Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/12/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Erusui Girls Primary School does not have enough water. Valuable time is spent out of class and in the community searching for enough water. Each one of these 705 girls is affected by the tiring interruptions caused by the severe water shortage at their school.

This is a very busy, highly populated area with a great road network.

A Day in the Life

A normal day starts very early in the morning since the first morning classes at Erusui Primary begin at 6:30. Lunch break ends at 2pm, marking the start of afternoon lessons that run until 3:40pm.


There is a 5,000-liter plastic tank placed inside the old crumbling walls of a concrete tank built when the school first opened. This is nowhere near enough to meet drinking, cooking, and cleaning needs for several hundred people. As a result, students must leave school throughout the day to find more water.

To save time, girls fill their containers at Margaret Jumba Spring, which is currently an open polluted water source. The school is grateful for having some LifeStraw filters that help make this water safer for drinking. However, the challenge of getting enough water to even pour into these containers persists. At the time of our visit, most of these containers didn't have any water.

Between the long trip from home carrying heavy water containers and return trips back out into the community, girls have a hard time concentrating in class and performing well in their studies. Not only is this a tiring chore, but it's dangerous as the girls walk beside or cross the busy roads on the way to the spring.


There are not nearly enough latrines, so girls are sent to use the latrines at Erusui Boys Primary School. The school used to have lots of pit latrines, but the pits collapsed and they're now used for garbage disposal. Now the school is at risk of closure by the local health department. Headteacher Musedi said it's "only by the grace of God" that they're still running the school.

Though the compound looks clean and green without much litter, there isn't enough water to rinse latrines or practice good personal hygiene. Because of this, pupils are exposed to hygiene-related sicknesses.

What we can do:


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.

Handwashing Stations

The CTC club will oversee the new facilities, such as handwashing stations, and make sure they are kept clean and in working condition. The two handwashing 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 for mixing cement. Once finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff.

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 (edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates

July, 2019: Giving Update: Erusui Girls Primary School

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to build a rain tank for Erusui Girls 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…

June, 2018: Erusui Girls Primary School Project Complete

A new rainwater catchment system was built! Erusui Girls Primary School in Kenya now has a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your support. Handwashing stations were installed so that the girls can clean up after using their new latrines, and students and staff have received training in sanitation and hygiene.

New Knowledge

After we built a good relationship with the school, the headteacher helped a lot in selecting student leaders, staff, and parent representatives to attend hygiene and sanitation training. The girls were all very respectful listeners and showed great interest in what they were learning. Especially Shanice, who is in grade five. Every time we asked a question, hers was the first hand to shoot up in the air.

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.

The chairman of the school board, Mr. Mwevetsi, was one of the adults in attendance. Even he learned a lot of new things!

"I thought I knew how to wash my hands but today I have been unlearned. With such a training, I will also share the same knowledge with other community members and ensure that they put everything into practice," Mr. Mwevetsi said.

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines. All of these new latrines have cement floors that 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

Pupils can now enjoy washing their hands with soap thanks to the two hand washing stations that were delivered to their school. Before, the school had only had one handwashing station belonging to teachers, while the pupils had none at all. Handwashing opportunities will help to reduce cases of hygiene-related illness. The training on hygiene through the CTC approach has motivated these students to share what they've learned both with their peers at school and families at home.

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.

Community members mixing cement according to the artisan's specifications.

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.

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 standard.

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

The handing over ceremony was a great chance for us to acknowledge the school administration and students as the primary parties entrusted with the tools we’ve given, as well as remind them of our continued support as they develop.

Headteacher Musedi spoke on behalf of her students.

"It is amazing and so wonderful to see such a big water tank," he said.

"This is going to solve all our water problems from now and the very many years to come. Our children will no longer carry water from their homes, especially during the rainy season now that we have our own water source here."

May, 2018: Erusui Girls Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Erusui Girls Primary School drains students’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know your school through the introduction and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!

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: Erusui Girls Primary School

July, 2019

A year ago, you funded a rainwater tank at Erusui Girls Primary School in Kenya – creating a life-changing moment for Mercy Griffith. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Erusui Girls 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 recent visit to Erusui Girls Primary School a little over a year after their water and sanitation projects were first installed revealed a changed school.

The school community here is now able to carry out their normal duties without needing to worry about water at their school. Pupils concentrate more in class and pay attention to every lesson given to them by the teachers, which has translated to better academic results. Upon entering the school compound, we observed the handwashing stations at strategic positions to facilitate handwashing by the pupils. Previously reported cases of diseases are a thing of the past because the pupils are now consuming safe, clean water.

Head Teacher Patricia Nyongesa has witnessed the changes these projects have brought for her students, and she was happy to share her perspective with us.

When asked what the biggest changes were that Patricia has seen over the last year, she said "plenty of safe, clean water at the school which has promoted daily drinking of the water by the thirsty pupils, availability of more latrines which has helped reduce the time taken by the girls to use the facilities, [and] reduced cases of misbehavior from the pupils while going to the nearby water sources outside the school compound."

Additionally, Patricia noted that the performance of the school for all classes generally has improved as a result of the availability of the tank at this school.

Field Officer Wilson with student Mercy

12-year-old Mercy Griffith, the school's Sanitation Prefect, was eloquent and very mature in her interviews with us, breaking out her cheery smile every now and then as we listened to her.

"Fetching the water for use at the school is so easy and at a very close distance [now], unlike before when we used to travel for some distance to get the water," Mercy said.

"I [now] drink very safe water from the tank, eat clean food, [we] wash classrooms regularly, [and I] am always at school free from diseases due to handwashing with soap."

Mercy (right) and a friend fetching water

From Mercy to Patricia and the rest of the school's staff and pupils, we heard over and over again how very grateful this group was to you for enabling them to access safe, clean drinking water at their school and also supporting them with sanitation and hygiene facilities which have greatly helped to improve their health.

Smiles for running water!

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 Erusui Girls 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 Erusui Girls 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.