Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 477 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/10/2024

Project Features

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Matsigulu Primary School is located in Mastigulu Village in Vihiga county of Western Kenya. The school has a population of 477 - 460 pupils (229 boys and 231 girls), 27 teachers and five support staff.

Pupils arrive at school by 6am. The teacher on duty organizes them for manual work, where some pupils do the clean-up by sweeping classes while others go to fetch water that is used for cooking meals for both teachers and class eight pupils.

Pupils go to class at 7am for their preps as they wait for the classes to begin at 8:20am. There are two breaks in the morning which both take about 30 minutes and then go back to class for lessons till 12:45pm.

There is no feeding program for pupils in class one to class seven pupils. Those students break for lunch to their respective homes until 1:45pm and go back to class for their lesson from 2pm to 3:10pm and break for games.

Class seven and eight pupils normally go back to class for preps, while the lower classes go home to help their parents before they start their homework.


The students fill up jerrycans with water from a protected spring located between one and two km from the school. Water is stored in the same plastic jerrycans that are used to draw water from the spring. Drinking water is stored separately in filter containers - devices that are meant to filter the water for safe drinking.

However, there is evidence the original water source is contaminated, and this isn't always filtered out through the containers.  The headteacher reported outbreak of waterborne diseases in the school and has contributed to poor performance in the school.

School officials saw the project implemented in Matsigulu Secondary School and they were impressed with it. They reached out to the principal of the secondary school who later linked them to us.


The latrines on the school grounds are made of bricks and cement, the roof is done by iron sheets, and doors made of timber. Most of the doors are broken, thus the pupils lack privacy. And to make matters worse, the latrines are almost full.

"On behalf of the school I would like to thank you for your coming and hope that the work you are planning to do will improve our performance," Mr. John Igadi, school headteacher, said.

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: Matsigulu Primary School

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

February, 2019: Matsigulu Primary School Project Complete

There is a new rainwater catchment system at Matsigulu Primary School! Students have a 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.

Rainwater Catchment Tank

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

"I am very happy that the project has finally been implemented. Our pupils used to go to the spring to fetch water and they used to quarrel a lot with villagers. And later they got unsafe water from the river," said Teacher Beatrice.

Teacher Beatrice, Headteacher John Igadi, and the school board chair

"But now we have clean and safe water for drinking."

The only construction challenge was finding enough water to mix cement. Parents ended up ferrying water from the community to the school.

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

New Knowledge

Since it was school holiday, we were worried about finding students to come learn about good hygiene and sanitation. But during the construction work, we asked Mr. Chem Vulimu, the school board chair to contact parents and let them know how important this training would be for the health of their children. He was successful in that we had 24 participants waiting for us at school on training day.

The students and their teachers needed knowledge on how to improve standards of hygiene and ensure that the sanitation facilities given to them are well-maintained for years to come. Some of the topics we covered included water pollution and treatment methods, handwashing, dental hygiene, operations and maintenance of the facilities, group dynamics, and leadership and governance.

Learning about how to best care for the tank and its water

Students loved the handwashing demonstration at the new handwashing stations. The entire activity took a bit longer than planned because every single student wanted to participate.

These leadership activities segued into the establishment of a student health club and the election of its leaders. This club will share all of the new information and practices that they learned.

"We thank God for the great work he has done for us," said Headteacher Igadi John.

"We also thank [Field Officer] Madam Rose for her encouragement and hard work toward the implementation of the project. The training on health promotion will equip the participants with information that will ensure that their hygiene and sanitation standards are enhanced."

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.

January, 2019: Matsigulu Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Matsigulu Primary School drains students’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to build a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this 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: Matsigulu Primary School

October, 2019

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Matsigulu 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!

Life for students and staff at Matsigulu Primary School has changed since the installation of their rain tank, handwashing stations, and 6 VIP latrines last year.

This is because they now have peace as a school community compared to the past year when they used to quarrel about the losing of jerricans. On this matter, parents would approach the school and start raising noise about their lost property.

Secondly, the school now has clean and safe water for drinking from their rain tank, and they no longer rely on students bringing water from home. On our most recent visit, we saw how the school grounds are kept neat and tidy and the classrooms are cleaned with water from the tank.

"The biggest changes in our school [are] that we wash [our] hands every day [and] we now have our own toilets [as staff]. A lot of time was wasted last year going to bring water, but now the time is compensated in classes and our performance has improved. Our LifeStraw containers run throughout [the day so] we have enough water," said Sanitation Teacher Mrs. Beatrice Andare.

Sanitation Teacher Mrs. Beatrice Andare at the rain tank's tap

15-year-old student Marion Kageha also reflected on how we experience as a learner has been impacted by these WaSH projects over the last year.

"We are safe and free from waterborne diseases because the water in the tank is [treated] and readily available," Marion said.

"We used to go the spring, and it was a must [that] we cross the tarmac road and it was risky for our lives but now water is found within the school, hence saving a lot of time in class."

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 Matsigulu 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 Matsigulu 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.


Central Congregational Church
Christ Lutheran Church Sunday School
Central Congregational Church
Legato Capital Mangement LLC
ditoma limited
10 individual donor(s)