Rosterman Primary School

Regional Program:
Western Kenya WaSH Program

Latitude 0.27
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

Rosterman Primary School has a student enrollment of 532 and employs 18 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.)

Children are seen pouring into Rosterman Primary School as early as 7AM. They’re always toting their books and small jerrycans full of water.

By their break from class at 10AM, students are sent back out to look for enough water to refill their empty jerrycans. Class then stretches until 3PM when students go once more to the spring to get water for cleaning.

Rosterman Primary School is named after the grandson of a former Australian gold miner who gave 80,000 Kenyan Shillings to start building classrooms. Gold mining is still the livelihood of many families who live in this area.

One of the most unique things about this school is that back when foreigners were mining in this village, they stayed where Rosterman School is now located. There used to be a rainwater catchment tank in the early 90s, but it since broke down. When the school started, they converted the broken tank into a classroom! Check out the “See Photos & Video” section to see the outside and inside of this tank classroom.

Water Situation

The school has a large plastic tank with a capacity of 1,200 liters. This tank is primarily used to store the water that students fetch from the nearby spring. This protected spring is provides clean water, but it takes 20 minutes to walk there. It is also considered a community source. With students often swarming the water point, community members are overwhelmed and must wait to fetch their own water. To avoid the long walk and wait at the spring, students also scavenge for water from other sources, such as puddles! Morning classes never start on time as teachers wait for students to return from collecting water.

Since students can’t be monitored as they look for water, that water’s safety can’t be ensured. After drinking the water, students and staff complain of symptoms like diarrhea, stomachaches and headaches.

Sanitation Situation

There are six latrines on school grounds. Two of the latrines are dilapidated and nearly full. Long lines form as the students wait to use the remaining latrines, and many resort to open defecation.

Headteacher Vincent Mutsomutso talked about the poor water and sanitation situations at Rosterman:

Rosterman Primary School has had immense challenges regarding water and sanitation. The school at one point in 2000 was closed up completely by the Public Health Department due to poor sanitation. A tree fell on the latrines and demolished them. Water is also an issue as we have no safe water source within the school compound and as a result, pupils bring in water every morning as they report to school. This not only leads to lateness but also a lot of time wasted in between classes as they are sent to fetch more. We have had rampant cases of diarrhea diseases, and at one point during the term 17 candidates of the National Examination out of the 42 students were absent from class due to diarrhea diseases. As a result, our performance as a school in the examinations for years has been very poor.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Parents, teachers, and students will be trained for three 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 the importance of having and using both latrine and hand-washing facilities. 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 we will disinfect with chlorine; water that is safe for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and everything else that students need! Students will no longer waste class time searching for water that often ends up being too dirty for drinking. And with proper monitoring and repairs, we’ll make sure the rainwater catchment tank is an adequate safe water source; it won’t ever be converted into a classroom.

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. These new stations 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: Rosterman Primary School

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater catchment tank and latrines for the Rosterman Primary School in Western Kenya. Because of these gifts and the contributions of our monthly donors, partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with schools and 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, Catherine Chepkemoi, with you.

The Water Project : 4-4629-yar

01/17/2017: Rosterman Primary School Project Complete

We are very excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, the students and staff of Rosterman 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 on a school field under a tree’s shade. During our first visits, we informed school administration about the importance of training. They helped form a committee that would oversee the collection of construction materials. This team was comprised of the headteacher, deputy, two chairmen of the board, parents, three teachers, and students. This same committee was required to attend these training sessions on hygiene and sanitation.

On the first day, our trainers arrived at 8:30AM and were pleasantly surprised to find everyone waiting for them! As activities commenced, more students started gravitating to the training site in order to watch and learn. Their teachers asked them to return to their own classes, but to no avail! Finally, the deputy headteacher decided to call a class break so that all students could see what was happening at training. We don’t know if it was because there were exams the following day or if they really loved training, but students begged us to stay an extra day!

6 kenya4629 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.

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.

We saw a behavior change the next day after training. Many students started wearing shoes, since we told them they’re an important to prevent jiggers and other parasites.

Alice Indiasi is one of the three teachers who attended training. “I am in charge of water and hygiene. I am not paid for this extra task, but my joy is to see the pupils healthy and happy. Initially before your training, the pupils continued with bad health habits of not washing hands after toilet use partly due to lack of adequate water. but now after pupils were educated on the ways of blocking germ routes, I am proud to state that the pupils are now very eager to wash their hands after every toilet use. God bless you for giving us the additional hand-washing stations. We are now confident our pupils will be healthy due to reduced germs,” she said.

4 kenya4629 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 the four functional latrines the school already has.

27 kenya4629 finished latrines

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction for this 30,000-liter rainwater catchment tank began on October 8, 2016.

The school was so excited about this project. Each time a student came from home in the morning and after lunch, they carried their school bag in one hand and a stone in the other. When there were enough materials at the site for actual building, students carried water for cement-mixing instead. They made up to five trips a day, a sacrifice that moved our artisans. The school also organized for accommodations and meals to give the artisans. They were given tea, mandazi, ugali, kale, sweet potatoes, and sugarcane.

14 kenya4629 construction

Next, 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. Now, the school has the opportunity to collect up to 30,000 liters of water!

15 kenya4629 construction

“I am a deputy headteacher at Rosterman Primary School,” Mr. Samuel Wangwe told us. “Before the project came to our school, it was a nightmare getting safe and clean water as we relied on the pupils to bring water from home. Many a times they brought contaminated water with the local brew “changaa” which had been served in the same containers. School was not only a nightmare to the pupils, but also very burdensome. Outbreaks of waterborne diseases was a common case and at one point, 17 students of our National Examination were affected. We tried as best as we could to keep the classrooms clean, but it isn’t easy. The latrines were dilapidated and dirty. The fact that there was no water point on the compound didn’t make things easier. But since the project was launched, we have safe and clean drinking water. The latrines have also improved; they are now in use and maintained properly. The hand-washing facility is always filled with water so that children can wash their hands after using the latrines. I am extremely happy and grateful!”

The locally famous name “Rosterman” has always been linked with gold mining. But now, when people mention Rosterman, they think of the new sanitation and water facilities the school has. This project has given students, staff, and parents hope that the learning environment, student health, and school academics will improve.

The Water Project : 26-kenya4629-finished-tank

12/15/2016: Rosterman Primary School Project Underway

We are excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, Rosterman 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 : 5-kenya4629-former-rain-tank-turned-into-classroom

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment
Location:  Kenya, Kakamega
ProjectID: 4629
Install Date:  01/17/2017

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 01/31/2018

Visit History:
02/09/2017 — Functional
05/10/2017 — Functional
07/06/2017 — Functional
01/31/2018 — Functional

A Year Later: Rosterman Primary School

December, 2017

We are happy our pupils no longer carry water from their homes to school as it was before. They are now accessing safe, clean drinking water which can also be used for cleaning on a regular basis.

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater catchment tank and latrines for the Rosterman Primary School in Western Kenya. Because of these gifts and the contributions of our monthly donors, partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with schools and 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, Catherine Chepkemoi, with you.

As Catherine made her way to Rosterman Primary to hold this interview, she thought back to her first visit to the school. She remembered the hundreds of yellow jerrycans sitting outside the classrooms, which were used to tote water to school every day. This visit, those jerrycans were nowhere to be seen; instead, students were fetching water from their water tank. Students no longer have to worry about fetching water for class, since they have enough clean drinking water on school grounds.

Catherine also noticed how much cleaner the school compound is. After talking to one of the teachers, she learned that classrooms and latrines are now mopped with water from the tank on a daily basis.

Program Coordinator Catherine, student Bedline, and her teacher Mrs. Nzavaye.

Teacher Nzavaye said that the latrines and rainwater tank have “elevated the image of this school.” She continued, “We are happy our pupils no longer carry water from their homes to school as it was before. They are now accessing safe, clean drinking water which can also be used for cleaning on a regular basis. The population in the school has increased as a result of water availability, and children are now motivated to come to school since they know they will not be send to go and look for water outside.”

Not only does 14-year-old Bedline Atieli have more energy for studying, but she has the good health she needs too. “Time that we used to waste going to fetch water for mopping our classes and for drinking has now been maximized for studies. Also, the common waterborne disease experienced before has drastically decreased.”

Catherine says that both Teacher Nzavaye and Bedline are representative of the rest of students and staff; everyone is so happy about this project. They have not remained the same thanks to clean water access, and are dreaming about other ways they can improve their school. They plan to start a lunch program soon!

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.


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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.