Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 373 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/03/2024

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

ADC Buhunyilu Primary School was started in the year 2007 by its sponsor, African Divine Church. They opened with the goal of helping children around Buhunyilu Village receive an education. The school now has a total of 285 primary pupils and 70 early education pupils. The school employs 16 teachers and two support staff.

Students wake up very early to prepare for school because they are punished if they arrive late. They are expected to begin chores around school as early as 6am!

Buhunyilu Primary School learned about this opportunity for clean water, latrines, hand-washing stations and hygiene training through Muraka Primary School. They were there for an event and saw the completed work for themselves. They asked for our contact information and immediately sent in an application.

Water Situation

There is no water at Buhunyilu Primary School.

Students are expected to bring their own container of water to school everyday. Some parents make sure their children are sent to school with water from a clear source. However, the majority of students don't want to carry a heavy container all the way from home and thus fetch water from the point nearest school. This happens to be a passing stream wherein students bend over, dunk their jerrycans, and continue on their way.

Many days, the five liters carried by students isn't enough, and class is interrupted to send them out for more water. When we went out with them during our visit, there were even cows standing in and drinking directly from the same water! This water is used for drinking and cleaning, as well as cooking for the school's lunch program.

Not only is a lot of students' energy and time wasted because of water scarcity, but sickness is also a constant reality. After drinking dirty water from the nearby stream, students suffer from waterborne diseases that keep them out of school and force their parents to spend the little money they have on treatment.

Sanitation Situation

There are eight latrines for students, four for each gender. That means there are about 46 students depending on each pit latrine! There are two pit latrines set aside for staff. We inspected these latrines during our visit and found they're constructed poorly and are filthy.

The school does not have a hand-washing station for teachers or students. Even if the school was aware of how important cleanliness is, there wouldn't be enough water to do the job.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training and Hand-Washing Stations

Training will be held for three 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. Once finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff. Students will no longer be responsible to find enough water to carry to school every day.

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

Project Updates

December, 2018: A Year Later: Buhunyilu Primary School

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to construct a rainwater tank for Buhunyilu 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: Buhunyilu Primary School Project Complete

Buhunyilu 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 boys and girls!

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 arrived at 8am to conduct hygiene and sanitation training. It was held in the neighboring church because the sanctuary had room for more students. There was already a hygiene club in place at the school, so it was easy to get those students to attend. The headteacher also recruited parent and teacher representatives and some school board members to attend.

Since the training aims to make a visible impact on the health and hygiene of children through the improvement of practices and behaviors, a number of topics were addressed.

First and foremost, 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.

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

– 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.

"My name is Clinton Lusimba, the president of the WASH project. Before the project, we never used to wash our hands after toilet use due to lack of water, and our toilets were dirty and smelly. Now after training we understand the need to wash our hands after toilet use and the hand-washing facilities are also full with water."

Clinton stands with his peers by one of the new hand-washing stations donated to his school.

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!

Sorry, the view of the new latrines is blocked by a few too many happy students!

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.

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 and women even helped our artisans with their manual labor. There was a lot of excitement here as everyone tried to find a way to help. Children carried water to school for mixing cement, ferried bricks to the latrine construction site, and sifted sand.

One day when we were supervising construction, we met 9-year-old Sarah Mulina carrying a jerrycan full of water. "I am happily carrying this water not as a burden like in the past - and I can carry even 10 containers per day now knowing that very soon we shall no longer go to the river to collect water. I personally dreaded coming to school each day, as I was sent to collect water form a stream down where it was very unsafe as we crossed the road," she shared.

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.

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 Buhunyilu Primary School. It already has some water in it!

39-year-old mother Violet Bobai lives adjacent to the school. She was thrilled that she's now sending her child to a place that has clean water. "I will personally ensure security for the facilities over the holidays to ensure no outsider vandalizes the facilities!" We look forward to continued visits to Buhunyilu Primarcy School to follow up with the students, staff, and parents who have committed themselves to sustainable, clean water.

November, 2017: Buhunyilu Primary School Project Underway

Buhunyilu Primary 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. But for now, please enjoy the new stories, pictures, and maps of this school.

Thank You for partnering with us to unlock the potential of these young 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: Buhunyilu Primary School

December, 2018

“I have confidence that we will perform better and be great leaders in the future.” – Rebeccah Migare, 12

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Buhunyilu 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, your generous donation enabled us to construct a rainwater tank for Buhunyilu 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 Karen Maruti with you.

Buhunyilu Primary School looks clean and neat as one enters the school compound. It is evident that the water project has attracted and will continue attracting more pupils from neighboring schools. This is because the school is now very student-friendly, allowing students to focus on their studies.

"The facilities have also improved the image of the school," Headteacher Gilbert Lichina told us during a recent visit.

Headteacher Gilbert Lichina

"Now the pupils have access to safe drinking water and cases of absenteeism have reduced as a result. On the other hand, they are saving the time previously wasted collecting water to study."

The new facilities are behind an increase in student enrollment from 285 students before the project to 365 today.

"On behalf of the Buhunyilu School community, we are very grateful to you," said Mr. Lichina.

The project is also making life easier for students like 12-year-old Rebeccah Migare. We spoke with her about the changes over the past year.

"In the past we used to go to the river and wasted a lot of time. The river is across the road and many times we feared being knocked down by the racing motorbikes," she said.

"Now that we have water in the school compound, we have enough time to study. I have confidence that we will perform better and be great leaders in the future. Thank you!"

Rebeccah Migare at the tank

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 Buhunyilu Primary School is changing many lives.

The school also has started an income generation activity selling sukuma wiki (kale) from its farm. At the time of our follow-up, they had just replanted the farm after harvesting and selling the crop over the prior six months. The money earned was used to purchase soap for handwashing and disinfectants for the latrines.

They had tried planting the vegetables before the project, but since the water was far and scarce, irrigation was an overwhelming task. This resulted in the crops often failing.

Thanks to reliable water nearby, they look forward to planting even more vegetables in future. These will be both used for the school lunch program and sold in the local market.

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 Buhunyilu 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 Buhunyilu 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.


Perry Ellis International
St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Parish
Lake Washington School District
Fenton United Methodist Church
Ravenscroft Upper School
Coops For A Cause
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Girl Scouts of NEO - Troop 70204
San Jose Middle School- 6th Grade
Landmark Collegiate
Perry Ellis International
37 individual donor(s)