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Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  Installed

Functionality Status:  Functional

Community Profile & Stories

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

A normal day in this neighborhood starts very early in the morning so students can attend prep lessons. These classes begin at 6:30am and go until 8am when normal classes start. The regular academic schedule stretches uninterrupted until lunchtime. Afternoon lessons go until 3:40pm when students leave to walk home.

Beyond sitting in class, children also have time in the afternoon to play in the field. But if the school is short on water, these same students can be seen fetching water to be used in the school kitchen.

Kapsambo is in a very quiet location with green trees and wildlife. The land here is flat, and is home to a large population all from the same tribe. Thus, people here share the same traditions and beliefs, coexisting peacefully and working together.

Kapsambo Primary has a student enrollment of 484 and employs 15 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 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’s head teacher, Pamella Munaya, was the one who applied for a project. She had visited Lusengeli Secondary School and was very impressed with the water, sanitation and hygiene project that was completed there. She quickly wrote a letter to us, and we visited in person to assess the school’s needs. You can find a picture of Mrs. Munaya in the “See Photos & Video” section.

Water Situation

The school has no water source, so they are forced to find water elsewhere. The closest source is less than a half kilometer away; a nearby spring that was protected in the past but now needs rehabilitation. The catchment area is damaged, the spring is not back-filled correctly, and there is no drainage. Spring water can be seen flowing to the catchment area, proving that the spring is open contamination. Improper drainage creates stagnant water, providing mosquitos with good breeding grounds. This increases the risk of malaria for these students and the surrounding community.

Nor does the school have storage for any water the students fetch. As soon as students deliver their jerrycan to school, the water is used up and there’s a need for more. Much of class time wastes away as students are sent for water. If the school had at least a place for water storage on campus, students wouldn’t have to be sent on as many trips to the spring. Moreover, if the school had a water source on campus, there wouldn’t be a need for the spring! A rainwater catchment tank will solve that, acting as both a safe water source and water storage.

Sanitation Situation

There are 16 VIP (ventilated improved pit) latrines, made of bricks and iron sheets. However, most of these latrines are very old with cracks in the walls and floors. There is a possibility that with more use, these floors suspended over the pit will give out. This is a very dangerous situation! Many of these latrines are also close to being too full to use.

There is one hand-washing station near the latrines, but there was no cleaning agent at the time of our visit. There is a dish rack outside of the kitchen for containers and utensils to dry up off the ground. Garbage is thrown in a pile next to one of the buildings.

Mrs. Munaya told us “The health situation of this place is not that bad, but the only challenge is the increase in population with less knowledge on health issues.”

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

We are excited to train students and staff on hygiene, because they were very inquisitive during our visit.

Community members, teachers and students will be present for two days of training sessions. 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: VIP Latrines

Because of the poor state of current latrines here, we plan to build new facilities. Two triple-door VIP (ventilated improved pit) latrines will be constructed, three doors for each gender. Once students have their own water source, they will have the ability to keep their new latrines clean.

Mrs. Munaya said, “Our school has had a lot of problems, ranging from lack of safe source of water, lack of enough latrines, and failure by the government to support the school with all these projects. I personally have been trying to reach out to sympathizers of the school but all in vain.”

Students, staff and parents will help prepare for construction by delivering materials to the site. They will need to collect sand, stone, bricks, and poles. Local fathers will also need to prepare by digging two large pits for the latrines.

Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank

A 30,000-liter rainwater catchment tank will be built on school grounds. Materials for the tank will be mobilized at the same time as the latrines. As soon as there’s a rainy day, water will no longer be a problem!

Plans: Hand-Washing Stations

Two 60-liter containers with stands will be delivered. This will give students and staff a total of three usable hand-washing stations. The CTC club will be responsible for filling these stations and making sure they remain clean.

We also met Mrs. Evans, the chairperson of the School Management Committee. She had a lot to say about the possibility of a project at Kapsambo Primary School:

“As the chairperson of this school, I am very much moved by the fact that our school has been given an opportunity to have this project done. I cannot believe that the greatest challenges that we have been having are soon to to come to an end. For a very long time, as a leader, I have been restless in seeking ways of overcoming the issue of lack of water and also few latrines that we have at the school but had not succeeded. The school management committee will partner with you to ensure that all goes well for the project beginning from assembling the materials, construction process, completion and monitoring of the project for sustainability purposes. Thank you for remembering us!”

We believe that with these facilities, health at the school will improve significantly, translating to better performance amongst students. Better performance will provide greater opportunity for them and their families!

Recent Project Updates

12/19/2017: A Year Later: Kapsambo PAG Primary School

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater catchment system and latrines for Kapsambo PAG Primary 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 partner, Christine Luvandwa, with you.

The Water Project : 4631_yar_3

12/02/2016: Kapsambo PAG Primary School Project Complete!

We are very excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, the students and staff of Kapsambo PAG 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 a classroom. We organized for the best place and time with the headteacher, Mrs. Pamella Munaya and the Parent Teacher Association’s chairman, Mr. Evans. They invited students, teachers, board members, and parents to attend.

Boys and girls from each grade were in attendance. Their eagerness to learn moved them to ask question after question about fetching water, treating water, and how to wash hands. We 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.

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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.

Mr. Evans said, “I am very humbled to be part of this training. The contents have really touched key issues affecting us as a school. Thank you for coming, and come again!” Our next visit after training, it was obvious students were already practicing what they learned. The school compound and the latrines were cleaner, and we saw students washing their hands.

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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.

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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 replace the old ones that were too dangerous to use.

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Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction on this 30,000-liter tank began on October 18th.

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 three weeks. Once dry, we could remove supportive beams and then install the gutter system.

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At first, locals we asked to volunteer told us they wouldn’t work unless we paid them. They said that if they took time they otherwise would have spent on their farms, they’d be losing money. After a little bit of encouragement, these men and women, parents of the schoolchildren, understood that building the tank for a few days would be worth the small sacrifice. They provided accommodations for the tank artisans and helped them with manual labor needed to build the tank. They also collected all of the local materials like sand and ballast and delivered them to the site.

Upon seeing the finished tank, Headteacher Munaya said “I cannot hold back my tears seeing water dropping from this new water tank at our school. This will go a long way to transforming the lives of many pupils here.” Students no longer risk the steep walk down to the spring, nor lose precious class time fetching water or battling water-related illness; there is adequate, clean water on school grounds.

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Explore More of The Project

Project Videos

Project Photos

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment
Location:  Vihiga, Kapsambo
ProjectID: 4631
Install Date:  12/02/2016

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

Visit History:
05/29/2017 — Functional
07/29/2017 — Functional
01/31/2018 — Functional

A Year Later: Kapsambo PAG Primary School

November, 2017

The environment is much cleaner compared to how it was before the rainwater tank was installed. We believe the WaSH training helped raise the school to the standards it is in now.

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater catchment system and latrines for Kapsambo PAG Primary 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 partner, Christine Luvandwa, with you.

The feeding program in the school has been re-introduced as a result of water availability and the pupils no longer spend a lot of time going back home to have lunch as some of them cannot even afford that on a daily basis. Construction of the water tank and the Ventilated Improved Pit latrines have raised levels of excitement for the pupils due to the running water from the tank, and they are now able to wash their hands after visiting the latrines. The population has also grown since then – 30 new pupils have been admitted.

With the increase in population and even more pupils expected during the year, more facilities would be suitable for this institution and refresher training needs to be conducted to ensure the new pupils are equipped with the necessary hygiene and sanitation knowledge. As an organization, we plan to follow up on the functionality of the child to child club that is the only reliable platform of reaching many pupils.

“With the availability of the water in the tank, we saw it fit to re-introduce the feeding program for the pupils,” explains board of management chair Evans Businya, “since the cooks are now able to easily access water and the pupils no longer have to source water outside the compound. We also believe their performance will improve.”

“I no longer have to go out to fetch water for cleaning and for the kitchen use,” says 12-year-old student Calvin Kuya. “This is a good thing for me and my fellow pupils since the time we used to spend to get water we now use to finish our assignments which has enabled me to prepare better for my lessons and the examinations as well.”

All in all, the facilities are in good working condition and the water is clean. With the rainy season the pupils are excited to be able to access water within the school compound. The environment is much cleaner compared to how it was before the rainwater tank was installed. We believe the WaSH training helped raise the school to the standards it is in now.

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.