Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 520 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/11/2024

Project Features

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Emmaloba Primary School in Kenya was founded in 1990 by community members who donated the land. Some 500 students attend classes from 7am - 4:15pm, play in the fields and help clean the compound.  The school is located at the border of two counties where the Luhya and the Luo tribes live together peaceably.

The headteacher, Hosea Osambo, graduated from Essumba Primary School and was really impressed with the work that was done there by WeWaSaFo. He entreated them to consider Emmaloba for the same vital services. On our visit to the school, we found that the school is in dire need of a rainwater tank, handwashing facilities, and latrines. The headteacher promised to mobilize the school stakeholders so as to support the project and thus we qualified it.


The school does not have a water source, but must solely rely on the pupils who bring water every day from an unprotected spring. They must walk about 30 minutes, wait in line, and collect water usually in lidless containers from the pipe that comes out of the ground. These containers are then lined up at the school and the water used as needed during the day.

A hand-dug well was done by ACK Diocese of Maseno North in the year 2015. It dried up during the dry spell and broke down, which discouraged the sponsor from repairing it. The well was not fitted with a pump and a winch, which failed, and could not be fixed. That forced the school to construct a structure to secure it from vandalism.


Hygienically, the school does not have even an improvised handwashing station though they do have a lunch program for class eight pupils who just eat the food without washing their hands. The headteacher was quick to say that they have never seen or heard of handwashing stations.  With this kind of practice, the cook mentioned, many pupils are exposed to dangers of getting stomachaches.

The condition of the available latrines is worrying as many of these are almost full, emitting a foul smell and casting doubts about future reliance on them.

Garbage is thrown into the dump and burned.  In time, this material is used to fertilize the farmland.

There are few cases of malaria due to the fact that the government gave out mosquito nets free of charge.  Also, with the availability of a nearby dispensary, has really helped to avert the persistence of common local diseases like malaria, colds and diarrheal diseases.

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


Training will be held for three 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. Teachers, students and representatives from the parents will participate in this training so that all know how to practice good personal hygiene.

Handwashing Stations

The teachers will help in supervision as the CTC club members will be responsible for the management and maintenance of the hand-washing facilities. This will be done by filling the provided 60-liter plastic containers fitted with fabricated metallic stands with water every day and also ensuring that they are properly stored.

VIP Latrines

Six latrines will be constructed with local materials that the school will help gather. Three 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.

We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. These higher standards will translate to better academic performance and less sickness being brought back home to families. Better health, better education, and better living standards go hand in hand.

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: Emmaloba Primary School

A year ago, your generous donation helped Emmaloba 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 Emmaloba Primary School. Month after month, their giving supports ongoing sustainability programs that help this school maintain access to safe, reliable water. Read more…

August, 2018: Emmaloba Primary School Project Complete

A new rainwater catchment system was built! Emmaloba 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

We worked with the headteacher to plan hygiene and sanitation training. He mobilized the pupils, teachers, and parents, urging them to attend the seminar. The day was fair, the sky partially cloudy with warmth from the sun. Training was conducted in one of the classrooms belonging to class four, who had just finished their exams.

Training on toothbrushing

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. Students liked how we used lots of pictures and demonstrations to teach these things and even more. They plan to take what they learned and share it via a newly established student health club.

Following the trainer's demonstration of handwashing

Participants were most interested in the facility management session and the personal hygiene session. Since construction on the latrines and tank was just about done, we could take students out of the classroom to demonstrate some hands-on care. They learned how to clean out the tank right before the rainy season, to lock the tap during the holiday, clean the gutters, and clean and store the handwashing stations.

The students hadn't realized how their daily habits directly affect their health. They learned about the need for bathing, always wearing clean clothes, brushing teeth, cutting fingernails and removing earwax. Not adhering to these practices as habits can spread germs and result in different health issues.

Focused group discussion

"I am happy that I have learned about the dangers that await us when we fail to make hygiene a priority in our lives. This training has triggered us to change our hygiene habits and make our society very hygienic," 13-year-old Kevin Aria shared.

Students posing outside with the notebooks and handouts they received.

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 both with their peers at school and families at home.

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!

Parents, staff, and students helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction including sand, stones, and water. 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.

Mixing cement

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.

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.

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.

The catchment area was dug, plastered, and a staircase installed.

Once finished, the tank was given three weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Emmaloba Primary School.

"I have been waiting to see this beautiful tank in our school compound. Having this water source will greatly help our pupils not leave the compound to look for water from unknown sources. That had been putting their lives in danger of waterborne disease," Teacher Judith Andahi said.

But our work is not done! We will continue to offer the school unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.

"I am not who I used to be," Headteacher Osambo told us.

"Every time I look around our school, it seems like my eyes fail me after these big changes. When I first came to this school, there was nothing to smile at. Classrooms were made of mud and iron, and there were no latrines at all."

He continued, "This moment is like a new chapter. As I look back, I thank God that at least when I retire, I will be leaving this school much better than the way I found it."

May, 2018: Emmaloba Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Emmaloba 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: Emmaloba Primary School

September, 2019

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Emmaloba 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!

From a distance, the sight of the rain tank at Emmaloba Primary School is quite impressive, setting the school off from the surrounding landscape.

Since the inception of the WaSH projects in this school last year, pupils are no longer seen walking around with containers to fetch or deliver water as it was before. Orderliness has characterized the state of the school, and while walking around there is total silence and a sense of focus - a sign of assurance that there is no need to worry about anything. The 50,000-liter rain tank has to a great extent helped the school to have access to safe, clean drinking water within its compound.

Also, due to the provision of 6 VIP latrines, the school has been able to separate the location of the girls' and boys' latrines. Before this project was done, both the boys and the girls used to access sanitation facilities from one location, which was uncomfortable especially for the adolescent-aged age boys and girls.

Emmaloba Primary School remains thankful for their tank.

As for now, they are able to access safe water from the rain tank which was like a dream to them at first because they thought it was impossible to have such a project within their compound. The environment around the school looks green with trees and flowers making the area cool and shady, a pleasant improvement thanks to the increased access to water and pride in the school.

Mrs. Andayi (right) with Mary Atieno (center) and another student at the rain tank

"Since the project was done last year, we as a school have witnessed great changes especially being blessed with a very reliable water source within the school area," said Health and Sanitation Teacher Mrs. Judith Andayi.

"We have every reason to boast a little bit for the facilities given to us by our donors who made every possible effort to ensure that we get these beautiful facilities. As a school, we have come a long way and such help from loving and selfless donors is [a] great gift to us. We now have water at our school, the latrines have reduced congestion, and handwashing facilities have contributed towards promoting [the] washing of hands by both teachers and pupils."

One of those pupils is 12-year-old student Mary Atieno, who was happy to share how these projects have impacted her experience as a learner at Emmaloba Primary School.

"Since the time that this project was done in our school, I do not need to carry water every day to school like how we used to before. Drinking safe water from the tank is now a sure thing to me and I do not fear to take as many cups of water as possible."

"Accessing latrines is also great to me because previously, I feared to go to the latrines that were near to the ones for the boys. The time I used to spend going to fetch water from outside the school is now used to study more and do my classwork, hoping always to excel in my academic performance."

Mrs. Andayi with Mary and Field Officer Wilson Kipchoge 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 Emmaloba 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 Emmaloba 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 - Rose W. Goode