Location: Kenya

Regional Program:
Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:

Functionality Status:

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"Our learners will now be able to have water close to them and this will save them time to study previously wasted going to fetch water."

Deputy Head Teacher Mwenesi John

Explore The Project

Stories and Community Profile

This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water And Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO). Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).

Background Information

Vokoli Primary School was started in 1927 by Friends Church of Vokoli. The school is located in Vokoli Village, Vokoli sub-location, Wodanga location, Sabatia constituency of Vihiga County.

The school has a primary section population of 650 pupils, 365 boys and 295 girls. The early education section has a total population of 190 pupils of which 100 are boys and 90 are girls. The total number of teachers employed by the primary section is 16. The early education section has six teachers. The school also has three support staff, two watchmen and one cook. (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 site would make a great location for a second project. To learn more, click here.)

The Current Source

The school’s only source of water is that supplied from a community water catchment tank funded by The Water Trust. To gain access to this tank, the school pays a total of ksh 500 per month and thus ksh 2000 per term.

The supply, however, is not regular. Pupils often have to walk to a protected spring located 1.5 km away from school. They thus waste a lot of valuable time in search of water for school instead of doing school. And since the school has a feeding program for the early education department, grades seven and eight and all of the teachers, they require a lot of water for cooking, cleaning and drinking.

The protected spring is located across the busy Chavakali-Eldoret Highway, which poses a great risk to pupils who can be knocked down by fast-moving vehicles. A lot of time is also wasted by pupils waiting for a break in traffic before they cross. This spring is located within a different community, so students normally have to wait for the community members to finish fetching water first before they themselves can fetch. Sometimes, there are even conflicts that arise between the community members and the pupils. As a result, the pupils fear going to this protected water source and instead opt for any other source that is nearby. In most cases, these sources are unprotected. This has led to increased cases of waterborne diseases such as amoeba and diarrhea-related, cholera, and typhoid.

Sanitation Situation

The school compound has a total of five VIP latrines and one urinal for boys, and six latrine doors for girls. The latrines are in very poor condition, almost full and virtually inaccessible. Furthermore, because of a lack of security for the school, community members keep stealing the latrine doors. The girls cannot use the latrines that don’t have doors, greatly increasing the time wasted waiting in line. Due to the latrines’ poor hygienic condition and a lack of hand-washing facilities, there is heightened transmission of diarrheal diseases. As a result, many pupils have been reporting stomachaches and typhoid infections.

Training Sessions

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.


The school community is willing to contribute the required local materials so that they can construct a water catchment tank and additional VIP latrines. This will go a long way in reducing waterborne diseases among pupils and teachers. In the meantime, the school agreed to start treating drinking water to reduce rates of waterborne diseases.

Project Results: Training

Hygiene and sanitation training was held at the school compound so that the facilitator could demonstrate practical behaviors for everyday health. The head teacher mobilized participants from the School Board of Management, teachers, and student representatives. A total of 20 people were in attendance, comprised of the deputy head teacher, a sanitation and health teacher, two school board members, and 14 students. School staff also ensured that a classroom and meals were provided to the training facilitator and participants.

Topics covered during training included:

  • Promoting good health
  • Hand-washing
  • Healthcare
  • Children’s rights
  • Starting and running a CTC club
  • Operation and maintenance of VIP latrines, the rainwater catchment tank, and hand-washing station

The facilitator used demonstrations, onsite practicals, brainstorming, discussions, role plays, and lectures to teach the above topics and more. Everyone was very grateful for the knowledge shared. After the two days, Deputy Head Teacher Mwenesi John said, “Thank you for making our dream of having safe water available in school come true. Our learners will now be able to have water close to them and this will save them time to study previously wasted going to fetch water. We will observe personal, environmental, food, water and sanitation hygiene for healthy Vokoli Community. Thank you!”

VIP Latrines: Construction of two triple-door VIP latrines is complete and are now in use. Three doors are for the boys, and three doors are for the girls. These additional facilities were installed just in time, since the other 11 latrines are in poor condition and almost full.

Hand-Washing Stations

Two hand-washing stations were delivered and installed, and are now in use by students. Because of the pupils’ training on proper procedures for hand washing, both boys and girls alike are happy to wash hands and demonstrate their knowledge for others.

Due to the high student population, the CTC health club members were trained on how to construct other hand-washing stations with containers, ropes, and poles. The club members will also ensure that these containers are always filled with water.

Research has proven that 90% of diarrheal diseases can be prevented by proper hand-washing with soap. This project is expected to tremendously reduce sickness among pupils.

Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction for this 30,000-liter rainwater catchment tank began on January 31st. The process began with site clearance, setting and casting the foundational slab, construction of the wall, roofing, and installation of fittings such as delivery pipes, vent pipes, and screens. Finally, good drainage was ensured.

The community provided many materials that were used to build the structure, such as bricks, sand, hardcore, ballast, sugar sacks, and poles. The school also made sure that the construction team was taken care of well, providing both meals and accommodation.

Construction work was paused for two days because the school lost one of its pupils. It is customary that the entire community take those days to bury and mourn the loss of its own.

Students and parents are grateful for the new tank, and the school will take responsibility for its care. A member of the Management Board, Mary Madoga, “We will ensure the water and sanitation facilities are well taken care of, the health club will be functional to ensure sustained behavior regarding proper sanitation and health so that our children can remain healthy.” For example, the school will lock the tank at night and over holidays, clean gutters, and set aside maintenance funds.

Thank You for restoring hope to the students and staff at Vokoli Primary School!

Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

05/13/2016: Vokoli Primary School Project Complete

We are very excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, the students and staff of Vokoli Primary School in Kenya have a new source of safe, clean water. A new rainwater catchment system and new latrines have been built. Two hand-washing stations have been installed, and the students and community have received training in sanitation and hygiene. Just imagine the difference these resources will make in the lives of these students! We just updated the project page with the latest details, including pictures.

The Water Project and Vokoli Primary School Thank You for unlocking potential!

The Water Project : 4-kenya4603-handing-over

02/17/2016: Vokoli Primary School Project Underway

We are excited to announce that, thanks to your willingness to help, Vokoli Primary School in Kenya will soon have a new source of safe, clean water. A rainwater catchment system is being constructed and the community will receive training in sanitation and hygiene. Together these resources will go a long way toward stopping the spread of disease in the area. We just posted an initial report including information about the school, GPS coordinates, and pictures. We’ll keep you posted as the project continues.

Take a look, and Thank You for your help!

The Water Project : 1-kenya4603-entrance

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment
Location:  Vihiga, Sabatia, Wodanga, Vokoli, Vokoli Village
ProjectID: 4603
Install Date:  05/13/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 07/22/2017

Visit History:
10/12/2016 — Functional
02/02/2017 — Functional
05/04/2017 — Functional
07/22/2017 — Functional

A Year Later: Vokoli Primary School

The pupils used to waste a lot of time going to fetch water from a spring 1.5 kilometers away instead of studying. With the construction of the water tank in the school, the pupils now have access to safe drinking water in the school. They are using that time to study and this has led to improved performance of the students.

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater catchment system, latrines, and hand washing stations for Vokoli Primary School in Kenya. Because of these gifts and our monthly donors, partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. Because of these consistent visits, we learn vital lessons and we hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one with you from field officer Karen Maruti.

4603_YAR_3“The pupils used to waste a lot of time going to fetch water from a spring 1.5 kilometers away instead of studying. With the construction of the water tank in the school, the pupils now have access to safe drinking water in the school. They are using that time to study and this has led to improved performance of the students.”

“Health wise,” says Karen, “the school also reported of reduced cases of water borne diseases. Initially, the pupils used to fetch any available source that is close to them and most of these sources were unprotected. As a result, there were rampant cases of water borne diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, typhoid, and Amoeba. This was evident with the increased absentees amongst the pupils. Because they now drink safe water and washing their hands after toilet use the rate of absenteeism has reduced tremendously.”

Karen also spoke with Head Teacher Francis Ndualh who said “The4603_YAR_2 school has increased its infrastructure with four more additional class rooms. This was called for due to the increased population. Many pupils have come from neighboring schools to join this school and the school’s population has increased from 850 last year to 950 pupils this year. The high influx is as a result of the availability of water in the school as their previous schools had no reliable water source within their school compound.”

“The school is also launching a boarding section for classes 7 & 8 and those who came from far. The water tank will now serve those boarding with sufficient water for washing, cleaning, drinking, and meals. Initially, the school could not start the program due to lack of water on the school compound,” says Francis.

Sheila Cheptoo, a 13-year-old student says “I dreaded coming to school daily when I thought of going to fetch water, but now we have water within the compound. Our classes are now clean and now we have enough time to study.”

We look forward to sharing more from Vokoli Primary School as we continue to monitor the water project and visit the school.

The Water Project and our partners are committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by monthly donors, allows us to visit communities up to 4 times a year. Read more about our program and how you can help.



Edward BLeeker Junior High School No. 185
Andes Presbyterian Church
Fishing Creek Baptist Church
The Colvin Family
Our Christmas Wish for you is Clean Water. From the office workers in Anthem, Inc. CT, USA
Faith Chapel
Richard Young Associates
81 individual donor(s)

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Country Details


Population: 39.8 Million
Lacking clean water: 43%
Below poverty line: 50%

Partner Profile

Western Water and Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO) works together with less privileged and marginalized members of communities in Western Kenya to reduce poverty through harnessing and utilization of local resources for sustainable development.