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: 12/02/2022

Project Features

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Community Profile

People living around Kenneth Marende Primary School get up very early in the morning to make breakfast and get ready for school. Pupils start their walk to school while their parents work on their farms.

Morning study hall begins at 7am, and then normal classes stretch from 8:15am to 4:15pm. There's an hour for lunch, with short breaks between most classes. Students learn an array of subjects including science, humanities, math, and languages. This school is situated on the boundary of two counties, Vihiga and Siaya, with a good road network that makes it easier to get to school.

The school was established by the Kenyan National Assembly Speaker Mr. Kenneth Marende in 2009. It grew to a total student enrollment of 729 students. There are 16 teachers employed here, along with two support staff who help things run smoothly.

(Editor's Note: While this many people may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only support a population of 350-500 people. To learn more about how we determine the number of people served, click here.)


The school only has a plastic tank with a small capacity of 5,000 liters. There are also a couple of barrels they use to store water, but these have rusted and affected the quality of the water.

Since there isn't enough reliable water on school grounds, students have to carry water from home every morning. Some of their containers are poured into the water barrels, while the rest is delivered to either the kitchen or stored in the back of classrooms.

Students report that they fetch their water from a variety of sources, most of which yield dirty water. For example, some villages have open wells from which water is pulled up by a rope and bucket. Other students stop by open water sources that are visibly contaminated. Their goal is to fill their containers with water no matter what the quality, since a full container of water is their ticket through the school gate.

School administration told us that a majority of student absences are due to water and hygiene-related illnesses.


There are only two latrines for the students and two for the staff. The latrines shared by the boys and girls are practically full to the top of the pit. There is a urinal for boys that is made from bamboo stalks that form an enclosed area. There are no handwashing stations.

The school has received two closure notices saying that if the latrine issues aren't resolved, students will be sent back home indefinitely.

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.

Handwashing Stations

This CTC club will oversee the new facilities, such as handwashing 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 (edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates

09/17/2019: Giving Update: Kenneth Marende Primary School

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

07/24/2018: Kenneth Marende Primary School Project Complete

A new rainwater catchment system was built! ACK Hon. Kenneth Marende 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 was entirely planned and organized by the officer in charge of the project with the help of the school's deputy headteacher who mobilized both the pupils, teachers and parent's representatives. Participants were selected with gender in mind to ensure that there is an equal sharing of information across both genders.

The attendance was exactly as we expected, with participants arriving ready to learn more on hygiene practices and the facilities built by us. Being the last day of the week, there was enough time and space to carry on with the training with less interference on the school programs.

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.

"I believe that this training will help us to maintain improve on proper hygiene practices, as well as be sanitation cautious in our daily routine at school and in the community at large. Furthermore, it will help us to always put in place preventive measures to reduce waterborne diseases and improve hygiene status in the school," Mrs. Caroline Andalia, a teacher at the school, said

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.

The training made the participants realize that information is power, which will enable them to take up any challenges that may arise in terms of water, sanitation and hygiene at their school and even back at their homes.

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

Girls at their new 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.

Boys love their new latrines

The terrain, especially during construction of 3 doors VIP latrines for the boys, was sloped, so it had to be leveled before setting the foundation. Also, the rains began in the afternoon and ended in the evening most days and delayed the construction process. Though faced with all these challenges, the artisans braved through and completed the work successfully.

Rainwater Catchment Tank

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

Students bring water for cement

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.

Clearing ground for tank

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.

Laying rocks for tank foundation

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.

Iron mesh bottom for tank

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.

Wire mesh for tank walls

The catchment area was dug, plastered, and a staircase installed.

Dome construction could begin only after the superstructure had been given enough time to settle and dry. 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.

Completed tank

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

"This is a very awesome tank, we have never seen such a big tank. For sure, this new water point is going to solve all our water problems forever. We could not imagine that a day will come when such a reliable water source, will be found within our very own compound just at the doorstep," Mrs. Eliva Apiyo, a teacher at the school, said.

05/31/2018: Kenneth Marende Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Kenneth Marende 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

Rainwater Catchment

Rainwater is collected off strategic areas of a roof, enters a custom guttering system (which filters out debris) and leads to a storage tank. Tanks can vary in sizes and are determined by population and average rainfall patterns. Water can be stored for months, is easily treated in the tank, and is accessible through taps. These projects are implemented at schools with proper roof lines and gutter systems to make them successful.

Giving Update: Kenneth Marende Primary School

September, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Kenneth Marende Primary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Dickson Andafu. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kenneth Marende 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 life of students and staff at Kenneth Marende Primary School has greatly changed in terms of water access, sanitation status, as well as hygiene practices since the installation of their WaSH facilities last year. Previously, the school did not have enough facilities to accommodate their needs for safe water, sound sanitation, and proper hygiene. Provision of the 50,000-liter rain tank has seen this school take responsibility for regulating its water access by introducing rationing measures to ensure that there is water in the tank whenever possible.

Regarding sanitation, the school has separated the latrines for boys and girls, unlike in the past when both boys and girls shared the same facility which was only separated by iron sheets. This situation was highly uncomfortable for students and robbed them of privacy.

The concept of handwashing with soap has been taken in with lots of pride by both teachers and the pupils who are all up in arms to ensure that no one misses washing their hands, especially after visiting the latrine. All this has been achieved through the provision of the rain tank, VIP latrines, and handwashing stations that were delivered to the school last year.

Students get a drink from the rain tank

Little by little, the entire school compound is changing aesthetically now too. Students and staff are gradually making changes where they can to reflect their pride in the school. They started with planting trees and flowers to let them grow around the area to make it look more beautiful.

"Ever since we were blessed with these facilities, our pupils do not carry water any more from their homes which came from different sources - some safe, while others contaminated. High cases of reported sickness were rampant here with [the] majority of the pupils complaining of headache, stomachache and general body weakness," said Teacher Mrs. Sarah Oyiera Okech.

"Today, we proudly say that such cases have drastically reduced due to the fact that we have our own water point which we closely monitor to ensure that it is always in good condition. We thank the donors for helping us have separate latrines for boys and girls which has created order and organization in our school. Handwashing in this school is now part and parcel of our daily exercise, including teachers who now share the facilities with the pupils."

Student Dickson Andafu turns on the rain tank tap next to Teacher Mrs. Sarah Oyiera Okech

One of those pupils, 14-year-old Dickson Andafu, shared how these changes have affected him personally as a learner.

"I come to school every day knowing that I will be spending my time in class learning without being sent out to fetch water from the neighborhood. The water from the tank in our school is good for my health as I always drink it with lots of confidence because the water is safe. Cleanliness is now better because we have water at the school which helps promote daily hygiene practices."

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 Kenneth Marende 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 Kenneth Marende 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!


Pledgeling Foundation (Evite)
Microsoft Matching Gifts Program
Fishing Creek Baptist Church
Faith Chapel
8 individual donor(s)