Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/03/2024

Project Features

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Students carry water to school with their books, but it rarely lasts through lunchtime. There is no water at Eshikufu Primary School, and the students get thirsty. They must band together, grab their yellow jerrycans, and head off to a community spring to bring back water. Since the source is out in the village, students waste so much time between getting there and waiting in line behind the adults.

Pupils spend a lot of time looking for water, and the time that would have been invested in studying and getting better grades is wasted. Pupils are not socially active during the class breaks because instead, they have to go fetch water.

When carrying water from home, students arrive at school already tired.

Eshikufu Primary School was established in 2011 on a one-acre piece of land initially belonging to Mr. Khasolo. The main purpose for starting Eshikufu Primary School was to reduce the long distance and the risk encountered by children crossing the busy tarmac road and bridges to Enyapora Primary School. By 2012, it had an enrollment of 82 pupils with just one incomplete classroom for them all.

It has grown massively since 2012, with a current student enrollment of 856. They don't have enough desks for students, so many of them sit on the ground.

Students learn mathematics, English, Kiswahili, social studies, sciences, and religious education. There are lots of extracurricular activities like peace club, football, netball, scouting, debate, health club, and environment club.

The pupils arrive before 8am to clean the grounds and their classrooms. Classes begin at 8:20am. Class eight remains at the school during the lunch hour to be served by the cook, since they are preparing for high school entrance exams. The rest of the students must leave the school to get food from their parents or the local market.

What we can do:

Rainwater Catchment Tank

A rainwater catchment tank will help curb water scarcity here, enabling pupils to settle back into a steady class routine. This 50,000-liter tank will be used for drinking, cooking lunch for grade eight, handwashing, and cleaning the latrines and classrooms.

VIP Latrines

"The latrine condition is in a pathetic state. Our student numbers have increased but the latrines are not enough," reports Teacher Everline Ouma.

"There is a lot of competition at break time."

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 will have enough to keep these new latrines clean.


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.


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. This CTC club will oversee the new facilities, such as handwashing stations, and make sure they are kept clean and in working condition. They will also be ambassadors for hygiene and sanitation among their peers at school and families at home.

Project Updates

October, 2019: Giving Update: Eshikufu Primary School

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

January, 2019: Eshikufu Primary School Project Complete

There is a new rainwater catchment system at Eshikufu 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.

New Knowledge

We planned hygiene and sanitation training through the headteacher, Mrs. Emily, together with Mrs. Beatrice Odera the sanitation teacher. She looked for bright, qualified student leaders from classes four through six to attend. These 18 student participants learned new concepts that they plan to teach to their peers. They will do this through forming a student health club that holds activities and events around campus and in the surrounding community.

The students and their teachers needed knowledge on how to improve standards of hygiene and ensure that the sanitation facilities given to them are well-maintained for years to come. Some of the topics we covered included water pollution and treatment methods, handwashing, dental hygiene, operations and maintenance of the facilities, group dynamics, and leadership and governance.

Since tank construction was complete, students could gather around and learn how the tank works and how to best care for it.

Students were amazed to learn that flowing water such as river water and or spring water can be polluted through open defecation - a fact that they were not aware of. They also learned about how water can be polluted by the way it's handled and stored.

"We have learned that it is important to use toilets all the time and completely avoid open defecation, for this can pollute water, whether flowing rivers or a protected spring," said 11-year-old Sharon.

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.

An early education pupil using one of the new handwashing stations

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit latrines. These were all given to the female students since they had the greatest need. 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!

These students took time away from school vacation to return and help get the water the artisans needed to mix cement.

Projects aren't successful without the passionate support of students, teachers, and parents who want to see clean water flowing.

"With this new water point in place, it's going to help on minimizing loss of time by our pupils in fetching water from the spring. [The spring] is a distance away from the school, along with other risks like involvement in undesirable behaviors as well and [avoiding] this will impact positively on their performance and general behavior as well," said Parent Teacher Association chairman Moses Masinde.

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.

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.

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

"I say thank you so much! You have really helped me," said Jane, who prepares the daily lunches for Eshikufu staff.

"I have always had it rough in the kitchen because the water that the students bring is never enough to help me work effectively. I am really feeling peaceful in my heart."

Mama Jane's job will be so much easier with enough clean water to cook healthy meals.

December, 2018: Eshikufu Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Eshikufu 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: Eshikufu Primary School

October, 2019

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Eshikufu 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!

Field Officer Protus Ekesa recently visited Eshikufu Primary School to check up on their WaSH projects and interview students and staff about the projects' impact in their first year since completion. Protus shared the following observations from his visit:

"The school sanitation standard has improved. This is because of [the] availability of water in the school compound which has enabled them [to] clean their latrines...The sanitation has also improved because of the training that was done. This enabled the [student health] club [to] be active and insist on the sanitation and hygiene to the other pupils. The school has improved in time management because they need minimal time to get the water and settle down in class."

Head Teacher Mrs. Emily Osundwa hosted Protus' visit at the school and shared her thoughts on the impact the rain tank, latrines, and handwashing stations have had on her school.

"Pupils are able to settle down in class on time and dedicate much of their time [to their] studies," Mrs. Osundwa explained, highlighting the difference between their old practice of requiring students to leave campus and miss precious class time while they went in search of water.

"The pupils are able to drink the water without any fear since [it] is treated termly...The sanitation standard has improved and the pupils do go to the latrines without any fear since the latrines are always clean. The pupils are now able to wash their hands and enjoy the steps they were taught during the training. They also fill the handwashing containers every morning."

Sanitation Patron supervising water collection for kitchen use

One such student is 16-year-old Vivian Osunya, who shared a different perspective as a young learner at the school.

"I am able to drink the water [because] I know its source, unlike in the past whereby we used to drink water brought from [unprotected sources at] home. During break time I go to the latrines without any fear because water is available and the latrines are kept clean."

Head Teacher Emily Osundwa, student Vivian Osunya, and Field Officer Protus in front of the rain tank

(We are also working with Vivian's home community to see if we can help alleviate some of their water stress there too!)

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 Eshikufu 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 Eshikufu 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 - Avana