Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 464 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/05/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

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

Emusoma Primary School was established in the year 2012 by the Constituency Development Fund. They started with just four classrooms and added on from there. Since there's no other school nearby, the community together with the local government decided to buy this land and build the school together.

Mr. Patrick Osendo, the school's headmaster, said that ''The school has been enrolling more and more pupils each year due to the sensitization being done by the members of the community. The student population currently stands at 454."

Students arrive as early as 6 am for their morning sessions that begin at 8am. These go until 5 pm in the evening with bathroom breaks and lunch hour. Those living in the surrounding community plant and sell vegetables to earn a living.

Water Situation

Mrs. Fridah Mungala, an early childhood teacher said the inadequacy of water within the school has been one of their biggest challenges.

A hand-dug well was installed for the school by the Constituency Development Fund as well, but it didn't serve the school for long. Now, students can only get about 20 liters until the pump stops drawing water. It seems that this well just wasn't dug deep enough!

There is no other water source at school, so administration must send students out in search of water. The most popular source is an open stream; students go as a class to fill their five to 10-liter jerrycans with that dirty water. "The school is surrounded by a river and when it rains, pupils find it difficult to go to the school due to the overflow of water," added the headmaster.

Most of this water is used right away for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. Because of this clean water shortage, students and staff suffer from waterborne diseases like typhoid and cholera.

Sanitation Situation

The school has one semi-permanent kitchen that is fairly clean. The school has eight latrines; three for the boys, three for the girls and the remaining two for staff. These are in fairly good condition because they were built in 2012.

There is one hand-washing station primarily meant for staff. "The health standards of the students in our school leaves a lot to be desired. Some of our students have been victims of waterborne diseases such as typhoid. We have tried seeking help from the county but no positive response we have received," said Teacher Evelyn Lukoye.

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! With this help, the school will consider sitting for their first national exam this year.

Project Updates

December, 2018: A Year Later: Emusoma Primary School

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

February, 2018: Emusoma Primary School Project Complete

Emusoma 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.

Project Result: New Knowledge

We worked with the school headmaster, who invited student leaders from each grade to attend hygiene and sanitation training. The headmaster actually preferred to hold training during school break so that class wouldn't be interrupted. 12 students came back to school to attend, half boys and half girls. Though they could have been at home, they were very enthusiastic and patient throughout all the sessions.

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

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 new hand-washing stations were delivered in time for training demonstrations.

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.

Headmaster Patrick Osindo was thrilled to offer this opportunity to his students, saying "I believe today's training has impacted greater knowledge to our children and I believe that they will practice all that they have learned. We will educate the rest of the students who didn't have the opportunity to be part of us in the two-day training."

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.

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 school was prepared and worked well with our artisans.

The construction 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. Local men were particularly helpful in finding the wooden poles we'd need to prop up the dome while it dried.

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 Emusoma Primary School. It already has some water in it!

Bentah Achieng' is a mother of one of the students here, and also made sure we were accommodated as we worked. "We are indeed grateful to our partners for this wonderful project implemented in our school. We have had challenges when it comes to hygiene and sanitation for our children. With this project, I believe our students will have ample time for concentrating on their studies," she said.

December, 2017: Emusoma Primary School Project Underway

Emusoma 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. But for now, please enjoy the new stories, pictures, and maps of this school.

Thank You for partnering with us to unlock the potential of these young students!

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: Emusoma Primary School

December, 2018

The coming national exams are already stressful for Victor Oluwichi and his classmates, but he says he will “be at peace” while sitting for the tests because he does not have to worry about where to get water.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Emusoma 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 Emusoma 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 Christine Luvandwa with you.

This school has really benefited from a year of clean water and good sanitation facilities.

Before the tank and latrines were constructed, the teachers had a hard time keeping pupils in school until the end of the day. Many of them would get sick due to drinking dirty water. Since there was no water source, students would have to travel to the nearby stream to collect water during the day. That wasted learning time and also caused them to be sick, said teacher Abubakar Aura.

Now the students have ample water to keep them in school and healthy throughout the year.

Abubakar Aura

"I now have enough drinking water whenever I am in school, since I get it directly from the tank," 15-year-old student Victor Oluwichi said.

"Unlike the previous years when the other students would look for water before sitting for their national exams, this will be a year of change. I do not have to worry about going to look for water when faced with the tension and anxiety due to exams. I will be at peace."

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.

Victor Oluwichi

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 project in Emusoma Primary School is changing many lives.

Initially, the school only had six toilets to serve the entire student population. Long waits in line for dirty toilets really affected how the pupils viewed themselves. However, hope has been restored to them and they are now proud of their school. The boys and girls no longer have to share bathrooms since they now have their own toilets that were constructed at the same time as the rainwater tank.

Students using handwashing stations

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 Emusoma 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 Emusoma 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.


First Congregational Church of Chatham
Sean, Renee, Sutton and Collins
HCCS Campaign for Water
The Svoboda Family's Campaign for Water
NE 5th Grade Class 2017-2018 Campaign for Water
5 individual donor(s)