Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/03/2024

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

Emukhalari Primary School was started in 1980 as an early childhood educational center until 1983 when it grew into a primary school. At this point, it had a student enrollment of 80, with Mr. Francis Salasya as their first headteacher. It registered to participate in its first KCPE (national exam) in 1990. The school is now sponsored by a Roman Catholic Church.

Now, the school has a total of 550 students with the enrollment of new students still ongoing. It employs 20 teachers total. (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.)

Students report to school by 6am to clean the compound until 7am. When finished with their class chores, students are required to sit in study hall until 8:20am. Pupils from class six to eight are required to stay during the lunch hour to eat their meal at school. They eat a maize and bean mixture that is provided by teachers. At 3:20pm the children go to Litubwi Spring to fetch water and bring it to school for the next day. Children are dismissed at 6pm.

In this area, most people plant sugarcane or maize to sell to local factories or in the market.

Water Situation

The pupils of Emukhalari Primary fetch water from Litubwi Spring which is about 400 meters away from the school. The school has no tank or other kind of water storage facility. More often than not, the school requests that students fetch water before they're allowed to sit in class. When the children are sent to fetch water from the spring, they come back to school with dirty water.

"Mostly when the children go to fetch water at the spring, they come back muddy. Some water have carried dead fish that they catch in a stream near the spring and even lizard," said Deputy Headteacher Emma Nanda. Just a little bit of sleuthing uncovers that students will fill their containers just about anywhere they can get enough water, regardless of its quality. The spring becomes so congested with community members and students that students walk to a nearby fish pond (owned by a community member) to fill their containers.

After drinking this water, students suffer from cholera and typhoid.

Sanitation Situation

There aren't many usable latrines on school grounds: Some of the boys' latrines have begun to sink dangerously, made obvious by the tilting walls. The urinal is in very bad condition. The girls' latrines are too close to the boys' area, putting the students' privacy at risk.

There is just one hand-washing station for these hundreds of students. Garbage is thrown behind the classrooms and burned when piled too high.

Headmistress Emma Nandwa told us that they've even come close to shutting down because of these poor conditions. "We are really in need of the sanitation facilities in this school. At one point, the school was about to be closed by the national government due to poor sanitation and hygiene status in the school. The county government came to the rescue but it didn’t finish up the project and left it hanging. Right now the toilets which were being dug by the county government support have sunk because of heavy rains and worsened the situation in the school," she shared.

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

December, 2018: A Year Later: Emukhalari Primary School

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

Emukhalari 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 students!

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 school administration to schedule hygiene and sanitation training. Since it was a busy time for them, they suggested sessions be held during vacation. That would give them their choice of empty classrooms, and they could just invite students and teachers back to attend. There was a total of 17 people who sacrificed their break time to learn about important practices, which they promised to share with their peers and coworkers.

We taught that hygiene entails personal hygiene, water hygiene, and environmental hygiene. Attention needs to be given to each facet of hygiene to enjoy a healthy life.

An entire lesson was 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

– Cleaning self and clean environment

– Group dynamics, leadership, and governance

– Forming an effective CTC (child to child) club

– Hand-washing

– Children's rights (particularly important for this group, since many students attending this school come from difficult households)

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.

Headteacher Justus Lumbasi said, "Through this training, I have learned a lot such as how to maintain a tank. By this training, we shall make sure the other pupils are informed of how to maintain the facilities. Thank you!"

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 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.

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 catchment area was dug, plastered, and a staircase installed.

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.

Drainage was set up, and then the tank was given three to four weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Emukhalari Primary School. It already has some water in it!

Administration, teachers, and students gathered at the tank to use the tap for the first time. There were smiles all around as they witnessed clean water flowing at their school for the first time.

"We used to waste a lot of time sending pupils to Lutubwi Spring to fetch water, but now we have the rainwater harvesting tank the students will have enough time to read and concentrate in their studies," the headteacher said.

October, 2017: Emukhalari Primary School Project Underway

Emukhalari 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: Emukhalari Primary School

December, 2018

Time collecting water has been saved ever since the rainwater tank was constructed. Now students can concentrate more on their studies rather than on finding enough water.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Emukhalari 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 tank for Emukhalari 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 Faith Muthama with you.

The students no longer waste time because their water now comes from the nearby tank rather than a spring in the community. Also, all students now easily access the toilets during break time without long lines due to having enough latrines at the school.

"Currently the pupils do not waste time at the toilets because the toilets are now enough for the pupils to use," said Teacher Isaac Makokha.

The school environment is clean, especially classrooms. The environment around the tank and the toilets is clean. The water at the tank is safe for human consumption because it is treated on a regular basis. The pupils in charge of the sanitation facilities take good care of them, making sure that they are not tampered with and are cleaned whenever necessary.

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.

A cute picture from our monitoring visit in May!

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 project at Emukhalari Primary School is changing many lives.

Isaac Makokha, Frankline Omusonga, and Field Officer Faith Muthama

"Since the project was completed, we have enough time to study as compared to before where we used to waste time going to the spring - especially on Fridays when we were required to clean our classes," said 14-year-old student Frankline Omusonga.

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 Emukhalari 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 Emukhalari 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.