Community Development Entrepreneurs will be trained to install rainwater harvesting systems at 20 schools and will sell low cost, high quality RWH units to the surrounding community. Community Health Promoters will run school Water & Hygiene Clubs
Aqua Clara International (ACI) has been working in the Kisii region of Kenya since June 2009 and has recently launched a sister program in the rural areas around Eldoret. The Kisii region is a hilly and densely populated area with fairly regular and consistent rainfall. The rural areas around Eldoret are more sparsely populated and the dry seasons tend to be longer. We are working with schools in both regions that are good candidates for rainwater harvesting (RWH) projects and expanded hygiene education. There is significant local interest in our low cost, high quality, locally made RWH systems. There is a great need to educate school children on better WASH practice.
The most common water sources in the Kisii area are springs (both protected and unprotected) as well as surface water. From our survey information, we have found that the average length of time that it takes people to walk to and from their water source is around 45+ minutes. When families or schools are large, multiple trips are necessary to provide sufficient water for their needs. Women and young girls are the people who bear most of the burden for collecting water which means lost time at school and for other important activities. The most common water sources in the Eldoret region are shallow wells and surface water. Our test results on a wide range of water sources in both areas have shown high levels of bacteriological contamination.
In both regions, we have observed that some of the schools and households have rudimentary rainwater harvesting systems which help to lessen the burden of the daily search for water. The rainwater tanks that we have come across are typically in poor condition with open or rusting collection containers, leaky gutters and no way to flush or clean the container. The costs to get good rainwater harvesting units to the rural areas are often prohibitively expensive for rural people. There are several layers of 'middle men' throughout the supply chain that increase the costs substantially. Our tests on the rainwater, although better than the ground and surface water tests still show significant bacteriological contamination.
Water borne diseases such as amoeba, typhoid, diarrhea etc are still very common in both areas. It is obvious that water filtration is not enough. Hygiene education is also a very pressing need in the area, especially for school children and women.
Last year, thanks to funding from Blue Planet Network, ACI was able to establish a WASH Training Center in the Kisii region as well as train and launch a number of new filter producing businesses. Currently, ACI has 35 Community Development Entrepreneurs (CDEs) in the Kenya who are actively constructing, marketing, selling and maintaining ACI biosand water filters and safe water storage containers. These small businesses are based at rural schools which also serve as demonstration sites for ACI WASH products. ACI also has a network of Community Health Promoters (CHPs) who actively oversee the work of the CDEs as well as providing additional hygiene education to the filter end users and children at the ACI schools. ACI has been able to set up a number of demonstration RWH units at the WASH Training Center and there has been significant local interest in this expansion of the project.
LocationMultiple villages, Kisii & Eldoret, Kenya
Primary Focus: Rainwater Harvesting
Secondary Focus: Hygiene Education
People Getting Safe Drinking Water: 2,160
This number is based upon the production and sale of one rainwater harvesting system per Community Development Entrepreneur every 3 months for the first 3 years of production. The average family size in the communities that we work in is just under 6 people per household. 360 units multiplied by 6 people per household equals 2,160 people getting water.
School Children Getting Water: 5,020
This project is based at schools. The final selection of schools will be made when the project implementation phase begins so this number is based on a conservative estimate of 250 students per school.
People Getting Sanitation: 0
Not applicable in this proposal.
People Getting Other Benefits: 20
20 Aqua Clara Community Development Officers will gain a new skill in rooftop rainwater harvesting system construction.
Start Date: 2011-10-01
Completion Date: 2012-10-31
The ACI model is based on the premise that the projects should be locally managed and as locally driven as possible. We train local experts to build WASH products out of locally sourced materials and help to create locally sustainable small businesses. ACI believes that there should be a local expert available to perform any necessary maintenance and also serve as an easily accessible information resource for the local community. The Community Development Entrepreneurs (CDEs) are based at rural primary schools - the schools serve as demonstration sites for the ACI technology as well as providing secure storage for the raw materials. The school children and teachers benefit by using the WASH products, while also learning about good WASH practice. Local community members are able to visit the school, see the products that are available at first hand, potentially buy the product and also learn about good WASH practice.
ACI works by training the CDEs and supplying them with sufficient tools and materials for their first set of products. The CDEs then sell these products to their local community at a small profit that is set by ACI. The material cost of the product is repaid into what we call our material resupply bank account - that money then covers the next set of raw materials for the next set of products. This approach is also known as micro-consignment or a revolving loan.
ACI recognizes that in order to optimize the effectiveness and impact of our water program, we need to add other WASH related training and technology. The next steps include adding rainwater harvesting to the product mix and to extend the hygiene education that is available to the school children at ACI partner schools through school Water & Hygiene Clubs.
ACI has set up various sizes of rooftop rainwater harvesting systems at the WASH Training Center. We recently had a visit from a CAWST International Technical Adviser who helped us work through some of the design issues as well as add a simple system to minimize debris getting into the rainwater tank. As with our biosand water filters, we have used locally available plastic containers for the demonstration RWH units. Plastic has the advantages of being easier to work with, cheaper to transport to the end location and of course cheaper to the end user.
Through our work with biosand filters, ACI staff have established relationships with plastics manufacturers and have been able to secure much lower delivered prices on the main components for the rooftop RWH systems. As with the biosand filters, ACI staff will manage the RWH supply chain to ensure that quality remains high and that cost remains low. ACI plans to use the same system of oversight that has been established for the biosand filters to monitor the construction standards and use practices of the RWH units. There is a sound economy of scale in adding additional products to the same oversight and management loop.
The school RWH will be similar to the ones that have been set up at the training center. There will be one large 10,000 liter tank that will directly help to serve the water needs of the school population. ACI will also demonstrate a series of smaller RWH units of 2,000, 1,000 and 500 liter capacity so that community members can see and purchase a more affordable unit for their household use.
The school and community contribution to the RWH system at the school will be in the form of labor, timber to support the gutters and the construction of the base of the system. ACI will be following the approach of another organization called Waterlines who have substantial experience of implementing RWH systems at schools in a neighboring region. The community contribution to the units will be around 20%. The CDEs and schools will be selected for the RWH project based on a number of criteria including but not limited to: success and proven high standards of filter construction; availability of water; frequency and volume of rainfall (measured by ACI rain guages at each school); and need for water.
ACI has recently begun several school based Water & Hygiene Clubs. There are several reasons for this. It is widely known that children are early adopters of new ideas and products and they are in a unique position to help educate their family members at the household level. We have targeted the clubs to be open to children from classes 5-8. Our Community Health Promoters believe that this is a key age as these children are beginning to take more responsibility for the household hygiene and water needs. The schools are the local face of the ACI program and with that in mind, it is important that the various products are properly demonstrated and used. Some of the practical responsibilities of the clubs are to ensure that the biosand filter is used regularly, to clean the safe water storage containers on a daily basis according to ACI training, and to ensure that the hand washing stations have sufficient supply of water and soap.
ACI supports the school Water & Hygiene Clubs through the ACI Community Health Promoters (CHPs). Part of the CHP monthly meeting focuses on the lesson plans for the upcoming month of school club meetings. The Water & Hygiene clubs meet weekly and the CHPs attend the meetings twice per month on alternating weeks to carry out a lesson plan that has been set by ACI. These lessons will cover a variety of topics including water treatment options, disease transmission, hand washing etc and are designed to be practical, informative and fun. On the interim weeks when the CHP is not at the club meetings, it is the club's responsibility to teach what they have learned to another class at the school. This will help reinforce what they have learned while also helping to educate other students at the school.
The relationship between ACI and the rural school is a partnership. For example, ACI will provide one safe water storage container and one handwashing station per classroom, but only after the school and parents have constructed wooden stands for the products. The school when it signs up to partner with ACI must also sign an agreement to ensure that all the products are used properly and according to high standards.
Phase 1:final selection of schools and CDEs for RWH project. Phase 2:training and construction of RWH units at schools. Phase 3:CDEs begin selling RWH units to local community. Ongoing: CHPs oversee Water & Hygiene Clubs
The ACI model is based on community ownership and local demand for the project. The selection process for the CDE and CHP involves a community nomination process which helps with local accountability. Transfer of ownership of the products is based upon consistent proper use by the schools. The ACI CHPs inspect the various products when they visit the school Water & Hygiene clubs and e.g. ensure that the hand washing stations have soap etc. The project and products are very accessible to the rural community members surrounding the schools as they are seen as neutral ground. The most important aspect of ownership is that the CDE essentially runs their own small social business - their success is based upon their own motivation and local demand. ACI has found that community members are proud that their biosand filter or safe water storage container is made by a local person.
ACI actively works with the local District Education Officer in both regions of operation. The District Education Officer is instrumental in introducing the project to the local schools and the improved WASH standards in the schools are in line with the Kenyan governmental guidelines. Our WASH Training Center is based at the District Officer's compound in the Kisii region - the space for the center was donated by the District Officer on behalf of the local community. ACI also has a close working relationship with the District Agricultural Officer in the Kisii who regularly uses the training center and particularly the demonstration Eco San latrines and high yield gardens when she trains local farmers.
The ACI program builds local capacity. CDEs gain job skills in construction, marketing, and business management. CHPs learn how to train key audiences in better WASH practice as well as how to carry out surveys and basic water tests.
There is a huge and currently unmet need for better constructed, lower priced products that help improve the WASH standards in rural communities. ACI is working to help meet this need in a locally driven and sustainable way.
The RWH units will need occasional flushing but there will be no ongoing maintenance costs. There is no ongoing cost to ACI once the system has been installed, and any oversight costs will be covered by carbon credit financing from the biosand filter project.
Maintenance Cost: $0
Prior art before metrics
See attached budget
Co Funding Amount:
Community Contribution Amount: $39,446
This number includes 6,916.63 - 20% of the cost (approx.) of each RWH system at each school will be provided by the community, through labor and local materials (timber for facia, sand and ballast for base if available, etc.). The remaining $32,530 is a figure computed from the estimated 360 RWH units that will be sold to households over three years (at an estimated 1 for every 2 months per CDE). An average sales price of $90.36 was computed based on 1,000 liter tank purchases with short gutter runs. Of course, this number will vary substantially depending on the number and type of units actually sold.
Fund Requested: $49,600