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The Water Project : 20-kenya4636-finished-latrines
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The Water Project : 18-kenya4636-finished-latrines
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The Water Project : 15-kenya4636-dome-construction
The Water Project : 14-kenya4636-guttering
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The Water Project : 10-kenya4636-measuring-the-diameter
The Water Project : 9-kenya4636-wire-lining
The Water Project : 8-kenya4636-cement
The Water Project : 7-kenya4636-training
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The Water Project : 24-kenya4636-full-latrines
The Water Project : 22-kenya4636-girls-latrines
The Water Project : 21-kenya4636-school-kitchen
The Water Project : 20-kenya4636-classrooms
The Water Project : 19-kenya4636-school-compound
The Water Project : 18-kenya4636-girls-who-fetch-water
The Water Project : 17-kenya4636-at-the-spring
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The Water Project : 15-kenya4636-staff-latrines
The Water Project : 15-kenya4636-fetching-water
The Water Project : 14-kenya4636-water-containers
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The Water Project : 10-kenya4636-village-elder
The Water Project : 9-kenya4636-community-children-at-spring
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The Water Project : 7-kenya4636-walk-for-water
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The Water Project : 4-kenya4636-meeting-with-headteacher
The Water Project : 3-kenya4636-weekly-school-program
The Water Project : 2-kenya4636-school-motto
The Water Project : 1-kenya4636-school-entrance

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 from Kenya (edited for clarity, as needed):

Welcome to the School

638 students attend Shipala Primary School, most who wake up extremely early to get there on time for class. The upper primary classes need to get there for morning exercises at 6:30. A half hour later, these students are sent to fetch water for cleaning and cooking. If they get back late for normal classes at 8AM, they are punished. After lunch, students return for afternoon classes until sports and games that go for another hour until 4PM, when they are sent home to do homework and prepare for the next day.

Shipala Primary School employs 20 teachers and three support staff. The headmistress was the one who called us and applied for a project. She had seen the work done at Cheptulu Primary School and was very impressed, so we paid her and her school a visit to assess the need.

(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.)

Water Situation

The school has no water source on campus, so when students are sent to fetch water, they must walk to the nearest spring. This spring is protected, but the construction is old and needs repair. There are cracks in the walls and floor, and the area behind the spring has most likely been walked over. This spring is in a neighboring community, and students must defer to the local community members who are already waiting in line. Sometimes, they wait a long time and have no choice but to be late for class. We met a village elder who described these issues that occur at Musamalia Spring on a daily basis.

To avoid having to go fetch water after morning exercises, some of the students opt to carry water all the way from home. Once water is returned to school, it is poured from students’ small plastic containers into large storage barrels.

After drinking this water during the school day, waterborne disease affects both students and teachers. Diarrhea is the most common symptom, which weakens young students to the point they must stay home. Typhoid is also a common reason students are absent from class.

Sanitation Situation

There are 11 pit latrines on school grounds, all made of brick walls and iron sheets for roofs. Six of them are in good condition, while the other five are almost full. There were two others, but these are entirely full and cannot be used. Some latrines are even missing doors!

There are three hand-washing stations, but since the school doesn’t have its own water source, filling these are put on hold unless there’s leftover water after cleaning, cooking and drinking. Either way, there wasn’t any soap or ash to scrub with.

Teachers, the headmistress, and the students are all ready to attend training on hygiene and sanitation.

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: VIP Latrines

Two triple-door latrines will be constructed with local materials that the school will help gather. Three doors will be given to girls, while the other three will be given to the boys.

Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank

A 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank will alleviate the water crisis at this school. The school will help gather the needed construction materials such as sand, rocks, and water for mixing cement. Once finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff. Students will no longer have to leave their school in search of water!

We’re excited for this project to become a reality for students and staff so that they can focus on education. Girls won’t miss class fetching water for their peers. Clean water will improve health here, freeing students from the waterborne diseases that would keep them at home.

Recent Project Updates

05/08/2017: Shipala Primary School Project Complete

Shipala Primary 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!

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.

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 on school grounds under the shade of a tree. The students dragged their benches and outside each morning, bringing their notebooks and pencils for taking notes.

3 kenya4636 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.

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.

Headteacher Martha told us “this training and the CTC club initiated has come at the right time, since it’s going to help both the teachers, pupils and the community to practically improve on good hygiene.”

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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. 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 replaced the ones that were full.

20 kenya4636 finished latrines

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

There were some delays on the part of the school; it took them a long time to contribute the local construction materials needed. This delay greatly stressed Headteacher Martha. Parents left everything to the school. It’s not that they didn’t want the project, but their hesitation was due to extreme poverty in the area. The headteacher tried to get some materials on her own, but they weren’t enough. She eventually asked the government for some help, and they asked her to get a letter from us to prove the need for construction materials. We wrote a letter for her, and she finally received support, and these materials were delivered to the construction site for our artisans. We are so grateful for her dedication to this project’s success; it proves that this school administration will continuously manage and maintain this project to the best of their ability.

4 kenya4636 meeting with headteacher

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. The school now has the opportunity to collect 50,000 liters of water!

12 kenya4636 construction

“We are no more going to study in a dirty environment due to lack of water in the school, but enjoy harvesting water from the tank which will give us enough time to study,” student Rimellah Shirumba told us.

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01/26/2017: Shipala Primary School Project Underway

We are excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, Shipala Primary School in Kenya is building a source of safe, clean water for their students and staff. A rainwater catchment tank and new latrines are being constructed, hand-washing stations provided, and students and staff are being trained on proper sanitation and hygiene practices. Imagine the impact this will have on this school! Thank you for noticing the need here, and we’ll keep you posted as the work continues.

Click on the tabs above to learn more, and Thank You for your generosity that unlocks potential at Shipala Primary School!

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Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment
Location:  Vihiga, Shipala
ProjectID: 4636
Install Date:  04/19/2017

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 07/06/2017

Visit History:
05/07/2017 — Functional
07/06/2017 — Functional


Morgan Brevard Water Challenge
New Hope Baptist Church
Kenneth & Maureen P. Gray
Richard & Jessica Hermosillo
Fishing Creek Baptist Church
Bud Godreau and Lynn Wadley's Grandchildren
The Lyon Family
Unity by the Bay Church
Henry and Joan Katz Philanthropic Fund
Dinius Family
In the Names of Janie Kirkpatrick, Gene Johnson, & Janet Johnson
Lebanon United Methodist Church Staff
Patty LaRoche
Second Grade Team
The Cox Family
John and Lorna Lawrence
Marilyn Fong
96 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.