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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

Kilingili Primary School was founded in 1957 by the Church of God, which donated all of the land the school sits on today. It currently enrolls a total student population of 693 and employs 20 teachers and four support 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.)

Kilingili Primary has high enrollment thanks to its students’ academic performance; it is one of the best schools near the border of Kakamega and Vihiga counties. It is located in Kilingili Village nearby Kilingili Market, which gives the students and staff convenient access to services and foods.

The headteacher told us that “most parents are poor, but they make sure that their children get proper education by sacrificing the little they have to support it. Even though we are faced with challenges of lack of safe, clean drinking water and enough latrines, we have demonstrated excellence in our academic performance compared to schools which have everything within their reach. If we get these projects at our school, I am very much sure without a doubt that we are going to do much better than previous years.”

A normal day for a Kilingili student begins at 6AM. They prepare for school, making sure they have a full jerrycan of water to be used for drinking and cooking. When they arrive, they start by sweeping the classrooms. After cleaning, they have morning study hall, regular lessons, and then an hour’s lunch when they are sent home to find food. Students return for afternoon classes and are held for games and sports hour that starts at 3:30PM.

Though the school has a vegetable garden and a nursery for tree seedlings, the yield isn’t close to meeting the school’s needs. Teachers consume all of the vegetables, and students take the little trees home to plant.

Headteacher Omukhomba learned about the opportunity for a project when he visited Essumba Primary School last year and witnessed the improvements made there. He asked for our contact information, and we visited to assess the school’s situation.

Water Situation

The school has a small 5,000-liter reservoir for catching and storing both rainwater and the water that students bring.

One of the most popular places for students to fetch the required water is an unprotected hand-dug well in their community. Unprotected means that there is no cover or pump to protect the well’s water from the elements and contaminants. The fetching process itself contaminates the water inside; students have attached a plastic container to the end of the rope, lifting it up and down until their own containers are full.

Since the school only has 5,000 liters of storage, students’ water is stored in their own containers.

There’s no way to regulate where and how students get their water, and this has led to outbreaks of waterborne disease. Many students have to walk long distances in search of water, which consumes their time. No sufficient water source on school grounds means that valuable class time is spend on finding a sufficient amount of water to get them through, day by day.

Sanitation Situation

There are 14 pit latrines, but not all of them are usable. They are made of concrete and plastered floors, brick walls, and roofed with iron sheets. Most are fit with wooden doors, but some of these doors have fallen off. Another block of latrines were condemned by the department of public health, declared too dangerous for small students. The leftovers are not nearly enough for a student population in the hundreds.

There is one hand-washing station with soap. Garbage is sorted in an open area out back to make a pit for burning and a pit for compost. This compost is used as fertilizers in the school garden.

“Many people lack information on basic health issues that affect them daily, and leads to many of them suffering in silence. When a disaster like an outbreak of a disease strikes, people start to talk of how to cure or treat it rather than taking measures to control its outbreak,” said Headteacher John Omukhomba.

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 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 50,000-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. 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! They will no longer have to worry about fetching and bring enough water for their needs each day.

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!

“For a very long time, we have never had any well-wishers or sympathizers of the school come to us, but Wewasafo has done where others have failed. We as a school believe that this is a New Year’s gift for us from God and we tightly embrace it,” said the headteacher.

Recent Project Updates

05/04/2017: Kilingili Primary School Project Complete

Kilingili 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

Hygiene and sanitation training was held in one of the classrooms used as the library. This venue was chosen so as to avoid interrupting normal classes. Headteacher John Temba mobilized leaders among parents, teachers, and students to attend.

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.

The chairman of the PTA, Timothy Olumula, was in attendance. Even a man of 50 years had a lot to learn! “This seminar has really touched on very important issues affecting every individual, such as hygiene and sanitation. I did not know that diseases like cancer are caused by eating meat, smoking of cigarette and alcohol consumption,” he shared.

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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.

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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!

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Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction on this 50,0000-liter tank began in the end of March.

Parents, staff, and students first helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction.

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Then, the location for the tank was decided on with the input 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!

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Parent Rose Osore said, “This beautiful water tank is going to rest our children from carrying water everyday. For a very long time, we have never had such a big safe water source as this, and I believe that every stakeholder of the school is very happy!” Rose was with other parents, teachers, and students to celebrate the tank’s completion. The headteacher told us “I can’t believe what I am seeing, because the image of the school has drastically changed within a very short time. For a very long time, we have been suffering a lot for lack of such a safe source of water. The only available 5,000-liter plastic tank could not serve the whole school… pupils could not access water.”

It was most important for us to hear directly from the students. “We have been carrying water from our homes everyday, which sometimes makes us arrive at the school late and we always get tired. From now onwards, we will no longer carry water from home but just take a cup and fetch safe, clean water direct from the tank,” student Reagan Ayiga happily said.

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02/20/2017: Kilingili Primary School Project Underway

We are excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, Kilingili 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!

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Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment
Location:  Vihiga, Emuhaya, Bunyore, Ebusamia, Emusutswi, Kilingili
ProjectID: 4644
Install Date:  05/04/2017

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 08/29/2017

Visit History:
05/29/2017 — Functional
07/29/2017 — Functional
08/29/2017 — Functional


Project Sponsor - Imago Dei Community
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.