Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2019

Functionality Status:  Low/No Water or Mechanical Breakdown

Last Checkup: 07/09/2024

Project Features

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Eshisenye Primary School is located at Shianda region. Residents of this village grow sugarcane as their major cash crop. The sugar company did quite well in past years and farmers made a lot of money from the crop.

Some women told us that whenever their husbands, who are looked to as the head of the household, received a check for sugarcane delivery they would disappear from the home and go to the cities to spend all the money.

But currently, the sugar industry is failing. It is doing so poorly that people are uprooting their sugarcane crops from the farms to grow other things. Eshisenye School, therefore, has students from poor families that cannot even afford a pair of shoes.

The principal begged us to go to primary school during the baseline survey at Eshisenye Girls Secondary School since they suffer from the same problem of not having sufficient safe water for consumption.

We visited the school in the morning when pupils are rushing to the school. We were humbled to see some malnourished pupils carrying water in a plastic container to school.

A normal day in this school begins when the young ones arrive early carrying the water from their homes. They use the same water to clean the school and prepare teacher meals.

At 7:20am the normal lessons begin, but a good number of students fail to concentrate well in class since they are already tired from carrying the water from home.

Teachers and pupils reportedly suffer from water-related diseases as a result of consuming unsafe water from unknown sources.

"Taking water from unknown sources has been the biggest challenge for both pupils and teachers," Mr. Moses Waswa, a teacher at the school, said.

"The majority have contacted waterborne diseases and as a result fail to attend to class lessons."

The students looked like people who are serving a jail term, with old uniforms in tatters. It was hard to imagine what these children have to go through to finish a basic primary education in this school with the burden of carrying water to school for eight years.

What touched us the most was the pit latrines. Since the students have no shoes and the toilets are dirty, one had to carry stones to place on the floor and stand on while going to the bathroom. Those stones are then discarded and a student must bring in new ones to use the latrine.

"This is a God-given project and it will go along holistically improving the performance of the school and curb water-related diseases," Mr. Waswa said.

At 5pm, the lessons end and pupils are released to go home and help their parents.

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!

Project Updates

October, 2019: Giving Update: Eshisenye Primary School

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

February, 2019: Eshisenye Primary School Project Complete

There is a new rainwater catchment system at Eshisenye Primary School Primary School! Students have a 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.

Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction for this 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank was successful!

"This school has had a problem of water since it was started. Pupils have always been forced to carry water from home. This has been so tiresome and demanding from the pupils. We have had cases of pupils collecting dirty water which stagnates on the roads whenever it rains," school board chairman Lukoye recalled.

"God has blessed us with adequate rainfall and I know this project will be of great help to this school. Since a similar project was conducted at our neighboring Eshisenye Girls' Secondary School, their problem of water shortage was totally solved and we had really been admiring them but we thank God... for remembering us as well and for coming to our rescue."

The Process:

Our staff and the 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 level ground and then reinforcing it using steel, concrete and waterproof cement.

Measuring the diameter for the tank foundation

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.

Plastering the catchment area

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

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit 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. 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.

New Knowledge

We worked with the headteacher to recruit student representatives from each grade. These students will form a child to child (CTC) student health club that will hold activities and meetings to teach their peers about what they learned.

Taking attendance

Training was conducted during morning hours and the weather was cool. Since regular classes had just released for holiday, we had our pick of the classrooms. However, the weather was so nice that we opted to take chairs outside and sit under a tree.

There were both young students and older teachers and parents in attendance. Their participation was encouraging. They took notes, answered questions whenever they were called upon, and they always listened respectfully.

We covered topics including:

– primary healthcare
– taking care of the new facilities

– common illnesses and their prevention
– waterborne illnesses
– CTC club activities

– handwashing

This was the first very memorable topic. Before taking participants through this topic, we first asked them when they wash their hands and how they do it. One class six boy named Eugene really shocked us when he said that when he goes to the toilet in the morning, he does not wash his hands. Instead, he just rubs his hands on the wet, dewy grass. According to him, as long as his hands are wet they are clean.

We later specified how and when to wash hands. All of the students laughed and enjoyed comparing it to what their peer Eugene had been doing.

– dental hygiene

Leadership and governance were also taught to equip the CTC student health club with good leadership skills as they teach the rest of the student body what they learned. The training ended with the students electing their peers to the club cabinet leadership. We were surprised to find that the students wanted to elect Eugene as the chair of the CTC club. According to them he was a hygiene convert who would lead the rest of the student body well.

"The pupils who attended training were so enthusiastic and I am so sure that they will exercise what they have learned in their homes. I also believe that they will have enough time to share the same information with their peers," said Mr. Wamoyi.

"As the deputy headteacher, I will organize and create platforms for them to share the same information with the rest of the school immediately."

Our trainer with the CTC club

Thank You for making all of this possible!

January, 2019: Eshisenye Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Eshisenye 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. 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: Eshisenye Primary School

October, 2019

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Eshisenye 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!

Pupils at Eshisenye Primary School were once forced to bring water from their homes to school because there was no reliable water source there. Some students could spend much time playing on the way to school and going to their home's streams fetching water.

Since the installation of their rain tank last year, the story at Eshisenye Primary School has changed for the better. The time and energy that was initially spent on the road in search of water has now been converted to academics which has greatly increased the contact hours between the teachers and the pupils. The VIP latrines and handwashing stations, coupled with water from the rain tank, have helped these pupils improve their hygiene when it is sometimes not possible to do so at home.

The issue of water at Eshisenye Primary School has been well addressed. The school environment is now clean, and all of their WaSH facilities are in good working condition.

"The school is now able to access clean and safe water," said Deputy Head Teacher Mr. Francis Chibole.

Deputy Head Teacher Mr. Francis Chibole smiles at the rain tank with a cup of water to drink

"Pupils no longer strain to get water to drink and even to clean. The most wasted hours have been compensated as most of the time the pupils are in class studying. The school performance has significantly improved and this is a plus for us."

One such pupil is 13-year-old Franklin Majimbo, who reflected on the changes he has experienced as a learner over the last year as a result of the WaSH projects.

"Nowadays we no longer carry water from home whenever we are going to school. We also do not spend so much time searching for water. We instead spend that time in our classes trying to improve our academics."

Mr. Chibole, Field Officer Jacklyne Chelagat, and student Franklin Majimbo 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 Eshisenye 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 Eshisenye 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.


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