Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/11/2024

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

A normal day for students attending Lukala Primary School begins at 6:30am. Students are required to start their day by cleaning for an entire hour; this includes going to the spring to fetch water for those chores. Different classes fetch water for different uses: class four for washing latrines, class five for drinking, and class six for cooking.

Lukala Primary School is unique in that its student enrollment is growing very quickly while maintaining high academic performance. Its first Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exam was done in 2015, on which they earned a mean of 275. The school earned a mean of 295 on its second, a clear indicator that the school hosts a committed and hardworking group of people.

The current enrollment stands at 826 students. and there are 14 teachers and four supplementary staff in the school's employ. (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 community would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)

Water Situation

You will see a picture of a well here, but it was not drilled to an adequate depth to sustainably serve this school; it dried up soon after its installation. After further geological survey, we found that drilling deeper wouldn't even be a lasting solution to restore water at this well.

Without a water point on school grounds, students spend a lot of time walking to, waiting at, and returning from a spring. Each student carries a 10-liter plastic container that they're required to bring from home. Since Omina Spring is located in the surrounding community, the adults living there ask that the students wait at the back of the line until they are all finished. Because of dozens of families and hundreds of students all relying on this one spring, the lines are always long.

Though the water from Omina Spring is clean, there is a high chance of water contamination from the walk back to school to its larger storage container. Not only was a lot of time spent fetching water, but there is no guarantee of maintained safety up to the point of consumption. In fact, it is obvious the water is contaminated during transportation and storage because reports of waterborne diseases like typhoid and cholera are not uncommon.

The school has received some Life Straw water filter containers, but many students get thirsty on their way back from the spring and drink the water raw. Other students just don't understand the importance of filling their drinking cups at the Life Straw as opposed to any other container.

Sanitation Situation

There are six usable pit latrines on school grounds. The boys have two set aside for their use, and the urinal they had has collapsed. However, boys are still relieving themselves there because they cannot bear the long wait for the latrine. The girls have the leftover four latrines. That means there is only one latrine for 188 boys and one per 95 girls.

There are no hand-washing stations for students or staff for after they use these latrines! Garbage is disposed of in a pit dug behind the classrooms. When this gets too high, school staff burns the excess.

Teacher Clasina Wabuyabo told us, "The health situation of my school is not good, many of the pupils especially those from lower classes are reported frequent absenteeism due to diarrhea cases. I can conclude this is because of the water which is carelessly drawn from the spring and lack of skills and knowledge of washing hands thus leading to stomach problems."

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. Three doors will serve the girls while the other three serve the boys. And with a new source of water on school grounds, students and staff should have enough to keep these new latrines clean.

Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank

A 50,000-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 (students have already started helping). Once finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff. Students will no longer have to leave their school in search of water.

We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. These higher standards will translate to better academic performance! Lukala Primary School could become the best school in Etenje Ward.

Project Updates

December, 2018: A Year Later: Lukala Primary School

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to construct a rainwater tank for Lukala Primary 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...

January, 2018: Lukala Primary School Project Complete

Lukala 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 young 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

We informed the headteacher of the need for hygiene and sanitation training during our first visit. From there, the headteacher could recruit teachers and student leaders to attend. Since all of the classrooms were in use, the headteacher planned for desks to be moved outside for the training.

The students gathered outside under the shade of a tree for hygiene and sanitation training.

The students were eager to learn and promised to share new practices like hand-washing with their peers. Each participant is now a member of the newly formed CTC (child to child) club on campus, which is responsible for recruiting new members to be advocates of good hygiene and sanitation. Each member has promised to be a good role model as they demonstrate the new things they've learned on a daily basis.

We taught that hygiene entails personal hygiene, water hygiene, and environmental hygiene. Attention needs to be given to each facet of hygiene to enjoy a healthy life.

An entire lesson was 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

– Cleaning self and clean environment

– Group dynamics, leadership, and governance

– Forming an effective CTC (child to child) club

– Hand-washing

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.

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. And since the tank was finished by the time we held training, we could take everyone to see exactly what we were talking about when it comes to caring for their new water source.

Students learning how to fetch their clean water in a responsible, efficient way.

Headteacher Najoli said, "Thank you for imparting greater knowledge to us. We have learned useful information which indeed is important to us as a school. We will disseminate this information to the rest of our members who didn't have the opportunity to attend."

Project Result: VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new VIP (ventilated improved pit) latrines. All of these latrines are easy to use and clean. And with a rainwater catchment tank, there should be enough water to keep them clean all the time!

The boys learning about their new latrines and how to clean them thoroughly.

Project Result: Hand-Washing Stations

The two hand-washing stations were delivered to school and handed over to the CTC club. These have been placed outside of boys’ and girls’ latrines to encourage hand-washing after latrine use. CTC club members 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.

Students gathered around to see how their teacher washes his hands.

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

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

The process officially began with our staff and school administration moving around the school compound to try and determine the best location for a new rainwater catchment tank. This needed to be the best site with good, clean roofing to catch the rainwater.

Parents, staff, and students helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction. All the while, women cooked meals for the artisans, and the school provided accommodations for the artisans during their work. Some local men and women even helped our artisans with their manual labor.

Collecting the supplementary construction materials needed presented the only challenge; we needed water to mix concrete, but the volunteers couldn't keep up with the demand. The headteacher ended up volunteering his car to go back and forth to the river to get enough water.

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.

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. The catchment area was dug, plastered, and a staircase installed.

The pillar in the center supports the dome.

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.

Drainage was set up, and then the tank was given three to four weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Lukala Primary School. It already has some water in it!

Mrs. Ebby Atsiaya is a parent of a student attending Lukala. She was so happy about the presence of clean water there. She said, "This school has had a major issue to do with water and sanitation facilities. Our pupils have been wasting much time fetching water from far distances, and this has had a huge impact on their studies. With the implementation of this project, our pupils will have a conducive environment for their studies and I believe their performance will improve."

November, 2017: Short Delay at Lukala Primary School

We've received an update from the field letting us know that there's a few months' delay at Lukala Primary School. Staff couldn't start their work because of a short school vacation. Tank and latrine construction started just this month, after which the trainer will hold management and maintenance sessions with students, staff, and parents.

The completion date has been moved back by a month to allow time for collection information and pictures from the project. Thank You for standing with us as we bring clean water to Lukala Primary School!

August, 2017: Lukala Primary School Project Underway

Lukala Primary School will soon have an adequate source of water thanks to your generous donation! 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. But for now, check out the pictures, information, and maps of this school that we've added to this project page.

Thank You for partnering with us to unlock these students’ potential.

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: Lukala Primary School

December, 2018

“My life in this school has really changed since you installed the facilities,” said Columba Murono.

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Lukala Primary School 2.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Lukala Primary School 2 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, your generous donation enabled us to construct a rainwater tank for Lukala Primary 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 Jemmimah Khasoha with you.

Life for the pupils of Lukala Primary School has greatly improved, along with their academic performance. This is all thanks to the successful water project implemented in the school a year ago. It has saved students time that was previously spent searching for water. They now concentrate more on classwork.

The students are experiencing improved health because of the easy access to good water. Before the project was implemented, students used to miss class due to diarrhea and stomachaches often caused by consuming unsafe water.

"I use the time that was once wasted going to the river to fetch water to study and also get to teachers to help me in my most difficult subjects. Thank you so much for the support," said 13-year-old student Columba Murono.

Other students are doing better too. According to Headteacher John Olwanda, the school sent two students to national schools after the recent national exams, something the school has not done in the past few years. Headteacher Olwanda also said that the water helps reduce cases of sand fleas since the classrooms and school grounds are kept clean with water.

John Olwanda

"We are proud and saving a very big thank you for you. You have gotten us to the safest place. I am glad that as a health teacher my pupils are doing well. I have a task to play: to ensure that hygiene is maintained, if not improved, here," Mr. Olwanda said.

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 project in Lukala Primary School is changing many lives.

Columba Murono

"My life in this school has really changed since you installed the facilities," said Columba.

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 Lukala Primary School 2 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 Lukala Primary School 2 – 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.


Project Sponsor - The Matthew Martin Family
1 individual donor(s)