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The Water Project : 10-kenya4645-training
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The Water Project : 16-kenya4645-gathering-materials
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Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 242 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

Bumira Secondary School opened in 2011 when community members donated their land. The school now has a student enrollment made up of 101 boys and 121 girls. They employ 13 teachers, two cooks, three security guards, a secretary, and an accounts clerk.

The school borders two different constituencies, Sabatia and Hamisi. Student population is thus from two different tribes, the Maragoli and Tiriki. Fortunately, these two tribes are just two sub-tribes of the Luhiya. There is great cooperation between the two groups.

The school is still constructing more classrooms so as to accommodate other secondary students who are now forced to borrow classrooms from the primary section. Though the overall school has a relatively small compound, plans are underway to purchase more land for future expansion. “Form one and two student classes are located in the primary school, but soon will relocate to the new classes under construction sponsored by the government. This has made other students feel as though they are still in primary school rather than being in a high school, which lowers their ego,” said the principal. “We are in the process of putting up a multistory building that will have various rooms such as a laboratory, administration offices, library and store,” he excitedly shared.

A normal school day begins at 6AM when students wake up to get ready for study hall that begins at 7AM. There is school assembly at 8AM, when teachers make announcements before regular classes commence. Lunch is from 12:40PM to 1:30PM, and afternoon classes stretch until 4:15PM. Students are required to stay and participate in exercises and sports until 5PM when they are dismissed to return home.

Water Situation

Safe and clean water is nowhere to be found on secondary school grounds. Because they have no water source, students are required to carry water from home in the morning. Sometimes, they are allowed to walk to the primary section to borrow water. When that’s used up, students are sent to the nearest river, which happens to be about three kilometers away. Students must spend valuable time not in the classroom, but out fetching dirty water from that river. The principal admits that people bathe, wash clothes, and let animals drink straight from the river.

The school principal, Mr. Rocken Ilahalwa recounts times that he’s had to drive to a shopping area to buy water for his school, ferrying them back over the dusty roads.

When water arrives at school, there’s nowhere special to store it. Students keep the water they carried in the same container until it is used. After drinking this water, students and staff suffer from waterborne disease.

Sanitation Situation

The secondary section has only two pit latrines of their own, so they have to share with the primary section. The younger children are often forced to the back of the line by the older kids. The little ones often can’t stand the wait and rush behind the latrines to relieve themselves.

There are no hand-washing stations so that students can wash their hands after using the latrines, but they’re greatly desired.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Parents, teachers, and students will be trained for at least 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. After our initial assessment of conditions, our facilitator also plans to strongly emphasize the importance of having and using both latrine and hand-washing facilities. 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 50,000-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 (Which they’ve already started doing!). 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. Once construction wraps up, the tank will begin collecting valuable rainwater that we will disinfect with chlorine; water that is safe for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and everything else that students need! Students will no longer waste class time fetching water that often ends up being too dirty for drinking.

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. And with a rainwater catchment tank nearby, there will be enough water to keep them clean.

Plans: Hand-Washing Stations

Two hand-washing stations will be delivered to the school before training. These new stations come in the form of two 60-liter containers fitted with a tap. The training facilitator will demonstrate how to properly wash hands, and then students will have a chance to practice in groups. The CTC club will be responsible for filling the hand-washing containers on a daily basis and seeing that there’s enough cleaning agent. They will be able to follow through with this thanks to the water tank on school grounds!

The actions described above will give students an environment that is conducive to learning. It’ll free up so much time that was used going to and from the river. This is an opportunity students deserve!

Recent Project Updates

05/04/2017: Bumira Secondary School Project Complete

Bumira Secondary School in Kenya now has a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your generous donation. 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.

Project Result: New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was held in a church hall within the Bumira Secondary School’s compound. That venue was picked because it is big enough to fit teachers, students and parents.

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The school principal, Mr. Rocken Ilahalwa, was in charge of organizing the training as directed by the training officer. He was asked to select eight students from form one and two, two parents, and two teachers who would easily absorb the training content and then pass it on to the rest. Attendance was based on gender, giving priority to females so as to encourage them to boldly participate in health and hygiene promotion practices both in the school and community.

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, while demonstrations were used for hand-washing and tooth-brushing. We facilitated group discussions and presentations. The girls and boys also received handouts which will help them teach hygiene and sanitation to their peers.

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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.

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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! The CTC students even want to make their own hand-washing stations to give every student the opportunity to wash their hands.

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!

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction on this 50,0000-liter tank began in the end of March.

Parents, staff, and students first helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction. All the while, women cooked meals for the artisans who traveled to the construction site.

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Then, the location for the tank was decided on with the input 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. The school now has the opportunity to collect 50,000 liters of water!

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“Our school now looks more beautiful.. You have made us look like a school that is now admired by many to be associated with. This big water tank will help a lot in gapping the problem of water as experienced before, and make our students stay always in class and thus improve on their academic performance,” said Principal Ilahalwa.

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02/15/2017: Bumira Secondary School Project Underway

We are excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, Bumira 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! We’ll keep you posted as the work continues.

Check out the tabs above to learn more, and Thank You for caring for the thirsty!

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Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment
Location:  Vihiga, Hamisi, Shamakhokho, Jivovoli, Bumira
ProjectID: 4645
Install Date:  05/04/2017

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 07/29/2017

Visit History:
06/29/2017 — Functional
07/29/2017 — Functional

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.