Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 159 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 12/02/2022

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

Everyone working at this school fully devotes their attention to serving the marginalized children in their community. Each person follows a daily commitment to help learners develop a sense of belonging and acceptance in their communities. Some of their tasks include balanced, coordinated support in helping children with personal hygiene, going to the latrines, developing communication skills, acquisition of basic numeracy, spiritual growth, and co-curricular activities.

There are various agricultural activities going on to teach these children this livelihood: they grow bananas, maize, indigenous vegetables and vegetable spices on school grounds. Additionally, the school rears poultry and a few cattle; all done on a small scale for subsistence purposes.

With most learners coming from humble backgrounds with parents or guardians unable to raise funds to build their own homes; it will go unchallenged to note that some of them are casual laborers who operate on a hand-to-mouth basis. Even with these constraints, the school has been able to graduate and send out about 80 learners back into their communities, and it has organized several fruitful awareness and sensitization campaigns on disabilities. Besides, the school has been represented in the Special Olympics conducted in North Carolina not once but twice; and has been competing in the annual sports and games for special schools at the Kenyan national level.

66 of the 136 students are boarders who live in dormitories here.

Water Situation

The school is attached to a piped system that they pay 2,000 shillings per month to use.  However, there are constant technical difficulties at the supply station. There is a small plastic tank that would hold this water, but the tap isn't even on often enough to fill it.

Thus, students are forced to leave school to fetch water. The nearest water source is Amianda Spring. They carry small jerrycans that are no more than five liters, because some learners have multiple handicaps that prevent them from carrying anything heavier. As a result, students must make the trip to Amianda Spring several times when the school's piped system fails.

This trip is so risky for the students, for some of them are faced with epileptic seizures and young girls are preyed upon by ill-wishing strangers.

Sanitation Situation

Heavy rains caused two blocks of latrines to collapse. There are now only five doors of pit latrines at the school. The boys' latrines are makeshift, with both walls and the roof made of iron sheets. Latrine hygiene is quite poor, and there aren't enough of them to serve the students. Some students can't bear to wait in line and instead seek privacy elsewhere to relieve themselves.

Though these students have to work harder to complete their daily chores, they're doing a great job. During our visit, we saw several students washing their clothes and mopping cement floors. Their dormitories were organized and bedding was clean.

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 leave class and risk their health on the long walk to Amianda Spring.

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

12/12/2018: A Year Later: Ebusiratsi Special Primary School

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

08/16/2018: Ebusiratsi Special Primary School Project Complete

Ebusiratsi Special 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 students!

We have made improvements to our system to ensure that you always hear about your project as soon as possible, for a lot of good has happened since construction was completed in February. Our team has been back to monitor the tank, with our last visit being in June:

Stepping back and letting the tank fill a jerrycan during our June 24, 2018 monitoring visit.

Project Result: New Knowledge

With the help of the headmistress, we managed to get all the teachers, parents and some of the children to attend hygiene and sanitation training. This was possible since they had already been asked to come and pick up their children for holidays - so we used that chance to educate as many people as possible.

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

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

Demonstrations were used for hand-washing, tooth-brushing, solar disinfection, and many other topics. Demonstrations were the most effective for these students, who understand when they see something done but not when it's lectured about. 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.

Two of the children attending this school continued boarding throughout the holidays, and school staff reports that they've practiced some of the new things they learned. They're bathing daily, and they hang their uniforms on the clothesline to dry.

Teacher Esther Bokello said, "We have really benefited from this training, and as you can see we have put all that we were taught into practice. The water tank has really been a blessing for we can now do a lot of things with it. To our believed parents, your active participation in various project phases has not only given these learners a complete sense of ownership, but has also demonstrated the great love you have for our school."

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 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.

The first challenge was the weather, with it raining entire days at a time. Artisans could do nothing but sleep and hope the next day brought clearer weather. Then after the holiday started, the artisans couldn't easily get the water they needed for mixing cement. The two students who stayed behind were integral in joining the school support staff to fetch water from the spring. These two young men have a reason to be proud of this new rainwater catchment tank:

The tank was given three to four weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Ebusiratsi Special Primary School. It quickly filled with clean, safe water over the end of the holiday; a wonderful surprise to the 134 students who returned from vacation in January.

Pauline Ongalo is a mother of one of these students. She said, "...this project, it seems like a dream come true because we could never have raised such a project on our own. For the good work you have done to us, may our good Lord bless you all and those that you work with. When we received the call to support the project in getting the local resources, we did it without hesitation. We could not compare the cost of the items to the invaluable benefits our children will gain from the new, safe water source."

12/14/2017: Ebusiratsi Special Primary School Project Underway

Ebusiratsi Special 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.

Thank You for your care and generosity that unlocks potential at Ebusiratsi Special Primary School!

Project Photos

Project Type

Rainwater Catchment

Rainwater is collected off strategic areas of a roof, enters a custom guttering system (which filters out debris) and leads to a storage tank. Tanks can vary in sizes and are determined by population and average rainfall patterns. Water can be stored for months, is easily treated in the tank, and is accessible through taps. These projects are implemented at schools with proper roof lines and gutter systems to make them successful.

A Year Later: Ebusiratsi Special Primary School

December, 2018

The fruit of the project; the water tank, handwashing facilities, and latrines within the school compound have entirely reformed the institution.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Ebusiratsi Special 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 Ebusiratsi Special 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 Erick Wagaka with you.

The lives of the students have greatly improved over the past year. The fruit of the project; the water tank, handwashing facilities, and latrines within the school compound have entirely reformed the institution. We visited the school recently and met students like Lilian Migale who described how access to the facilities has improved their lives. Lilian is happy that she can not only get clean water whenever she needs it, but also has clean and stable bathrooms to use at any time.

Lilian Migale

The ease of water access means the students can now join their caretakers in kitchen gardening activities and in caring for their dairy animals. Thus, they feel a great sense of belonging and appreciation when they are involved. These learners are very positive about these farming initiatives for these activities keep them busy, active, yet relaxed.

Everywhere is neat and even the classrooms are tidy. Students look happier and more comfortable than before because of the availability of enough sanitation facilities that enable them to have good hygiene.

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 Ebusiratsi Special Primary School is changing many lives.

"This project has reduced so many challenges that the school was facing," said Andrew Ateko, a caretaker at the school.

Erick Wagaka and Andrew Ateko

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 Ebusiratsi Special 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 Ebusiratsi Special 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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