Ibubi Primary School

Regional Program:
Western Kenya WaSH Program

Latitude 0.04
Longitude 34.64

467 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

Ibubi Primary School is a public primary school located in the remote village of Ibubi, Mumbita sub-location, Iboona location, Emabungo Ward, Luanda sub-county of Vihiga County. The school was founded by Church of God Faithfuls as a missions school in 1955. It was later to be adopted by the government in 1966. It sits in a quiet environment away from the main road’s traffic, and is thus ideal for studying. Being only accessible on foot or motorbikes on a weathered road, the school can prove very difficult to reach.

There are no open areas for playing, nor fields for sports. Despite this, there are vegetable gardens and flowerbeds that students attend to after classes.

In order to maximize student-teacher time, the school has begun a feeding program for all seventh and eighth grade students. This program provides porridge for these students at lunchtime. They stay at school, which allows for an extra hour of class time. Before, students were allowed one and a half hours to return home for lunch. Unfortunately, many students would have to return to class with empty stomachs; when students arrived home, their parents were often unable to put food on the table.

Students and teachers arrive early to clean the school compound. When learning begins, the only noises that can be heard come from the early education section and the occasional passing motorbike. The school has a total enrollment of 450 students and employs 15 teachers and two supplementary staff.

Water Situation

The school doesn’t have a water source of its own. Instead, students are required to bring 10-liter jerrycans from home every morning. Tradition is that as a group, students leave together from school to gather water from either one of two protected springs. These are 500 meters and 600 meters away. Pupils then line up at the delivery pipe to fill their containers until each one is done, and then return to school together. This water is stored in the kitchen and is used for cooking and cleaning. Water meant for drinking is stored in plastic jerrycans in the office.

Because of this situation, the school suffers from water scarcity. Drinking and cooking is prioritized, but there’s never enough for adequate cleaning.

Sanitation Situation

There are 14 usable latrines on school grounds. These are walled with bricks, but will soon be full. The floors are also damaged and flooded with urine. The stench is unbearable!

The school is committed to good hygiene and sanitation, but doesn’t have the means to achieve it. They have provided hand-washing stations for students, but don’t have the water to fill them. Students are taught responsibility by undertaking chores around school grounds. Some are more responsible for fetching water, while others rotate latrine-cleaning duty. When there isn’t leftover water from the day, cleaning the latrines is put on hold.

Ibubi Primary School received five hand-washing stations from a different organization. To maximize the effectiveness, the school saves money for soap; they sell some of the harvest from their garden for a small profit.

With an adequate water supply, students will be able to keep their hand-washing stations full and clean their school compound on a regular basis.

We ran into Mr. Livingstone, a teacher who has witnessed the excitement about this project. He said, “We really appreciate your consideration. Your coming is a great encouragement even to the parents who are eager about the project and are already giving materials like poles and sacks. The tank would really save our pupils time currently spent to fetch water outside the school as well as ensure availability of water to clean the latrines regularly.”

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Parents, teachers, and students will be trained through two days of sessions on hygiene and sanitation.

This training is meant to equip participants with the skills needed to practice good hygiene, and to promote these practices among peers and the greater community. The end goal is to eliminate water and hygiene-related diseases!

The facilitator plans to use PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Training), CTC (child to child), discussions, lectures, and demonstrations to teach topics including but not limited to disease transmission, hand-washing, and water treatment. The CTC method will prepare students to lead other students into healthy habits, as well as kickstart a CTC club for the school.

Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank

A 30,000-liter rainwater catchment tank will be constructed on school grounds. Teachers, students, and parents will gather the local materials needed for this project, including sand, ballast, bricks, and hardcore (Which they’ve already started doing!). This contribution will fuel a sense of responsibility for the school and community to take care of their new facilities. Once materials are mobilized, the WEWASAFO team will arrive to lead the construction effort.

Plans: VIP Latrines

Two triple-door latrines will be constructed, providing three new latrines for each gender. Latrine materials will be mobilized the same way as the tank, ensuring the school feels these facilities are truly theirs.

Plans: Hand-Washing Stations

Two hand-washing stations will be delivered to the school before training, supplementing the existing five stations. These come in the form of two 60-liter containers fitted with a tap. The training facilitator will demonstrate how to properly wash hands, and then students will have a chance to practice in groups. The CTC club will be responsible for filling the hand-washing containers on a daily basis. They will be able to follow through with this thanks to the water tank on school grounds!

The actions described above will give students an environment that is conducive to learning. It’ll free up so much time that was used going to and from the spring. This is an opportunity they deserve!

Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

12/20/2017: A Year Later: Ibubi Primary School

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater catchment system and latrines for Ibubi Primary School in Kenya. Because of these gifts and contributions from our monthly donors, partners can 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 our partner, Jacqueline Shigali, with you.

The Water Project : 4626_yar_4

01/16/2017: Ibubi Primary School Project Complete

We are very excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, the students and staff of Ibubi Primary School in Kenya have a new source of safe, clean water: A new rainwater catchment system has been built, and there are now six new latrines being used. Two hand-washing stations have been installed, and the entire student body has received training in sanitation and hygiene. Just imagine the difference these resources will make in the lives of these students!

You made it happen, now help keep the water flowing! Join our team of monthly donors and help us maintain this rainwater catchment tank and many other projects.

The report below from our partner gives the latest details of the project. We also 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

Plans for this training were set in motion during our initial visits to the school. This training had to be scheduled around final exams but before the long winter holiday, so we worked with Headteacher Mr. Jethrone to determine the best time and place.

This child to child (CTC) health training was held in a field outside the classrooms. Students brought their own chairs and desks in order to take notes. Two days were scheduled a week before exams. 18 participants showed up ready to learn, but we were disappointed that the parents we invited did not come. Fortunately, there were three teachers there to help us with the sessions. The 15 students were from grades four thru seven, all who actively participated by answering and asking questions.

7 kenya4626 training

We taught an entire lesson on management and maintenance of the new tank and latrine facilities. Regular checking and cleaning of the gutter system is a must! It’s also important to treat the water while it is still in the tank. We also covered topics including but not limited to:

– Water pollution and water treatment

– Personal and environmental hygiene

– Group dynamics, leadership, and governance

– Forming an effective CTC (child to child) club

– Hand-washing

We used a number of different ways to teach the above topics. Demonstrations were used for hand-washing. We facilitated group discussions and presentations. The girls and boys also received handouts which will help them teach hygiene and sanitation to their peers.

6 kenya4626 training

The students were particularly interested in the ten steps of hand-washing, since the next day happened to be Global Hand-Washing Day!

The child to child club will include both students and teachers who want to take responsibility for spreading the message of good health and hygiene among their peers. They will also be responsible for taking care of the new hand-washing stations, making sure they are always filled with water and that a cleaning agent like soap or ash is available. A water user committee has also been formed by parents and school administration, which will be responsible for overseeing and maintaining the new facilities.

8 kenya4626 training

Madam Ruth Akoya was one of the three teachers there to both learn for herself and help the students learn. She said, “We are grateful for the training on primary health care and the rest, but more so for the information on tank operation and maintenance. I promise you that our school really appreciates this and will use the information to ensure our tank is well taken care of so that it will serve us a long time and also give us clean water regularly. We will also take care of the hand-washing facilities as you have taught us.”

Madam Ruth Akoya

Project Result: Hand-Washing Stations

The two hand-washing stations were delivered to school and handed over to the CTC club. They will teach other students how to properly wash their hands at these stations, and will make sure there is always soap or ash available. Now the school has the stations they need, and they have the water to fill them!

Project Result: VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new VIP (ventilated improved pit) latrines. These latrines are easy to use and easy to clean. And with a rainwater catchment tank, there should be enough water to keep them clean all the time! These new latrines will help alleviate the  overuse of the filthy, practically full latrines the school already has.

30 kenya4626 finished latrines

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction for this 30,000-liter rainwater catchment tank began on October 21, 2016.

First, the location was chosen with the collaboration of school leadership. We had to find a place that provided enough roof for a gutter system. We then cleared the ground, set and cast the foundational slab, built the five-inch-thick wall, built roofing, and installed the fittings such as delivery pipes, vent pipes, and screens. Finally, good drainage was ensured. Before the tank could begin collecting rainwater, we had it cure for two weeks. Once dry, we could remove the supportive beams and then install the gutter system.

10 kenya4626 tank construction

Construction had to be rushed to wrap up in time for exams. The only challenge that was by time the tank was ready for use, there were no students around for pictures! The headteacher called some of the students who live nearby, asking them to take a quick break from vacation and come pose for some pictures by their new water and latrine facilities.

Alpha Mark

The picture above shows Mark, a grade six pupil and CTC member was delighted to return and see a finished catchment tank. “I am very happy because of this project, and I thank you very much for considering and supporting our school. I think we the class six pupils are the most benefited as from next year we’d be in grade seven and be automatically part of the team fetching water from the nearby spring for school use according to our tradition at Ibubi Primary School. Now we won’t have to fetch water as it will be at school in the tank. I am sure grades will improve as we will now concentrate more on class work. Thank you,” he said with a smile.

The Water Project : 23-kenya4626-finished-tank

12/01/2016: Ibubi Primary School Project Underway

We are excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, Ibubi Primary School in Kenya is building a new source of safe, clean water. A rainwater catchment tank and new latrines are being constructed, hand-washing stations provided, and the school is being trained on proper sanitation and hygiene practices. Imagine the impact this will have on these students! Thank you for noticing the need here, and we’ll keep you posted as the work continues.

Thank You for caring for the thirsty!

The Water Project : 4-kenya4626-grounds

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment
Location:  Kenya, Vihiga, Ibubi
ProjectID: 4626
Install Date:  01/16/2017

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 03/31/2018

Visit History:
02/28/2017 — Functional
05/29/2017 — Functional
09/20/2017 — Functional
01/31/2018 — Functional
03/31/2018 — Functional

A Year Later: Ibubi Primary School

December, 2017

Comfort is so much grateful to the water project because it is through its initiative that she has grown as an individual. As the WASH president, the young girl has developed confidence over time.

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater catchment system and latrines for Ibubi Primary School in Kenya. Because of these gifts and contributions from our monthly donors, partners can 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 our partner, Jacqueline Shigali, with you.

There has been an all-around improvement in the lives of this community as a result of the water tank and latrines built last year. Incidences of diarrheal diseases have lessened due to presence of water and increased number of latrines within the compound. The hygiene training was also helpful since cases of avertable ailments and infections have decreased. This led to reduced absenteeism which definitely brought improvement in performance. Relative peace is enjoyed by children as there is a great reduction in the number of times they are sent to the spring to get water, therefore the scramble for water and wrangles that could break out thereafter have reduced. This brings proper mental health that is needed for children to perform well in all areas.

Another point that stands out is the aspect of girl child empowerment that is being developed through the many water projects done in this county. We insist on gender balance when selecting participants for trainings and when electing the CTC (child-to-child) leadership. Comfort is a very good example of a girl that has been empowered through the WASH project as leadership gave her a platform to discover her potential and put it into practice. Many more girls are observing her and starting to believe in the power and ability in a girl child and women. Off course, boys and men are now seeing the ability and potential endowed in the female gender. This will wipe away discrimination in line of gender which has been highly pronounced in Vihiga County since time immemorial.

“Constant supply of water during rainy seasons is assured; therefore, pupils do not waste time on the queues at the spring to fetch water for use in school,” explains Justus Okwaro, the teacher in charge of water, sanitation and hygiene at Ibubi. “Utensils used by school children are now washed frequently, unlike the former days when children could just eat then keep their dirty plates inside classrooms and use them the following day with all dirt of the previous days.”

“Queues have also reduced at the new latrines, which means time wasted has now been redeemed,” he continued. “Cases of diarrheal diseases have reduced because latrines are washed daily during rainy seasons and hand washing is done properly after eating and using latrines. This has also saved money and time that used to be wasted when seeking treatment, which has been converted to productive work by parents and concentration on academic work by students. All these positive changes have led to improvement of performance in school and increase in production in the whole community.”

“Food is now cooked properly since there is enough water for boiling a mixture of maize and beans,” shares 12-year-old student Comfort Ihabi. “Initially, children could eat food that seemed raw since water set aside for cooking pupils’ food was so little and the cook could remove food from fire the moment water for boiling got finished. That had caused many cases of stomach problems which used to bring cases of absenteeism.”

Comfort is so much grateful to the water project because it is through its initiative that she has grown as an individual. As the WASH president, the young girl has developed confidence over time. “Nowadays I speak on the assembly, and also stand before club members and talk. I used to be very shy and fearful but right now I have to put on a bright face and enter the head teacher’s office or approach any other teacher to discuss issues concerning our club because I am the president. There comes a time when everyone is looking at me for answers and I have to boldly get a solution from teachers. I have hope that I will become a great lady in future because I believe I have the ability to do all things without fear or intimidation. I now believe in myself. I may be from a very poor background, but I have this very strong faith and a hope that cannot be shaken; that no matter where I come from, my dreams are still valid. Whatever challenge I face in life, nothing can ever discourage me because I will keep hope alive. This new me could not have come out if I had not been given this position that I currently hold. The Water Project and the supporters have helped me discover who I really am,” Comfort said confidence, zeal and passion that will not stop at anything.

Of course, time was taken to encourage Comfort to continue keeping hope alive. The field officers had quality time talking to her and guiding her on how to ensure that her rising star does not die. Guidance and counseling was done for a short time and she was asked to share the same with all club members who should in turn share with the rest the same way they did with WASH messages after the CTC training. We will continue checking in and monitoring regularly but it is evident that this school is very grateful for the support and changes brought by the water project last year.

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.

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.