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Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  Installed

Functionality Status:  Functional

Community Profile & Stories

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

Exactly 49 years ago the Banyore people of Esibuye Village were deeply convinced that the best thing to offer their future generation was not only to tell tales of Kenya’s struggle for independence, but also to put up a school that would guarantee them self-sufficient as individuals. The idea was later backed by the Africa Interior Church (AIC) that became the school’s official sponsor. Elders sat down and deliberated on the matter, and a few people agreed to vacate part of their land as a donation to the school.

Since then, the growth of the school has been very slow. They still lack an administration block and lack enough classrooms for pupils; in fact, a class was being held outside when we visited. This slow growth is due to the community’s poverty. Families can rarely pay development fees because most parents struggle in running stalls in the nearby Esibuye Market. The school headmistress, Mrs. Esther Asitiba says “Parents have been allowed to pay school fees in forms of consumables such as chickens, firewood, cereals etc. so that their children can be retained in school to learn.”

To these struggles is added the thirst for water and the hard-pressing shortages of sanitation facilities in the school. The school has a total population of 554 comprised of 55 pre-primary children, 480 primary children, 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.)

Despite the challenges, many girls and boys from Esibuye Primary School have secured admission in some of the academic giant secondary schools of Kenya such as Bunyore Girls National School, Emusire Boys County School, Keveye Girls County School to name but a few.

This school happens to be along the Luanda-Kakamega route that we commonly use on our way to the field or to the office every Monday. We saw the pupils from this school carrying water every morning on their way to school. We then contacted local leadership to learn more about the water and sanitation situations at Esibuye Primary School.

Water Situation

The school gets her water primarily from Nyabera Spring, located one kilometer away from the school across the busy tarmac road. When the school runs out of water during the day, that’s where classes are sent. Children also carry water in the morning as they come from home. All the water fetched by students is poured in a 1000-liter plastic tank.

Because water is brought from different sources, it is very unsafe to be used for drinking purposes. After drinking, reports of typhoid, stomachaches, and diarrhea are reported. Many students either stay home or return home sick, and the student body is at great risk of a cholera outbreak.

Sanitation Situation

Apart from water the school also has shortages of sanitation facilities such as hand-washing stations and latrines. The government is the only group that has lent a helping hand, in 2014 and 2016, by building two classrooms and doing renovations.

One commendable thing about Esibuye is the great hygiene of the girls’ latrines. Even though some of them were almost full, the latrine floors were clean and free of waste. It was over in the boys’ section where things got messy, due to the lack of a urinal point and the scrabble to use only a few latrine doors among 315 boys.

There are no hand-washing stations for students to use after the latrines. Sanitation Teacher Jane Ambiyo thinks, “Generally, the health status in the school is the exact replica of what this village is like. We have shortages of latrines both for girls and boys. The ones we currently have are almost full. The situation is worsened by lack of substantive source of drinking water for this big population, not to mention hand-washing stations.”

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!

Recent Project Updates

11/27/2017: Esibuye Primary School Project Complete

Esibuye 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 teacher in charge of sanitation and hygiene mobilized all participants needed for training. They included students, parents and the teacher’s fellow staff members. Those in attendance later shared the information with the rest of their peers.

Our staff met 26 participants in one of the school classrooms, of which were 18 students, four teachers, and four parents. The parents and teachers were extremely attentive, setting a great example for the students. They asked a lot of questions, especially about how to maintain the new latrines and rainwater catchment tank.

Staff instructs the students as they role play.

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.

Teaching about tank management and maintenance.

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.

Training participants pose for a group picture after their final session.

14-year-old Derrick Sando was one of the student leaders who attended. “I am so glad I attended this training,” he said. ” I learnt a lot concerning water, sanitation and hygiene that even at home I practice all that was said and I am very healthy including the whole of my family. I also made sure that I educate my fellow community members on the benefits of good hygiene so that we all live a good life that is free from diseases that are caused by contamination of water or because of germs that we could easily avoid.”

A few days after training, the school compound was free of litter, and classrooms weren’t nearly as dusty. The latrines were very clean, and our staff observed students washing hands at the stations right after leaving the latrine.

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!

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.

These girls figure you can’t do too much hand-washing…

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. We were particularly impressed with the students’ and their parents’ efforts to help; even though it was school vacation, students still delivered water to school for mixing cement, and parents came to help our artisans with manual labor.

Students delivering water to help the artisans mix cement and cure the tank.

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.

The artisan spreading cement for the tank 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 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 Esibuye Primary School. It already has some water in it!

There were several hiccups along the way: Sick administration in the hospital, school vacation, and rainy weather (hailstones, even!). All of these things delayed our progress, but perseverance brought it to completion.

Deputy student leader Danial Ochieng said, “It was so tiresome and embarrassing to keep carrying water every morning from home or crossing the busy highway to fetch water from the spring. This project has done us justice and aided the protection of children’s rights.”

Headteacher Esther Asitiba said, “This water harvesting tank has been of good help to the entire school fraternity, there is a big decrease in complaints of stomachache and diarrhea since now we are using safe water, and we are observing everything that we were taught concerning hygiene and good health to the latter. The children are also observing quality health tips as trained. We thank you so much for considering us for this project. May our heartfelt thanks get to you for having Esibuye Primary School children, and by extension the entire Esibuye Community, in your heart.”

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08/24/2017: Esibuye Primary School Project Underway

Esibuye Primary School will soon have an adequate source of clean 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, enjoy our introduction to the school complete with stories, maps, and pictures.

Thank You for partnering with us to unlock potential!

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Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment
Location:  Vihiga, Esibuye
ProjectID: 4676
Install Date:  11/27/2017

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Functional - New Project


Country Details


Population: 39.8 Million
Lacking clean water: 43%
Below poverty line: 50%

Partner Profile

Western Water and Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO) works together with less privileged and marginalized members of communities in Western Kenya to reduce poverty through harnessing and utilization of local resources for sustainable development.