Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 324 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/13/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

St. Joseph Eshirumba Primary School was started in the year 2014 sponsored by Good News Church. The school is located in Eshirumba Village within Kakamega County of Western Kenya. The school has a total population of 324 pupils, 151 boys and 163 girls.

The school's normal day begins at 6am by pupils reporting to school. Lower classes commence compound cleaning from 7am to 7:30am. On Mondays and Fridays, there is assembly during which there's raising of the flag. The master on duty addresses the pupils and invites other teachers to brief the pupils on what is expected of them. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays lessons begin at 8am and end at 4:30pm.

At 4:30pm pupils go for games. Here different activities take place where everyone participates. There are those that are good in poem, drama, soccer and many others. At 5pm they all assemble on parade then go home to help their parents.


There is no permanent source of water at the school, so the girls and boys are forced to carry water from home. Water is gathered using two, five or ten-liter containers according to their ages. Since the water source is far away, chances of pupils fetching water from a closer, more contaminated source is high.

The pupils are unable to clean their classrooms daily because the is not enough water in the school. Cleaning is done once per week. A lot of time is wasted, thus affecting the performance of the pupils.

Numerous cases of water-related diseases have been reported in the school and this has been attributed to poor water handling. The most commonly reported cases include dysentery and typhoid.

"These water-related diseases amongst other infections have resulted in a high rate of absenteeism in the school which on the other hand, has affected the performance of the pupils in this school," Simon Angolo, headteacher at the school, said.


The walls of the latrines on the school grounds are made up of bricks, plastered with cement with wooden doors, the three latrines for boys are almost full while the rest were smelly.

There are few sanitation facilities seen at the school. Pupils have improvised a handwashing station near the latrine, compost pit at the school and facilities that the school has are well managed.

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: St. Joseph Eshirumba Primary School

A year ago, your generous donation helped St. Joseph Eshirumba 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 St. Joseph Eshirumba 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: Eshirumba Primary School Project Complete

A new rainwater catchment system was built! Eshirumba 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

Preparations for hygiene and sanitation training began during our first visit. The school administration was informed that one of our project components is to undertake a training in health and hygiene promotion using the Child To Child (CTC) approach. We settled on a Wednesday afternoon since that's when all of the sports and special interest clubs meet. Student leaders were selected to represent their peers, along with teachers and parents. The CTC approach helps us establish a student health club that will teach sanitation and hygiene at school and in the community.

As our staff arrived at the school they were met by 26 participants out of which 23 were pupils (8 girls and 15 boys), one teacher, one parent representative, and one school board member. We used the early education building since the toddlers only attend classes in the morning.

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.

A myth we often have to challenge came up again during the session on oral hygiene. The teacher there commented that babies get diarrhea and fevers when they teethe. When these babies teethe, their gums itch so bad that they'll grab any object to put in their mouths regardless of its cleanliness. It's not the teething itself that causes further illness!

We also advised that parents and siblings watch the young ones. Whenever they get sick with diarrhea or fever, they should be immediately taken to the hospital. Older parents and grandparents often do their best to dissuade young parents to go to the hospital, believing that traditional medicine like herbs should always be used over modern medicine.

"We were ignorant about proper handwashing and oral hygiene. Now, we have learned how to do it in a better way," said Teacher Caroline Asena.

"We shall train others both at school and in the community on these same things. This will ensure that we stay healthy."

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. All the while, women cooked meals for the artisans, and the school provided accommodations for the artisans during their work. They enjoyed green maize, banana, and beans. Local men and women helped our artisans with their manual labor, too.

We were amazed that parents didn't even want the school to hire help for us to sink the huge latrine pits; instead, they insisted on doing it themselves. This is the first time we've seen this kind of dedication, for people even prefer to hire cheap labor to sink pits at their own homes.

Students fetching water for the artisans to mix more 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.

Finally, the catchment area was dug, plastered, and a staircase installed.

One of the artisans plastering the edge of the catchment area.

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

"This school used to waste a lot of time getting water. With the current population, we had pressure on the existing sanitation facilities and we had been served a closure notice by a public health officer," said Teacher Erick Momanyi.

"Now, we are happy we have water within the school compound. We are not worried if the public health officers come back to the school."

July, 2018: Lots Happening at St. Joseph Eshirumba Primary School!

A severe clean water shortage at St. Joseph Eshirumba 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: St. Joseph Eshirumba Primary School

October, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped St. Joseph Eshirumba Primary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Gerald Makuba. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help St. Joseph Eshirumba 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!

Since the implementation of the WaSH projects St. Joseph Eshirumba Primary School a year ago, a lot of goals have been realized among students and staff.

The school compound as observed on our most recent visit was very neat and clean, including the sanitation facilities, the classrooms, and the pupils themselves. All this is because of the availability of water in the school. The deputy headteacher also reported that the rate of absenteeism has gone down because there are now very few cases of waterborne diseases.

"The school population has increased from 314 to 350 and we are expecting more to come since we received the WaSH projects. On the other hand, the school has attracted more donors who have also stepped in and helped the school in [the] construction of 2 more classrooms. We strongly believe that the entry of [your team] in this school brought good luck. Lastly, our pupils are going to sit for the national examinations for the first time and with these facilities within our school compound, we believe their performance will be good," said Deputy Head Teacher Mrs. Mulima.

Deputy Head Teacher Mulima with Field Officer Betty at the rain tank

Gerald Makuba is a 10-year-old student at St. Joseph Eshirumba Primary School. Gerald reflected on his experience as a learner over the last year.

"Since the implementation of the handwashing facilities in our school, we have enough time to study as compared to other years when we had no facilities [like] the water tank. We used to carry water from home, [and] during class time we could be asked to go and bring water in between lessons and this really affected us academically."

Student John Osaka takes a drink from 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 St. Joseph Eshirumba 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 St. Joseph Eshirumba 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 - Imago Dei Community