Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/05/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Chebunaywa Primary School is located in Chebunaywa Village, and boasts the highest number of students in the area. We asked the headteacher why, and he admitted that "this school is a monopoly. We do not have schools near us, and this makes us enjoy a large territory..." There are currently 650 students enrolled, of which 300 are boys and 350 are girls. The school employs 16 teachers and three support staff.

(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. This school might be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)

A normal school day begins with students reporting around 6:40am. There's morning study hall until 7:45am and then normal classes until lunch. Afternoon classes are until 4pm dismissal.


The school doesn't have a source of water. Instead, students each have their own water container that they need to keep full enough for drinking. They are also tasked with finding enough water for cleaning chores, too.

Whenever the children run out of the water they need, they're sent back out into the community. Some of the most convenient sources are open and highly contaminated, but students don't have the time or energy to travel farther.

There are eight Lifestraw containers on school grounds. Though they're meant to filter water, they do not prevent the constant trips to find that water. Headteacher Indeche said, "At this institution, it's not so much common health issues, but is instead the stresses of having an inadequate water supply."


There are eight pit latrines, half for girls and half for boys. Both blocks of latrines are functional, but not nearly enough for the hundreds of students. Many cannot bear to wait in such long latrine lines during break, and have to find an alternative.

Students tend to use the Lifestraw containers as hand-washing stations.

What we can do:


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

The CTC club will oversee the new facilities, such as handwashing stations, and make sure they are kept clean and in working condition. The two handwashing 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. Three doors 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, nor leave class again to find more.

We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. These higher standards will translate to better health which will unlock the potential for higher academic achievement.

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

July, 2019: Giving Update: Chebunaywa Primary School

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to build a rainwater tank for Chebunaywa Primary School in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories. Read more…

May, 2018: Chebunaywa Primary School Project Complete

Chebunaywa Primary School in Kenya now has a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your support: A new rainwater catchment system has been built. Handwashing stations were installed, and students and staff have received training in sanitation and hygiene.

New Knowledge

We scheduled hygiene and sanitation training with the help of Principal Fred Indeche who set up a convenient time and date. He had the school deputy headteacher help him recruit student leaders, teachers, staff, and parent representatives to attend. Gender balance was considered vital in selecting participants.

When we arrived at the school to conduct training, we were greeted by a crowd of pupils. We were curious about what was going on since it was a Saturday and most primary schools don't teach on weekends. On inquiry, we were told that the entire school had wished to attend training. This large group was actually the maximum they could fit in a classroom!

We asked for at least 15 student representatives. We got 46. It eventually got too hot in the classroom and we had to move our chairs and tables outside.

We handed out new notebooks and pens for students to use during training sessions.

A number of topics were covered, including personal hygiene such as 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 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 trainer leading students through the 10 different steps for thorough handwashing! We always try to deliver the new stations in time for training demonstrations.

Students found the session on toothbrushing to be the most interesting. We found out quite a few were not brushing their teeth at all, while another boldly shouted out that he hadn't replaced his toothbrush for three years.

"I never knew this training would be this rich with information, I have learned a lot. I am encouraging my fellow participants to take seriously all lessons learned today, as it is vital for us and to the generations to come. Kindly let us be ambassadors of all this!" 14-year-old Atrinal Kisanga exclaimed.

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.

Handwashing Stations

The two handwashing stations were delivered to the school in time for training. These were placed outside of the boys’ and girls’ latrines to encourage handwashing after latrine use. CTC club members teach other students how to properly wash their hands at the stations, and make sure there is always soap or ash available.

Now the school has the stations they need and the water to fill them.

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.

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 hardcore on a level ground and then reinforcing it using steel, concrete and waterproof cement.

A thick layer of concrete will be plastered over the stones and iron mesh.

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.

Working on the support for the dome.

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.

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

The catchment area is lined with bricks and then plastered. It drains to a soak pit so that this area will always be accessible for students who need water.

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

"Our children will now have enough time to study, as they can now draw clean water from the school compound. And with the available number of toilets, we won't experience the long lines, especially during class hours," Principal Indeche said.

13-year-old Ann Afandi echoed him, saying "We can now draw water from our school compound! We had been wasting much time going to fetch water from outside the school. This indeed affected our performance!"

April, 2018: Chebunaywa Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Chebunaywa 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: Chebunaywa Primary School

November, 2018

A year ago, you funded a rainwater tank at Chebunaywa Primary School in Kenya – creating a life-changing moment for Marion Chelagat. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Chebunaywa 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 visit to Chebunaywa Primary School speaks for itself.

Upon arrival, we saw a clean and well-maintained compound with students dressed cleanly - the complete opposite of what we encountered during our first visit here. It is an indicator that the training on hygiene and sanitation was indeed successful.

The installation of the 50,000-liter tank has enabled the school to access clean and safe water for drinking, cooking, and even cleaning of the classrooms throughout the year. Previously, classrooms used to be cleaned once a week and this definitely did not create a favorable environment for learning. But this has changed drastically due to the availability and accessibility of water.

"Before installation of the facilities in our school, we faced various challenges ranging from hygiene and sanitation, insufficient learning facilities, and even shortage in the number of teachers. We thank God that in this one year of installation we have experienced major improvements," said Senior Teacher John Mundehe.

Clinton Kibisu and Mr. John Mundehe

Other areas of change in the year since the tank was completed include an increased student population, better attendance rates, and better school-wide academic performance.

"Pupils at first feared to come to school knowing they would be tasked with the responsibility of first fetching water for use at school of which they were not comfortable with. Immediately after installation, the rate of absenteeism went down," said Mr. Mundehe.

"I now have time to concentrate on my studies. In the past, class hours used to be interrupted with the teacher on duty assigning pupils with the task of going to fetching water at the spring," said 15-year-old student Marion Chelagat.

Mr. John Mundehe with Marion Chelagat

As a result, Marion is doing better in school. She reported that her class rank rose from eleventh to third over the past year, an improvement she attributes to the fact that she now spends more time concentrating in class and studying, rather than fetching water and missing school due to waterborne illnesses.

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 Chebunaywa 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 Chebunaywa 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 Underwriter - Estate of Dianne Cunningham