Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 540 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/06/2024

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

Our first trip to visit this school seemed to never end. We found out the school is located in a very rural place, and our team had to keep stopping for directions. Every person was busy on their farm either picking tea, or digging, or constructing bricks. Some idlers are seen along the roads, while a good number of women move along the rough road carrying water containers of different sizes. The terrain is rugged, and each person seemed to give more and more ambiguous directions that got us lost among the rocks and hills. Turns out we had been wandering around in a lush area, moving back and forth by the hidden school gate! The school's title was worn off the wall, and we couldn't see it. Our first sight was of girls lined up in front of a plastic tank; but all of a sudden, three of them left and rushed towards the lower part of the school compound with jerrycans in their hands. They ran past the poetry club that was preparing for the regional competition at Busia, and disappeared into thin air - only to return carrying water in those jerrycans. Mr. Madafu, the headteacher explains that the 5,000-liter plastic tank they have cannot serve all the children. Therefore, classes are interrupted every day for pupils to rush to Wambasu Spring. Since it's a community water source, all community members get to fetch water before the pupils, which wastes a lot of their study time.

This is the only school in the region that has put together a successful food program for all of its students. Every child must give eight kilograms of maize and six kilograms of beans at the beginning of each term. To ease any burden this would place on parents, each class from grades four to eight has been given a piece of land where they plant their own maize and beans every season! The harvest is divided equally among the students. This has given children a spirit of competition as they compete by planting, cultivating and harvesting. Every class wants to beat the other with their agricultural prowess!

Boys rush to get fruits from a tree to dull their hunger pangs during class break, since most of them do not get breakfast at home. Some of the boys put a few of the fruits on plates and give them to the girls, who are not allowed to climb trees according to Maragoli culture. Fruits are being eaten even before washing hands - no wonder diarrheal diseases are common in this school. Girls are removed from class to assist in cooking and washing utensils. Every child goes home by 4:30pm as required by the government, so that they have enough time to help parents with house chores and to do their homework.

Water Situation

A 5,000-liter plastic water tank was donated to the school, but its much too small for 524 students. Even if the tank is full of rainwater, it barely provides for two days of drinking, cooking, irrigating, cleaning of latrines and mopping of classrooms. When water is finished off, every child from class four to eight is sent to get water from a spring in the community, where they have to line up as they wait to fetch water. Kelly Eboso believes this is one explanation for why she and her peers don't score excellent marks on their exams.

At least two students are out with waterborne diseases each school day. Though the community spring is protected and should be yielding clean water, it is likely that water is being mishandled and stored improperly before it's consumed.

Sanitation Situation

Boys only have four latrines available, which makes for long lines during class breaks. Many of these young students can't bear the long wait to relieve themselves, and look for a quiet place elsewhere. The stench resulting from gross overuse of these latrines is unbearable. The facilities are also as old as the school itself (1956). A boy almost fell through the floor once, but managed to pull himself out of the pit because he had caught the door frame. After this incident, the door was boarded up. Girls have eight latrines, but these are filthy. Once of them is even missing a door, so none of the girls dare to use it.

There are no hand-washing stations for students or teachers to wash their hands.

The school cook mentioned that diarrheal diseases are the most common and most dangerous consequences of poor sanitation at Chandolo Primary School. She believes that if they get a 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank and six new latrines, these complications will be a thing of the past.

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 for mixing cement. Once finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff. With proper management of this huge tank, students will no longer have to carry heavy containers of water to school anymore.

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: Chandolo Primary School

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

Chandolo 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

The headteacher decided that all class prefects should attend the hygiene and sanitation training so that they can demonstrate what they learned in their leadership roles. The number of students in attendance ended up totaled 26. The chairperson and secretary of the school board came in order to get the information they need to train parents and others in their communities. It's always required that three teachers who aren't on duty attend as well, but they all demanded the opportunity to attend. Lessons had to be put on hold!

It's most efficient to train student and adult leaders to be trainers and ambassadors of health to others. This gives the field officer a better forum to interact with each participant.

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.

Headteacher Madafu said, "This training was very important. I am a teacher with a lot of knowledge and experience in life, but I had never known that soda is dangerous to my health. Henceforth I will seriously consider the knowledge I have gotten here today in order to avoid suffering diseases. The money I have been wasting in the hospitals will be diverted to productive ventures to improve my life, and I’m sure that I am speaking for all of us."

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.

And since the teachers at training all realized the importance of hand-washing, they've already bought two more hand-washing stations to place around campus. They've also petitioned the headteacher to buy a hand-washing station for every classroom.

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.

Parents helped by delivering water for mixing concrete.

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.

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

There was great excitement around the community on the day the new facilities were to be handed over. The grounds looked extra tidy with every corner clean. No wonder even the air around the place felt fresh. Ronald told us he believes that his performance will skyrocket since the time he used to spend getting water for from the spring will finally be redeemed. The teacher in charge of gardening has already led children to plant more trees that will be easily watered due to the big tank. They've planted a new species that will be fully grown in five years; it is projected to fetch five million shillings which the institution will use to build four new classrooms and purchase more equipment for their special needs and vocational departments.

The headteacher said, "I'm elated by the transformation in our compound within a very short time. In five years we shall have grown to greater heights, as I believe water-related and waterborne diseases have been dealt with by your provision of water and latrines, and of course the training you brought us. Therefore, your intervention is greatly appreciated. You have saved the future of this generation and generations to come."

December, 2017: Chandolo Primary School Project Underway

Chandolo Primary School in Kenya has begun building a new source of safe, clean water that's made possible by your generous donation. A rainwater catchment tank and new latrines are being constructed and two hand-washing stations will be delivered. Students and staff are also attending a training on proper sanitation and hygiene practices, and will learn how to best care for and manage their new resources. 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: Chandolo Primary School

December, 2018

The water from the tank at Chandolo Primary School is providing so much water that the school bought a second cow!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Chandolo 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 Chandolo 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 Lillian Achieng with you.

Chandolo Primary School should be a role model for other schools in the area. They have done an amazing job maintaining their new facilities for the past year. The school's attitude towards development has become more positive.

The school recently purchased an additional cow because the one they had started producing more milk than ever thanks to the drinking water available from the tank. The milk is then used for the students, which is helping improve their health.

"Availability of water in school has enabled the smooth running of the feeding program. The cooks have an easy time of accessing water for cooking and even doing the dishes for both the pupils and teachers," Headmaster Bernard Madafu explained to us.

"We have clean and safe drinking water in our school now."

Bernard Madafu, Field Officer Lillian Achieng, and Brillian Lwane

This is evidenced by the way they have protected the drawing point with a hatch and lock to prevent tampering. They also went ahead and built an additional eight latrines to accompany the six that were constructed as a part of the water project.

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 project in Chandolo Primary School is changing many lives.

"We no longer waste time going to the spring to get water. At the spring that is meant for the community, the pupils would conflict with the community members, but that doesn't happen anymore since we have water in school," explained 13-year-old student Brillian Lwane.

"Now, we can comfortably spend time on our morning studies that used to be wasted with fetching water."

Brillian Lwane

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 Chandolo 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 Chandolo 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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17 individual donor(s)