Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/07/2024

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

Saint Andrew’s Kaggwa Eshisiru Primary School was started in the early '50s, but after a short period was closed down due to political issues in the area. It reopened in 1972. The name "Saint Andrews" has been given by the sponsors of the school who are of the catholic denomination.

In the year 2009, Headteacher Benjamin Tsuma joined the school at a time when enrollment was at 800 pupils. The school got so much support that it gave birth to a number of other schools, including Eshisiru Secondary School. The primary school currently has an enrollment of 591 pupils. It also employs a total number of 19 teachers and three 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 school may even be a candidate for a second water point in the future. To learn more, click here.)

On a daily basis, pupils arrive at school around 6:30AM for an hour study hall. After, they undertake general cleaning for thirty minutes. At exactly 8 AM they return to classrooms and start lessons for they day. 12:30 PM marks lunch break when they head home and report back to school at 1:45 PM. When afternoon classes wrap up, students are required to stay for games until dismissal an hour later.

The school is located in a stony area, making any construction work a bit of a challenge. The surrounding community members here are casual laborers at construction sites, subsistence farmers, and small business owners.

This particular institution was recommended by the county minister of education, who resides in the same village just a 5-minute walk from the school compound. She saw the need with her own eyes, as dozens clumped around the well waiting for their turn to fetch water.

Water Situation

There is no water source within school walls, but there is one nearby. It is a well that was installed by unknown persons many years ago, with water that is drawn using a Nira pump. Unfortunately, it seems that poor quality parts were used, including pipes that are contributing to a rusty, dirty taste. The water isn't even clear.

And since this well isn't within the school, community members think of it more as their own well. The adults demand that they be the first in line to fill their containers. Hundreds of these students are pushed to the back of the line and forced to wait for several minutes to get water. There are reportedly hundreds of community members relying on this well, and some even bring wheelbarrows or bicycles to help carry more water.

Not only does the water taste bad, but drinking it  often doesn't feel good. Administration reports that students not only waste valuable study time waiting at the well, but suffer from waterborne diseases too.

Sanitation Situation

The pit latrines on school grounds are in poor condition, and many of them are too full to use. When a teacher gave us a tour of these, we noticed that not only were they filthy because of the water shortage, but many were missing doors. There was one latrine block that has been compromised by heavy rains; a hole has washed away ground under the superstructure.

There is one improvised hand-washing station outside a block of latrines; it is a container that hangs from a tree, which only has water when students are able to fetch enough.

Garbage is piled behind classrooms and burned every Friday evening.

Headteacher Benjamin Tuma said, "The health situation is not so good, as many cases of absenteeism are witnessed as the pupils suffer from water-related diseases such as malaria, typhoid, dysentery among others; due to the poor sanitation conditions. This affects the performance of individual pupils and the school at large."

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.

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.

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: Eshisuru Primary School

A year ago, generous donors helped construct a rainwater catchment tank for Eshisuru 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...

August, 2017: Eshisuru Primary School Project Complete

Eshisuru 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

Our staff worked with the headteacher to find the best date for students, teachers, and parents to attend hygiene and sanitation training. Student participants were randomly selected from grades four, five, six, and seven.

Training was held in a school classroom, with some sessions held outside for rainwater catchment tank and hand-washing station demonstrations. There were lots of girls there, but the older boys unfortunately dominated lots of group discussions and activities. The trainer had to make an extra effort to empower the girls to share and participate in the demonstrations.

1 kenya4661 training

Students are given new notebooks and pens with which to take notes.

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

7 kenya4661 training

Students line up at the new hand-washing stations to practice what they watched the trainer do!

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.

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.

Teacher Everlyne Khayala shared her impression of how things went, saying "We are grateful for the project because it brought about a training too; we were not expecting all this at the same time. If I could echo what one of the students has said, that they are now aware that what they learn in school can also be applied outside class..."

3 kenya4661 training

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.

15 kenya4661 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!

Parent Shatimba Martine is relieved that some his child's biggest daily challenges have been overcome with this project's installation. "It is important that the children have now understood the usefulness of cleanliness, and it is also good that the problem we had with toilets is now solved. There will not be crowding at the toilets during break hours and time that was previously wasted to get water is now going to be put into their studies. We now hope for better results in the long run. Given the new hand-washing stations, we are hopeful that the students will no longer suffer from water-related infections - more so those from the early childhood education section," he shared.

17 kenya4661 finished latrines

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction for this 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank was delayed a bit because school administration attended a conference in Nairobi.

Once they returned, parents, staff, and students helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction. Since this is such a poor area, we are grateful for the minister of education's help in securing extra funds to deliver materials to the construction site. All the while, women cooked meals for the artisans, and the school provided accommodations for the artisans during their work.

11 kenya4661 concrete work

The artisan mixing more cement to plaster the tank.

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.

10 kenya4661 tank foundation

Large and small stones are combined to make "hardcore," and mesh is lain over the top and concrete is poured.

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.

12 kenya4661 tank construction

Both the inside and outside of the tank need to be plastered with waterproof cement.

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 Eshisuru Primary School.

Since the county minister of education took such a big role in this project, she arrived at the school to join us in handing over the finished tank and latrines to students and staff. This was such a special time to join together and celebrate clean water, sanitation and hygiene made possible by the generosity of many.

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: Eshisuru Primary School

October, 2018

The rainwater tank at the center of Eshisuru Primary School is now attracting more students to the school, and the water is keeping them in their classrooms and learning!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Eshisuru 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 Eshisuru 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 Christine Luvandwa with you.

Before our intervention, the pupils spent a lot of their time pumping water from a well that is used by most community members. There were long lines at the water point and conflicts were rampant. This has now changed because the pupils have plenty of their own water at the school to use.

"We have seen the pupils spend less time outside class in search of water," Deputy Headteacher Martin Chatimba said.

Martin Chatimba

"We believe this helped us a lot since last year. We had our grades improve by 20 marks at the national examination and we believe availability of water helped make this possible."

Many more improvements within the school are coming because the tank has given the school a face lift. The tank location is at a point where one can easily spot when entering the school compound. Once parents see a tank prominently featured in a school, they tend to take their children there. As a result, this school is likely to continue growing.

"We now have plenty of water for use in school," 12-year-old Derrick Ngala said.

Derrick Ngala

He also noted that students wash their hands each time they visit the toilet. The improved hygiene practices and access to water are leading to fewer cases of waterborne diseases.

"We also have reduced cases of absenteeism now that the children no longer drink dirty water and thus they do not get sick often," Mr. Chatimba said.

Installation 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 Eshisuru Primary School is changing many lives.

Students line up to wash their hands

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 Eshisuru 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 Eshisuru 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.