Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 450 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 01/12/2024

Project Features

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Shitsava Primary School was started in the year 2010. It is located in Shitsava Village of Kakamega County, Kenya. The school has a total population of 450, 180 boys and 270 girls. The school employs 12 teachers and two support staff.

A teacher arrives at the school by 6am to greet students and delegate the morning's cleaning chores. If there is no water at the tap, students are contacted ahead of time to bring their own containers full of water from home. Normal classes begin at 8am and go until 5pm.


There is no reliable source of water on school grounds because the piped water works only an average of two or three days a week. At times, pupils are forced to carry water from home. This water is from different sources; whatever was most convenient for them along the walk to school, whether dirty or clean. Students also have a chance to find more water during lunch since the school doesn't have a food program.

Numerous cases of water-related diseases have been reported in the school. The most commonly reported cases include diarrhea and typhoid. The school is in serious need of a reliable source of clean water.


The school sanitation situation also needs to be addressed. The school has a total of eight useable pit latrines. This means that one toilet serves more than 50 pupils, which is far below the requirement of the World Health Organization. There are long waits for a turn at the latrines, especially during class break.

The school has no handwashing facilities for either staff or students.

"The situation in our school has always been wanting since the sanitation facilities are not enough. Pupils waste a lot of time queuing so as to use the facilities. Thanks for being concern about our pupils' health," teacher Catherine Amwayi told us.


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 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. Students will no longer have carry water from home to supplement the unreliable source at school.

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: Shitsava Primary School

A year ago, your generous donation helped Shitsava Primary School in Kenya access clean water.

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

September, 2018: Shitsava Primary Project Complete

A new rainwater catchment system was built! Shitsava Primary 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

It was a cold Tuesday morning when we first arrived at Shistava Primary School for hygiene and sanitation training, and some of us were almost removing our shoes because of the poor road network. We had agreed to be there by 9:30am but we got there 30 minutes late because of issues on the road.

The headteacher selected students from classes four to six, ensuring equal representation of both genders. These lower classes are tasked with sharing what they learned with others. Two members of the school board, the village's assistant chief, one parent representative, one teacher, and three of our staff were also there.

Training participants posing together for a picture.

The school needed to be equipped with knowledge on how to improve standards of hygiene and to also ensure that the sanitation facilities given to them are maintained to serve the school for years to come. Some of the topics covered include water pollution, personal and environmental hygiene, operations and maintenance of the facilities, group dynamics, and leadership and governance. The group activities resulted in the formation of a child to child health club that will spearhead hygiene and sanitation awareness at their school.

Teaching the ten steps of thorough handwashing

"People perish due to lack of information, and we have suffered for long due to failure to embrace the right practices of better sanitation and hygiene," said parent Christopher Kwiyanda.

"The training will go a long way to improve on the health status of pupils and thus improving on their academics as well."

Handwashing Stations

Pupils can now enjoy washing their hands with soap thanks to the two handwashing stations that were delivered to their school.  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 with their peers at school and families at home.

Girls lined up to use their new handwashing station.

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit 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!

Parents, staff, and students helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction including sand, stones, and water. Rains were heavy as construction picked began, but our artisans woke up very early in the morning to beat the weather change that would normally happen around lunchtime.

Men helping the artisans sift sand to be mixed with concrete.

Our staff and school administration started by looking around the school to determine the best location for their 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.

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.

The catchment area was dug, plastered, and a staircase installed so students can easily get water from the tap.

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 weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Shitsava Primary School, though we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.

"Lack of safe and clean water has been like a thorn in the flesh for decades in this school. Absenteeism has been reported as pupils feel burdened by carrying water from their homes and some to have contracted water-related diseases, thus unable to attend the class lessons," reminisced Teacher Mumia.

"Indeed God never forsakes his people, because we now have clean water..."

The burdens, illnesses, and absences will be no more!

May, 2018: Shitsava Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Shitsava 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: Shitsava Primary School

September, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Shitsava Primary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Linah Olivia. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Shitsava 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!

Shitsava Primary School has been enjoying clean and safe drinking water right on school grounds ever since the installation of their water tank last year. The school cook is having an easy time preparing the school's meals since clean water is easily available, and the school is saving almost half of what they used to spend paying for water from a nearby tap which runs dry on most occasions anyway.

The students and staff of Shitsava Primary School continue to pass their gratitude to donors for the great WaSH facilities which have improved their lives in different ways. Each of the facilities is in good working condition with no repairs needed so far.

"The biggest change is improved school sanitation," said Deputy Head Teacher Mr. Casper Mumia, who was very happy to take a moment of his time to share with us how these projects have impacted his school over the last year.

"The classes and compound are kept clean on a daily basis. The children are also saving time to read and do other activities unlike before where they would go fetch water or bring it from home during their free time and breaks. The pupils' hygiene has also improved since water is readily and easily available. We do not find stones in our maize and beans anymore unlike before which means the food is cleaned and prepared using enough and clean water which was not the case before since we needed to ration water to feed every purpose."

Deputy Head Teacher Mr. Casper Mumia with Field Officer Georgina Kamau at the back of the rain tank

13-year-old student Linah Olivia also stopped to talk with us. Confident in her public speaking and standing with perfect posture, she shared her story.

"Since the tank was constructed, we are now saving time to read and play instead of going to the river to look for water. The handwashing facilities have also helped us to keep our hands clean after visiting the latrines since they are located nearby. The classes are no longer dusty like before, and our health has improved as well as general hygiene in school."

Georgina with students 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 Shitsava 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 Shitsava 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 Underwriter - Imago Dei Community
2 individual donor(s)