Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/09/2024

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

Lelmokwo Secondary School was founded in 1965 by community members who donated the land where the school is now built. It has since become a full boarding school - with many students who traveled far to live and study here. Though the school is far from the center of town in a quiet environment, there is still a good road network. The school currently has a population of 850 students and employs 44 teachers. The school has also hired 10 cooks, four security guards, two secretaries, two accountants, four drivers, four matrons, five groundsmen and two shopkeepers.

Water Situation

Though the school has been around for dozens of years, water and sanitation still pose a great challenge. The available rationed piped water from the county government is not sufficient, bearing in mind the need of all these young residents. Not only is the water rationed, but it is metered; the school must pay for every liter. Most often the piped water is only available two days a week, so the school fills as many of their storage tanks as possible. Each of these has a capacity of 10,000 liters. Even when full, the water is quickly used for cleaning, bathing, cooking, and drinking.

Even worse, we found that the pipes carrying the rationed, metered water are of low quality and are now rusting after years of use. The taps around the school would fool one into thinking water scarcity has been dealt with, but our visit proved otherwise.

These boys suffer from stomachaches and headaches from not having enough clean water, and their hygiene is wanting.

Sanitation Situation

There are 20 pit latrines for the boys, which means there's one latrine per 43 boys. There are absolutely no hand-washing stations! The principal has requested that we focus on hand-washing during hygiene and sanitation training, admitting that most boys don't even know about 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.

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.

With adequate clean water, the school will have water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and hand-washing.

Plans: VIP Latrines

Two triple-door latrine facilities will be constructed, providing a total of six new latrines for the boys. 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!

The principal added, "We are ready to stop doing anything else and direct our attention to putting up these facilities. We believe that with this kind of project, we are going to have at least a permanent solution of water. As a school, the water tank will help us a lot, especially during rainy and dry seasons respectively. Wastage of rainwater has always been experienced in this school due to lack of a storage tank, but with this tank, we are going to capture all rainwater and channeling to the tank - and during dry season, we shall be pumping the piped water to the tank for storage during periods of water rationing by the county government!"

Project Updates

December, 2017: Lelmokwo Boys' Secondary School Project Complete

Lelmokwo Boys' 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 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

Hygiene and sanitation training was organized by the deputy principal, who mobilized teachers and students to attend. The participants were selected from every class from form one to form four, especially those who already displayed strong leadership skills.

The training was held in one of the school's laboratories. The venue was selected because the other available rooms were occupied by students taking exams that were previously scheduled.

Attendance was overwhelming, surpassing our intended target. A total of 54 participants were there.

Though there are taps for water in the lab, there has been no reliable clean water for their experiments.

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. These students met right after out training session to delegate duties among its members.

15-year-old Victor told us, "Today I am happy to be part of this educative forum. Personally, I have learned how to properly wash hands with soap and also importance of maintaining high hygiene standards."

The entire group poses for a picture after training.

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’ 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.

The provision of hand-washing facilities was so jubilantly received by the students, who had never had a chance to wash their hands before eating their meals. Previously, the students used to just rush into the lunch line without a thought of cleaning their hands.

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.

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.

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.

Men helping the artisan mix more cement for plastering the tank wall.

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 Lelmokwo Boys' Secondary School. It already has some water in it!

The only challenge in getting there was the sheer distance from our offices to the school. Lelmokwo is over 100 kilometers away an entirely different county. Uasin Gishu, the officer in charge of this project had to make several visits to the school to hold training and oversee construction work, which was very taxing in terms of resources; they sometimes had to lodge overnight in a nearby town called Eldoret. It took them three hours to get there on motorbike, which is a very tiring trip on Kenyan roads!

In a letter of appreciation to the organization, the school's principal said, "On behalf of the Board of Management, Parent Teacher Association, students and the entire Lelmokwo Boys High School community, I wish to register our appreciation to the company for the partnership we have had that saw the construction of student's pit latrines and water harvesting tank of capacity 50,000 liters and two hand-washing stations. The above three projects have helped improve sanitation in our school. The sensitization to the students and subsequent appointment of sanitation champions in our student will help boost the hygiene awareness. Once again we say thank you and we look forward to more partnerships in future."

October, 2017: Lelmokwo Boys' Secondary School Project Underway

Lelmokwo Boys' Secondary School in Kenya has begun building a new source of safe, clean water because of 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.

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: Lelmokwo Boys Secondary School

November, 2018

“Availability of water within the school has enabled me to wash my hands daily, thus preventing hygiene-related diseases like cholera and diarrhea.” – 17-year-old student Eli Tuwei

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Lelmokwo Boys' 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!

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to construct a rainwater tank for Lelmokwo Boys 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 Wilson Kipchoge with you.

This students and staff at Lelmokwo Boys Secondary School is very appreciative for the help that was given to them by constructing a rainwater tank,  latrines and provision of handwashing facilities. The students have been able to access safe clean water within their doorstep, reducing the time that was spent fetching the water each day.

"I concentrate more on my studies without worrying about how to get water after class work because there is a guaranteed water supply in the school," 17-year-old student Eli Tuwei said during a recent visit to the school.

"Availability of water within the school has enabled me to wash my hands daily, thus preventing hygiene-related diseases like cholera and diarrhea."

Previously, this school did not have handwashing facilities which placed the lives of many students as well as staff at risk of getting hygiene related dis- eases. Now, Eli and his classmates practice handwashing with soap daily. Students also no longer queue to in order to access the latrines.

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 Lelmokwo Boys Secondary School is changing many lives.

Dean of Studies Geofrey Lel

School enrollment increased by 80 students since the completion of the project, Dean of Studies Geofrey Lel told us. It is attributed to the tank and latrines which have helped contribute the the overall appearance and prestige of the school. Most important, the students are better off.

"As teachers, we have witnessed great improvement in terms of time management since students take very short time to access water," he continued.

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 Lelmokwo Boys' 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 Lelmokwo Boys' 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.


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