Shitirira Primary School Well Rehabilitation Project

Regional Program:
Western Kenya WaSH Program

Latitude 0.45
Longitude 34.87

500 Served

Project Status:

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"The knowledge my school has been trained on is of great help. This is what will help to ensure that the health of the pupils and teachers is good, hence promoting good academic performance."

Head Teacher Kefa Musia

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Stories and Community Profile

This project is a part of our shared program with Safe Water and Sustainable Hygiene Initiative (SAWASHI). Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).

Background Information

Shitirira Primary School is a public mixed school for both boarding and day students. It is sponsored by Friends Church Quakers. Most of the pupils that attend this school come from within the Shitirira area. Every morning Monday to Friday, the non-boarding students report to school with the hope of shaping their futures. They are seen with small jerrycans of water and bags on their backs carried all the way from home to school.

Shitirira Primary School has 700 students enrolled. It also employs 16 teachers and four supplementary staff (such as a cook, security guards, etc.). (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 site would make a great location for a second project. To learn more, click here.)

The Current Source

The boarders fetch water each evening from the neighbor’s home; the neighboring family has an unprotected shallow well, but it is prone to drying up because the consumer demand is so high. In fact, pupils are not able to access the neighbor’s well during dry seasons because it dries up completely. It is obvious this source is contaminated since it lets in pump “backwash,” general runoff, and trash. Since it has no working pump, those fetching water have to lower a bucket tied to a rope. This bucket is passed between hands and rests on the ground when left unused. All containers used around this unprotected well are clearly not clean. The buckets, basins, and jerrycans used to fetch and store water are only rinsed with the same, contaminated water. Even though it is obvious this water is dirty, people are not aware that boiling the water before drinking is an important treatment. After drinking this water, many cases of waterborne disease have been reported.

The school also has a well of their own, but the pump broke. This well was drilled in 1989 by the Kenya Finland Company, but the pump installed included lots of hard-to-replace parts. Since the local market does not carry these parts, the school installed a temporary Nira pump that has also since broken down. The school also has some rainwater catchments systems, but these dry up along with the neighboring shallow well, causing nothing to be available during the dry seasons. With the lack of a safe water source within the school campus, the academic performance of the pupils suffers. This is quite an aggravation for the teachers who know that a potentially long-lasting water system stands within their school compound and yet it is currently inaccessible. The head teacher, Mr. Musia, explains, “This is the only safe water source around though we did not manage to maintain because we lack the spare parts in the market. This has made the pupils to carry water from their homes, in different kind of container which are not clean. The water comes from different sources in which is not treated thus results in waterborne diseases.” The rehabilitation of this school’s well will save the users both their time and their health.

Sanitation Situation

There are 16 latrines within the school compound, but some do not have doors. Each of these pit latrines is cleaned three times a week by students. There are also bathing rooms available, and one hand-washing station. There are four clotheslines, creating an ample amount of space for boarding students to dry their clothes up off of the ground. The school has a designated dumping site for trash. Though they have all of these facilities, they lack knowledge on how to clean the right way, maintain personal hygiene, and store water and food properly. Students and staff will greatly benefit from the health tips they can learn during hygiene and sanitation training.

Two more hand-washing stations will be installed in the form of “tippy taps.” Tippy taps are containers tied to a rope; when the rope is pulled, it tips the container to pour water.

Training Sessions

Teachers and students will be trained in hygiene and sanitation over the course of three days. The facilitator will use the CHAST (Children’s Health and Sanitation Training) method to help students differentiate between good and bad practices, and will teach a session about how to treat and store water. Not only will students and staff be educated on these important topics, but will together form a water user committee that will be responsible for the rehabilitated well and other sanitation facilities such as latrines and tippy taps.

During the initial survey of this site, the local assistant chief was fully engaged in ensuring that the whole community is sensitized and has full information in regards to the rehabilitation of this well. The assistant chief has also promised to ensure that SAWASHI has the necessary environment to complete this anticipated project.

Project Results: Training

Training was held at the school for three consecutive days. The first day was set aside of lower primary, the second for upper primary, and the third was for distribution of hand-washing stations and demonstrations. A section of pupils from each grade was selected to attend, and parents and local leadership were also present.

The CHAST (Children’s Health and Sanitation Training) methods were used to teach different grades different topics:

For lower primary, they:

  • Analyzed the problem: Learned how flies spread germs and how disease is spread in general
  • Identified the problem: Memorized good and bad hygiene practices
  • Practiced good behavior: Hand-washing exercises, toothbrushing, toilet use, and face-washing

For upper primary, they talked about:

  • Clean is beautiful: Why do we wash hands? When? How?
  • I drink safe water: Different types of water sources, differentiating between safe and unsafe water, water treatment
  • Going to the latrine: How? Health risks of open defication, latrine maintenance
  • My school is beautiful: Keeping a clean environment, anti-litter campaigns, roles of the school health club
  • Germ-free food: Covering food and proper preparation
  • How to prevent diarrhea: Fecal-oral disease transmission routes, symptoms of diarrhea, blocking transmission

The facilitator made sure students actively participated with each other in small and large groups. Presentations were also made with the help of a projector, and participants also enjoyed on-site training as they and their teachers walked the school campus, talking about what they saw.

During the course of this project, a school from the neighboring Rift Valley County visited Shitirira Primary to learn what they could from them. A group of these visiting pupils also joined the others for hygiene and sanitation training.

At the close of training, Head Teacher Kefa Musia shared, “The knowledge my school has been trained on is of great help. This is what will help to ensure that the health of the pupils and teachers is good, hence promoting good academic performance.”

Hand-Washing Stations

These were delivered on the third day of training, and can be seen in the latest picture update. Students were trained on how to use and maintain these properly on that same day.

Well Rehabilitation

Construction for this well began on March 9th. The construction team took an entire day to remove the old well pad. If you like demolition work, this is exactly what they were doing! The cement was old and cracked, and thus had to be fully removed before the pad could be built again. The following two days, the team reconstructed the well pad with new materials: a composite of concrete, sand, and cement. The well pad was left to cure for three days before the Afridev pump was installed.

The school kept involved in this process, making sure the work team always had food! With everybody’s effort, there were no challenges and delays to construction. The head teacher added his sureness that with this water source for students, there will be “improvement in the school performance since time will be saved for studies.” With all these structures in place, SAWASHI anticipates a ripple effect of even more positive results in terms of behavioral change and academic performance!

Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

12/20/2017: A Year Later: Shitirira Primary School

A year ago, generous donors helped rehabilitate a well with Shitirira Primary School in Western Kenya. Because of these gifts and contributions from our monthly donors, partners can visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from our partner, Paul Weringa, with you.


The Water Project : yar_4516_4

03/29/2016: Shitirira Primary School Project Complete

We are excited to inform you that the well at Shitirira Primary School is now protected and in working condition! A sustainable project doesn’t result from rushing into an area, drilling a hole and leaving it; wells don’t last forever! That’s why rehabilitation projects are so important, and why monitoring this well is a priority. The school leadership also formed a water user committee that will manage and maintain the water well. This committee, students and teachers, along with others from the community, also participated in a comprehensive hygiene and sanitation training. You can find updated training and construction details in the online project report, including new pictures. Please take a moment to enjoy all the work you made possible.

The Water Project and Shitirira Primary School Thank You for unlocking potential!

The Water Project : 18-kenya4516-complete-edit

02/23/2016: Shitirira Primary School Project Underway

We are excited to announce that, thanks to your willingness to help, the Shitirira Primary School will soon have a new source of safe, clean water. A broken well is being rehabilitated so it will be a reliable resource, and the students and staff will receive training in sanitation and hygiene. Together these resources will help stop the spread of disease in the area. We just posted a report including information about the school, GPS coordinates, and pictures. We will keep you posted as work continues.

Take a look, and Thank You for your help!

The Water Project : if-541

02/15/2016: Update From The Water Project

You’ve been assigned to a project! Check it out! And we’ll share more once the work begins!

The Water Project : kenya4333-twp-kenya-cheers

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump
Location:  Kakamega, Shitirira
ProjectID: 4516
Install Date:  03/29/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 02/23/2018

Visit History:
03/07/2017 — Needs Repair
05/17/2017 — Needs Repair
05/24/2017 — Functional
09/20/2017 — Needs Attention
09/22/2017 — Functional
12/04/2017 — Functional
02/23/2018 — Functional

A Year Later: Shitirira Primary School

December, 2017

This water that I drink is clean for consumption. I have improved more on my academics.

A year ago, generous donors helped rehabilitate a well with Shitirira Primary School in Western Kenya. Because of these gifts and contributions from our monthly donors, partners can visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from our partner, Paul Weringa with you.

Since the training was done during the initial stages of the project implementation, the practice of hand washing has been embraced in this school. Both teachers and pupils do wash hands during critical moments.

Besides hand washing practices, there is a great achievement in the academic performance of the school. This is because the pupils have enough time for studies unlike before when they spent most of their time looking for water from the neighboring shallow well.

Although the borehole is serving the school, there is not enough water in the borehole to adequately serve the population in the school. Since the school has a boarding section, it becomes a challenge to them when the level of water goes down. They are sometimes forced to go out to the nearby rivers to have water for washing and cleaning.

“The project has helped our pupils to have water on time during lunch time, break time and also for the boarders,” says head teacher Phanice Shitanda. “The meals are prepared on time in the kitchen since we have water in our compound, though we are forced to go to the river when the level goes down. By the fact that a lot of time is utilized for studies, the academic performance for pupils and the school in general has improved. The hygiene and sanitation of the school is now good and the environment is good for learning,” she continues. “We have an active health club that ensures that the latrines, classrooms are cleaned frequently.”

“Since I am a boarder, the water project has really helped me to carry out activities like washing and cleaning,” shares 15-year-old Lucy Khasoa Mwani. “Besides that, this water that I drink is clean for consumption. I have improved more on my academics. Initially, my performance was not encouraging since I spent a lot of time in the river. Today, at least I have an opportunity of sitting down in a class and do my studies without many distractions.”

The amount of water given by the borehole is not enough keeping in mind that the population of the school has increased and the water needs are demanding. We will continue to work with the school and The Water Project to come up with a long-term solution.

The Water Project and our partners are committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by monthly donors, allows us to visit communities up to 4 times a year. Read more about our program and how you can help.


Project Underwriter - Promolux 2015
Johnson & Johnson/Hari Venkatesan
1 individual donor(s)

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Country Details


Population: 39.8 Million
Lacking clean water: 43%
Below poverty line: 50%

Partner Profile

Safe Water & Sustainable Hygiene Initiative (SAWASHI) provides safe, affordable and sustainable water supply services through rehabilitation of boreholes, strengthening of Water User Committees, WaSH training of target beneficiary communities and monitoring & evaluation of water systems.