St. Stephen Eshihaka Secondary School

Regional Program:
Western Kenya WaSH Program

Latitude 0.21
Longitude 34.47

155 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. Stephen Eshihaka Secondary School is a new school in Mushikori Village, having opened in 2013. It has a total enrollment of 140 students and employs nine teachers and six supplementary staff.

Students arrive at school around 6:30AM to clean classrooms, latrines, and pick up trash outside. Normal classes start at 8AM.

The headteacher heard about water, sanitation and hygiene projects through peers at Lusengeli Secondary School. Soon after seeing it for himself, the headteacher sent in an application to our office.

Water Situation

The primary school in the village has a well, but not this secondary school. The well is hand-dug and is approximately one kilometer away from St. Stephen. Students can also venture to a spring that is also one kilometer away from their school. The trips to and from the water sources significantly cut into valuable class time. While some classes focus on cleaning the school facilities, others are sent on trips to the water sources.

While there’s good water at these sources, they are both too far away from St. Stephen. It is likely that water becomes contaminated on the long trip back to school. Once the full 20-liter jerrycans are lugged back to school, they are kept near the office until used up and ready for another trip.

After drinking water that has been fetched and stored improperly, students and staff suffer from typhoid, cholera, bilharzia, diarrhea, and stomachaches. Students miss class to stay home and recover. Teacher Wellington Okulia said “The search for water and long lines at the primary section have made many students not join the school. Parents are not willing to bring their children to the school, fearing poor performance and great risk of poor health.”

Sanitation Situation

Not only does the school lack its own water source, but it doesn’t have enough of its own facilities. It doesn’t have a kitchen and thus borrows space from the neighboring church. When the church has an event, there are conflicts. The school doesn’t have nearly enough latrines for girls, and they suffer unhygienic conditions that cause infections.

Since this secondary school is still fairly new, it hasn’t been able to add facilities since its opening. There are only six latrines, all used for students and teachers alike. Different classes of students are assigned latrine cleaning duty each morning. Though regularly cleaned, the latrines are already in bad condition. The hinges on the doors have broken off and cannot provide privacy.

There are three hand-washing stations outside of the latrines, but they do not have a cleaning agent available. There is a garbage pit at the back of the school compound that helps consolidate waste and keep the environment clean.

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. After our initial assessment of conditions, our facilitator also plans to strongly emphasize proper water handling and storage. 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. Once construction wraps up, the tank will begin collecting valuable rainwater that will be disinfected with chlorine; water that is safe for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and everything else students need!

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. And with a rainwater catchment tank nearby, there will be enough water to keep them clean.

Plans: Hand-Washing Stations

Two hand-washing stations will be delivered to the school before training, supplementing the existing 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 and seeing that there’s enough cleaning agent. 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: St. Stephen Eshihaka Secondary School

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater catchment system and latrines for St. Stephen Eshihaka Secondary School in Western 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, Wilson Kipchoge and Jemmimah Khasoha, with you.


The Water Project : yar_4628_2

01/17/2017: St. Stephen Eshihaka Secondary School Project Complete

We are very excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, the students and staff of St. Stephen Eshihaka Secondary 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. This school is still very new, and doesn’t have enough classrooms, with form one and three sharing a room. They’ve partitioned this room with plywood, and students find it hard to concentrate with two teachers talking at the same time! We held training in form four’s room, since form four was away at the church praying for blessings as they prepared for national examinations.

Principal Mumali Okulia was very helpful in mobilizing the participants, ensuring there were both boys and girls from form one through three. He also invited parents and teachers to attend. There was a total of 10 students, three teachers, and two parents.

3 kenya4628 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.

7 kenya4628 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.

Hesborn Ombetu was one of the three teachers at these sessions. He said, “The academic life and personal hygiene of St. Stephen Eshihaka students has improved through this project. I am impressed by the hand-washing steps, which I have learned for once since childhood! Thank you, for I got the privilege to learn during the training. This transferred to other students will help curb sanitation problems!”

4 kenya4628 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 the few latrines it already has.

29 kenya4628 finished latrines

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction for this 30,000-liter rainwater catchment tank began on October 11, 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.

11 kenya4628 construction

Everyone worked together to supply what was needed to make this project a success. The school helped collect the necessary construction materials, and local parents housed and provided for our artisans while they were in the area. Now students and staff have the opportunity to collect up to 30,000 liters of clean water!

22 kenya4628 finished tank

All of the parents and our staff were invited to celebrate the tank’s completion. There was prayer, singing, and health presentations. Student leaders and school staff made speeches, and there were many happy faces!

17-year-old student Ommy was at training and is now a member of the CTC club. She also witnessed the construction of her new rainwater tank. “I am very much grateful. I appreciate you for coming to our rescue. I was one of the students who could not miss on the list for people fetching water on a weekly basis from either the spring or the long line at the borehole in the primary section. This wasted a lot of my time and energy. I am now the happiest girl in the school for you brought me rest, and thus more time to study,” she happily said.

The Water Project : 24-kenya4628-finished-tank

12/01/2016: St. Stephen Eshihaka Secondary School Underway

We are excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, St. Stephen Eshihaka Secondary 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 : 1-kenya4628-entrance

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment
Location:  Kenya, Kakamea, Mushikori
ProjectID: 4628
Install Date:  01/17/2017

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 01/11/2018

Visit History:
03/30/2017 — Functional
06/30/2017 — Functional
08/29/2017 — Functional
01/11/2018 — Functional

A Year Later: St. Stephen Eshihaka Secondary School

December, 2017

Since the water project came to our school last year and brought us a big tank, I have so much time to study and even plan my work minus the stress of going to look for water for use in the school.

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater catchment system and latrines for St. Stephen Eshihaka Secondary School in Western 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 Wilson Kipchoge and Jemmimah Khasoha, with you.

The school compound is very clean, just from the gate through the classrooms and even the toilets. The students are very happy as they draw water from the tank during break time, lunch hours and during game time. Every Friday evening, the students clean the classes with plenty of water and detergents and this has greatly improved the sanitation and hygiene.

Time management has improved for there is no time wasted by students queuing for water at the primary section and this has really improved the performance of the students. The school has increased the total enrollment from 140 to a total of 162 for many students feared the burden of carrying water the time we had no tank.

The school had some issues with the gutters but because of monitoring, our team was able to work with the school to fix them. “The gutters were poorly fixed and we came to realize this late after suffering for some time,” explains Principal Christopher Okulia. “After Wewasafo staff paid us a visit, that is when we identified this challenge and so action was taken. Now, we have water and the school has the potential of growing as indicated in the enrollment of this year.”

“I do not carry water from home daily nor fetch from the primary section or the spring,” says 17-year-old student Brian Kisiani. “Since the water project came to our school last year and brought us a big tank, I have so much time to study and even plan my work minus the stress of going to look for water for use in the school. We have access to safe drinking water which is easily and efficiently available to all of us. As a school, we do not congest in the toilets for us to use, as we now have more toilets which we use without struggling and this saves time for us to go back to classes and study.”

The school is very much cooperative and so good when it comes to maintenance. The door hinges of the latrines and also the tap fixed initially to the tank are both still intact. No repair works so far has been experienced besides the gutters and this is a good encouragement for it shows how willing and committed they were with the project. It shows how needy they were and so they do not joke around with the facilities installed in their school. We will continue to work with this school and share their progress.

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, and this school is a great example of how monitoring makes a difference in our work. As with many schools in this region, access to water provides opportunity to attract and accept more students. However, the increased student population creates a need for more water and a chance to provide hygiene and sanitation training to more students and families. Because we heard about this situation, we are now making our tanks larger to provide more clean water.  Read more about our program and how you can help.


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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.