Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Nov 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/04/2024

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

Bukura Primary School is located in a community of early-risers. People are astir as early as 5am, with the women preparing their children for school. Students are on their way by 6:30am, seen balancing the weight of school bags and a jerrycan full of water. While the children are off at school, the adults move to their farms where they tend to sugarcane and maize crops. The sugarcane is hard to grow, but is worth the effort because of the local Mumias Sugar Factory that buys it for a decent price.

Bukura Primary School leadership sent our office a letter requesting help after they saw the huge improvements at St. Stephen's Eshihaka Secondary School, and so we sent our staff to visit in person to collect the following information:

Water Situation

Bukura Primary School has two small rainwater catchment tanks, the smallest one by the kitchen and a larger one by the classrooms. Even when full, these tanks can unfortunately only serve the 671 students and 21 staff for a short time (It would have to rain every single night for there to be enough water available!).

(Editor’s Note: A single water source can only support a population of 350-500 people. By adding a tank with a large water capacity, we hope to supplement the small amount of water the school already has - and of course we intend that students no longer have to carry heavy containers of water to school. To learn more, click here.)

Administration has asked students to help alleviate the water shortage by carrying their own personal supply of water to be used during the school day. Certain classes are required to carry water with them on certain days. Students often fill their container at convenient sources on the way to school, and show up with water that is visibly dirty. However, there's just no way for the teachers to confirm whether or not the water students bring is safe. Students tend to carry their jerrycans with them throughout the day so they won't lose them; parents expect them to return home with them again in the evening.

All of this water is used for drinking, cooking, and then cleaning, if there's enough left over. The oldest grades remain at school for lunch served by the cook, while younger students are sent home to get food from their parents. Teachers record a great number of absences due to typhoid, a complication that arises after drinking this dirty water.

Sanitation Situation

This is a rocky area, which has presented challenges to the school as they try to add new facilities. Some of the newer latrine units collapsed soon after their construction. Because of such a high student population, the few units left are not nearly enough to meet their needs. Huge lines form during class breaks as hundred share around a dozen latrines.

There is no cleanliness to be found at the latrines, between the water shortage and overuse. Human waste covers the floor.

There are only two hand-washing stations filled with water from the students' jerrycans, which run out very quickly.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training and Hand-Washing Stations

Training will be held for two days for teachers, staff, students, and parent representatives. 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. The school will no longer have to rely on the small amounts of (often contaminated) water carried by students. Between this 50,000-liter tank and the two smaller plastic ones, the school should be able to ration water to serve everyone even through the dry season.

Plans: VIP Latrines

Two triple-door latrines will be constructed, normally 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

November, 2018: A Year Later: Bukura Primary School

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

November, 2017: Bukura Primary School Project Complete

Bukura 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

We worked with the headteacher to plan hygiene and sanitation training, and decided on July 26 and 27. 15 students, two teachers, and 16 parents met together in a classroom to learn; all were engaged and interested in every activity.

Students and some parents posing together after the training.

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.

Project Result: VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new VIP (ventilated improved pit) latrines. Digging the pits for these was the most difficult part of this project. Since the school is in a rocky area, digging was time-consuming and dangerous. The team of parents had to quit and start over again in a new location to finally find a place they could dig deep enough.

A bucket is continuously lowered and filled with sand to bail.

But because the workers persevered, this school now has new latrines that 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!

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 even helped our artisans with their manual labor.

The process 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.

The field officer makes several visits to ensure high quality construction.

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

Chairman of the school board, Joseph Amakobe, said that "the project has really improved the standard of this school - we now have clean and safe drinking water. There will be no time wasting and our school is going to improve on performance."

October, 2017: Bukura Primary School Project Underway

Bukura 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: Bukura Primary School

October, 2018

“Thank you so much. And may God bless you as you continue blessing more schools and communities.” – Laura Madolyne, 15

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Bukura 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 catchment tank for Bukura 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 Olivia Bomji with you.

Bukura Primary School is shining. The face of the school and the environment has changed positively in the year since the water project was implemented. The children no longer carry water from their homes to school and they have ample time to read and study.

"This project has brought major changes and developments in our school because we can now access clean and safe water for consumption that is free from contamination," sanitation teacher Violet Andayi said.

Mrs Violet Andayi, the sanitation teacher at Bukura Primary

The school's sanitation and hygiene have really improved due to the provision of safe water for drinking, the latrines, and the handwashing stations. This has led to an improvement in academic performance school-wide.

"The rate of absenteeism from school has reduced because the children no longer fall sick because of waterborne diseases," Mrs. Andayi added.

The school has managed the facilities very well because of the very active student-let hygiene club. They have ensured that the latrines are clean and the handwashing stations are in use. It's good to see the children happy, learning in a clean environment and accessing clean and safe water.

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.

Drinking water from the tank

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 Bukura Primary School is changing many lives.

"Thank you so much, The Water Project, for the latrines, rainwater tank, and the handwashing facilities we were given," 15-year-old student Laura Madolyne said.

Field Staff Bomji in blue poses for a Picture at the tank with Mrs. Andayi and Laura

"Thank you so much. And may God bless you as you continue blessing more schools and communities."

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 Bukura 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 Bukura 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.


Clarke PTO
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In honor of Steven and Megan's Wedding
2 individual donor(s)