Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 12/14/2023

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

Esibeye Primary School is in Vihiga County, Kenya. 748 students attend here, and the school employs 14 staff to teach them. They also employ three support staff to keep things running smoothly.

(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 school would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)

A normal for students attending Esibeye Primary School begins at 6am. They have to wake up early to eat their breakfast, gather their books, and get water to carry to school. Pupils carry water from their homes in their small jerrycans of three to 10 liters each to be used in the school kitchen and for drinking throughout the day.

When they arrive, students start sweeping their classrooms in preparation for morning classes. There's 30 minutes of study hall before morning assembly, when the teacher on duty makes announcements. There's a lunch break when some students go home to find food, and others are served school lunch. They come back for 1:30pm lessons and continue learning until game time.

Though the school has a vegetable garden, its harvest does not meet the needs of the school but instead benefits only the teachers. This school is located near a decent road network that makes the commute much easier; it is also near a market called Luanda which helps them access all kinds of goods and services needed.

Water Situation

There is no source of water at school. Students are sent out into the neighboring community to two protected springs. After visiting these springs, the field officer confirmed that they most likely yield safe, clean water because the construction is of high quality.

Instead, it is the huge amount of time taken from learning that is negatively impacting students. Water from the springs is immediately used for drinking, cooking staff lunch, making tea, cleaning, and watering the school garden. As soon as it's used up, students have to leave what they're doing and get more. And since these water sources are in the community, students have to wait at the back of the line as community members get their water first.

Sanitation Situation

There are a few blocks of latrines with 20 separate rooms. However, a chunk of these are missing their doors and can't be used. Two others have pits that are entirely full. This leaves nine pit latrines for the girls, but they're all almost full. There are two useable latrines for the boys, and two for teachers.

There is a hand-washing station for teachers in their staff area.

"Our school has a lot of problems, like a lack of safe water, lack of enough latrines, and hand-washing station for hygiene promotion and failure by the government to support the school. I personally have been trying to reach out to sympathizers of the school but all in vain. We have never lost hope...." said Headteacher Oluchiri. "We are really happy for the project and looking forward to accomplishing it and finally have water in our school as well as the latrines. This project is an answered prayer. Pupils were really touched when they heard of this project and are waiting to witness its installation at the school," he further explained.

Here’s what we plan to do about it.

You make this possible. Thank You for joining us to provide clean water, sanitation facilities, and important health information for these students and teachers.

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 by our artisans and community volunteers. 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 alleviate the water crisis at this school. The school will help gather the needed materials such as sand, rocks, and water for our artisan to mix cement. Since the students and staff are so involved in the entire process, we know they’ll have a strong sense of ownership and pride about their new clean water source. Once it’s finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff. Students will no longer have to leave class throughout the day to find the water they need.

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

July, 2019: Giving Update: Esibeye Primary School

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

May, 2018: Esibeye Primary School Project Complete

Esibeye Primary School in Kenya now has a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your support: A new rainwater catchment system has been built. Handwashing stations were installed, and students and staff have received training in sanitation and hygiene.

New Knowledge

Each time we visited the school to monitor progress on the rainwater catchment tank and latrines, we had a chance to connect with the administration. We highlighted the importance of good hygiene and sanitation from the very beginning and informed the headteacher of our plans to conduct training sessions with students, teachers, and other staff. Headteacher Peter Oluchiri made himself responsible for recruiting students, teachers, and parent representatives to attend.

We had requested Mr. Oluchiri to find at least 12 students and three staff to attend and were thus surprised by the turnout: He had found a total of 22 people to participate.

Everyone was there and waiting for our trainers, excited to learn things besides their routine school subjects. As the training went on, we were surprised by a class two boy by the name of Adam Shitaka, who always seemed to provide better answers than his older peers.

A number of topics were covered, including personal hygiene such as bathing, oral hygiene, and handwashing with soap as a barrier from germs; operation and maintenance of the new facilities, with each person understanding their role for long-lasting clean water and good health.

The new child to child (CTC) health club will be greatly involved in project management and will be responsible for encouraging good health and hygiene practices amongst their peers, teachers, and the larger community.

Even the teachers admitted they learned a lot they didn't know.

"For sure, this is a great moment for me to have had such an opportunity. The knowledge acquired today will help us change our behavior, especially our hygiene practices like regular handwashing with soap and proper disposal of human waste," one of the teachers 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.

Handwashing Stations

The two handwashing stations were delivered to the school and handed over to the CTC club. These were placed outside of the boys’ and girls’ latrines to encourage handwashing 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.

The 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.

Then, we cleared 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.

Good progress on the tank foundation, with the iron mesh visible before plastered with concrete.

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.

Dome construction could begin after 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.

The only thing that didn't go according to plan was the weather. We experienced surprise rains that interrupted our artisans for three or four hours at a time. This added about two days to our average construction time.

Using plastic tarps to protect the cement from the rain.

Once finished, the tank was given three to four weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Esibeye Primary School, though we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.

There were smiles all around as students and staff witnessed water coming from the tap for the first time! Mr. Oluchiri spoke on behalf of his school.

"I can't believe what I am seeing. I am now almost two years working in this school and good things are happening so soon," he said.

"This new water source is really going to restore our dignity as a school. We had been suffering a lot because of lack of reliable safe and clean drinking water."

March, 2018: Esibeye Primary School Project Underway

Esibeye 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. 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: Esibeye Primary School

July, 2019

A year ago, you funded a rainwater tank at Esibeye Primary School in Kenya – creating a life-changing moment for Angela Anjou. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Esibeye 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!

Life at Esibeye Primary School looks much different today than it did about a year ago when we first installed their new rain tank and sanitation projects.

On a recent visit to the school, we saw how students now access water from a central point where it is filtered using LifeStraw devices. This has helped in managing class time and preventing outbreaks of waterborne diseases in the school. The tank water has greatly boosted hygiene in the school through hand washing, cleaning of classrooms, and latrine use.

Head Teacher Peter Oluchiri welcomed us and shared how these projects have altered life for his students and staff.

"Few children now contract waterborne diseases because [our] water is treated, and they also apply the good knowledge they learned from the WaSH training on good hygiene," Peter said.

"The school took an initiative to buy [materials] that they use to treat water by themselves. There is an improvement in efficiency because no time is wasted to fetch water from outside the school. Latrines are now de-congested and there is fast movement by pupils during breaks. The handwashing facilities donated by [you] have improved the school hygiene, and the school purchased one extra handwashing facility to supplement the ones they got with the [original] project."

Head Teacher Peter Oluchiri

14-year-old student Angela Anjou is responsible for overseeing the good use and maintenance of both the water tank and filtration systems at school.  After walking us through demonstrations of how to properly use both, Angela shared how these projects have personally impacted her at school.

"[We] now drink clean water, use clean water to wash fruits, and clean water is used to cook [our] food. The tank water is safe from waterborne diseases and the water is also treated...Students now use their time well to study," Angela said.

Angela smiles next to Peter

Angela told us this extra study time has personally helped her improve in Mathematics, increasing her grade from 42% to 60%. She said this improvement is because she now has adequate time for revision. Angela also noted that the girls at schools also feel so good about the water because it is used for handwashing.

They no longer have a water crisis or quarrels with villagers who used to scramble for water with them at the spring before the tank was constructed.

Field Officer Erick and Peter

Esibeye Primary put the right measures in place to ensure that their new water source is used properly. Currently, no pupil is allowed to collect drinking water directly from the tap but from the LifeStraw gadgets where it is filtered. They have also ensured that handwashing facilities are refilled using a hosepipe so that children are kept off from any wanton damage of the tank apparatuses.

By and large, the school is doing very well in tank management and water conservation, and we see many promising actions that will help to ensure the longevity of these projects.

Angela and Peter using the LifeStraw filters

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 Esibeye 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 Esibeye 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.


5 individual donor(s)