun. Our artisans arrived to work on a 30,000-liter rainwater catchment tank and six new latrines. Teachers and students are also being trained on good health, hygiene and sanitation practices and will form a school health club to promote what they learned. After students have learned how to wash their hands, two hand-washing stations will be delivered to school grounds. We will update you when we hear more about how these activities are progressing!

Thank You for your generosity that makes clean water at Khumuseno Primary School a reality for students and staff.

The Water Project : 2-kenya4623-students

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment
Location:  Kenya, Vihiga, Ebwiranyi
ProjectID: 4623
Install Date:  12/19/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 02/27/2018

Visit History:
11/16/2016 — Functional
03/01/2017 — Functional
05/29/2017 — Functional
07/29/2017 — Functional
02/27/2018 — Functional

A Year Later: Khumeseno Primary School

November, 2017

The available safe, clean water from the tank is being utilized properly by the school. They are careful never to waste even a drop as they know the pain of lack of water like their previous state. The compound is becoming greener each passing day due to daily watering of flowers and young trees planted by the pupils.

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater catchment system and latrines for Khumuseno Primary 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, Wilson Kipchoge, with you.

The students and staff are now using safe, clean water from the tank on the school compound unlike the previous situation where the pupils were forced to carry water daily which is a burden.

Head teacher Pauline Komba shared how things have changed since the rainwater tank was completed last year. “Since last year, we have been able to have our own water with us here at school. The water tank has greatly helped us in terms of time management and accessing safe water for drinking, cooking and general cleaning. The new latrines have eased congestion and mix up during break times as the previous latrines were shared where the boys could use rear doors while the girls use front doors.”

“I enjoy drinking safe water from the tank unlike before when I used to drink contaminated water from our home,” shares 11-year-old Emmanuel Omatela. “I spend many hours of my time studying which used to be wasted going to the river. Academically, my performance is going up because the new latrines are reducing congestion.”

The available safe, clean water from the tank is being utilized properly by the school. They are careful never to waste even a drop as they know the pain of lack of water like their previous state. The compound is becoming greener each passing day due to daily watering of flowers and young trees planted by the pupils.

Treatment of water should always be closely monitored to ensure that no room is left for any issue relating to water may arise and thus maintain the security of water. Regular monitoring and evaluation by the staff will help in identifying any problem relating to the water project and recommend intervention.

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.