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The Water Project: Isulu Primary School -  Garbage Site
The Water Project: Isulu Primary School -  School Kitchen
The Water Project: Isulu Primary School -  Hand Washing Station
The Water Project: Isulu Primary School -  Ecosan Latrines
The Water Project: Isulu Primary School -  Ecosan Latrines
The Water Project: Isulu Primary School -  Water Containers Used By Students
The Water Project: Isulu Primary School -  Directions For Ecosan Latrines
The Water Project: Isulu Primary School -  Classrooms
The Water Project: Isulu Primary School -  Early Childhood Education Students
The Water Project: Isulu Primary School -  Students

Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  Under Construction
Estimated Install Date (?):  02/28/2019

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Isulu Primary School is located in Bushimuli Village of Kakamega County, Kenya. It started in 1933 with just temporary structures made of iron sheets. Now, the school has grown to host 620 pupils! There is also an early education section that has 88 pupils. The school employs 12 teachers.

(Editor’s Note: 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 determine the number of people served, click here.)

The headteacher told us that it’s been a challenge for them to connect with parents, saying that the parents don’t value education. Most of the parents are illiterate and have not attended any grades at all. This has actually made it difficult to appoint parents to be members of the board of management since it is required by law that for one to be a member, he or she must have at least passed the form four. Consequently, the school has appointed members who are not parents at the school. It doesn’t even bother most parents when a pupil misses school.

A normal day starts very early for these students, as they’re required to do a lot in preparation for school. To get through the school gate, students are required to carry not only their homework and books but a container of water too. They use this water to clean their classrooms and latrines, and the rest for cooking school lunch and drinking.


There’s a plastic tank that can collect rainwater, but it doesn’t last long without being recharged. To supplement this low capacity, students are asked to carry water from home. There’s no way for the administration to verify the safety of this water, but the illnesses that emerge as students drink this water points towards poor quality. There are several absences every week, with students reporting waterborne illnesses like typhoid.


There are several pit latrines for students, including ecosan latrines. Around a dozen of these are functional, but are overused by too many students. The lines during break times are so long that students can’t make it to their next class, let alone wait that long to find relief. There is only one spot to wash hands, so only a portion of these students have the opportunity to wash up before returning to class.

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

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. 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. These higher standards will translate to better academic performance!

Project Updates

01/02/2019: Isulu Primary School Project Underway

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

Get to know this school through the introduction and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation and hygiene project. With water on school grounds, students will no longer have to carry heavy containers of water to school each day. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!

The Water Project : 4-kenya18064-water-containers-used-by-students

Project Photos

Project Type

Rainwater Catchment

Rainwater is collected off strategic areas of a roof, enters a custom guttering system (which filters out debris) and leads to a storage tank. Tanks can vary in sizes and are determined by population and average rainfall patterns. Water can be stored for months, is easily treated in the tank, and is accessible through taps. These projects are implemented at schools with proper roof lines and gutter systems to make them successful.


Project Sponsor - Duane and Katrina Weaver/JM Smith Foundation