Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/05/2024

Project Features

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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

Ebusiloli Primary School was founded in 1942 by Church of God and their community. It now has a student population of 828 and employs 16 teachers and five 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.)

Early in the morning, children report to school carrying water in their jerrycans. The school requires students to bring their own water because they prefer not to send their students out to look for water during the day. The route leading to the closest spring is bushy, and teachers cannot risk sending their pupils to that source. This school has not been welcome in the community.

Cleaning is done between 6:45 AM and 7 AM before normal classes begin. Assembly is held every morning, when school administration makes announcements about scheduled activities and the school salutes the Kenyan flag. Students break at 12:45 PM for lunch. All children from standard one to standard eight return home to eat lunch and then report back to school at 2 PM. Pre-school children do not return to school after lunch.

Afternoon classes end at 3:30 PM, for various activities like ball games and singing games. These are a great opportunity for the children to relax their minds and refresh before returning to class for evening study hall that starts at 4:30 PM. At 5:30 PM, everyone returns home as the security guards arrive to watch over the school.

Water Situation

A well was implemented by another organization, and was intended to be shared by both the school and the community. It has since dried up. The school was given a 5,000-liter plastic tank, but it was cut with a machete by the natives. "This community hates us; I wish I could change the name of this school. We should not bear their name! They have mobilized one another against us and the kind of battles we fight to keep on moving are so fierce. We came to school one day late last year and found water flooded around the base of our good tank, only to realize that it had a deep cut. The evil man cut so low that the tank cannot even hold a quarter of its capacity," the senior teacher explained. Following that incident, an extra security guard was employed to help watch over school property. No stranger is allowed on the premises unless the administration gives permission. Children have been asked to carry water from home, since it is too dangerous to send students to the spring.

Water fetched by students is from many different sources, and is rationed throughout the day. Students suffer from waterborne diseases, clear evidence that the water they bring is not safe. As we watched students arrive at school, we saw some stop along the way and drink directly from their containers.

Sanitation Situation

This was the first time we ever saw a girls' urinal, something we hadn't even heard of! Some girls do not use it as intended, because we saw feces there on the ground. The girls also have 10 doors of pit latrines which are full and poorly-ventilated.

Boys have been given six doors of pit latrines but they are overused and dilapidated. "A boy cannot wait on the queue when pressed, yet we have old latrines here. They just go ahead and use them but we fear they may collapse on our children because floods that flow from the upper side have really weakened their foundations," the teacher in charge of sanitation stated.

Because of the water shortage, these children do not wash their hands after using the latrine. Therefore, they are exposed to many health challenges e.g. diarrheal diseases. There is recent news of two sisters in class five who passed away after having diarrhea and vomiting. "That was the most painful day in my life, seeing bodies of two lovely young and promising girls lie helplessly on those beds and later on observing coffins carrying their remains lowered inside the graves was traumatizing. The whole community came to school and caused havoc, demanding the headteacher to be fired for failing to maintain required hygiene standards, yet those little girls who had passed on were from Emang’ali," the senior teacher recalled. People from this village rioted, yet they don't even bring their children here to study.

Teacher Naftali Rurie said, "We have suffered a lot because of poor health. This whole village does not understand hygiene, and they need to be taught. Therefore, having a hygiene training will be a blessing to all of us."

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 50,000-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, and hand-washing. The school will no longer have to rely on the small amounts of (often contaminated) water carried by students.

Plans: VIP Latrines

Two triple-door latrines will be constructed, normally providing three new latrines for each gender. However, the headteacher has requested that all six doors be given to girls. He requested this via text message to one of our staff, also texting, "At least our boys have six functional doors. Girls are suffering! Imagine seeing other people's fece,s then squatting down to add yours on top when afraid that the level might reach your body. It is pathetic!" 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.

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!

Project Updates

October, 2018: A Year Later: Ebusiloli Primary School

A year ago, generous donors helped construct a rainwater catchment tank for Ebusiloli Primary School in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories. Read more...

July, 2017: Ebusiloli Primary School Project Complete

Ebusiloli 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 children!

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 a large classroom. The headteacher was responsible for selecting teachers, parent representatives, and students to attend. It was apparent that all students there have great leadership qualities and will share what they learn with their peers and families.

1 kenya4654 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 students also received handouts which will help them teach hygiene and sanitation to their peers.

5 kenya4654 training

Students discussing the activities illustrated and how they can affect health.

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.

At the end of the training each participant was still yearning for more information. But since trainings had to be done in another institution the following day, we asked them to make plans and invite our trainers again. That way, we'd have an opportunity to train all parents, teachers and pupils who weren't there the first time. Pupils have already improvised extra hand-washing facilities, and the school compound and its buildings are very tidy, indicating that indeed what was learned during the training was taken seriously.

Teacher Naftali Rune said, "We count ourselves blessed for having been selected among the few to receive this project which comes with such important knowledge. I'm among the oldest with a lot of experience in this training, but there are so many things you have taught me that I had never known, thank you so much our facilitators!"

15 kenya4654 tank maintenance

Students and staff learning about their new water tank.

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.

30 kenya4654 hand-washing stations

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!

40 kenya4654 finished latrines

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction on this 50,0000-liter tank began in May.

Parents, staff, and students first helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction. All the while, women cooked meals for the artisans, and the school provided accommodations for the artisans during their work.

Students building a ladder to help the artisans work on the tank dome.

The construction of the rainwater tank began with clearance of the site: excavating the soil within the required measurements to make level ground for the tank foundation. The casting of the foundation was done by laying hardcore on a level ground and then reinforcing it using steel, concrete and waterproof cement.

23 kenya4654 tank construction

Laying the foundation.

As the foundation was being lain, both the drawing pipe as well as the washout pipe were affixed. The wall was built with ferro-cement techniques through six layers. The inner wall was plastered while rough casting was done on the outer part.

After the superstructure had been given enough time to settle, the dome followed. The manhole cover was fitted, inlet pipes were connected to the roof gutters, inlet screens, ventilation pipes (breathers) and overflow pipes were all done to standards.

24 kenya4654 tank construction

Finally, the catchment area was done by building a staircase. Drainage was set up there, and then the tank was allowed 14 days to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Ebusiloli Primary School.

The commendable work done by pupils cannot be ignored, as they helped carry bricks from the brick maker's home to the school. They also split firewood used for cooking, and also helped transport water to the construction site. Teachers also made the field officers laugh by sending every child who committed grievances to help in construction work as a form of punishment - yet some children seemed to really enjoy it!

19 kenya4654 students shuttling bricks to the artisans

Students make an assembly line to shuttle bricks to the construction site.

Headmaster Julius Emonyi told us "By provision of a water tank, latrines, hand-washing facilities and a very rich training, it seems like you have solved all the problems of Ebusiloli. There is no more outbreak of diseases as it used to be - you can see our very tidy compound and classrooms, peace is reigning in our school and I can assure you that come December we will be among the top performing schools in the county, since the challenges that used to drag us behind have been dealt with in an utter manner."

Learning at Ebusiloli Primary School has become enjoyable. There used to be enmity among different groups of people. Now it has ended, and each person sees the other as a brother or sister, and teachers and pupils have parent-child relationships. "Initially some of my colleagues would not even want Mondays to come because they could remember insults directed to them by parents or children; this community was so hostile. Some children could miss lessons because of fear of intimidation or unresolved conflicts that could see some fight along the way and I assure you it wasn't easy to teach here, and it was so hard for some pupils to learn with bitterness and vengeful thoughts against one another," Teacher Rune explained. "But now I assure you that we have peace because of that training we had," he added. The school has become united as parents - even those who had never stepped in school apart from the time they brought their children for admission - have visited the institution to check on teachers and even make peace. Many students have apologized for insulting teachers and their peers. Parents who never used to see eye to eye on things are now at peace with each other, and many have been seen helping the other. Teachers report that even students from rival clans are now friends; they are seen playing and walking home together, for they have put their differences aside to achieve a common goal. Peacefully united minds also do great work together for the greater success of the community, and in this unity the community will achieve much.

Project Photos

Project Type

For a rainwater collection system, we build gutters around a building with good, clean roofing to channel rain where we want it. From there, the water falls through a filtered inlet pipe into a high-capacity storage tank, the size of which is based on population and average rainfall patterns. In the tank, water can be stored for months, where it is easily treated and accessed. Learn more here!

A Year Later: Ebusiloli Primary School

September, 2018

“Going to the toilet was hard for me because I used to be scared because the latrines were sinking. Now, I go to the latrines constructed alongside the rainwater tank with no fear.” 11-year-old Venter Anyona

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Ebusiloli Primary School.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Ebusiloli Primary School maintain access to safe, reliable water. Together, they keep The Water Promise.

We’re confident you'll love joining this world-changing group committed to sustainability!

A year ago, generous donors helped construct a rainwater catchment tank for Ebusiloli Primary School in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – and we’re excited to share this one from Lillian Achieng with you.

"My journey to school has been made easier. I used to carry water to school and this would drag me," 11-year old Venter Anyona said.

She is one of many students who have experienced positive change in the year since the completion of the project at Ebusiloli Primary School. The community has truly embraced hygiene, and the school compound is clean. They have well-maintained facilities that are in good working condition.

Venter Anyona

This is further witnessed by the students' brilliant idea of improvising their handwashing containers to supplement the ones we provided last year. They use an empty 20-liter jerrycan and cut a hole in it for dispensing water. This clearly shows that they are washing hands more than ever.

"Many times I used to eat with dirty hand because there was no water to wash hands. Since the tank was constructed, the handwashing facilities provided, and we were trained on how to wash hands, I can wash my hands comfortably," Venter said.

Construction of the tank is only one step along the journey toward sustainable access to clean water. The Water Project is committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by donors like you, allows us to maintain our relationships with communities by visiting up to 4 times each year to ensure that the water points are safe and reliable.

This is just one of the many ways that we monitor projects and communicate with you. Additionally, you can always check the functionality status and our project map to see how all of our water points are performing, based on our consistent monitoring data.

One project is just a drop in the bucket towards ending the global water crisis, but the ripple effects of this project are truly astounding. This tank in Ebusiloli Primary School is changing many lives.

"Going to the toilet was hard for me because I used to be scared because the latrines were sinking. Now I go to the latrines constructed alongside the rainwater tank with no fear," Venter said.

This is only possible because of the web of support and trust built between The Water Project, our local teams, the community, and you. We are excited to stay in touch with this community and support their journey with safe water.

Read more about The Water Promise and how you can help.

Navigating through intense dry spells, performing preventative maintenance, conducting quality repairs when needed and continuing to assist community leaders to manage water points are all normal parts of keeping projects sustainable. The Water Promise community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Ebusiloli Primary School maintain access to safe, reliable water.

We’d love for you to join this world-changing group committed to sustainability.

The most impactful way to continue your support of Ebusiloli Primary School – and hundreds of other places just like this – is by joining our community of monthly givers.

Your monthly giving will help provide clean water, every month... keeping The Water Promise.