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The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  A Student Fetches Water
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Elizabeth Koome And Principal Rocken Ilahalwa Pose At The Tank
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Elizabeth Koome And Principal Rocken Ilahalwa
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Elizabeth Koome
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Reliable Water
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Finished Latrines
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Finished Latrines
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Finished Latrines
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Finished Latrines
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Finished Latrines
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Finished Tank
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Finished Tank
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Finished Tank
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Finished Tank
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Finished Tank
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Finished Tank
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Finished Tank
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Finished Tank
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Finished Tank
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Finished Tank
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Finished Tank
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Finished Tank
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Construction
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Construction
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Construction
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Construction
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Construction
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Construction
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Construction
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Construction
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Construction
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Construction
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Construction
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Construction
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Construction
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Construction
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Construction
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Construction
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Construction
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Latrine Pit
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Construction
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Construction
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Tank Foundation
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Setting Tank Foundation
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Training
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Training
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Training
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Training
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Training
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Training
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Training
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Training
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Training
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Training
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Gathering Materials
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Garbage Pit
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Only Two Latrines
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Coming From The Two Latrines
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Staff Receiving Water
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Students With Their Containers
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Fetching Water From The Primary Section
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Principal With His Truck
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Principal Bumira
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Students Pose In Front Of New Classrooms
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Students
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Classroom
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Classroom
The Water Project: Bumira Secondary School -  Classrooms

Project Status



Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 242 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 10/09/2019

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

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!

Project Updates


11/13/2018: A Year Later: Bumira Secondary School

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to construct a rainwater catchment tank for Bumira Secondary School in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories. Read more…


The Water Project : kenya4645-reliable-water


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: Bumira Secondary School

November, 2018

The school has improved and that is thanks to increased access to safe drinking water, toilets, sanitation knowledge, and handwashing facilities provided by the project.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Bumira Secondary 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, your generous donation enabled us to construct a rainwater catchment tank for Bumira Secondary School in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – and we’re excited to share this one from local team member Karen Maruti with you.


Since the project’s implementation, there have been immense changes within Bumira Secondary School. As you enter the gate, you are greeted with a tidy compound and classrooms. The smiling faces of the learners also say it all.

A student fetches water

The project has not only improved their health but now they have enough time to study. All this change is attributed to increased access to safe drinking water, toilets, sanitation knowledge, and handwashing facilities provided by the project.

Construction of the tank is only one step along the journey toward sustainable access to clean water. The Water Project is committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by donors like you, allows us to maintain our relationships with communities by visiting up to 4 times each year to ensure that the water points are safe and reliable.

This is just one of the many ways that we monitor projects and communicate with you. Additionally, you can always check the functionality status and our project map to see how all of our water points are performing, based on our consistent monitoring data.

One project is just a drop in the bucket towards ending the global water crisis, but the ripple effects of this project are truly astounding. This tank in Bumira Secondary School is changing many lives.

We spoke with Principal Rocken Ilahalwa and 15-year-old student Elizabeth Koome during a recent visit to the school. They described the ways that the school has improved over the past year.

Elizabeth Koome

“I am so amazed about this project and how it has made it so easy to clean our classrooms and toilets,” Elizabeth said.

“We had no water in the past and this precious commodity that was so hard to get was seen as too important to be wasted on washing hands. Now, we can wash our hands after using our new latrines.”

The school population grew from 222 students at the time of the project’s completion to more than 300 today. Principal Ilahalwa attributes the project to this growth. The school’s image in the community has vastly improved, he said. It also helps that students spend less time fetching water.

“Initially we had no source of water and students used to be sent to the stream to get water,” he told us.

Elizabeth Koome and Principal Rocken Ilahalwa

“It was contaminated, resulting in outbreaks of diarrheal diseases and students wasted a lot of time in the process. Now with the project, we have enough water to clean up, students are healthier, and they no longer waste time fetching water.”

This is only possible because of the web of support and trust built between The Water Project, our local teams, the community, and you. We are excited to stay in touch with this community and support their journey with safe water.

Read more about The Water Promise 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 Bumira Secondary 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 Bumira Secondary 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!

Give Monthly