Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/07/2024

Project Features

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Emukangu Primary School is a junior school trying to provide easy access to education for the children of Emukangu Village. The school is currently training a pioneer class that will be the first class to take part in the Kenya National Examinations.

A normal day in this school starts at 6am when the pupils start coming to school. The class seven pupils who are the eldest report early and start their morning preps. The pupils later begin the cleaning session, where they clean different areas of their school using the water they fetched from the spring.

They then go for lessons of the day, following the set timetable for each particular class. They have breaks in the course of the lessons. The early childhood development class leaves for home early during lunch break and report back to school the following day. The day usually ends at 5pm, with some pupils going for games while others opt to do clean their classrooms.


The pupils fetch water from an unprotected spring and a neighbor's well. Water from the spring is fetched using small jerrycans and is for cleaning purposes only. The spring is unprotected, therefore the water is not clean.

For drinking and cooking, the pupils fetch water from a neighbor's homestead with whom they share a fence. The well has no pump, but instead, a bucket tied to a rope is thrown inside the hole and the children have to pull it up when full, then pour the water into the smaller jerrycans they have.

"At the moment water is also a huge challenge, having to depend on a good neighbor to get water for drinking and cooking is not easy. We, therefore, use water with limits, for urgent purposes, washing hands and drinking water is not a concern for many pupils, they just survive," Mrs. Caroline Alivza, the school cook, said.

Cooking water is stored in big pots in the kitchen while the water fetched at the spring is used up immediately for cleaning, when more is required the pupils have to go back for another trip to the spring.

A safe water shortage for this school is bad news for the pupils as they will have to go to the spring on several trips in order to have enough water for use for a whole day in school.


The pupils do not wash their hands after using the toilet, as the only handwashing station available in the school is used by the teachers and the Early Childhood Development class.

The girls have only three latrines, which two have doors while the other one has no door. The latrines are not badly off, although they are smelly. While the boys have two plastic mobile toilets and a urinal made of iron.

"I have worked in this school for almost six years, the health situation is not so good for instance last year the school received a closure notice from the ministry of health due to poor sanitation platforms," Mrs. Alivza said.

"The headteacher was, however, able to work with the parents towards constructing the three pit latrines currently in use by the girls. Before that, they would share the mud-thatched pit latrines with the teachers.

The Kenya Red Cross society was also able to donate two plastic mobile toilets that are now in use by the boys. The mobile toilets are placed on top of a dug pit. When the pit is full, they move the toilets to the next empty pit. They are also very dirty, and smelly, if not installed properly they can easily topple over with someone inside.

The school also has three other toilets that are not in use, since they are not finished. Work started on the new latrines but they never completed the project. These toilets are now lying idle in the school compound.

The school administration, despite the challenges they face on a daily basis, is very keen on maintaining better good hygiene and sanitation standards.

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. 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. 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

October, 2019: Giving Update: Emukangu Primary School, Shibuli

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

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

September, 2018: Emukangu Primary School Project Complete

A new rainwater catchment system was built! Emukangu 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 hygiene and sanitation training with regards to the school program and exam schedule. The date for training was suggested to us by the school headteacher, who also helped us recruit participants from different classes.

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. The group even held elections for club leadership.

Our trainers did a great job of keeping everyone engaged by using pictures, demonstrations, and open group discussions.

"Personally, I yearn to become a clinical officer when I grow up. I draw this inspiration from my elder sister who works at the county general hospital. At home, she insists on cleanliness in order to avoid diseases," shared 12-year-old student Pauline Bahati.

"This training has, therefore, given me information that will change my life and help in building my dreams, too. The school will take our teachings positively when we start the activities of the CTC club, and therefore the whole school will benefit!"

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.

Handwashing stations were delivered before training so that they could be used for 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!

Parents, staff, and students helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction including sand, stones, and water. There was some delay at the beginning of the construction process because the school had only managed to gather a small amount of clean sand that could be used to mix cement. The school leadership had to wait for a supplier to deliver more sand to the site. Then, the team was able to pick up the pace again.

Students helped gather the water needed to mix cement.

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.

An area was excavated under the taps, which will be where the students fill their containers with clean water.

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

Clean water coming from the tank. Our teams dose it with chlorine and rock alum.

The school administration also mentioned that they were working on a strong cover to close up the tap area during the weekends, holidays and drought seasons in order to avoid water wastage. This was an initiative they were willing to undertake even before we made the recommendation!

"Something tremendous has happened to us in the span of one month," shared Teacher Elizabeth Anayi.

"We used to have issues with the community members at the borehole outside of the school, but now we have our own water source. We now have plenty of water in school, and this will last through all seasons."

July, 2018: Emukangu Primary School Project Underway

Dirty water from open sources is making students at Emukangu Primary School sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know your school through the narrative 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: Emukangu Primary School, Shibuli

October, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Emukangu Primary School in Shibuli, Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Eugine Imbenzi. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Emukangu Primary School 2.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Emukangu Primary School 2 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!

What has changed at Emukangu Primary School in Shibuli since the installation of their water projects last year? A lot, if you ask teacher Mr. Eugine Imbenzi as our field officers did on a recent visit to the school.

"We are happy because there has been [a] sufficient supply of water in school. A lot of time is saved since learners were wasting time looking for water from the neighborhood. They have improved in performance, disease prevalence has also gone down. The pupils get clean and safe water for drinking and do not have to go longer distances looking for water and making long ques with the local community members. They also [are] not in fear of being attacked by animals on their way back."

"Pupils at our school have greatly benefited from the availability of plenty of clean and safe water from the tank which they use for washing, cleaning the classes, and cooking."

"The project is good and useful to us, it has improved the overall hygiene of the pupils. There is a lot of water - enough for the pupils [at] school and the community. We pray to God to bless you and protect you always so as to continue supporting the marginalized members of the community and schools that have no capacity to do such projects." 

A student gets a drink from the rain tank

17-year-old Virginia Nandi is a student at Emukangu Primary School in Shibuli, and also offered her thoughts on how the rain tank, VIP latrines, and handwashing stations have impacted her experience as a learner over the last year.

"It has helped us reduce water-related illnesses hence improving our health. We also have access to clean, safe, and adequate water for drinking, cleaning utensils, classes, latrines, and cooking."

Field Officer Victor Musemi with students and Mr. Imbenzi 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 Emukangu Primary School 2 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 Emukangu Primary School 2 – 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)