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: 04/09/2024

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

A normal day at Shijiko Primary School begins early in the morning around 6:30am when pupils start arriving at school; some carrying firewood, and others carrying water. Soon after, each grade must begin their scheduled chores that have them cleaning the school grounds. Regular classes begin at 8am sharp.

The school has various programs that compliment its regular curriculum. It has a mentorship program which teaches pupils life skills. The school also provides sanitary napkins on a monthly basis to help girls maintain good hygiene and stay in school. The school is also unique with a feeding program that has been successful since 2011. The program feeds all of the school's students from class one to class eight. Since its start in 2011, the mean score has increased from 259 to 302. In 2012, the school won a big trophy as a result of this feeding program, and the headteacher has been asked to teach topics like food hygiene and food harvesting to different schools.

Another amazing thing about the school is that it supports 55 orphans with uniforms, stationery, and reduced school fees.

With all of these successes, there are still many challenges - with many more that result from clean water scarcity.

Water Situation

There is one medium-sized plastic water tank connected to a gutter on school grounds. Even when full of fresh rainwater, this tank can come nowhere close to serving all 762 students, let alone support the feeding program the school has. That's why each student has to carry water from home every morning. Many struggle to balance this load with their books and homework, and arrive at school late, tired, and wet.

Once those containers are emptied, students must go back out to a protected spring in the community. When fetching water from the community spring, students must first line up and wait for locals to finish fetching water. Students may have to go on this trip to the spring more than once during a school day!

Furthermore, water is not stored properly when back at school. These containers of water, even if meant for drinking, are kept open and on the dusty ground. When students drink this water, they suffer from waterborne diseases like typhoid and cholera.

Sanitation Situation

There are six pit latrines. These are not in good working condition, for the holes are much too large and pose a risk to these small students. The door hinges do not close properly. The girls' toilets collapsed after heavy rains, so the teachers had to surrender two doors for the girls. There is a huge level of congestion at the female latrines that causes long waits, bad smells, and dangerous conditions. These girls are at high risk of infection.

Headteacher Susy Gwademba told us, "The toilets brought me shame in this school. Due to the heavy rains, they sunk rendering my girls vulnerable and at risk for using them and so we permanently closed them down. This forced teachers to surrender two of their doors to the girls so as to rescue the situation..."

There is only one hand-washing station available. Some students are infected with jiggers, and if something isn't done to control them then they will spread amongst the student body. There are some malnourished students, especially in the early education classes.

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. Normally we give three doors to the girls while the other three serve boys, but it is likely administration will set them aside for girls so they no longer have to share with primary students. 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!

Project Updates

December, 2018: A Year Later: St. Antony Shijiko Primary School

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

St. Antony Shijiko 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

Hygiene and sanitation training was held in a school classroom with students, teachers, and parents all participating. These training participants learned ways to improve their health, and will share that knowledge with classmates, peers, and neighbors. The students in particular will form a "child to child" health club that's in charge of health campaigns at their school.

Students received new notebooks and pens to help them record everything they learned.

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 trainer using soap and running water to guide students through the 10 steps of thorough 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. 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.

Trainer Jemmimah taking everyone through care and management of the tank.

13-year-old Joyce Adiba said, "We are so grateful for being a beneficiary of this project. We have learnt a lot, especially to do with hand-washing. This is a procedure we all had no idea about! We thank our facilitators for teaching us the 10 steps of hand-washing, and we promise to preach these to the rest of our classmates."

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!

Girls posing in front of their new latrines.

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.

Students using their new hand-washing station.

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.

A man delivering water to be used 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 St. Antony Shijiko Primary School. It already has some water in it!

As soon as those rains fell, students were there to use the water. We met them at the tank to do an official handing over to the school, sharing in this clean water celebration. Headteacher Susy said, "We are so happy for this tank in our school, which will serve the entire school fraternity. Our students used to waste so much time going to fetch water, which would eat into their lessons."

October, 2017: St. Antony Shijiko Primary School Project Underway

St. Antony Shijiko Primary School will soon have an adequate source of clean water thanks to 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, enjoy our introduction to the school complete with stories, maps, and pictures.

Thank You for partnering with us to unlock potential!

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: St. Antony Shijiko Primary School

November, 2018

“This tank has really solved our water issues,” said Deputy Headteacher Philip Sunguti.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help St. Antony Shijiko 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 St. Antony Shijiko 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 Joan Were with you.

With the access to clean water and sanitation facilities, the pupils now enjoy good health and their class attendance has improved. The pupils now practice handwashing after leaving the toilet and before eating. This improvement in hygiene practices is due to the hygiene training that was conducted at the school during the construction of the rainwater tank and latrines last year.

Phillip Sunguti

We spoke with Deputy Headteacher Philip Sunguti about the impact of the project recently and he shared the following story:

This tank has really solved our water issues.

I have been in this school for six years and my heart would pain every morning as I would watch my pupils going to a spring to fetch water for cleaning and drinking. They would come back tired and not concentrate in class. Many of them would get sick and miss a lot of classes.

Since the tank was constructed, the pupils attend morning remedials and the population is increasing gradually. With the water in the tank, we had an easy time hosting students and teachers from regional schools who were attending the District Athletics tournaments here.

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 St. Antony Shijiko Primary School is changing many lives.

Students like Churchill Imbenzi spend less time fetching water and more time in class thanks to the tank on the school grounds. The benefits of the tank are spreading across the local community and more parents are sending their children to the school.

Churchill Imbenzi

Now, even more children have access to this reliable water source!

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 St. Antony Shijiko 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 St. Antony Shijiko 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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