Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Nov 2018

Functionality Status:  Low/No Water or Mechanical Breakdown

Last Checkup: 04/09/2024

Project Features

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There is no water at Viyalo Primary School. Without a source of water on the property, the school is at risk of closure. To meet the need here, students have to balance carrying a jug of water with all of their school books each morning.

Most of the students are taken care of by a single mother. Academic performance is low as students suffer from constant hunger. Some of the teachers have seen how these students suffer, and have adopted them into their own homes to get them through school.

A normal day begins early in the morning, with pupils walking to school around 6am. They carry water in their small jerrycans of about five liters to clean their classrooms. Dusty classroom floors must be regularly watered to keep away the dust mites.

The rest of the water is poured into larger barrels to use for cooking and cleaning. Doing so poses a health risk to the students. If one student brings dirty water from home it contaminates the water for everyone. Cases of waterborne diseases are often the reported reason for student absences.

After cleaning, students attend study hall for 30 minutes until morning assembly at 8am. Morning classes are held with short bathroom breaks until lunch when students are dismissed to go back out into the community to find something to eat. Students always look forward to games after their afternoon classes, which they play out in the open field.

As for facilities, there are only seven latrines shared by 533 students and 14 staff. Most of the pits in these are nearly full, and others have broken doors. There is one handwashing station, but there is never enough water left to keep it running.

Hygiene and sanitation levels are so low that the local newspaper wrote a story about it in May, urging that if things didn't improve soon, the school should be shut down.

"I am eager to see the commencement of the project. I reaffirm my commitment to contribute what is required by mobilizing the school community for training. I will also make rules that ensure the management and maintenance of our new facilities," Headteacher Nebert Lwangu said.

What we can do:


Training will be held for three 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. Teachers, students and representatives from the parents will participate in this training so that all know how to practice good personal hygiene.

Handwashing Stations

The teachers will help in supervision as the CTC club members will be responsible for the management and maintenance of the handwashing facilities. This will be done by filling the provided 60-liter plastic containers fitted with fabricated metallic stands with water every day and also ensuring that they are properly stored.

VIP Latrines

Six latrines will be constructed with local materials that the school will help gather. Three 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.

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 from the spring for mixing cement. Once finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff. Students will no longer be responsible to find enough water to carry to school every day.

We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. These higher standards will translate to better academic performance and less sickness being brought back home to families. Better health, better education, and better living standards go hand in hand.

Project Updates

September, 2019: Giving Update: Viyalo Primary School

A year ago, your generous donation helped Viyalo Primary School in Kenya access clean water.

There’s an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water at Viyalo Primary School. Month after month, their giving supports ongoing sustainability programs that help this school maintain access to safe, reliable water. Read more…

November, 2018: Viyalo Primary School Project Complete

A new rainwater catchment system was built! Viyalo Primary School in Kenya now has a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your support. Handwashing stations were installed so that students can clean up after using their new latrines, and students and staff have received training in sanitation and hygiene.

Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction for this 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank was successful!

The school administration and all of the students' parents were so excited for this project. It took them very little time to find sand, stones, and water to help support us in our construction efforts.

"Previously, the school did not have any source of water, so pupils carried water from their respective homes. That was risky," explained Teacher Susan Kanini. The school had been issued a closure notice by the local health department because of poor conditions.

"As a school we are grateful for the water tank, toilets and handwashing facilities," Mrs. Kanini said with a smile.

Her school is no longer at risk of closure.

The Process:

Our staff and the school administration started by looking around the school to determine the best location for their new rainwater catchment tank. This needed to be the best site with good, clean roofing to catch the rainwater. Then, we cleared the site: excavating the soil within the required measurements to make level ground for the tank foundation. The foundation was cast by laying stones on a level ground and then reinforcing it using steel, concrete and waterproof cement.

Both the drawing pipe as well as the washout pipe were affixed as the foundation was lain. 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 so students can easily get water from the tap.

Dome construction could begin after the superstructure had been given enough time to settle. 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 standard.

Once finished, the tank was given three weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Viyalo Primary School, though we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit latrines. All of these new latrines have cement floors that are easy to use and clean. And with a rainwater catchment tank, there should be enough water to keep them clean all the time.

Handwashing Stations

Pupils can now enjoy washing their hands with soap thanks to the two handwashing stations that were delivered to their school.  These new handwashing opportunities will help reduce cases of hygiene-related illness. The training on hygiene has motivated these students to share what they’ve learned with their peers at school and families at home.

New Knowledge

The deputy headteacher did a great job planning a time and place for us to hold hygiene and sanitation training. He worked with the other teachers to select student leaders from each grade who would represent the rest of their peers. These students will form a hygiene health club that will hold activities to promote good hygiene and sanitation and teach those who couldn't attend training. There were 23 participants in all.

Our staff handing out new notebooks and pens to the students so they can record what they learn.

The participants asked many questions to seek clarification on the water, hygiene and sanitation issues. They appreciated the uniqueness of the training, given that it was break from their routine academic lessons. This training was practical and touched on the day to day issues related to their personal health and sanitation.

The school needed to be equipped with knowledge on how to improve standards of hygiene and to also ensure that the sanitation facilities given to them are maintained to serve the school for years to come. Some of the topics covered include water pollution, personal and environmental hygiene, operations and maintenance of the facilities, group dynamics, leadership, and governance. The group activities equipped the new health club to promote hygiene and sanitation awareness at their school.

The students voted to elect leaders for their hygiene health club.

The students had a lot of fun during the handwashing session. They realized that rinsing their hands under water for a second just wasn't enough to get rid of germs. Instead, they learned that they need to use soap and follow 10 steps to be thorough, including scrubbing wrists and under fingernails.

The enthusiasm and passion seen during the training was an indicator that these students will be able to apply the skills and knowledge gained.

October, 2018: Viyalo Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Viyalo Primary School drains students’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know your school through the introduction and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!

Project Photos

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!

Giving Update: Viyalo Primary School

September, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Viyalo Primary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Brighton Luyali. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Viyalo 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 lot has changed at Viyalo Primary School in the last year since their water, sanitation, and hygiene projects have been installed. Back then, most of the latrines were in poor condition thus posing a health hazard to the school. Initially, pupils used to carry water from their respective homes to school. The water was used for cooking and cleaning at the school.

Now, Viyalo Primary tells a different story.

Since the completion of their WaSH projects a little over a year ago, the school now has access to safe and quality water through their 75,000-liter rain tank. This saves the pupils valuable class time and enables them to concentrate on their studies. Additionally, the handwashing facilities make it possible for students to wash their hands after visiting the latrines, a critical point for maintaining personal hygiene and health.

There is also a sense of improved morale throughout the school.

"I am happy for the tank which we were given, because we no longer bring water from our various homes, which was risky for our health," said 13-year-old student Brighton Luyali.

Head Teacher Madam Shanny Fadhili echoed Brighton's appreciation for the projects.

"The pupils no longer bring water from home. They have humble time for learning, and also the community benefits when we have occasions in school [since they can then access the water too]," she said.

Shanny (left) with staff and student

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 Viyalo 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 Viyalo 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.


Project Sponsor - Pineapple Fund