Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Program: Kenyan Spring Protection

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2014

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/10/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

This project is being implemented by our partner Western Water And Sanitation Forum, and includes the construction of a rain water harvesting system.


The community members started Emusala Primary School in 1973. The school is situated in Emusala Village, Navakholo Location, Lurambi Constituency, Kakamega central District, and Kakamega County. The community members started the school to enable their children from within the community to gain access to formal education.  The community donated the land on which the school started.

The School has a population of 904pupils of which 362 are boys, 396 are girls in upper primary, those in E.C.D are 36 boys, 26 are girls and 84 are disabled. Also the School has 20 teachers and 8 support staff.

(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.  This community would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)

Though the school has a well-defined vision of being a world-class institution: in inclusive learning, providing quality education, promoting attitude towards good health, environmental protection to all learners regardless of their ability and making them useful future members of the society, the school faces a myriad of challenges.  The school’s population is on a constant increase and amenities such as latrines are inadequate and unable to serve the 904 number of children in the compound.

The school has a Special Needs Education Unit, which was started in the year 2003 and caters for learners with special needs, such as mentally handicapped children, cerebral palsy and autism cases within the same compound, though it has been marginalized in terms of infrastructure.  The school has not gotten major support from the government in terms of Constituency Development Fund (The CDF), yet it has the highest number of children with disabilities in the area. The unit has no learning materials or equipment. The unit has 1 occupational therapist that needs equipment in order to perform the job properly, but the school cannot afford this equipment. There is also limited space for therapy.

The present Head teacher Mr. Nawade is the 14th Head teacher posted to the school by the government; he joined in the year 2010.  Despite all of the above mentioned obstacles, as a result of concerted efforts between the Head teacher, staff, school management committee and parents, the school’s performance is above average.  In the year 2012 the school attained a mean score of 260.13 (52%) and out of the 64 class eight candidates that sat for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education, 62 have joined various secondary schools. 

Currently the school has no safe water source and it gets water for from a borehole owned by an individual near the school. They can only access the water two days per week (Tuesday and Thursday) and can only collect a maximum of 5 containers of 20 liters sold at 10 Kshs.  As a result of this, the school per term (constituting of 16 weeks) spends at least Kshs. 6400 on water. This money could have otherwise been used for other development projects in the school. This water cannot serve the entire school community but only the teachers. The pupils have to access the water from an unprotected spring about 1KM away from the school. As a result the children waste their time fetching water instead of using the time to study. On the other hand, since the water is from unprotected source they suffer from water borne diseases also resulting to absenteeism from school affecting their performance.

The school has 30 sanitation facilities: 2 doors for teachers, 12 doors for boys, 15 doors for girls and 1 urinal for boys. Out of the 30 latrines, only 9/30 latrines are usable while the rest are in pathetic state. Due to high poverty levels in the community, many children lack shoes and thus visit the latrines bare foot resulting to jigger infestation and other sanitation and hygiene related infections.

From the Baseline survey conducted by Western Water and sanitation Forum, it was evident that many pupils dislike using the latrines as they very bad smell, too dirty and in poor state and there fore opt to use behind the classrooms and behind the latrines for short calls. This has also resulted to environmental pollution.

The school also lacks hand-washing facilities and basics on good hygiene practices as a result the prevalence rate of water borne diseases in the school is a bit high. It was reported that so far the school at the beginning of this term lost two pupils who suffered from water borne diseases. It is for this reason that WEWASAFO proposes to build a rain water harvesting tank as well as 4 additional double door latrines as well as hand washing stations.  Accompanying this hardware implementation will be a hygiene and sanitation training to teach the children about proper hygiene and sanitation practices. 

Mobilization process of the community

The Kakamega County minister of environment, natural resources, water and forestry had a privilege to visit some earlier water projects implemented by WEWASAFO and funded by The Water Project; she was very much happy with the work we were doing in the region. When we further consulted  her in the  office on some needy schools in the County, she was quick to point out Emusala primary school. The school management wrote  an official letter requesting for assistance in construction of WASH facilities in the school as a matter of procedure.

After receipt of the letter endorsed by the minister, WEWASAFO dispatched the WASH (Water and Sanitation Hygiene) team to the site to verify the situation as it is on the ground, as well as to begin the process of developing the baseline for the school. As  outlined in the baseline information, the school had great challenges including the lack of sound WASH facilities among other challenges.

After approval of the site for the project, the baseline information gathered and documented, the WASH  team embarked on the PRA process. The Emusala primary community were mobilized and the representative were taken through the identification and mapping of the community.

The Participatory Rural Appraisal process

The organization conducted a PRA process that drew participation of opinioned leaders, representatives of parents, school management committee and the school administration.

This process was conducted with an objective of equipping them with relevant skills of appraising the projects in the community and training on good leadership, management, monitoring and evaluation. This was to ensure participatory monitoring and evaluation of the projects within the school.

Under community mapping the school came up with a school calendar that highlighted the school programme in terms of when schools will be on, closed, having other curricular activities, the parents and other important meetings in order to plan for the project activities.

During mapping of the community resources they were also able to identify and map the locally available resources within the community. This ensured that the school community participated in the project by contributing locally available materials which ensures ownership and sustainability of the project.

Implementation of the WASH trainings 

The school health and hygiene training was conducted using the Child to Child (CTC) and Children Health and sanitation training (CHAST) methodologies.

The main objective of the school health trainings was to equip the participants with relevant skills on establishment of Child to Child health and hygiene clubs in schools. These clubs will be charged with responsibility of promoting good health and hygiene practices in the school and entire community.

Implementation of the hardware for the project (tanks, SP, latrines etc)

The construction work of the a 30,000 liter water tank at Emusala primary school begun by the ground breaking ceremony commissioned by Crissie from The Water Project and Dillon (an attaché from Portland university in USA).

The tank is complete and in use serving a total population of 904 pupils of which 362 are boys, 396 are girls in upper primary, 36 boys and 26 girls from E.C.D, 84 disabled with 20 teachers and 8 support staff.

Pupils access to safe water from the water tank will reduce the out breaks caused by drinking contaminated water from unprotected sources. This will also save them the time that they used to fetch water to study hence improved performance.

2 double door VIP latrines were also constructed at the school and they are complete. These toilets are serving a total number of 820 pupils of which 362 are boys, 396 are girls in upper primary with 36 boys and 26 are girls from E.C.D section.

The two hand washing facilities one for the boys and one for the girls have been installed at the school.

 These are serving a total number of 820 pupils of which 362 are boys, 396 are girls in upper primary 36 boys and 26 girls from the E.C.D section.

Hand washing facilities will ensure that pupils practice good hygiene practices of washing hands after every toilet use and this will go a long way in preventing the water borne diseases.

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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!