Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/09/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

The majority of people living around JM Rembe Primary School grow crops like maize and beans. Children and women spend the vast part of their days fetching water for home and school, because of the acute water shortage affecting the entire community. Parents send water they've gathered and food they've grown with their kids to support the school's lunch program.

JM Rembe Primary School has a total enrollment of 498 students and employs nine teachers and two support staff.


JM Rembe Primary School does not have a source of water. Instead, students go out into the surrounding community to find water. The preferred source is Kobala Spring, but that dries up during the months it doesn't rain. They'll go to fill their containers by dunking them in an open, dirty spring running through Rembe during the dry season.

There a small plastic tank at school where they store the water gathered by students, staff and parents. The water from Kobala Spring is much safer for the children to drink, but both water sources cause issues during the dry months. Water gets turbid at other times, and after drinking it students suffer from waterborne diseases.

Even if sickness is avoided for a few weeks, students already miss valuable study time when they leave school to find water.


There are eight filthy pit latrines split between boys, girls, and staff. There are no hand-washing stations.

"This entire community is a mess, and that mess is brought to the school. People are still illiterate and unschooled, and the few learned ones are just teachers," Teacher Alice Wamane said.

"Furthermore, we do not have any health professionals to help us overcome the issue of unhealthy living. That is why diseases and unwanted deaths are very common."

Here's what we're going to do about it:


Training will be held for two 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. The CTC method will prepare students to lead other students into healthy habits, as well as kickstart a CTC club for the school. This CTC club will oversee the new facilities, such as hand-washing stations, and make sure they are kept clean and in working condition. The two hand-washing stations will be delivered to the school, and the club will fill them with water on a daily basis and make sure there is always a cleaning agent such as soap or ash.

VIP Latrines

Two triple-door latrines will be constructed with local materials that the school will help gather. It will be up to the school to divide these six latrine doors between the students to make both boys and girls comfortable. 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. They will no longer have to rely on dirty surface water!

We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. These higher standards will give students the chance they deserve to study hard and get good grades.

This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water And Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO). Our team is pleased to provide the reports for this project (formatted and edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates

September, 2019: Giving Update: JM Rembe Primary School

A year ago, your generous donation helped JM Rembe 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 JM Rembe Primary School. Month after month, their giving supports ongoing sustainability programs that help this school maintain access to safe, reliable water. Read more…

July, 2018: Clean Water at JM Rembe Primary School!

A new rainwater catchment system was built! JM Rembe 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.

New Knowledge

The headteacher helped us plan for hygiene and sanitation training by selecting student leaders from each grade. The school administration agreed to invite parents by sending their children home with the messages. The day of the training was carefully considered by picking a day when most parents would be available. Market days and weekends were avoided to maximize attendance.

Parents fill the classroom for the training

The attendance was so overwhelming. Parents came in large numbers and filled an entire classroom. Separate training sessions were held for parents and pupils. This was because no single room in the school could accommodate both teams combined together.

The huge number was attributed to their willingness and true desire to learn more on how to manage the new project targeting water and sanitation.

Both pupils and parents were active, asking relevant questions and participating in small group discussions and demonstrations that were used to explain facts.

Water disinfection demonstration

We covered several topics, including bathing, oral hygiene, and handwashing with soap as a barrier from germs; operation and maintenance of the new facilities, with each person understanding their role for long-lasting clean water and good health.

The participants were open to correction and improving their lives. It was a committed team that had clear objectives to meet as well. The idea of solar disinfection was picked up immediately and they inquired of its effectiveness too.

Handwashing demonstration at the training

The children in attendance will kickstart a child to child club at their school. The new child to child (CTC) health club will be greatly involved in project management and will be responsible for encouraging good health and hygiene practices amongst their peers, teachers, and the larger community.

Handwashing Stations

Pupils can now enjoy washing their hands with soap thanks to the two handwashing stations that were delivered to their school. Before, there was nowhere to wash hands. 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 both with their peers at school and families at home.

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit (VIP) 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.

Rainwater Catchment Tank

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

Parents, staff, and students helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction. All the while, women cooked meals for the artisans, and the school provided accommodations for the artisans during their work. Local men and women helped our artisans with their manual labor, too.

Excavation of tank site at the school

The process officially began with our staff and school administration looking around the school compound to try and determine the best location for a new rainwater catchment tank. This needed to be the best site with good, clean roofing to catch the rainwater.

Locals making ballast at the school

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.

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.

Installation of gutters at the school

"This project has brought a new dawn in this remote village. I have no memory of a great work of this type being implemented in any school near or far from here since I was born," Mr. Vitalis Obwanda, a local brickmaker, said.

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

"We thank God that through this initiative, the narrative is changing and our children are living in a better world than us even as they labor to quench their thirst for education. I want to believe strongly that this attractive water point will attract more enrollment of children into this school and also boost the morale of the teaching staff to produce better results in the near future," Mr. Obwanda said.

April, 2018: JM Rembe Primary School Project Underway

Dirty water is making students at JM Rembe Primary School sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more. Since our artisans are only just preparing to start construction, we've moved the completion date back three months.

Get to know your school through the narrative 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: JM Rembe Primary School

September, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped JM Rembe Primary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for William Otieno. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help JM Rembe 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!

On a recent visit to JM Rembe Primary School, we saw how the school's appreciation of their water projects is visible in their efforts to put into practice what they were taught during the hygiene and sanitation training a year ago.

Notably, our teams observed that the school community has managed to keep their latrines, classrooms, and offices neat and clean thanks to the help of the available water from their rain tank. They have also thrown their weight into protecting the rain tank and latrines, giving no room for onlookers to question the ongoing infrastructural improvement in the school.

Therefore, we are fully convinced that JM Rembe primary school is headed for great heights.

School Cook Karen Awino shared with us how much these projects have changed not just her work at JM Rembe Primary, but also the lives of the students she supports.

"The tank is near the kitchen area and readily available for use. This gives me easy access to clean water, thus helping me do kitchen activities faster than when we lacked water. As cooks, we now prepare food faster and in good time compared to days when we had to wait for pupils to bring water from outside the school. Worse still, such water was always contaminated."

Karen Awino, School Cook

"I now find joy in my work, and [I] am not disturbed unlike before when water was brought from streams whose quality was not authenticated."

"In addition to that, my joy is [increased]...whenever I realize that our school children get time to read. In the past, they would be going to fetch water outside the school more often than not [and did not have extra time to read]".

Karen with Field Officer Erick

One of those students, 14-year-old William Otieno, can attest to these positive changes.

"Pupils no longer carry water to school daily because the tank gives us enough water to clean classrooms and latrines and also to be used for handwashing purposes. This has helped us improve on various levels of hygiene."

"The overall result is that it has led to good health status for school children and even staff. Cases of absenteeism have greatly reduced and this has led to [an] improvement in performance, seeing many of last year's eighth [grade] candidates join high schools with high marks."

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 JM Rembe 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 JM Rembe 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.


5 individual donor(s)