St. Theresa's Musaa Primary School

Regional Program:
Western Kenya WaSH Program

Latitude 0.28
Longitude 34.73

500 Served

Project Status:

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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).

Welcome to the School

St. Theresa’s Musaa Primary School is located in a slum area within the municipality of Kakamega town. The poverty index of the residents is very high thus resulting in minimal community financial support to the school. Most of the residents of Musaa village are small scale business people and casual labors at construction sites in Kakamega town and its environs. A normal day for the school involves learning with breaks including lunch and recess.

The school is a public mixed day primary school located in Musaa village, Shirere sub‑location, Bukhungu location, Shirere ward, Lurambi sub‑county, Kakamega County. It was founded in the year 1960 under the sponsorship of the Catholic Church. This helped in reducing the distance which the pupils had to travel to the nearby Ikonyero and Irumbi primary schools and also to minimize dangers of the pupils traveling long distances across the slum to and from school. The school has a total population of 893 pupils; 451 being boys while 442 are girls. The total number of teachers in the school is 29, 6 being male and 20 female. There are also 4 support staff under the school’s employ; 2 security guards, a secretary and a 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 community would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)

The school had just received a statutory notice to abate nuisance from the ministry of health as a result of its poor WASH conditions. This led the head teacher (newly transferred to the school) to approach WEWASAFO with a letter of request for assistance. A baseline survey was conducted, need identified, and the school approved as a beneficiary for the project.

“We are very grateful that you took note of our request and came for a baseline survey, your support will be highly appreciated by the school as it is located within a slum with minimal community support due to the high poverty index in the community.” said Mr. Bakari, the school’s head teacher.

Water Situation

The school is in dire need as it has no water source or storage in the grounds, forcing the pupils to daily carry water from home to school, the water source remaining unknown. As a result the quality of the water brought by the pupils is questionable and open to contamination due to poor water handling practices along the way.

The students typically carry water in 5-10 liter jerrycans, and sometimes uncovered buckets. Once at the school, the water is stored in plastic drums in the school kitchen. The containers are not cleaned, only rinsed with water occasionally. Teachers at the school relate that the contaminated water often causes diseases like Typhoid, cholera, stomachaches, and diarrhea among the students.

Sanitation Situation

The school has a total of 20 functional latrine doors and a urinal, 10 of these and the urinal serve the boys while 10 are for the girls. The 8‑door pit latrine for the boys is almost filled up. Comparing the population and the WHO standard of 25 girls per door and 30 boys per door, the school is still in need. These latrines are never cleaned with water as the supply is limited, so the floors are at times flooded with urine and are constantly smelly, which is a threat to the pupils’ health.

The school only has 1 hand washing facility which is solely for the teachers. The students have nowhere to wash hands after visiting the latrine and are thus exposed to infection by water related and water‑borne diseases.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

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.

Some overall goals of training:

  • Making education effective, meaningful, and life-oriented through provision of proper sanitation facilities
  • Preparing children to solve day to day problems through practical application of life skills and knowledge
  • Inspiring children with a sense of self-reliance and responsibility by spearheading health and hygiene promotion
  • Improve knowledge, attitude, and practice of sanitation and hygiene
  • Creating opportunities that promote healthy behaviors and attitudes

Plans: New Facilities

Plans are to build one 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank within the school compound. This tank will collect water during the rainy seasons to be used by the students and staff for the school day throughout the year. Six new VIP (ventilated improved pit) latrines will also be built, three for girls and three for boys.  Since no hand-washing stations were observed during the initial survey, two will be installed during the course of this project. These stations are 60-liter tanks fit with taps. The CTC club will be responsible for making sure these washing facilities are maintained.

Both students and staff are looking forward to this project. They are willing to dig the holes for the new VIP latrines and gather as many local materials (hardcore, sand, bricks, etc.) as they can. Locals will also provide food and security for the construction team when they are on site. The school management committee, teachers and select student leaders are excited to participate in hygiene and sanitation training held at the school.

Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

12/14/2017: A Year Later: St. Theresa's Musaa Primary School

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater catchment system and latrines for St. Theresa’s Musaa 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. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from partner, Rose Amulavu Serete, with you.

The Water Project : 4605_yar_1

09/15/2016: Second Tank at St. Theresa's Complete

Just a quick note to let you know the second 30,000L tank has been completed at St. Theresa’s Musaa Primary School. This tank doubles the volume of water the school can catch and store for safe use by its students, increasing the supply they can depend on during the dry seasons.

Thank you for your help, and Thank you for caring for the thirsty!

The Water Project : 7-kenya4635-second-tank

07/21/2016: St. Theresa's Musaa Primary School Project Complete

We are very excited to report that thanks to your willingness to help, the students and staff of St. Theresa’s Musaa 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 new pictures. Make sure to click on the “See Photos & Video” tab to check them out!

Project Result: New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was held in the school compound. We worked with the head teacher to select the best dates, and then the head teacher worked on mobilizing students and teachers to attend. Participants were comprised of students, teachers, parents, and members of the school board. There was a total of 19 participants out of which 10 were male and nine were female. Everyone actively participated and the students asked many questions. This training revealed that Musaa Primary School takes health matters very seriously, and the teachers and students look forward to sharing what they learned.

Training covered but was not limited to the following topics: Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Objectives; School Participation and Involvement; Primary Healthcare; CTC (Child to Child) Approach: Forming child health clubs and their role; Child Rights; Operation and Maintenance of the Rainwater Catchment Tank and VIP Latrines.

After training, Savai Samson, a teacher in attendance, said “Thanks that besides giving us the latrines and the tank, you have gone ahead to train us to ensure their proper use and sustainability. We will do our best to spread the health message to our pupils and community!”

2 kenya4605 training

Project Result: Hand-washing Stations

The two hand-washing facilities were also delivered to and installed in the school, and are now in use. Following the pupils’ training on proper procedures for hand-washing, both the boys and girls are happily using the facilities and demonstrating to others on how to use them. Before this, there were no hand-washing facilities in the school because of the water shortage. Now, the pupils can observe good hygiene practices and are joyful and grateful!

Project Result: VIP Latrines

Construction of two triple-door VIP latrines is complete and they are now in use. Three doors are for the boys, and three doors are for the girls. The child health club will delegate cleaning to ensure that latrines are safe for use.

The pupils testify that the additional latrines are cleaner and easier to use, without the problems of bad odors and urine on the floors. They also rejoice in the fact that their school be spared from closure, since the additional facilities are up to standard.

15 kenya4605 finished latrines

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

Instead of building just one 50,000-liter tank, there will be two tanks. Each tank will be 30,000 liters, giving the school a total harvesting capacity of 60,000 liters. Construction of this particular 30,000-liter rainwater catchment tank began on April 1st. The other 30,000-liter tank is under construction (click here to view the project page for this second catchment tank!).

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.

After construction of this first tank was finished, student Sophia Osaka said, “We have been carrying water from home daily for use in school. Now that we have the tank there will be water and we can concentrate more on class work, and have clean water to drink. Thank you very much!”

After the artisans completed construction and declared the tank and VIP latrines ready for use, and with the installation of hand-washing facilities complete, the facilities were handed over to the students, teachers, and school board members.

With clean and safe water easily available within the school compound, academic performance is expected to improve. More time will be dedicated to studies, and cases of absenteeism resulting from water-related diseases will decrease.

The Water Project : 18-kenya4605-dedication

05/10/2016: St. Theresa's Musaa Primary School Project Underway

We are excited to announce that, thanks to your generosity, St. Theresa’s Musaa Primary School will soon have new latrines, handwashing stations, and a source of safe, clean water. A rainwater harvesting tank is being constructed which will gather water in rainy seasons for use throughout the year. The school will also receive training in sanitation and hygiene. Together these resources will go a long way toward stopping the spread of disease in the area, and allow these students to concentrate on learning and life! We just posted an initial report including information about the school, GPS coordinates, and pictures. We’ll keep you posted as the work continues.

Take a look, and Thank You for your help!

The Water Project : 1-kenya4605-school-gate

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment
Location:  Musaa village, Shirere sub‑location, Bukhungu location, Lurambi sub‑county, Kakamega County, Kenya
ProjectID: 4605
Install Date:  07/11/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 02/13/2018

Visit History:
08/02/2016 — Functional
10/13/2016 — Functional
02/28/2017 — Functional
05/05/2017 — Functional
07/06/2017 — Functional
02/13/2018 — Functional

A Year Later: St. Theresa's Musaa Primary School

October, 2017

“Our students and kitchen staff have sufficient water supply for cooking, cleaning the toilets and classrooms. We also have clean and safe water to drink and we are now recording very few cases of absenteeism due to water related diseases.”

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater catchment system and latrines for St. Theresa’s Musaa 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. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from partner, Rose Amulavu Serete, with you.

The students and staff of St.Theresa’s Musaa Primary School have experienced exciting changes through the rainwater catchment system and hygiene and sanitation training. The learning environment is clean because the classes are cleaned on daily basis. The school compound is also clean due the existing CTC club that is active in ensuring that rubbish is picked and deposited in a compost pit. The institution has a sufficient and sustainable water supply now.


“We are grateful to all who made this water project possible”, says Samson Savai “for the installation of the water tanks and sanitation facilities. Our students and kitchen staff have sufficient water supply for cooking, cleaning the toilets and classrooms. We also have clean and safe water to drink and we are now recording very few cases of absenteeism due to water related diseases.”

14-year-old student Jane Midega shares some of the benefits of hacing access to clean water at school. “We no longer have to go to the river to fetch water. This was a risky activity for us because the river is located in an unsafe environment and the water was not fit for drinking. We are now having an easy time cleaning our classrooms and toilets and this has become an enjoyable activity for us unlike the past times when we would partially clean our facilities due to scarcity of water.”


The school has a very active CTC club which meets every day at games time to discuss and schedule cleaning activities and passing good hygiene practice information to the younger students. We will continue to monitor this water project and the school and will treat the well every three months to ensure that the students drink clean and safe water.

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 four times a year. Read more about our program and how you can help.


Project Sponsor - St. Therese Foundation

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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.