Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Program: Kenyan Rainwater Harvesting

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2015

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/03/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water And Sanitation Forum. Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).


Embussamba primary school is located at Esavalu Village, Ebusakami sub Location, South Bunyore Location, Mukhalakhala Ward, Emuhaya Sub county, and Vihiga county. Church of God who was the sponsor established the school in the year 1962. The School has access to 22 streams, but the deputy said that they are not enough due to the high population of the school. It has a total population of 885 pupils, 461 girls, 424 boys; ECD total population is 85 pupils, 39 girls, and 46 boys. The school has a total of 20 teachers of which 18 are employed by the TSC, 10 male, 10 female. It has also 3 support staff, 2 male and 1 female.

(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.)


The school's main source of water is a plastic tank with capacity of 2000 litres, and a spring which was protected by the community members. The water is not enough to meet the needs of the whole population comprised of pupils, teachers, and support staffs because of congestion and queuing at the spring. Pupils are even asked to carry more water from home because they waste a lot of time at the spring and end up not fetching water. As a result, the School is forced to pay some of the community members to fetch water for school use, which may not meet their needs such as drinking, and cleaning classrooms for the entire school. This has lead to a high demand for the construction of a bigger rainwater-harvesting tank to accommodate the needs of all the school’s population.

Sanitation facilities

The school has a total of 14 VIP latrines, 2 for teachers 6 for boys and 6 for girls, that are not enough compared to the ratio required by the ministry of health and the World Health Organization which is one door for every 25 girls and 30 boys.  The School is having a big challenge in terms of water and sanitation due to the high population in the school. The pupils have to queue for long time so as to use the already constrained facilities.

A baseline survey conducted in the school by the WASH team showed that the school had a great need for safe water. Sanitation was also a challenge. Therefore there was urgent need  help so that the pupils can access safe drinking water and better sanitation facilities.

The mobilization process was then conducted. In attendance were the community members including parents, school board management, local adminstration, and WEWASAFO staff. During the mobilization process, PRA representatives were selected.

The Participatory Rural Assessment process

The process was conducted with an aim of ensuring that the resource people had relevant skills of appraising the projects in the community. This is in terms of good leadership,  participatory monitoring and evaluation.

Mapping of the community resources was done to assist the community members identify the locally available resources within their community and contribute the same towards the project. This ensures ownership and sustainability of the project.

The school and community calendar was also arranged so as to effectively plan for the project implementation.

Mobilization of the locally available materials

Before supply of the hard ware materials, the school and the community had to avail the locally available materials. They availed the materials needed on time, paving way for the delivery of the hardware materials.Their contribution included sand, ballast, hard core, sugar sacks, off cuts, poles, and unskilled labour.

Mobilization of the locally available materials for the construction of the water tank and VIP latrines is complete.


Rainwater Harvesting Tank

Construction of a 30,000 liter rainwater harvesting tank in Ebussamba primary is complete and in use.

Initially, the school's main source of water was a plastic tank with capacity of 2000 litres. The water was not enough to meet the needs of the whole population comprising of pupils, teachers, and support staff. As a result, the school was forced to pay some of the community members to fetch water for the school use. Even with these efforts in place, it was not enough.

With the support of The Water Project and their donors, the situation is now completely different. The school now collects and stores enough water since the area receives high rainfall. The pupils now access clean safe drinking water. The head teacher noted that they no longer have to pay people to avail water in the school. Hygienic practices have also improved. Pupils are happy to wash their hands at critical points, such as before and after toilet use, and to clean the classes and the latrines.

VIP latrines

Construction of the double door Ventilation Improved Pit latrines in the school is also complete and in use. The 4 door VIP latrines supported by The Water Project plus the previously existing ones serve a total population of the school.

Previously, the pupils had to queue for long time so as to use the already constrained facilities. The situation has now improved with the additional four doors. Pupils are now happy that they no longer have to waste a lot of time queuing to use the sanitation facilities.  Cases of lateness for class are now minimal. The time saved has now been used by the pupils to study and their performance is expected to improve significantly.

Hand washing Facility

The hand washing stations were installed and now in use. The two hand washing stations serve the entire population of the school. Pupils are now happy and willing to implement the hygiene practices geared towards reducing any incidences and spread of diarrheal diseases. They also added that since they were trained on hygiene practices, it has helped them in safeguarding their health and the well being of society in general.


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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!