Ivono Primary School

Regional Program:
Western Kenya WaSH Program

Latitude 0.22
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

Early in the morning, students are seen streaming onto school grounds with jerrycans and books balanced on their backs. Morning study hall begins at 6:30AM, and normal classes are at 8AM. Students prepare and clean classrooms for a half hour before the school day starts, though. Lower classes collect litter outside while the upper classes clean the latrines and classrooms.

Ivono Primary School has a total enrollment of 610 students and employs 11 teachers and two supplementary 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 school would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)

Water Situation

Since students are required to bring jerrycans of water to school, they need to go to a water point very early in the morning. Most students stop by a protected spring on the way to school. There’s normally quite a line as students collect their water one by one from the discharge pipe. Students carry as large of a container as they can manage, since what they collect is what they have to ration for the entire school day. When there’s a critical shortage, some students may have to be sent to the spring again.

Even if clean water flows from the spring, it’s likely that water gets dirty on the walk back to school. Students and staff need a source of water on school grounds that saves them time and health. With adequate safe water, they will be able to keep their environment and bodies clean.

Sanitation Situation

Ivono Primary School has 12 latrines. Most of these are in poor condition, and three are already full. Because there are so few latrines, students are still trying to use the latrines with full pits! Open defecation is certainly an issue in this area.

There are no hand-washing stations, and garbage is burned when it piles too high. Headteacher Ernest Mutondo told us that “the three latrines which are full are in a very poor and pathetic condition. It is a big challenge to the pupils who are still using them due to congestion at other latrines. They are not enough, and this is a health hazard.” This same teacher is the man who wrote an application requesting a water, sanitation and hygiene intervention.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Parents, teachers, and students will be trained for 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. 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. 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.

The actions described above will give students an environment that is conducive to learning. This is an opportunity they deserve!

Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

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

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater catchment system and latrines for Ivono 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 partners, Catherine Chepkemoi and Janet Kayi, with you.


The Water Project : 4627_yar_1

01/16/2017: Ivono Primary School Project Complete

We are very excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, the students and staff of Ivono 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

Hygiene and sanitation training was held in one of the school classrooms. The headteacher helped us organize for where, when, and who would attend these sessions. He scheduled the three days for November and then invited student leaders from each grade. These students were excited to have this privilege to learn about how hygiene and sanitation can help them both at school and home.

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.

5 kenya4627 training

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.

Headmaster Ernest Mutondo continued helping us by remaining throughout the training. He also learned a lot, too! “This is an answered prayer in Ivono Primary School because we have been trained on hygiene ands sanitation training both in school and at home, something we had never been trained on. The hand-washing demonstration really caught my attention, and I am going to train my wife and my children at home,” he shared. Below is a picture of the headmaster, teachers, and students who participated in training.

7 kenya4627 training

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 filthy, practically full latrines the school already has.

23 kenya4627 finished latrines

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction for this 30,000-liter rainwater catchment tank began on November 14, 2016.

Before that construction can start, local materials like sand and stone need to be collected and delivered by students, staff, and the surrounding community. Without big construction trucks readily available in Kenya, our artisans need help with this process! Materials posed the greatest challenge to the school. This is because as the community began to help, a county politician stopped by and convinced the people that he was the one responsible for this water project. When parents heard this project might have had political ties, they no longer felt motivated to carry materials to the school. When our staff paid their next visit, they were surprised to find the work had halted. When they heard the rumor, they set it straight with the truth! Neighbors hopped back on board and worked with new zeal.

9 kenya4627 construction

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.

12 kenya4627 construction

Now students and staff have the opportunity to collect up to 30,000 liters of clean water! Teacher Abscondita Khadya is the adult in charge of the CTC club. She witnessed the challenges and successes along the way, and expressed her gratefulness on behalf of all staff and students. “The politicians thought that this project would not success for us to benefit from a 30,000-liter tank, but God heard our cry! Our pupils will now access safe drinking water, and this will ensure the reduction of waterborne diseases.”

The Water Project : 20-kenya4627-finished-tank

12/01/2016: Ivono Primary School Project Underway

We are excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, Ivono 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-kenya4627-fetching-water

Project Data

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment
Location:  Kenya, Kakamega, Ivono
ProjectID: 4627
Install Date:  01/16/2017

A Year Later: Ivono Primary School

December, 2017

I am now practicing good hygiene both in school and at home. I no longer am absent from school when assigned to go looking for water to clean the classrooms and the toilets.

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater catchment system and latrines for Ivono 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 partners, Catherine Chepkemoi and Janet Kayi, with you.

In Ivono Primary School, life for both pupils and community has improved because when you enter the school, you see pupils enjoying water from the tank to clean their classrooms, toilets and even drinking. You see the community members carrying water out of the school compound to their homes.

Deputy head teacher Sarah Mulindi shared some of the changes she has experienced since the rainwater catchment tank was installed last year. “The project has made both the pupils and community members look at things positively especially on things to do with their health. Cleaning the classrooms, toilets and cooking has become very easy for the school and the pupils because no more time is wasted by pupils going through tough time looking for water to perform their duties. The pupils are now healthy and clean since they acquired knowledge on good hygiene practice.”

We also spoke with 12-year-old Viona Dafine who said her life has changed since the project was completed thus her health and life has generally improved. “I am now practicing good hygiene both in school and at home. I no longer am absent from school when assigned to go looking for water to clean the classrooms and the toilets.”

Within Ivono Primary school, good hygiene practice is evident. The compound is clean, classrooms are clean, and even pupils look smart and clean. The knowledge that the pupils acquired on good hygiene practice during the CTC (child-to-child) training has really helped the pupils to improve their hygiene and health generally.

When we monitor, we will continue encouraging the school to keep the CTC club by supporting them to reach out to other community members in spreading the knowledge on good hygiene practice to improve their health. Children are known to be good agents of change in the African society.

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.


Project Underwriter - Estate of Rachel Zik
The Doctors of Kehoe Eye Care, PC
4 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.