Esiandumba Secondary School

Regional Program:
Western Kenya WaSH Program

Latitude 0.35
Longitude 34.57

292 Served

Project Status:

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Thank you for this good knowledge you have shared with us. Many times people perish due to lack of it, and I believe our lives are going to change for the better because we are now informed.

Principal Susan Okwemba

Explore The Project

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

Esiandumba Secondary School began in 1974, but continuously encountered challenges that forced it to shut down. It picked back up in 2002, but has continued to struggle because families in the area don’t emphasize education. Many fathers are alcoholics, and women are left to eke out enough to provide for their child’s school fees. Most students who attend Esiandumba Secondary School come from impoverished families, most of which are led by either a single parent or grandparent.

The majority of enrolled students owe a huge number of fees. The principal, Madam Susan, has decided to limit the number of times she sends children back home to fetch fees, since many of them never come back. The principal talked about how there’s one girl in form three who is an orphan and has to take care of a younger sibling. She visits her maternal grandparents every weekend to beg for food, missing her Saturday lessons. Teachers understand her situation and do not punish her for this absence.

Students report to school by 6:30AM to do daily cleaning of grounds and classrooms, latrines and offices. Students that report late are given punishments like clearing brush by slashing. Morning studies go from 7AM to 7:50, with normal classes beginning at 8AM. Students take a break to drink black tea at 11AM, going back to class until their lunch break.

Students are served ‘githeri,’ a mixture of maize and beans every lunch. Those with allergies are given rice and greens. Afternoon classes go until 4PM when students play sports and games until they are sent home. Certain afternoons, boys are sent to fetch water for girls to mop the classrooms and offices.

Water Situation

This school has a 1,000-liter plastic tank for catching rainwater. This tank’s water is not nearly enough for the school’s needs. There are two different springs over one kilometer away. These springs were protected many years ago by a different organization, but are now in poor condition. Even if water was clean at the spring, contamination is likely during the long trip back to the school.

Esiandumba Secondary School administration often hires women to make the long trip to the spring, but cannot afford to keep up with this expenditure. Thus, the water scarcity issue at school is severe. Students don’t even have enough water to wash their hands after using the latrine or before eating.

When students fetch water, it is stored in their containers in the back of classrooms. When water is delivered by local women, it is stored in the kitchen.

Sanitation Situation

This school has received a notice from the Ministry of Education saying that if they don’t build more latrines soon, they risk closure. This is because the eight latrines they have are all very close to each other. Both genders using the bathroom this close to each other is against rules made by the Ministry of Education.

There are three hand-washing stations, but as was mentioned there isn’t nearly enough water to keep them supplied. Garbage is disposed of on the ground in between the boys and girls pit latrines.

The principal is very excited about hygiene and sanitation training. “Our boys and girls have suffered diseases caused by poor hygiene. We have tried to help them but it seems there is an area where we are not doing it well, and I strongly believe that hearing it from you will help them understand matters of health better,” she said.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training and Hand-Washing Stations

Training will be held for two days. The facilitator will use PHAST (participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation), ABCD (asset-based community development), CTC (child to child), lectures, group discussions, and handouts to teach health topics and ways to promote good practices within the school. The CTC method will prepare students to lead other students into healthy habits, as well as kickstart a CTC club for the school. This CTC club will oversee the new facilities, such as hand-washing stations, and make sure they are kept clean and in working condition. The two hand-washing stations will be delivered to the school, and the club will fill them with water on a daily basis and make sure there is always a cleaning agent such as soap or ash.

Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank

A 30,000-liter rainwater catchment tank will be constructed on school grounds. Teachers, students, and parents will gather the 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.

With adequate clean water, the school will have water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, hand-washing, and irrigation!

This water source will only be open to students and staff. Outsiders will not be allowed to carry water from the school. By enforcing this rule, the tank will have water and be able to serve the school for a long time.

Plans: VIP Latrines

These six new VIP (ventilation improved pit latrine) latrines will be split into three doors for each gender. Latrine materials will be mobilized the same way as the tank, ensuring the school feels these facilities are truly theirs.

School administration and parents are positive that with these new facilities and training, their students’ academic performance will improve. Students will be healthy and empowered to focus on what’s important!

Thank You for unlocking potential at Esiandumba Secondary School!

Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

12/20/2017: A Year Later: Esiandumba Secondary School

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater catchment system and latrines for Esiandumba Secondary 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, Wilson Kipchoge, with you.

The Water Project : yar_4633_1

03/30/2017: Esiandumba Secondary School Project Underway

Esiandumba Secondary School in Kenya now has a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your generous donation. 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! As the school motto states, students will finally be “set to excel.”

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

School administration helped us invite teachers, students, and parents to attend hygiene and sanitation training. Those in attendance are expected to pass on what they learn to others; parents to parents and children to children. These sessions were held in one of the classrooms.

Three teachers, four parents and 23 students attended. Students were so eager to learn more about water, sanitation and hygiene. They listened attentively and asked questions about each topic, especially about primary healthcare.

4 kenya4633 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, while demonstrations were used for hand-washing and tooth-brushing. 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 kenya4633 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.

Principal Susan Okwemba, shown below, was grateful she had the opportunity to attend training with her teachers. “Thank you for this good knowledge you have shared with us. Many times people perish due to lack of it, and I believe our lives are going to change for the better because we are now informed,” she said.

6 kenya4633 Madam Susan

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! The CTC students even want to make their own hand-washing stations to give every student the opportunity to wash their hands.

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 have supplemented the eight ones the school already had, and saves them from the risk of closure warning administered by the Ministry of Education.

15 kenya4633 construction

Resource mobilization was a challenge here. Since they considered this project a donation, they held onto the idea that everything would be handed to them. However, we need help with manual labor and gathering construction materials for each one of our projects! The school administration stepped in to fill the gaps as we struggled to motivate parents to help us. It’s important to get as many locals involved as possible to ensure a high level of project ownership.

20 kenya4633 finished latrines

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

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. Now between the small tank and this larger one, the school has the opportunity to collect over 30,000 liters of water!

14 kenya4633 construction

Mr. Samson, the groundsman, is also certain that come next year, the student population will increase as a result of these new facilities. “No parent would wish to take their child to a high school that sends students to fetch water from the spring, unless it is the only cheapest school he/she can afford or unless the student has performed too pitiably in primary school examinations to be accepted in any other high school but Esiandumba,” he said.

25 kenya4633 finished tank

The deputy principal is happy that his incoming students will no longer have to go to the spring to fetch water. Local parent Erick Makhatso was overjoyed that he is now sending his child to a school that provides clean water. “Thank you for this water tank, it is a blessing to our school and community. When you help these children they will excel in the national examination and you will have helped the entire community. I believe these projects will transform not only students and teachers, but the whole of Esiandumba Village,” he shared.

The Water Project : 21-kenya4633-finished-tank

02/22/2017: Esiandumba Secondary School Project Underway

We are excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, Esiandumba 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 your care and generosity that unlocks potential at Esiandumba Secondary School!

The Water Project : 2-kenya4633-students

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment
Location:  Kenya, Vihiga, Esiandumba
ProjectID: 4633
Install Date:  03/30/2017

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

Visit History:
03/01/2017 — Functional
06/01/2017 — Functional
07/28/2017 — Functional
01/31/2018 — Functional
03/31/2018 — Functional

A Year Later: Esiandumba Secondary School

December, 2017

I can now confidently concentrate more on my studies without the fear of being told to go to the river to fetch water and thus improve on my academic performance.

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater catchment system and latrines for Esiandumba Secondary 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, Wilson Kipchoge, with you.

The availability of abundant water in the school has helped the students to now have access to safe, clean water within their reach. Many of the students have been able to improve their academic performance. The witnessed changes are attributed to the availability of the 30,000 liters water tank done now completed at the school.

“As a school, we have been able to cut down on the expenses previously used to purchase water and use the same money on other school needs,” explains Dean of Studies Edwin Barasa. “Through the ministry of education, the government has allocated us some funds to expand our school compound for future expansion of projects. Students have registered very promising results in their academic performance as they spend more time in their studies. We are now comfortable unlike previous times where we had to buy water or hire people to bring them for us.”

“I can now confidently concentrate more on my studies without the fear of being told to go to the river to fetch water and thus improve on my academic performance,” shares 17-year-old Sharon Nyandoko. “The water available at the school is so safe and enough that I just drink as many glasses as possible not scared of becoming sick. Latrines that were installed has reduced congestion and also brought separation from sharing latrines from by both boys and girls which was really very embarrassing.”

This institution now has safe and clean water near to them which will greatly meet all their water needs. The environment looks good and clean because of the trees that always provide shades and act as a live fence for the school. Regular treatment is recommended so as to avert cases of water related diseases. Our staff will always be carrying out monitoring and evaluation of the project and coming up with suggestions on any intervention required in case there is need.

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.


David J. Tsiang Foundation
1 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.