Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Nov 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 11/15/2023

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

A normal day at Musunji Primary School begins at 6am when students prepare themselves for school. When ready, they first set out to find water to fill their jerrycan. If they don't fetch enough water on their way to school, they'll be sent out to find more later.

After morning study hall from 7am to 8am, they immediately start cleaning their classrooms and latrines in preparation for normal classes. Normal classes begin at 8am and go until lunch at 12:45pm. Most students are dismissed to return home to eat lunch with their families. When they return at 2pm, all the pupils from upper classes are asked to carry more water back to school. This is to help them clean their classrooms again in the evening. This school is unique because during game time after classes, pupils separate into different classrooms again for clubs. There is Christian Union Club, debate, home science club and 4K club.

Current student enrollment stands at 590, and the school employs 16 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 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

Since the school has no water source, students must carry their own water on a daily basis. The water is carried in 5 to 10-liter jerrycans, but this is nowhere near the amount needed for an entire day of school. Upper classes are sent back out to fetch more water, but there is no way to require they fetch it from a particular source. Many students stop by the most convenient stream on their way to and from school, with no regard to the quality of water.

The main source of water used is an unprotected spring close to one kilometer away from the school. Unfortunately, the water is not clean or safe for consumption, and cases of open defecation have been observed near that source. The biggest challenge comes during dry seasons when some of the nearby springs dry up and the surrounding community is not willing to allow students to fetch water.

The water students fetch is used for drinking, cleaning and cooking. The school has hired a cook to prepare a lunch program for classes seven and eight.

Cases of waterborne disease are common, and students are also affected by hygiene-related illnesses because of the clean water shortage.

Sanitation Situation

The school’s pit latrines are not enough and many of those are not functional. The boys have five pit latrines while the girls have 14 doors of which most are full.

These facilities are limited and are at strain; on average one latrine serves 58 boys, or 19 girls. The teaching staff has two pit latrines set aside for themselves and guests.

The school has constructed two hand-washing stations, but there is no cleaning agent like soap or ash available.

The students and staff are very excited to see the improvements they can make to hygiene and sanitation when they finally have enough water.

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: Musunji Primary School

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to construct a rainwater catchment tank for Musunji 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...

November, 2017: Musunji Primary School Project Complete

Musunji 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 students have 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

The training was organized through cooperating with the headteacher. The headteacher arranged for a training location, and also had the teacher in charge of sanitation recruit student participants. Excited students were waiting for our trainer in a classroom equipped with a blackboard. The students were particularly interested in learning how to apply what they learned at home, too.

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

Demonstrations were used for hand-washing, tooth-brushing, solar disinfection, and many other topics. We facilitated group discussions and presentations, and students took part in role-plays. The students also received handouts which will help them teach hygiene and sanitation to their peers.

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 managing hand-washing stations, cleaning latrines, and keeping the school environment tidy. A water user committee has also been formed by parents and school administration, which will be responsible for overseeing and maintaining the new facilities.

Project Result: VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new VIP (ventilated improved pit) latrines. All of these latrines are easy to use and clean. And with a rainwater catchment tank, there should be enough water to keep them clean all the time!

You can barely see the new latrines behind all of the happy students!

Project Result: Hand-Washing Stations

The two hand-washing stations were delivered to school and handed over to the CTC club. These have been placed outside of the boys’ and girls’ latrines to encourage hand-washing after latrine use. CTC club members 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.

One station is outside of the boys' new latrines, while the other is for the girls.

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction for this 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank was successful!

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. Some local men even helped our artisans with their manual labor. Students were especially helpful, grabbing stones for construction on their walk to school each morning.

Students posing with stones they picked up on the way to school. These are used for one of the tank's first foundational layers.

The process officially began with our staff and school administration moving around the school compound to try and determine the best location for a new rainwater catchment tank. This needed to be the best site with good, clean roofing to catch the rainwater.

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.

The column in the middle supports the dome.

After the superstructure had been given enough time to settle, the dome construction 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 dug, plastered, and a staircase installed. Drainage was set up there, and then the tank was allowed three to four weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Musunji Primary School. It already has some water in it!

August, 2017: Musunji Primary School Project Underway

Musunji Primary School will soon have an adequate source of water thanks to your generous 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! Thank you for noticing the need here, and we’ll keep you posted as the work continues. But for now, check out the stories, pictures, and maps of this school.

Thank You for partnering with us to unlock these students’ potential!

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: Musunji Primary School

October, 2018

“I feel very happy when I visit Musunji Primary School,” our field staffer Janet Kayi writes.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Musunji 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 Musunji 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 Janet Kayi with you.

We feel very happy when we visit Musunji Primary School. It's enjoyable to walk around the compound to see how the students are practicing good hygiene. We witnessed a very clean compound, clean pupils, and clean facilities - especially at the tank drawing area where high standards of hygiene are maintained.

Initially, pupils at the school could not access clean and safe water for drinking and were affected by waterborne diseases. This was due to the various sources the students used to fetch water from on the way to school. Now, when you visit the school, you see students who enjoy fetching treated water from the tank. They no longer waste time looking for water that is not safe for consumption.

The student-led hygiene and sanitation club that was assembled following the construction of the tank has helped maintain a higher level hygiene and sanitation in the institution.

"Since the project was completed in our school, we are really observing cleanliness. We are sitting in clean classrooms which we wash on a daily basis" 11-year-old student Prudence Mbone said during our visit.

"We practice handwashing after visiting toilets and keep the compound clean by clearing the bush. All these activities we are doing after acquiring knowledge on good hygiene practice."

Prudence Mbone

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 Musunji Primary School is changing many lives.

"The tank has reduced time wasted fetching water that could be used for studying," Teacher Margaret Aduvukha said.

Margaret Aduvukha

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 Musunji 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 Musunji 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 Sponsor - The Matthew Martin Family
1 individual donor(s)