Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 158 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/05/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Eshisenye Girls Secondary School is located in Kakamega County, Kenya. It currently has 140 students who are taught by 11 teachers. The school also employs seven support staff. It has both day scholars who travel from home every morning and boarders who live there.

Each day at Eshisenye begins with the boarding girls getting up very early to fetch water from the spring for cleaning. The two security guards or the teachers on duty make sure to escort the girls since girls in Kenya encounter lots of danger when out alone.

The community around the school relies on their sugarcane plantations to make a living. In recent days, the sugar industry has been unpredictable, leading to the collapse of the local Mumias Sugar Company. This has actually forced the community members to start replacing the once highly profitable sugarcane with maize.


The girls don't only need water in the early morning for cleaning. They need it throughout the entire school day. Each trip to the water source drains valuable time; it's located two kilometers away. A class is interrupted when the school runs out of the water, and the girls are sent out into the community again. They suffer the most for a quarter of the year during the dry months when community members tighten their grip on their local water source and often turn the girls away without water.

Though the spring is protected and should yield safe water, the girls are carrying open containers. That water needs to make it more than two kilometers down the dusty road without getting contaminated!

"The health status of my students is quite wanting. Water from the spring is not treated, thus causing most students to complain of stomachaches after drinking," Principal Mildred Olwenyo said.

She also added that every time the girls make the long walk to the spring, she sits in her office and prays for their safety.


There are only two blocks of makeshift pit latrines on school grounds. The walls, doors, and roofs are made of iron sheets. Some of the doors are falling off and so the girls will only use those particular pits in an emergency. With so much activity around these latrines during break times, the girls really need reliable facilities that will hold up to this use.

These facilities are dirty because drinking and cooking are the priority uses for water that's fetched from the spring. And before the environment is cleaned, boarders must practice their own personal hygiene.

There are no handwashing stations.

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.

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 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. Girls will no longer have to make the long walk for water.

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

September, 2019: Giving Update: Eshisenye Girls Secondary School

A year ago, your generous donation helped Eshisenye Girls Secondary School in Kenya access clean water.

There’s an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water at Eshisenye Girls Secondary School. Month after month, their giving supports ongoing sustainability programs that help this school maintain access to safe, reliable water. Read more…

July, 2018: Eshisenye Girls Secondary School Project Complete

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

New Knowledge

We worked directly with the school administration to plan hygiene and sanitation training for students, teachers, and parents. Our trainers were surprised to arrive at an empty classroom on the day of training. However, they didn't have to wait long for students and their teachers to arrive. They had gotten out of mass late that morning.

The girls gather for a group picture holding the new notebooks and pens they received to take notes during training.

The participation level among the students was encouraging, as many kept asking for clarification on the maintenance of their new facilities. When we were talking about the need to clean out the gutter system, and students were so excited that they volunteered to do the task every week. We assured them they wouldn't have to do it every week, but should at least ensure the system's cleanliness once a month. They also got very excited about our various practical sessions like handwashing and dental hygiene.

We covered several topics, including 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 children in attendance will kickstart a child to child club at their school. 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.

Mr. Stephene Barasa was one of the teachers there.

"This training has come in handy, as we have for decades suffered due to lack of information on clean and safe water, proper hygiene and good sanitation standards. I am so fortunate to be in this school when all this good stuff is being implemented," he said.

"We at Eshisenye Girls School are no longer going to be the laughing stalk of our neighboring schools, but rather we are going to be a center of attraction for many."

Handwashing Stations

Pupils can now enjoy washing their hands with soap thanks to the two handwashing stations that were delivered to their school. Before, there was nowhere to wash hands. These new handwashing opportunities will help reduce cases of hygiene-related illness. The training on hygiene has motivated these students to share what they’ve learned both with their peers at school and families at home.

Handwashing stations arrived before training so that they could be used in demonstrations.

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.

Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction for this 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank was successful! The only hiccup throughout the entire process was rainy weather that delayed our artisans.

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 stones on a level ground and then reinforcing it using steel, concrete and waterproof cement.

Iron mesh is the first layer of many that forms the tank wall.

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 Eshisenye Girls Secondary School, though we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.

Teacher Vulimu Concepta said, "Lack of clean and safe water in our school has been like a thorn in the flesh, and we have suffered enough."

She continued saying that the new rainwater catchment tank "will go a long way in improving the health status of the students, and thus translating positively to the school performance."

May, 2018: Eshisenye Girls Secondary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Eshisenye Girls Secondary 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: Eshisenye Girls Secondary School

September, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Eshisenye Girls Secondary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Everline Busolo. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Eshisenye Girls Secondary 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!

The rain tank and sanitation facilities at Eshisenye Girls Secondary School have resulted in impressive and massive changes over the last year. The school is experiencing nothing but good progress in every sector, and the school environment is well kept. This has improved the aesthetic value of the school compound, which has made the school an attraction center and led to increased student enrollment.

Students here are experiencing good health status as they are accessing clean and safe water for consumption. The school has also improved in academic performance as students have ample time to attend to all lessons satisfactorily. All these changes are making the entire school shine and every neighboring school wants to be like it.

A glimpse at how the rain tank looks at Eshisenye Girls Secondary School is a clear indication of this group's serious need for the project. They have maintained all the
installed facilities so well, and put into practice what they were taught during the health, hygiene, and sanitation training. "This is just amazing," reported Field Officer Jacklyne Chelagat.

High-five for clean water! Principal Mildred Were Osore with Field Officer Jacklyne Chelagat at the rain tank

The school environment is well-maintained and one admires how students, staff, and visitors alike are able to freely interact and be comfortable, able to stay in the school compound as much as possible without having to leave to fetch water. The beautiful smiles of all we saw depicted satisfaction and contentment all around.

Principal Mildred Were Osore at the rain tank, with students smiling in the background

School Principal Mildred Were Osore shared her powerful story of the impacts she has seen these projects make on her students and school since last year.

"As a school, we are humbled to have been one of the beneficiaries of The Water Project. The [rain tank] has created a good name in [this] society and everybody would wish to associate with us. The implementation of the project has increased the population of the school, [and] it has improved the hygiene and sanitation of the school thus promoting good health among the students. It has also gone a long way to drastically reduce student absenteeism thus causing the performance of the school to improve significantly...The project has created a good rapport with other schools thus promoting exchange programs."

Student Everline Busolo with Jacklyne and Principal Osore at the rain tank

One student at Eshisenye Girls Secondary School, 18-year-old Everline Busolo, echoed Principal Osore's thoughts.

"The implementation of the water project in this school has positively impacted...the entire school at large. Accessing clean and safe water has resulted [in a] reduction in [the] contraction of water-related diseases and this has boosted the health of the students. Absenteeism due to [waterborne] sicknesses is [in] the past and this has impacted positively [our] academic performance. Cleanliness has improved as there is enough water...Additionally, The Water Project has created a great passion of learning in every student and we are anticipating getting the best grades in order to join university. May our good God bless The Water Project."

Everline with Jacklyne at the rain tank

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 Eshisenye Girls Secondary 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 Eshisenye Girls Secondary 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.


Stoughton Area School District
Trinity E.C. Church (Elevate Student Ministry)
Bounce Treatment Services
Elexis - Troop #2309
Harmony Endowment Foundation
26 individual donor(s)