Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 479 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/09/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Rabuor Primary School is located in Rabuor Village of Siaya County, Kenya. It has a total student enrollment of 464, most of which are from very poor farming families who barely earn enough to get by. The school employs 12 teachers and three support staff, who are parental figures to these young children.

The school has a unique landscape dotted with jagged clusters of igneous rocks; a resource that the school has benefitted from every time they tackle a construction project. Students also enjoy playing on or basking on these rocks during break times. The community members of Rabuor practice subsistence farming; growing an assortment of maize, beans and yams on their small plots.


Academics should be the focus of any normal day at school, but there are many interruptions throughout. At some points, pupils have to be sent our of the school to find water that will be used to prepare lunch. This is especially common during the driest months of the year, when the small plastic tank the school has doesn't get rain on a daily basis.

There is a hand-dug well in the neighboring community, but even that source dries up during the hottest time of the year, and it was dry at the time of this visit. At this well, students would tie their buckets to a rope and lower them down the hatch to pull up water. When students can't access this well, they walk even farther to a spring. When springs dry up, things get even worse. The school is especially hard-hit because of their lack of water storage facilities; they're not able to prepare for the dry times.

All of this walking and the heavy lifting of water tires these students, and they have trouble focusing in their classes. Whether it be from the well or spring, administration is sure that these students are consuming dirty water because of all the cases of typhoid reported.


There are some useable pit latrines on school grounds, but the pits are almost full. These are subject to overuse, for there are way too many students relying on each latrine. The lines are long, and students spend an awfully uncomfortable time as they wait during class break. These latrines are being swept out on a daily basis, but they need to be rinsed with water. Cleaning with water is often sacrificed because it would require extra trips out into the community.

Headteacher Alfred Adero said, "The health situation of our pupils and the community at large is in a very unsatisfying state because of inadequate hygiene and sanitation facilities, coupled with acute water shortages cutting across the area. The situation gets worse during the dry season when a few springs found around here dry up and people have to get water from bad sources. Pupils suffer the most because the school also gets hard hit due to inadequacy of water storage facilities."

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.

Hand-Washing Stations

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. 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.

We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. These higher standards will translate to better academic performance!

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: Rabuor Primary School

A year ago, your generous donation helped Rabuor 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 Rabuor 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 Rabuor Primary School

A new rainwater catchment system was built! Rabuor 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 training officers requested that there be fifteen participants comprised of students, teachers, and parents. These participants would then be expected to be ambassadors of hygiene and sanitation among their peers. However, Headteacher Agutu was not happy to hear that he would have to select only a few student leaders, believing that every student needed the information firsthand. On the day of training, a bell was rung to summon all the students to the assembly ground where board members had already gathered to hear what facilitators had to share.

We held a separate management training just for the school administration and some parents. The parents showed a lot of interest in learning how to take care of the tank and new latrines, probably because of how hard they worked to support our artisans during construction.

During the training with all of the students, the trainers were surprised to discover strong gender bias among students. Everyone was involved in an election for members of the new child to child health club, which would spearhead hygiene and sanitation management. They only elected boys, even to oversee the girls' latrines! The training officers implored everyone to create a culture where women and girls are encouraged to participate in leadership. After this, the school held a new election to select more girls.

Students really enjoyed the handwashing demonstrations. The trainer taught them a dance to remember all 10 steps for proper handwashing. With the dance, students were able to quickly grasp and internalize each step.

"This is the knowledge that will rescue us from a lot of health challenges and will prevent loss of lives, time, and money. Therefore, I promise you that we will work hard to ensure that we teachers, parents, and even students follow everything you have taught us here today for the betterment of our lives," Teacher Manasses Ochieng' said.

Handwashing Stations

Rabuor Primary School now understands the importance of handwashing. Not only have they embraced the two new handwashing stations we delivered, but they've actually constructed supplementary handwashing stations all around school grounds. The new stations are outside of the new latrines, while handwashing containers have been placed outside of the old latrines and all of the classrooms.

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.

Pit latrine construction required a lot of perseverance. Being the rainy season, the workers had to make multiple attempts to get a pit deep enough before it was flooded with rainwater.

Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction for this 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank was successful! The only hiccup throughout the entire process was rainy weather that delayed our artisans.

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.

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. 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.

Finally, 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.

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

The headteacher is very excited about all of the drinking water that will be available for his students. He's already thinking about the future and has proposed that the tank's water should only be used for drinking, cooking school lunch, and some minor cleaning. He's asked to continue using the old unprotected sources to undertake major cleaning chores and the watering of any vegetation.

Mr. Godfrey Ochieng' is a parent of a Rabuor Primary School student and local mason.

"I love this tank. It is the biggest I've seen in all my life," he said. "I observed every part of this tank as it was carefully constructed because I am a qualified mason. I can assure you that this tank was well-constructed with artisans who are experienced, and they really loved their work! Therefore it is durable and it is the pride of our school."

April, 2018: Rabuor Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Rabuor 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: Rabuor Primary School

September, 2019

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Rabuor 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!

The initiation of the water, sanitation, and hygiene projects at Rabuor Primary School a little over a year ago has brought many changes to the school.

On a recent visit there, we saw how these projects and our training last year have aided in strengthening students' and staffs' drive to increase their uptake of health messages touching on sanitation and hygiene, and on other issues pertaining to the promotion of human and environmental health.

It is evident that the school is so concerned with the general welfare of its students and is committed to shaping each student to become a responsible citizen, including when it comes to their health. The school community seriously took in every detail covered during the training last year and are applying each practice to the letter. The school's compound and both students' and staff members' buildings are very tidy. According to staff and children, this level of cleanliness has definitely contributed to the prevention of diseases at Rabuor Primary School.

Field Officer Erick Wagaka with student Juliet Atieno

The school has done well to add more gutters to their rain tank which help in harvesting more water each time it rains. This shows their desire to help themselves and to harvest as much water as possible. Their compound is clean and all other buildings are neat. Awarding such a group with the project was clearly worth it. At no point within the year have they lacked water. The harvested water is used sparingly to help in cooking, drinking, and cleaning. Generally, the school is doing extremely well in terms of project management and maintenance.

Deputy Head Teacher Godfrey Ochieng shared with us how these projects have had a positive ripple effect beyond the school's compound.

"There is peace between school children and villagers since they no longer quarrel over water at the spring located outside the school the way they used to do before construction of the tank," he said.

"The project brought parents on board and they were able to contribute both [labor] and material resources. As a result, some of the parents have realized that the huge rocks found on their farms can be harnessed to support the economic needs of their families. Even parents who feared coming to the school are now free to come and check on the welfare of the school and the new projects. The new project outputs have also given Rabuor village and the school a good name to be admired."

Deputy Head TeacherGodfrey Ochieng with student

Beaming with joy and a wiseness beyond her years, 12-year-old student Juliet Atieno offered her personal take on the changes she has experienced at Rabur Primary since the WaSH projects were installed last year.

Juliet Atieno

"As students, our self-esteem has improved. The sense of being worthy and loved has helped us to concentrate on our books leading to remarkable academic performance. Besides, we have enough energy and stay awake for [the whole day] because we are no longer bothered by the tiring task of carrying water to school or worse still, breaking lessons and going out to fetch water. These are all in [the] history books of our school life."

Godfrey, Juliet, and Erick

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 Rabuor 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 Rabuor 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.