Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/09/2024

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

St. Paul’s Emulakha Primary School was established in 1984, starting with a student population of 220. It is sponsored by the Catholic Church. Presently it has 965 pupils in the primary section. It also has and early childhood section hosting 96 little students. Emulakha employs 18 teachers. The school motto is "Arise and Shine."

(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.)

A normal day starts with getting to school very early in the morning by 6am. Pupils carry water in their small jerrycans of five liters each in order to clean their classrooms. After cleaning, they sit in morning study hall for 30 minutes until teachers arrive for the announcements assembly. Normal lessons begin exactly at 8am and go until lunch. Students are sent home to eat lunch with their families. They come back at 2pm and continue their lessons until game time at 3:45pm. The pupils are dismissed at 5pm.

This school is unique compared to other schools in the area because the headteacher won't allow the pupils to waste time meant for study doing other activities. For example, instead of the pupils going to fetch water during school time, they only carry water from home in the morning and after lunch.

Water Situation

The school has a seasonal well which they share with members of the local community. The well was constructed in the 1980s and now requires major repair work to restore it to its proper working condition. St. Paul’s Emulakha Primary School does not have any source of water on its grounds. Thus, the students are required to carry water from their respective homes. The headteacher is strict about when this should be done; water should be carried every morning, but also again during the lunch break.

These containers of water must be properly rationed throughout the day. Because the water is coming from different villages, it's impossible to guarantee its safety for drinking. Reports of waterborne disease and resulting absences are common among the student body.

Sanitation Situation

The school has a total of 16 VIP latrines, out of which two are for teachers and visitors and 14 are for students. Out of the 16 toilets for the students, six are for boys and 10 for girls. The early education section also shares these facilities with the primary section. The latrines are not nearly enough for such a high population. This results in dirtier latrines and students wasting a lot of time waiting in line. Due to the water shortage, a good number of latrines cannot be cleaned and thus are not used.

There are a total of eight toilets that have been condemned because they lack doors or have compromised, corroded floors. Some of the walls have even broken down. The school has no hand-washing facility for students to use after the latrines, either.

Headteacher Esther Pache shared her worry with us during our visit. "We fear that the toilets will cave in at the onset of the rains because of the loose nature of the soil. I pray that you complete the project on time so that we can save the lives of our children!"

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 be responsible to find enough water to carry to school every day.

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

November, 2018: A Year Later: Emulakha Primary School

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

January, 2018: Emulakha Primary School Project Complete

Emulakha 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 young boys and girls!

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

Hygiene and sanitation training was attended by 32 participants. Students were so eager to learn more about hygiene and sanitation and how it can be useful to them both in school and at home. All the participants were present throughout the training, asking questions on how to maintain their facilities so that they can help others who will attend school after they have graduated. The participants were excited to follow all 10 steps of hand-washing as was demonstrated by the field officer.

The trainer demonstrating hand-washing with the school's new hand-washing stations.

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. And since the tank was finished by the time we held training, we could take everyone to see exactly what we were talking about when it comes to caring for their new water source.

Instructions on tank management and easy maintenance

The caretaker of the school, Danial Muaisi, was grateful for the opportunity to learn. "I thank the headteacher for allowing me to attend this training. Surely I have learned a lot of things about water, sanitation and hygiene. I will teach others what I have learned today," he said. 12-year-old Winny Atemba spoke on behalf of her peers, saying "As a school we are grateful because we have been taught how to wash our hands correctly. I will go and demonstrate the same to my parents, brothers, and sisters. We have also been taught how to keep our environment clean both at school and at home."

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.

Stations were delivered in time for training demonstrations.

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 and women even helped our artisans with their manual labor.

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 cylinder in the center 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 Emulakha Primary School. It already has some water in it!

As soon as those rains fell, students were there to use the water. We met them at the tank to do an official handing over to the school, sharing in this clean water celebration. The headteacher shared that this water won't only be used for drinking, cooking, and cleaning, but will be used in construction projects to build more classrooms.

December, 2017: Exams, Holidays, Delays, Oh My!

Dear Friends,

We're excited to officially announce that there's a rainwater catchment tank and latrines at Emulakha Primary School! We hope this news brightens your holiday season, knowing that Kenyan students will have clean water when they return to school in January.

We apologize that final exams and holiday vacation have disrupted our normal reporting process: We will be able to gather pictures and more information next month, and look forward to reaching out again then. Once we receive what we need from the field, we'll mark this water project as complete.

Love, Peace, and Joy,

TWP Program Team

September, 2017: Emulakha Primary School Project Underway

Emulakha Primary School in Kenya has begun building a new source of safe, clean water because of 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.

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: Emulakha Primary School

November, 2018

Students spend more time studying rather than fetching water throughout the school day, all thanks to the rainwater tank right outside of their classrooms.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Emulakha 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 Emulakha 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 Betty Muhongo with you.

Since the implementation of the water project in Emulakha Primary School, the lives of the pupils have improved for the better.

Now the pupils have enough time to study, especially when compared to the past when a lot of time was wasted carrying water to school from home. And since there was never any of that water left by lunchtime, students were sent to get more water.

That is no longer the case, thanks to the rainwater tank installed last year.

"The availability of clean water has helped in cleaning the classrooms, the latrines and washing hands which has helped to maintain the overall hygiene standards in the school," 14-year-old student Augustine Murunga said to us during a recent visit to the school.

Augustine Murunga fetches water

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 Emulakha Primary School is changing many lives.

Before the project, there were not enough latrines at the school and this led to long lines, especially during break time.

Now the story is different. Lines are not as long after the six additional latrines were constructed as a part of the project. Pupils are seen washing their hands after using the toilets and those who eat at the school confirmed that there is enough water to wash their hands before eating, to clean their utensils, and even to drink. All of this is evidence that the provision of water and the accompanying hygiene training are having a huge positive impact on the school.

As a result, students are performing better in the annual Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exams, Teacher Cornel Kiliswa Makokha told us. Furthermore, the student population increased by nearly 30 students - a change attributed to the improved facilities.

Deputy Headteacher Cornel Kiliswa Makokha, Augustine Murunga, and Field Officer Betty Muhango

"Thank you and God bless you," Mr. Makokha said.

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 Emulakha 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 Emulakha 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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