Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 390 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Apr 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/22/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Ematetie Primary School opened in 1973. It starts each weekday at 7am, when students arrive. They carry out normal chores around the compound like collecting litter and piling it behind the classrooms. The pupils then gather for morning assembly at 7:30, when they sing songs and listen to announcements. Morning classes start at 8am and go until lunch. Afternoon classes go until 3:30pm, when students are required to stay for an hour of sports or special interest clubs like poetry or debate.

373 students attend here, and the school employs 14 teachers. There are also three support staff.


There is no source of water on school grounds. The school asks that each student bring their own container of water to get by each day, which is used for drinking and cooking school lunch. There is never enough water to clean with, though.

When students arrive with their five to 10 liters of water, it's poured in 100-liter plastic containers by the classrooms and in the kitchen. Because these students find their water at many different places, there's no way to ensure its quality. But because students are suffering from diarrhea and stomachaches, we know that this water is coming from contaminated, open sources. We even found out that the cook is dunking the same cup over and over again in the storage barrel, without ever cleaning that cup.


There are only six pit latrines on school grounds, far less than what about 350 students need. They are in bad condition, and a number of them have broken doors. We noticed that students also come to school in bare feet, which is very dangerous with such dirty latrine floors. Some of the girls' latrine pits have collapsed, and so they're temporarily allowed to use the neighboring church's latrines. Because of these poor conditions, we realized that open defecation is an issue.

There are hand-washing stations (containers fitted with taps), but they are not filled because of the severe water shortage.

The county health department recently visited the school and after seeing the conditions, issued a closure notice. If nothing is done to alleviate these issues, the school must close its gate to students.

Here's what we're going to do about it:


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.

Hand-Washing Stations

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.

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.

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.

Teacher Teresa Ndeta said that this "project has come in at the very right time!" With this intervention, the school will be able to provide for its students and will no longer have to turn them away. We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. These higher standards will translate to better academic performance!

This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water And Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO). Our team is pleased to provide the reports for this project (formatted and edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates

July, 2019: Giving Update: Ematetie Primary School

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to build a rainwater catchment tank for Ematetie 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…

April, 2018: Ematetie Primary School Project Complete

Ematetie Primary School in Kenya now has a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your generous donation. A new rainwater catchment system was been built, and there are now six new latrines in use. Two hand-washing stations were installed, and students received training in sanitation and hygiene.

New Knowledge

Headteacher Shitote was in charge of organizing pupils for training. He was assisted by the teacher in charge of sanitation, Mr. Cosmas Omukoto. Both genders were represented among the participants, and were drawn from standards four to seven. There were 24 participants total, all who were eager to learn about how hygiene and sanitation is useful both at school and at home.

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

We covered topics including but not limited to:

– Water pollution and water treatment

– Health starts with a clean 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 to help them teach hygiene and sanitation to their peers.

The CTC club includes both students and teachers who want to take responsibility for spreading the message of good health and hygiene among their peers. They are also responsible for managing hand-washing stations, cleaning latrines, and keeping the school environment tidy. A water user committee was formed by parents and school administration, which is responsible for overseeing and maintaining the new facilities.

Joshua Mkoma is a 13-year-old student who expressed his gratefulness for the opportunity to learn new things, as well as become a member of the new CTC club.

"I am excited that such a training could be held at my school. Thank you for teaching me and my fellow students on the key aspects of water, hygiene, and sanitation," he said.

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit (VIP) 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.

Hand-Washing Stations

The two hand-washing stations were delivered to school and handed over to the CTC club. These were placed outside of the boys’ and girls’ latrines to encourage hand-washing after latrine use. CTC club members teach other students how to properly wash their hands at the stations, and 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.

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. Local men and women helped our artisans with their manual labor, too.

Rolling out the iron mesh to be used in the tank wall.

The construction process officially began with our staff and school administration looking 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.

Both the drawing pipe as well as the washout pipe were affixed as the foundation was lain. 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. Finally, the catchment area was dug, plastered, and a staircase installed.

The dome construction followed fter the superstructure had been given enough time to settle. 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.

Once finished, the tank was given three to four weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and taken over by Ematetie Primary School.

"Our students didn't have enough toiletes. We are happy for the additional toilets, and we greatly appreciate the provision of the water tank," Mr. Cosmas Omukoto said.

He and his students gathered around to celebrate as we handed the facilities over for them to use. Smiles were all around as we witnessed clean water coming from the tap!

January, 2018: Ematetie Primary School Project Underway

Ematetie 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 young 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.

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!

Giving Update: Ematetie Primary School

July, 2019

A year ago, you funded a rainwater catchment tank at Ematetie Primary School in Kenya– creating a life-changing moment for Joy Mukamu. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Ematetie 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!

Upon one of our routine visits one year after their water and sanitation projects were installed, the pupils and staff at Ematetie Primary School looked healthy, clean, and happy. Originally the school had no access to safe and clean water. This resulted in pupils bringing water from their homes and carrying it to school.

Today, the entire school community is able to access clean and safe water. The pupils now have sufficient time for their academic work. In fact, the academic performance at the school has greatly improved; healthier students and staff means improved attendance and more time spent learning.

Senior Teacher Gerary Ndenda was pleased to report that "water is readily available" now, and that "the water is safe for consumption and other uses."

12-year-old Joy Mukamu also felt the impact of these projects over the last year.

"I am happy that we have clean and safe drinking water," said Joy.

"The water has really helped us [in] cleaning our classes, washing, and drinking. I thank [you] for coming to our assistance as a school."

As young Joy grows up and continues to go to school at Ematetie Primary. Just imagine what this personal impact might mean for her by the time she graduates. In addition to improved health, education, and opportunities, we hope it brings more of what she is named for: joy.

Field Officer, student Joy, and staff

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 Ematetie 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 Ematetie 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.


Project Sponsor - Imago Dei Community