Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Oct 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/02/2024

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

Eshilakwe Primary School was started in the year 1959 by African Church of Jesus Christ Kenya (ACJK). The school now has a total student enrollment of 847. With regard to the teaching staff, 11 are employed by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) while four teachers are employed by the Parents Teachers Association (PTA), and the school has employed three of their own 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.)

A normal school day begins at 6am when students start walking to school. Lower classes commence compound cleaning at 7am before the flag raising ceremony. The master on duty addresses the pupils and invites other teachers to brief the pupils on what is expected of them. Regular classes begin at 8am and end at 4:30pm. At 4:30pm pupils are required to stay for clubs and games. There are students who are good at poetry, drama, football and many other things, but everyone should participate and find their place. At 5pm they all assemble and are dismissed; they then walk back home to help their parents with chores.

Water Situation

Being an election year, one of the aspirants donated a plastic tank with a capacity of 5,000 liters, but this is nowhere near enough for the daily use of 847 students. Girls and boys are asked to fetch clean water from a spring that's about two kilometers away. But since this spring is so far away, the chances students stop somewhere else to fill their containers is high. There's no way to ensure that the water in each container is clean.

A lot of time is wasted, which in turn negatively affects the academic performance of pupils. Numerous cases of water-related diseases have also been reported. Headteacher Josephat Kihima told us, "The pupils waste a lot of their precious time queuing in order to access water from the spring, which is a problem because the community members have to fetch water first. Reported cases of water-related diseases such as dysentery and typhoid have disturbed most of us - we really need an intervention."

Sanitation Situation

The school sanitation situation also needs to be addressed. The school has a total number of 11 latrines for teachers, male students and female students. This means one door serves over 50 pupils! All of these facilities are filthy because there isn't enough water to keep them clean. Some latrines have broken doors that cannot be locked and back open, compromising students' privacy. The school has one hand-washing station, but it is only for teachers.

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. 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!

Project Updates

October, 2018: A Year Later: Eshilakwe Primary School

A year ago, generous donors helped construct a rainwater catchment tank for Eshilakwe Primary School in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow 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...

October, 2017: Eshilakwe Primary School Project Complete

Eshilakwe 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

We worked directly with the headteacher to invite student leaders and teachers to attend hygiene and sanitation training. These same student leaders will form a club that is responsible for disseminating what they learned, managing, and maintaining their new facilities like the hand-washing stations, latrines, and water tank. 31 participants met together in a free classroom for the two days of sessions.

2 kenya4830 training

We were happy to find all of the students and teachers there early, as well as some board members and parent representatives. Everyone was eager, but the students were particularly active and asked a lot of questions about each topic.

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.

4 kenya4830 hand-washing

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.

3 kenya4830 training

Students were each given new notebooks and pencils to take notes with.

Nancy Kauli was one of the teachers there. After our final session, she stood up and said, "We are very appreciative to the organization for training our students on how to maintain overall hygiene for good health. We are also happy that we will have less work to do in terms of maintaining the WaSH facilities, because our pupils now fully understand what is needed in order to ensure the sustainability."

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The newly formed CTC club poses for a picture outside of their classrooms.

Project Result: Hand-Washing Stations

The two hand-washing stations were delivered to school and handed over to the CTC club. They 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!

14 kenya4830 hand-washing station

Project Result: VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new VIP (ventilated improved pit) latrines. These latrines are easy to use and easy to clean. And with a rainwater catchment tank, there should be enough water to keep them clean all the time!

15 kenya4830 latrines

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.

8 kenya4830 tank construction

These little students were there to hand our artisan stones for the foundation.

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.

9 kenya4830 community members helping the artisan

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

18 kenya4830 clean water

Every photoshoot has to have at least one attempted jumping picture!

Headteacher Josphat and his students joined us to celebrate clean water flowing from the tap. He said, "We are very happy with the 50,000-liter tank that was constructed in our school. Our kids no longer have to travel for close to one kilometer to get drinking water. They will now spend more time to study and will be less tired, especially during the afternoon classes." This certainly is something to celebrate!

August, 2017: Clean Water Coming to Eshilakwe Primary School

Eshilakwe 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: Eshilakwe Primary School

October, 2018

“The rate of absenteeism among students has drastically decreased, causing their performance to increase.” – Headteacher Josphat Kihima

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Eshilakwe 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, generous donors helped construct a rainwater catchment tank for Eshilakwe Primary School in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow 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 Betty Majani with you.

The implementation of this project has brought massive changes to Eshilakwe Primary School. The lives of the entire school population have improved. They have good health since they have access to clean and safe water along with good sanitation and hygiene facilities.

"We have experienced massive changes," Headteacher Josphat Kihima said.

Josphat Kihima

"Access to clean and safe water for consumption and proper sanitation has improved the health status of our students. The rate of absenteeism among students has drastically decreased, causing their performance to increase."

The clean and organized school environment is a clear indication of proper implementation of the sanitation and hygiene training. And it makes for attractive school grounds!

Construction of this 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 Eshilakwe Primary School is changing many lives.

"I am so grateful for the project implemented in my school. The presence of clean and safe water in the school compound has curbed my days out of school due to being sick and time spent collecting water during the school day," 14-year-old Aluine Omung'ala said.

Josphat Kihima and Aluine Omung'ala

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 Eshilakwe 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 Eshilakwe 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.


3 individual donor(s)