The Water Project : 17-kenya4686-garbage-pile
The Water Project : 16-kenya4686-school-cook-at-kitchen
The Water Project : 15-kenya4686-students-demonstrating-hand-washing
The Water Project : 14-kenya4686-students-refilling-the-hand-washing-station
The Water Project : 13-kenya4686-boy-latrines
The Water Project : 12-kenya4686-girl-latrines
The Water Project : 11-kenya4686-students-at-morning-assembly
The Water Project : 10-kenya4686-school-principal
The Water Project : 9-kenya4686-students-in-class-with-crumbling-walls
The Water Project : 8-kenya4686-no-shoes
The Water Project : 7-kenya4686-students-excited-about-the-project
The Water Project : 6-kenya4686-carrying-water
The Water Project : 5-kenya4686-carrying-water
The Water Project : 4-kenya4686-current-water-source
The Water Project : 3-kenya4686-current-water-source
The Water Project : 2-kenya4686-current-water-source
The Water Project : 1-kenya4686-students

Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 467 Served

Project Phase:  Under Construction
Estimated Install Date:   (Explain This?)  03/15/2018

Functionality Status: 

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

St. Micheal Irenji Primary School was started in the year 2013 by its sponsor, the Catholic Church. Their aim was to give children something productive to do during the day; children would often spend the days playing at the stream, and were prone to drowning without proper supervision.

The school now has 378 students and employs 12 teachers and three support staff.

A normal day for students starts at home, where they work to complete chores for their families. When finished, they rush to make it to school on time for morning lessons. The first thing they do upon reaching school is rush back out to the stream to fetch water. When they’ve fetched what they need, they proceed clean classrooms and school grounds. Students and staff assemble at 8am for morning announcements, and then break off for their regular classes.

Rental houses in Kakamega are becoming too expensive due to rapid growth. The field officer actually came across this school in looking for a house to rent. They bumped into a landlady, who also happened to be the headteacher at St. Micheal Irenji Primary School. During their discussion, our staff mentioned what they do for a living and the headteacher was amazed, saying that she had been searching for just such an organization to help alleviate suffering at her school.

Water Situation

The school does not have a water source or proper water storage. The pupils are forced to go out and collect water from passing streams, and sometimes they are requested to carry water from home too. A lot of time is wasted as pupils are forced to leave their classes and go get water for drinking and for the school cook to make lunch.

So much time is wasted as students leave class for water, but it gets worse – most also suffer from waterborne illnesses like typhoid after drinking that water. After our meeting right when we were about to leave the school, we witnessed a student arriving at the head office to ask the headteacher for permission to go home. He had a severe stomachache and diarrhea. This was because of drinking dirty water from the stream.

Teacher Madam Regina said, “Children are very fragile, thus when exposed to hard conditions in life they find it hard to cope and thus suffer a lot. Water shortage is a major concern in this school, thus most pupils are affected and this has also contributed negatively to the school performance.”

Sanitation Situation

During the our first visit to the school, it became clear that the sanitation level need to be addressed. There are only four pit latrine doors for girls, three doors for boys, and only two doors for teachers. And because there isn’t enough water, the sanitation of these latrines is entirely ignored.

In addition, the school has improvised two hand-washing facilities to try and improve hygiene among the students. But still, these pupils have not learned the importance of washing their hands properly – from a distance you could see how hurriedly they dipped their hands under the water.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training and Hand-Washing Stations

Training will be held for three 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. 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!

Recent Project Updates

11/17/2017: Irenji Primary School Project Underway

Irenji 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.

The Water Project : 2-kenya4686-current-water-source

Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Project Data

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment
Location:  Kakamega, Irenji
ProjectID: 4686


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.