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Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  Installed

Functionality Status:  Functional

"We are so grateful about this training. The training has reminded us of a lot of things that we all ignore. We promised to practice proper hygiene and sanitation from the training."

Tom Butasi, Teacher

Community Profile & Stories

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).

Welcome to the School

Shipala Primary School is a public day school started in the year 1998 with sponsorship from the Catholic Church. The school is located in the middle of Shipala Village, surrounded by sugarcane and maize plantations. Grass-thatched houses dot this green landscape. Shipala Primary School now has an enrollment of 490 students and employs 16 teachers and three supplementary staff. There are no pupils from outside the village.

Every morning Monday to Friday, the pupils report to school with hopes of improving their futures. They carry along jerricans for fetching water once at school. Cleaning is done on a daily basis, with sweeping of classrooms and washing of latrines done each evening. A more thorough cleaning is done every Friday evening.

Water Situation

Kenya Finland Company installed a hand-dug well at the school in 1992. School leadership attests that the well has a high water level that never ceases to serve students and staff. However, the well pump is of Nira make, which is very difficult for students to use. They must work very hard for very little yield. Now, the pump doesn’t work at all. The well pad has also worn down, so the water inside is no longer protected. Cracks in the cover allow for surface runoff, waste, and other contaminants to flow back inside.

Students line up with their small containers to fetch water one by one, but what is the wait for? Lots of time is wasted fetching water at the old pump to get water that is not even safe to drink. After drinking, outbreaks of typhoid and diarrhea are always reported.

Sanitation Situation

There are 12 pit latrines that are cleaned every evening. They all have wooden doors for privacy, but the pit inside is not covered. This allows flies to enter and leave with contaminants, let alone allows for a terrible odor! There are no hand-washing stations anywhere on school grounds. Environmental hygiene seems to be priority at the sacrifice of students’ personal hygiene.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Teachers and students will be trained for two days at the school compound. The facilitator will use the CHAST (Children’s Hygiene and Sanitation Training) method to help students discern between good and bad hygiene habits. Students will be taught how disease is spread at home and at school, and how to prevent this. An entire session will be devoted to teaching students when to wash hands and how to do it properly. Students and staff need to be aware of how dirty hands are spreading illness.

A teacher at Shipala Primary, Mediatrix Nabwire has noticed this, saying, “The school does not observe proper hygiene and sanitation because they lack sanitation facilities such as hand-washing stations. No water treatment method is applied, hence outbreak of diarrhea and typhoid diseases in the school. This has led to poor performance in academics!”

Plans: Hand-Washing Stations

Two hand-washing stations will be delivered to the school so that students can wash their hands after using the latrine and before eating. The school will make sure that these are filled with water and that a cleaning agent is always available.

Plans: Well Rehabilitation

We plan to reconstruct the well that Kenya Finland Company installed in 1992 so that it can again effectively serve the school. This well has a total depth of 11 meters and a static water level of 6.1 meters.

The rehabilitation process will include material collection, pad reconstruction, flushing, test pumping, water quality testing, water treatment, and then pump installation. The new pump will be an AfriDev, since it is easy for student to use and parts for repair are easily acquired.

This will solve the problems shared by the head teacher during our visit: The pump is worn out and it takes a great amount of time for water to flow, therefore making it hard for the pupils to get water and still have time enough for their studies. The spare parts for the Nira pump aren’t found locally!

By the end of training and project implementation, Shipala Primary School will have a strong water user committee made up of parents and teachers who will oversee and maintain the rehabilitated well. They have a heart to ensure the well continues to serve generations to come. Without clean water and good health, education and opportunity cannot come first.

Recent Project Updates

11/15/2017: A Year Later: Shipala Primary School

A year ago, generous donors helped rehabilitate a well for Shipala Primary School in Kenya. Because of these gifts and our monthly donors, partners are able to 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 with you.

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09/19/2016: Shipala Primary School Well Rehabilitation Project Complete

We are excited to share that the rehabilitated well at Shipala Primary School is now providing clean water. Hygiene and sanitation training was conducted at the school, which invited all students, staff, and community members to learn about practices like washing hands and using latrines. Two hand-washing stations were delivered upon the well’s completion. This water and new knowledge give the school and community a great foothold in eliminating water and sanitation-related illness! Please enjoy this update detailing all the work that was done at Shipala Primary School, and make sure to click on the “See Photos & Video” tab above to find new pictures of the finished project.

Thank You for unlocking potential for these people. You made clean water a reality, and now you have a chance to make sure it keeps flowing. Now, you also have the opportunity to join our team of monthly donors who help us maintain this well and hundreds of other projects!

Project Result: New Knowledge

Since both the community and school will benefit from the rehabilitated well, we held sessions in two locations. On the first day, we gathered students from different grades in a school classroom. On the second day, we went out in the community and gathered at least one representative from each local household.

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Students that attended training at the school will form a school health club that will promote good health habits and take care of the school’s sanitation facilities. There were 25 pupils total, who participated well in group discussions and demonstrations.

Lessons for students were as follows:

1. Clean is Beautiful: How to wash hands and when to do so

2. I Drink Safe Water: Differentiating between safe and unsafe water sources, and how to treat water

3. Going to the Latrine: The importance of using a toilet, risks of open defecation, and flies and disease transmission

4. My School is Beautiful: Keeping a clean environment, rules against littering, and the role of the school health club

5. Germ-Free Food: How to prepare and store food properly

6. How to Prevent Diarrhea: Disease transmission routes and blocking them

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We highlighted the same topics with the community. They actively participated and asked questions for clarification. When people learned about how some of the things they were doing on a daily basis are causing more complications than good, they were concerned. They are motivated to make changes by building the sanitation facilities they need. Latrines, hand-washing stations, dish racks, compost pits, and bathing rooms will be undertaken at the household level. Local leadership is passionate about making sure these improvements are realized.

Tom Butasi, a teacher at Shipala Primary, attended all of the sessions. He is grateful on behalf of both his school and his community. He said, “We are so grateful about this training. The training has reminded us of a lot of things that we all ignore. We promised to practice proper hygiene and sanitation from the training.”

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Project Result: Well Rehabilitation

Construction for this project began on August 10th.

This began with replacing the old well pad. We had to demolish this using picks, stakes, and mallets. The Nira pump was removed from the well so that a new base could be plastered with a fine layer of cement topped with waterproof cement. This was left to cure before anything else could be done. Once dry, we could flash out the well, rinsing it of debris that collected over the years and during the construction process. After test pumping to ensure a steady water yield, we installed the new AfriDev pump.

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The community was very excited about seeing their children get clean water again. They worked hard to help the artisans throughout the project, gathering local materials like sand and helping the work team with actual construction. Thanks to all of the support from the school and community, there were no challenges or delays.

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Assistant Chief Caleb Makunda was there to celebrate the well’s completion. He said, “The well used to break down all the time, so we are grateful to have this modern pump. It is much easier to use compared to the Nira pump, but more importantly, we are now sure of consuming safe and clean water.” School management promises to look over the rehabilitated well to ensure that is serves the school and community for generations to come.

The headteacher said it used to take students a very long time at the pump before water would flow. They wouldn’t make it back in time for class, and academics suffered. Moreover, students worked so hard to pump water that wasn’t even protected by a good well pad. Students were already wasting time fetching water, but would also miss school due to waterborne disease. Thanks to this rehabilitated well, both time and health are saved!

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08/19/2016: Shipala Primary School Well Rehabilitation Project Underway

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

Click on the tabs above to get more information, and Thank You for your help!

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Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump
Location:  Malava, Shipala
ProjectID: 4533
Install Date:  09/19/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 09/27/2017

Visit History:
03/08/2017 — Functional
06/22/2017 — Functional
09/27/2017 — Functional

A Year Later: Shipala Primary School

October, 2017

“I have enough time to read and do my studies since I no longer have to go around searching for water from the unprotected sources.”

A year ago, generous donors helped rehabilitate a well for Shipala Primary School in Kenya. Because of these gifts and our monthly donors, partners are able to 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 with you.

What does it look like to unlock the potential of the students at Shipala Primary School? A big step in the right direction is making sure a lack of clean water isn’t keeping them out of the classroom. “I have enough time to read and do my studies since I no longer have to go around searching for water from the unprotected sources. Most of my health problems like stomach ache, typhoid and diarrhea have stopped troubling me. This is because of the rehabilitated project in our school.” These are the words of 15 year old student Lilian Adisa Ondeku. Wash officer Paul Weringa got to talk with Lilian when he visited the school recenly, checking on the condition of the well and seeing what changes a year of clean water have brought.

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Paul noted that, in addition to improved student health and student performance, the rehabilitated well has helped the school in another way. “The availability of water in school has also enabled the school to stabilize their lunch program where the standard seven and eight eat lunch in school hence allowing them to have more time for studies.”

Hygiene and sanitation teacher Shivambo Joshua Fred shared that, since the new well is outside the school compound, it has also improved the relationship between the school and the surrounding community. “Sharing the same source has helped the community members to relate and associate themselves with the activities run in school. Only a few challenges were experienced during the last dry spell where the water level went down, causing scramble for water between the pupils and the community members.”

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Mr. Fred’s comment about the dry season is a reality that we are facing in many locations of late. Through our regular monitoring visits to this site, we have learned that this well can experience a lower yield during during the long periods between Kenyan rainy seasons, sometimes lasting 2-4 months. Extreme, longer dry seasons are proving to be a challenge to all water points in this part of Kenya, and we are working out solutions with our teams. Paul and the rest of his team are talking with the school about how this well can be further developed into a reliable source all year long.

Challenges like this are why we are so committed to monitoring all of the water sources we install. The work is far from done, but with the support of our monthly donors, we are learning more every day! Read more about our program and how you can help.


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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.