Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 325 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/05/2024

Project Features

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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

The normal day differs depending on who you are. For example, Mr. Lawrence Obege, the headteacher of Lwangele Primary spends much of his day enduring the noise coming from class one kids whose classroom is home to his office. He says that each day he looks forward to attending to the needs of visitors, parents and pupils. He also likes to teach at least one lesson a day.

The pupils spend time in class, play during break times, and fetch water from the stream in Lwangele. Most parents are peasant farmers, planting maize which barely provides the twenty Kenyan shillings to pay education fees.

Water Situation

There is no water source on school grounds. These small students are sent out to fetch water from a stream in Lwangele. This stream's water is open to contamination from many different sources. Community members even bathe in this water!

Students bring their small plastic containers back to school and pour them in the LifeStraw dispensers they have. Some of these are filled with water intended for drinking, while others are used as hand-washing stations. The health teacher in charge of the LifeStraw gadgets says that most children have reported stomachaches time and again after they drink water from these.  The teacher says that the filters are obviously failing, and her students are just drinking raw contaminated water from the stream.

Sanitation Situation

The community is experiencing sanitation issues because of a shortages of facilities. Open defecation is a reality here. Only 40% of the households surrounding Lwangele Primary School have latrines! The rest must seek the privacy found behind bushes and buildings.

There are latrines at the school, but they are in a terrible state. The pits are so full that one can barely squat to use them.

These conditions only describe a small portion of the poverty ravaging this community, which is also plagued with serious cases of jiggers. These painful parasites are spread among school students because of poor sanitation and hygiene standards.

Deputy Headteacher Ogudah Edward told us the "majority of the pupils are infested with jiggers, but due to low self esteem and fear of being stigmatized, they are ready to open up and share their story. A neighbor to the school, Mrs. Beatrice Lumadi, is handling a case of her grandchild, Ian, who has been rendered immobile because of jiggers infestation and associated opportunistic diseases such as malnutrition. A majority of the villagers also fall victim of water shortages, they draw their drinking water from Lwangele stream and use it, sometimes without any form of treatment nor boiling it."

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.

(Editor's Note: We're happy to share that government support will allow our partner to treat the cases of jiggers ravaging Lwangele Primary School, too!)

Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank

A 50,000-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.

This water will be treated with chlorine and rock alum as the tank fills during the rainy season. With adequate clean water, the school will have enough water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and hand-washing. Most importantly, students will no longer be sent to the stream to fetch water throughout the day! This time will be devoted to studies.

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.

School administration and parents are positive that with these new facilities and training, their students’ academic performance will improve. Students will be healthy and empowered to focus on what’s important!

Project Updates

October, 2018: A Year Later: Lwangele Primary School

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater catchment tank for students at Lwangele Primary School. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow 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...

October, 2017: Lwangele Primary School Project Complete

Lwangele Primary 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 students have received training in sanitation and hygiene. Just imagine the difference these resources will make in the lives of these children!

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

Our hygiene and sanitation officers worked with Headteacher Lawrence Obese to recruit students, teachers, and parents to attend two days of sessions. 22 of us met in the standard six classroom, and were grateful for the space because it was drizzling outside.

2 kenya4662 training

Students participated well in all of our activities. 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

4 kenya4662 students trying the hand-washing station during training

Demonstrations were used for hand-washing, tooth-brushing, solar disinfection, and many other topics. We facilitated group discussions and presentations, and students took part in role-plays. The students also received handouts which will help them teach hygiene and sanitation to their peers.

1 kenya4662 Field Officer Jacky Khalemesi

The CTC 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 managing hand-washing stations, cleaning latrines, and keeping the school environment tidy. A water user committee has also been formed by parents and school administration, which will be responsible for overseeing and maintaining the new facilities.

Student Lee Liyengwa said, "Glory be to God for supporting Lwangele in fighting water and sanitation challenges through this workshop. We know that if we practice these aspects of personal and environmental hygiene, within no time, the jigger menace will be a thing of the past."

22 kenya4662 Lee Liyengwa

Lee Liyengwa

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. Members of the club also asked us how to improvise some more hand-washing stations of their own so that more students have the opportunity to wash their hands. Now the school has the stations they need, and they have the water to fill them!

20 kenya4662 finished latrines

High-5s for hand-washing stations! Just make sure you wash your hands after...

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!

19 kenya4662 finished latrines

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction for this 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank was successful!

Parents, staff, and students helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction. Students were particularly helpful with transporting stones from where they were piled across campus to the construction site. All the while, women cooked meals for the artisans, and the school provided accommodations for the artisans during their work.

Rainwater tank construction began with clearance of the site: excavating the soil within the required measurements to make level ground for the tank foundation. The foundation was cast by laying hardcore on a level ground and then reinforcing it using steel, concrete and waterproof cement.

6 kenya4662 building the tank foundation

Laying stones that will be part of the tank foundation.

As the foundation was being lain, both the drawing pipe as well as the washout pipe were affixed. The wall was built with ferro-cement techniques through six layers. The inner wall was plastered while rough casting was done on the outer part.

After the superstructure had been given enough time to settle, the dome construction followed. The manhole cover was fitted, inlet pipes were connected to the roof gutters, inlet screens, ventilation pipes (breathers) and overflow pipes were all done to standards.

Finally, the catchment area was dug, plastered, and a staircase installed. Drainage was set up there, and then the tank was allowed three to four weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Lwangele Primary School. It already has some water in it!

15 kenya4662 clean water

The only challenge was a short delay; our artisan got a call asking him to return home for a few days to attend to a sick family member.

Students and staff gathered together to celebrate the tank and latrines' completion. Mr. John Ovita, the chair of the school board said, "I am very happy with the tank, for it has provided a solution to the water shortages. May God bless you for making the process successful within a very short period of time!"

September, 2017: Finishing Touches at Lwangele Primary School

Dear Friends, since we have an estimated completion date of Friday, September 15 for the work being done at Lwangele, we better give you a progress update: Things are a bit behind because of a long summer break in Kenya this year. Work at the school is just about done, and we anticipate a final report in less than two weeks. This is great news! We hope that it will rain as soon as this rainwater catchment tank is finished.

Thank You for bringing clean water and sanitation to these students.

Project Photos

Project Type

For a rainwater collection system, we build gutters around a building with good, clean roofing to channel rain where we want it. From there, the water falls through a filtered inlet pipe into a high-capacity storage tank, the size of which is based on population and average rainfall patterns. In the tank, water can be stored for months, where it is easily treated and accessed. Learn more here!

A Year Later: Lwangele Primary School

October, 2018

Parents are spending less money on hospitals and medicines thanks to the tank, latrines, and handwashing stations installed last year.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Lwangele Primary 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!

A year ago, generous donors helped construct a rainwater catchment tank for Lwangele Primary School in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow 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 Lillian Achieng with you.

The project has brought cohesion between the community and the government since the local constituency stepped in with development funding to help acquire the local sand and stones needed during the construction of the tank and latrines.

"The facilities have given our school a facelift since it's a new school that still needs more infrastructure," senior teacher Karen Simasi said.

The change was also noted by 12-year-old student Lee Lwingwa.

Lee Lwingwa

"Our school also looks beautiful with the presence of this facilities," he said. "Our clean VIP latrines have helped us a lot since we don't have to wait to access one."

Lee and his fellow students have taken to the practice of handwashing, thanks to the provision of handwashing stations alongside their new latrines.

"By washing our hands with soap we have been able to reduce diseases caused by dirty hands," he added.

"We are also able to wash our classes, plates, toilets using this water. I personally have been able to concentrate in class without having to step out to fetch water for use in school. "

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.

A jerrycan being filled during our most recent monitoring survey.

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 Lwangele Primary School is changing many lives.

The parents of the pupils at this school have been able to save on the cost of taking their children to hospitals thanks to the reduction of waterborne diseases.

"The clean water has helped reduce coughing among the pupils. This was very common due to the water they used to drink that came from unknown different sources," Ms. Simasi said.

Karen Simasi

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 Lwangele Primary 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 Lwangele Primary 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.


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1 individual donor(s)