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: 07/13/2024

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

Ebukanga Primary School began in 1940 as an early childhood education facility that went up to grade four (grades are different in Kenya), then pupils moved to Emusire to complete their primary education. The school then changed to the Certificate Primary Education system (CPE), which includes all primary grades. Unlike other schools that opened so long ago, Ebukanga has never shut down, not even for a single day; it has been up and running throughout many challenges.

It has given birth to Ebukanga Secondary School that is also very needy (click here to read more about it). A health facility also opened alongside the primary school, and is now helping the entire village.
A lot of the students attending Ebukanga score very high secondary school entrance exam marks and get admission letters from big schools like Lugulu and Chavakali. Most families around here are poor and cannot afford the education fees for better schools; they just move up to Ebukanga Secondary.

A boy from Emmabwi Primary, got a scholarship from Equity Bank after scoring 425 marks in the KCSE. Ebukanga Primary invited him in 2015 to explain how he got a full scholarship to one of the best schools in the country – Alliance Boys High School. This motivated the small children to study hard, and the results were seen in last year's results: three pupils scored over 400 marks and they have also received bank scholarships. The remaining pupils are working very hard to get higher marks so that they can receive the same treatment. If not, their parents will just send them to the cheapest schools that do not have quality education.
Entering Ebukanga Primary School during the school day, you can see children in their school uniform seated in two different groups under the cool shade provided by the school's trees. Drawing closer, it is discovered that the little children have to study under those trees since the classrooms are not enough to accommodate all. Each child is holding a book and a pencil, just doing assignments as a teacher marks the assignment given the previous day. Among the many challenges of this institution is infrastructure; the government has helped them put up a few classrooms, but the population has continued to grow.

This is one of the most populated institutions in Central Bunyore, with their number standing at 1033; 504 boys, 509 girls and 20 staff. This institution is understaffed by about seven teachers; the school board has recently employed three more teachers to help close the gap. These teachers are paid with money received from selling trees to be used as firewood at other institutions, especially small colleges in Luanda. Men are hired to cut the big trees and then transport them to different institutions.

(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

Students report to school at 6:40AM with a full jerrycan of water. This water is put to immediate use cleaning the classrooms before morning study hall at 7AM. If students are late, they're the ones normally assigned to latrine-cleaning duty.

Theses students need to bring as much water as they can carry because there's only a 3,000-liter plastic water tank on school grounds. To get more water, the school opted into a tree nursery program. This program donates a 10,000-liter tank for irrigating the nursery beds. This tank sometimes doesn't even have enough water for the plants and trees, and students must use some of the water they brought with them.

Throughout the day, students are dismissed from class to go fetch water from Ebuchebe Spring that has a discharge so low it would take 15 minutes to fill a 20-liter jerrycan. Children have to sit down and wait at the spring until all of the community members have fetched their water first.

Sanitation Situation

The headteacher admits that, "In terms of health, if you follow strictly the required standards then all these schools around here will be closed. None of them have enough latrines and the public health officers, because some of them know us and understand the challenge in this area, just sympathize with us and encourage us to try our best to build many sanitation facilities, otherwise all public schools in Emuhaya and Luanda would have been closed long time ago." She continues, "Generally, I have come to believe that people in Bunyore are very fertile! These schools are all in close proximity but have large numbers of pupils who queue to use latrines in their compounds, thus wasting a lot of class time."

In Ebukanga Primary, both the boys and girls each have eight pit latrines which are all in poor condition. Staff members have one door each for men and women. Proper care is not given to these facilities. Grass has grown and spread from the outside to the inside of the latrines. Their floors slope down, with urine pooling in the bottom corner. The urinal is also pathetic with its stagnant urine mixed with dirt, and yet most boys step inside barefoot. Rubbish is thrown in the garden behind classrooms and kitchen utensils are carelessly scattered on the ground near their old dish rack. The kitchen is poorly ventilated, way below health standards and rubbish is seen all over, just like any other public primary school in this area.

There is one hand-washing station, but it is primarily used by the cook to make sure she doesn't contaminate the food.

Teacher Solomon Eboko Omole told us that "teachers are not qualified health officers, but they try their best to teach our children how to stay healthy. However, some pupils come from very dirty homes, so it becomes hard to train them about health in school. I'm very happy to hear that even parents will attend the health training!"

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 serve the girls while the other three serve the boys. And with a new source of water on school grounds, students and staff should have enough to keep these new latrines clean.

Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank

A 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank will help alleviate the water crisis at this school. The school will also help gather the needed materials such as sand, rocks, and water from the spring for mixing cement (students have already started helping). 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 and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. These higher standards will translate to better academic performance!

Project Updates

October, 2018: A Year Later: Ebukanga Primary School

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to construct a rainwater catchment tank for Ebukanga 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: Ebukanga Primary School Project Complete

Ebukanga 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

We worked with the headteacher to organize for hygiene and sanitation training. She selected teachers and student leaders to represent the school and two parents to represent parents. She also opted to have desks and chairs brought outside so as to not interrupt any regularly scheduled classes. The participants, especially the students, actively participated and asked a lot of questions.

This trainer makes learning about hygiene and sanitation fun for both young and old!

We did a project nearby at Andebe Spring, where we learned that drug abuse is a huge issue plaguing Ebukanga. This topic was an addition to our regular 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

1 kenya4666 training

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.

4 kenya4666 training

The trainer looks on as a student recalls each of the 10 hand-washing steps she just learned.

The CTC 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 CTC club has already started growing since the training - The members are cleaning their classrooms and meeting together regularly. Teacher Solomon Omole said, "We are lucky to have received this project and we are lucky to have got this knowledge. I'm glad that I was selected to be one of the participants! What we have learned here is very important in life; let us practice it and I assure you that Ebukanga Community is destined for greatness!"

2 kenya4666 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!

13 kenya4666 hand-washing stations

Hand-washing can't be THAT exciting, can it?

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!

15 kenya4666 new latrines

Striking poses in front of the new girls' latrines!

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

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

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.

12 kenya4666 mesh to fortify tank walls

A bunch of local dads are about to unroll the mesh to fortify the tank walls.

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.

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.

10 kenya4666 construction

Plastering the inside of the tank.

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.

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 Ebukanga Primary School. It already has some water in it!

17 kenya4666 clean water

The 4k agricultural club has also been blessed by this project. Before, the school just had that 3,000-liter plastic tank used for drinking. If the club wanted to water their seedlings, they had no choice but to go out and fetch enough water elsewhere.

Now, the new 50,000-liter cement tank is used for drinking, cooking, and cleaning while the old plastic tank has been given to the agricultural club! Many new members have joined the 4K club - some shied away from it before because they didn't want to have to undertake fetching irrigation water. The CTC club has joined the 4K club to work together for sustainability. "We were advised to join the agricultural club since tree-planting was the most viable project in this school and this area. We need money for doing repair works to our new facilities, and that is why we had to crack our heads to get the most realistic project ideas... We have given our registration fees to the club and we are part of whatever they are doing, and the proceeds from sale of seedlings will be divided equally so that half of the money is saved in the CTC account and half goes to the agriculture club's account to ensure both projects are sustainable," explained Amuko, the CTC president.

Mother Nancy Muholo now has confidence her child has clean water both at school and home. "I believe having water in school will lead to improved performance. Indeed you have saved Ebukanga Community by doing a project at Andebe, doing another one at Ebukanga Secondary, and now we have our newest project in the village at Ebukanga Primary. You came here with a solution, thank you!" she exclaimed.

August, 2017: Ebukanga Primary School Project Underway

Ebukanga Primary School will soon have a source of water on school grounds thanks to your donation! 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! For now, check out the report with narrative, pictures, and maps to learn more about this project. Thank you for noticing the need here, and we’ll keep you posted as the work continues.

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: Ebukanga Primary School

October, 2018

Students at Ebukanga Primary School no longer bear the burden of carrying water from home to school each day now that they have a reliable water source.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Ebukanga 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 enabled us to construct a rainwater catchment tank for Ebukanga 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 Wilson Kipchoge with you.

The students and teachers at Ebukanga Primary School have really witnessed an improvement in their lives. The grounds feature a reliable source of water, access to safe and sturdy sanitation facilities, and improved hygiene activities, such as regular handwashing. All of this is made possible by the 50,000-liter tank, six VIP latrines, and two handwashing stations installed last year.

"Since we had these projects last year, there has been a reduction in the daily carrying of water to school by the pupils which used to be a burden to them," Headteacher Emmy Sayo Orengo said.

Student Magret Afywande and Headteacher Emmy Sayo Orengo

"As a result, time management has improved. In the past, the students took a lot of time meant for class going to the nearby water sources to get water," she continued.

The school planted more than 5,000 tree seedlings to help improve the grounds. The water from the tank helped make it possible! The school environment looks so much better and the students are happier.

"The project has helped a lot! I enjoy drinking safe, clean water from this big tank which keeps me healthy in school," 14-year-old student Magret Afywande said to us.

"Also, my time is wholly used for studies. No more carrying water from home and even going to search for it in the neighborhood during school hours."

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 Ebukanga Primary School is changing many lives.

The health of the students is improving!

"Coughing was rampant in our school but now it is no longer a problem thanks to the availability of a safe source of water within the school compound," Headteacher Orengo explained.

Headteacher Emmy Sayo Orengo

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 Ebukanga 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 Ebukanga 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.


Project Underwriter - H2O For Life
The Weaver family/JM Smith Foundation
2 individual donor(s)