Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 283 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Nov 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/05/2024

Project Features

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Gemeni Salvation Primary School is a quick ride from Senende Market. The school relocated last year after getting support from Hamisi Constituency Development Fund who bought the land for the school.

A normal day is spent doing classwork, fetching water used for cooking and mud-walling classrooms, and cleaning the school compound. The classrooms are walled with iron-sheets donated by parents and well-wishers and partitioned using papyrus mats.

The school cook prepares food in the open due to the school's inability to build a kitchen right now. The mud-walled office has wooden windows donated by the neighbor. This makeshift facility is divided into three to create the office for the headteacher, one for his deputy, and a very small staffroom that is also used as a bookstore.

Parents support the school by donating food, building poles, chairs, tables and even utensils. Some community members donated sufurias (metal pots) to be used to meals for teachers. The pupils have to go back home to eat lunch and rush back for afternoon lessons because the school cannot afford to prepare meals for them.

The majority of the people in this community live below poverty line and engage in casual labor, making about 150 KSH ($1.50) per day. This hard earned cash is made by picking 1,000 tea stems a day.

Crops grown around the school include tea, maize, beans, and yams on small plots of land.


Water and sanitation are still major challenges faced by the school.

The water collected by the pupils from a nearby spring is used immediately upon arrival. The school has no any storage facility, thus the water is either consumed at the kitchen or used for sprinkling on the dusty floor.

The quality of the water brought by pupils from the spring is highly compromised. Teachers fear using it for drinking. They advised their pupils to carry their drinking water from home to reduce the high incidence of diarrhea and stomachaches that result from the intake of the raw water from the spring.

Coughing is so rampant among pupils who drink the spring water. Pupils also suffer from dehydration after playing or during the middle of the school day, due to the lack of a water point at the school. That is not to mention the tiring 2km walk to Sabatia Spring.

This stress reduces their concentration during lesson time.


The school has only four simple pit latrines, two for each gender. The pit latrines are makeshift sanitation points with mud-walled structure and floor smeared with cow dung. Teachers and elementary school students share one latrine.

"The school and the community nearby are still predisposed to several waterborne diseases because of shortages of water, and inadequate hygiene and sanitation facilities," Head Teacher Amatsimi Ababu said.

"An incessant cough witnessed in the pupils is an indicator that the water available for use is unsafe and inadequate for use."

The interventions, through your support, will help the school to eliminate water and sanitation problems.

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 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.

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

Project Updates

October, 2019: Giving Update: Gemeni Salvation Primary School

A year ago, your generous donation helped Gemeni Salvation 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 Gemeni Salvation 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: Gemeni Salvation Primary School Project Complete

A new rainwater catchment system was built! Gemeni Salvation 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

Hygiene and sanitation training was planned with the help of the school administration. Pupils at our sessions were invited from classes 4-7, with school board representatives and support staff who also have children at the school. The headteacher invited a few teachers, including the one in charge of sanitation, to attend on behalf of the others who were busy carrying out other school activities.

Trainer Jacqueline Shigali handing out new notebooks and pens to the participants.

Training was officially attended by 24 people, not counting the extra eyes on us during fun activities like demonstrations. It was easy to attract others because we had to meet outside under the shade of a tree.

The school needed information 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 CTC health club to promote hygiene and sanitation awareness at their school.

Students were particularly interested in the oral health topic. Learners were given toothpaste and a toothbrush and were shown the best way to brush. Some of the pupils admitted that it was their first time ever seeing toothpaste.

Poor oral hygiene is detrimental to human health. The fact that the majority of the children cannot afford toothpaste should not deny them the chance to stay healthy. Learners were so happy to learn that either ash, salt or soap are effective replacements for toothpaste. They were encouraged to practice toothbrushing at least twice daily, most importantly after breakfast and supper.

"The free toothpaste made the pupils happy and encouraged them to use the local resources to promote their health. We also believe that the project and all that has happened since we entered partnership with your organization will have long-term impact on the lives of these learners," said Headteacher Amatsimbi Ababu.

Headteacher Amatsimbi Ababu

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.

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.

Rainwater Catchment Tank

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

We are privileged to have the water tank built within our compound. Gemeni is a young school with not much of infrastructure to talk about, but the water tank is something for us to be proud of," said Teacher Roslyne.

"Water is life and we believe that our pupils are now in safe hands as far as water and sanitation are concerned. Water will not only quench our thirst but also be very vital in matters pertaining to compound sanitation and the hygiene of our pupils. They shall use water to clean their latrines and to wash their hands too."

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.

Excavating and leveling the ground

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 Gemeni Primary School, though we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.

October, 2018: Gemeni Salvation Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Gemeni Salvation 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: Gemeni Salvation Primary School

October, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Gemeni Salvation Primary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Arnold Oida. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Gemeni Salvation 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!

"Before the project implementation, the pupils experienced a severe challenge of sanitation facilities. Most of them were afraid to use the log-floored latrines because they were on the verge of collapsing and they opted for open defecation," reflected Mr. Jack Wegulo, a teacher at Gemeni Salvation Primary School. We caught up with Mr. Wegulo during a recent visit to his school to hear how the installation of their WaSH projects has impacted their school over the last year.

"Water was also a big challenge because the only source was a spring which is 1 kilometer away," Jack continued.

"The pupils used to be late for class and the hygiene standards were low. Since last year, pupils have been saving on time and energy and they are also clean. The water in the tank helps us to irrigate our vegetable garden when the rains subside. We as teachers are really enjoying drinking water from the tank after classes."

Our team also heard how the improved WaSH facilities at Gemeni Salvation Primary School have helped to curb the transmission of water- and hygiene-related infections between pupils and reduced the rate of absenteeism among the school children.

Mr. Jack Wegulo at the rain tank's tap

One such pupil is 17-year-old Student President Arnold Oida, who also shared his perspective on how these WaSH projects have impacted his experience as a learner at Gemeni Salvation Primary School.

"We now have water for drinking, washing hands and cleaning classes and latrines throughout the school day...School days are no longer stressful and strenuous because of the ease of access to clean and sufficient water."

Arnold, Mr. Wegulo, and student Faith pose with the rain tank

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 Gemeni Salvation 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 Gemeni Salvation 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