Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/09/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Activity starts early for the families living around Bushili Primary School. Parents of Bushili wake up by 6am to prepare breakfast for their kids before engaging in their day to day activities. Bushili Primary School has a total of 851 students, of which 401 are boys and 450 are girls. There are 17 teachers and three support staff employed here.

Livelihoods in the community range from farming to small business, to informal labor. Students are to school by 7am to attend morning study hall. Regular lessons start at 8am.


Bushili Primary School does not have water of their own. Instead, they must depend on a community borehole in Bushili Market. This well serves hundreds of people, and the school regrets having to send their students to get water. 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.

To learn more about how we calculate the people served by a water project, click here.

According to Deputy Headteacher Mr. Nelson Onyango, most days they just can't follow their normal schedule.

"Sometimes the classrooms are not mopped simply because the county borehole in Bushili Market serves so many people," he said.

"When we send pupils to fetch water, they encounter long lines. Pupils waste a lot of their precious time lining up for water that could have been used for their education."


There are pit latrines for each gender that are made of bricks walls, concrete floors, and iron roofs. However, most of these are almost full. There are no hand-washing stations for students to clean up at either.

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.

Hand-Washing Stations

The 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.

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.

We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. With clean water and high standards of cleanliness, students’ good health will give them the chance to earn better grades and live a better life.

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

Project Updates

September, 2019: Giving Update: Bushili Primary School

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

July, 2018: Bushili Primary School Has Clean Water

A new rainwater catchment system was built! Bushili 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 planned for training with great assistance from Headteacher Sagin. He was asked to recruit at least 16 participants from each grade, along with teachers and parent representatives.

The training day was very gloomy and it was drizzling outside, making the dirt roads leading to Bushili Primary School almost impassable. On our way there, we found people demonstrating. They had planted sugarcane and bananas on the road to make a statement. We arrived at school a bit late due to these unfavorable conditions. We were excited to find more participants waiting for us than we expected, though!

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.

There are 10 steps to proper handwashing, and it must be done with running water and soap.

Students really enjoyed learning about their rights. One of the students made everyone laugh, claiming that since she knows about her rights now, she's going to run home and demand them from her parents. The trainer had to intervene and clarify that a child should never ask for more than what their parents are actually able to provide.

Students also liked learning about dental hygiene. We showed them how to brush their teeth with small circular movements to avoid injuring their gums. Many had been using way too much toothpaste and brushing only once a day if at all.

"We are very grateful for today's training. What we have learned will not only assist us here at the school but also in our various homes. If we indeed practice good hygiene and sanitation in everything we are doing, I hope we will not be complaining of poor health," Teacher Dinah Amuyunzu 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 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.

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.

Getting ready to mix 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.

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.

Digging a soak pit where excess water will drain.

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

Harriet Nyanzigu is now the chair of her school's child health club.

"The new water source will assist us greatly not only for drinking but also when doing cleanliness in the school," she said.

"Also, I am happy because I will no longer need to carry water from home to school every morning."

April, 2018: Bushili Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Bushili 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: Bushili Primary School

September, 2019

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Bushili 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 for the staff and students of Bushili Primary School has improved greatly since the implementation of the WaSH projects in their school last year. Initially, pupils wasted a lot of their time queuing for water in the sole borehole at Bushili market, which serves many people right from the community members, traders, and pupils to the Bushili Secondary School students. Now, with the rain tank's capacity of 50,000 liters, pupils can access safe and sufficient clear water at their fingertips within school grounds.

Sanitation and hygiene have also improved. Though the school is still working on building more sanitation facilities to suit their increasing population, the 6 VIP latrines constructed by our team as a package to complement the rain tank serves them well. These have helped to reduce the long ques witnessed at the few existing latrines before the implementation of WaSH projects at Bushili Primary.

Stepping into the Bushili Primary School compound, you quickly and easily notice the changes that have happened in the school since last year. The environment is free from litter and the nearly 1,000 water containers from students bringing water to school that sat in front of the administration block and used to welcome visitors are no longer present. Instead, you see the huge rain tank, well-constructed pit latrines and the handwashing stations spread across the school's compound.

Field Officer Wilson Kipchoge with Head Teacher Mr. Ronald Mashishia in front of the rain tank

"We are very grateful for [your] considering our school for [the] WaSH projects," said Head Teacher Ronald Mashishia.

"The tank has helped us greatly [as] pupils do get sufficient water for quenching thirst and also for cleaning their classrooms and the pit latrines. Generally, the sanitation and hygiene in the school have improved as a result of these projects. The VIP latrines have reduced the congestion [in line] that were witnessed before construction. Besides that, pupils do wash their hands after toilet visits, something which was not common before."

Mashishia fills up at the rain tank

One of those pupils, 13-year-old Vanessa Kavaya, shared how these projects have impacted her personally at Bushili Primary School.

Vanessa with Mashishia at the rain tank

"Since the implementation of the project in our school, we have gotten humble time for studies. We can now attend morning and evening preps because we are no longer [sent] to go and fetch water from the borehole at Bushili market, which is so overcrowded."

"We are happy and sincerely thank you people for this initiative. Initially, we could visit [the] toilet and fail to wash our hands because one, water was a great challenge and [two], we had no handwashing stations. Our hygiene now has improved because we now wash our hands after [every] toilet visit."

Kipchoge with Vanessa 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 Bushili 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 Bushili 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 - Pineapple Fund