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The Water Project : 14-kenya4673-hand-washing-station
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The Water Project : 7-kenya4673-latrine-construction
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The Water Project : 1-kenya4673-posing-at-school-gate

Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 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

Mwiyenga Primary School was started in 1974 by the ACK Church. The school now has a total of 663 pupils of which there are 123 early education students and the rest are in primary school. The school employs 16 teachers and two support staff.

(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.)

A normal day at Mwiyenga Primary School begins at 6am as pupils report to school carrying their books and containers of water. Lower classes are responsible for cleaning chores starting at 7am. At the beginning and end of the week, students and staff gather for a flag raising ceremony. The master on duty addresses the pupils and invites other teachers to brief the pupils on what is expected of them. Regular lessons begin and 8am and go until 4:30pm. At 4:30pm, students are required to participate in their club of choice. There are those who are good at poetry, drama, football, and many other things. At 5pm they are all dismissed to return home for chores and dinner with their parents.

Water Situation

The school’s main water sources are two plastic tanks with capacities of 2,500 and 6,000 liters. The smaller tank was saved up for by parents, while the other tank was donated by (VPIA) Virtues Project International Association. These tanks are not sufficient to serve the high student population, and quickly run out when it doesn’t rain. As a result, the pupils must carry their own water from home – which is not clean and safe. Many students stop at the most convenient water source along the road to school. The school reports cases of typhoid and swollen stomachs because of the dirty drinking water students find.

Sanitation Situation

The school had a total of 30 latrines, but now only 12 of them can be used! Out of the 12 doors, six are for boys and six are for girls. Some of these cannot lock and compromise students’ privacy. The other 18 latrines have been condemned by the ministry of health because of poor sanitation, and they will be demolished soon. The headteacher said that because of so few latrines for so many students, there are very long lines during class breaks – and the wait cuts into class time. There are no hand-washing stations for students or even teachers. This  “is a God-sent organization because the school was given a closure notice just last week. God is so faithful; we are ready to provide anything that the school should provide,” said Deputy Headteacher Iydiah Likhaya.

Poor environmental and personal hygiene here has contributed to many health complications, including Jiggers, a type of parasite.

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 for mixing cement. Once finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff. With proper management of this huge tank, students will no longer have to carry heavy containers of water to school anymore.

We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. These higher standards will translate to better academic performance!

Recent Project Updates

12/13/2017: Mwiyenga Primary School Project Complete

Mwiyenga 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 field officer asked the school headteacher to select student leaders from grades four, five, and six to attend. These students are the younger classes, and will have a chance to educate incoming students about what they learned. There wasn’t a free classrooms, so we brought chairs and met outside under a tree. There were 23 participants out of which 20 were students, two were teachers, and one was a parent.

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

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 gathered around to learn how to care for their new water source.

Teacher Mary Lamuka said, “Thank you for making time to take us through this training, and thanks for considering Mwiyenga primary School. We promise to take good care of the facilities and what we have learned will help us maintain this project for a long period of time.”

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!

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 the 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.

A girl fills the hand-washing station with water as the others line up to wash.

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. All the while, women cooked meals for the artisans, and the school provided accommodations for the artisans during their work. Some local men even helped our artisans with their manual labor.

Water and other materials were delivered to the construction site by local parents.

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.

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.

The beginning 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 Mwiyenga Primary School. It already has some water in it!

Staff is so excited about how this project is going to reduce the pressure that their students were feeling. Students will no longer have to balance the heavy burden of water as they carry their books to school every day; they will have the energy and good health to focus on their studies in a safe, clean environment.

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08/24/2017: Lukume Project Postponed. Meet Mwiyenga!

Our staff in Kenya was ready to get started on the rainwater catchment tank and schedule training at Lukume Primary. As they began to plan these things, they were answered with hesitation. The school told us they’re overwhelmed with other projects that need to be done, and ask to be reconsidered for a water project in 2018. They planned too much for this year!

Mwiyenga Primary School had already sent in their application and was ready and willing to participate as soon as possible – Thus, we’ve decided to replace Lukume with Mwiyenga. Please take some time to meet Mwiyenga Primary and its students!

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07/13/2017: Lukume Primary School Project Underway

Lukume 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.

Check out the tabs above to read more, and Thank You for partnering with us to unlock these students’ potential.

Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment
Location:  Kakamega, Mwiyenga
ProjectID: 4673
Install Date:  12/13/2017

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Functional - New Project

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.