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: 06/30/2024

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

Ematsuli Primary School was founded in 1948 by community members who donated the land to the school. The school is located at Ematsuli Village, Kenya. The school has a population of 825 students and 21 teachers. The school employs one cook and two security guards.

(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.)

People in this community get up very early in the morning to prepare breakfast, getting their children ready for school and preparing themselves for a long day on the farm. Students' morning study hall begins at 7 AM, then there's an assembly at 8 when the teacher on duty and delivers the daily announcements. Regular classes go from 8:15 to 4:15 PM. Students end the day with games until 5 PM, after which they're dismissed to return home and do homework.

It's not just class, though. Students are often sent to fill their plastic five to 10-liter jerrycans with water.

Water Situation

"It is so sad that the school does not have a reliable source of water to depend on. When I came to this school, I was shocked to see pupils carrying water everyday from their homes, which makes them very tired and unable to concentrate on their studies," said Headteacher Zablon Kube.

"I have always watched our kids struggle everyday with plastic containers full of dirty water which we use in the kitchen. Though we may assume that the water is clean, sometimes we hear cases of headache and stomachache amongst the pupils and even teachers themselves. We are living by the grace of God alone; if death could strike any moment because of consuming dirty water, then we are the first victims," said Madam Felecia, the senior teacher.

Because there's no water source on school grounds, students are required to carry at least one container of water from home. There's no way to know where these hundred of students get their water, since they come from many different locations. These small containers also don't supply the school with enough water for its cleaning and cooking needs. Students are sent out during the day to fetch water from a nearby contaminated river.

Students and staff suffer from waterborne and water-related diseases after consumption of this water.

Sanitation Situation

The school latrines are made of bricks and concrete, with iron sheets for roofs. Some of these have cracks in the walls and floors, making them dangerous for use.

Lack of safe clean water and enough sanitation facilities have negatively impacted health and academic performance. Pupils have to wait in shifts while using the latrines, forcing others to relieve themselves outside.

There are no hand-washing stations; students do not wash their hands after using the latrine or before eating lunch.

Senior Teacher Felecia Nakaya said, "We thank God that at least we have a nearby dispensary where our people go for medication and also get to know emerging issues on heath, especially women and children." However, it's important that the school and community learns how to prevent these complications that can easily be avoided with hand-washing and other good hygiene behaviors.

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: Ematsuli Primary School

A year ago, your generous donation helped us construct a rainwater catchment tank for Ematsuli Primary School in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local 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: Ematsuli Primary School Project Complete

Ematsuli 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

Headteacher Zablon Kube helped prepare for hygiene and sanitation training by recruiting teachers, students, and parents to attend. Teachers picked one boy and one girl with strong leadership qualities from each grade. Training was held outside under the shade of trees to avoid interrupting regularly scheduled classes.

6 kenya4665 training

Students received new notebooks and pens to record the hygiene and sanitation topics they learned.

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 kenya4665 training

The new hand-washing stations were delivered in time for training so they could be used for demonstrations.

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. They've already started recruiting new members, while current members have done a great job picking up around the school grounds.

Mrs. Selpiha Achungo was one of the parents in attendance. "I came to this training not knowing the topics but I'm surprised to learn that many topics discussed are what we daily neglect. Thank you for bringing this seminar to us, I have learned how to prevent the common local diseases and also proper hand washing with soap and running water," Mrs. Achungo said.

3 kenya4665 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!

15 kenya4665 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!

13 kenya4665 finished latrines

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction for this 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank began at the end of April.

Parents, staff, and students 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.

7 kenya4665 tank construction

A lot of fathers worked hard with our team to see their children receive clean water.

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

8 kenya4665 tank construction

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.

10 kenya4665 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 Ematsuli Primary School. It already has some water in it!

19 kenya4665 clean water

This school previously faced a lot of problems because of water scarcity. Water, being a source of life, had to be carried by pupils daily from their homes - making them get to school very late and too tired to concentrate in class. With this kind of a challenge, performance of students steadily decreased. With this intervention, the pupils are now relieved from carrying water, and turn their attention to studies.

Senior Teacher Felesia Nakaya said, "This new water source is coming at the time when we as a school needed it the most. Water has always been a problem to us. But thanks for saving us, we are going to ensure that we dearly care for it so as to serve us for a longer period of time."

Headteacher Zalon Kube added, "When I came to this school, I was shocked to find that water, sanitation and hygiene facilities were still a challenge. Looking at the population, I remembered what you did for us in the year 2015 at Ebulondi Primary School before I was transferred to this school, and I could not keep silent but had to contact you people to come to our rescue! Thank you for giving us these facilities!"

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!

I could not keep silent but had to contact you people to come to our rescue! Thank you for giving us these facilities!

Headteacher Zablon Kube

A Year Later: Ematsuli Primary School

October, 2018

Studying is Winfred Mudesia’s new favorite hobby now that she does not have to waste time fetching water each day.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Ematsuli 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, your generous donation helped us construct a rainwater catchment tank for Ematsuli Primary School in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local 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 local team member Wilson Kipchoge with you.

The school students and staff now enjoy living in a cleaner and greener environment full of sweet-scented flowers and trees that provide shade. With the availability of a reliable water source, they consume safe, clean drinking water. In addition, knowledge of good sanitation and better hygiene practices, like disposal of waste and handwashing with soap, is evident thanks to the training and new handwashing stations they received.

"The project has fostered a good relationship between parents and the school," Headteacher Zablon Kube said.

"Our parents were are happy about the project and wish to support any other work done at the school. Class concentration has increased and there is no time wasted by the pupils."

Headteacher Zablon Kube and student Winfred Mudesia

The Kenyan government also recognized the tank and latrines are evidence that the school is working to improve itself. So it awarded Ematsuli Primary School $7,000 to contribute towards improving the school's infrastructure. The students will benefit, even more, thanks to this project.

"There is reduced coughing because we now have a safe and reliable source of water. People regard us as organized based on the arrangement of the handwashing stations which have also promoted the culture of handwashing in our school," Mr. Kube continued.

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 Ematsuli Primary School is changing many lives.

"Since we had this project last year, I don't have to carry water from home to school every morning," 15-year-old student Winfred Mudesia said.

Winfred Mudesia fetches water from the tank. The administration has built a lockbox around the tap to protect their water overnight and through the weekends.

"Studying a lot in class has become my hobby, unlike before when I wasted time going to fetch water from outside the school compound. I really enjoy drinking this safe, sweet water from the tank," she continued

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 Ematsuli 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 Ematsuli 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.


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