Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/07/2024

Project Features

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Imbale Primary School is found in Ikolomani sub-county in Kakamega County. It was established in 1959 and is sponsored by Church of God.

The day for the 835 students at the school starts at around 6am.

Pupils in the upper classes of seven and eight start arriving at school for morning study hall, which takes one hour. Then follows the time for cleaning the classrooms. The pupils only sweep classes in the morning due to the scarcity of water in the school. Meanwhile, some pick rubbish around the school grounds under the direction of the teacher on duty.

At 8am a bell rings and they run to the toilet before they enter their classrooms for normal classes. The pupils have two breaks in the morning. At 12:45pm the rest of the pupils break for lunch made at the school. Students in class seven and eight must contribute maize and beans for their lunch.

At 2pm they move to afternoon classes until 4pm. Some classes break for games while others go bring water in the protected spring. Thereafter they go home at 5pm.


The pupils collect water throughout the day from a protected spring located roughly .5km from the school. They use uncovered five-liter jerrycans to collect the water. The water is carried back to the school where it is stored in larger containers to be used for cooking, cleaning, and washing.

The pupils waste a lot of time going to fetch water from the protected spring which is far from their school. Which takes up their learning time.

"Pupils carry water in small containers that are dirty and they go to the spring 6 times so that the school can have enough water," Mr. Alex Amutai, a teacher at the School, said.

Adding a clean water source at the school will save time wasted collecting water and provide a safe water storage point.


The students use latrines on the school grounds to go to the bathroom.

The latrines are not in good condition. They are full, many have potholes, some doors are broken, they are made of bricks and cement but the walls are damaged.

There are no handwashing stations for the students to use.

"Kindly assist us so that the school can change its face physically. I am sure, if assisted, the pupils will not waste time and their performance academically will go up," Mr. Amutai 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: Imbale Primary School

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

There is a new rainwater catchment system at Imbale 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!

Imbale Primary School is now one of the happiest schools. The school has been suffering for many years. Because this school is so rural, it was neglected by other development groups. Now that there's water on school grounds, pupils will perform better in class. Teachers are also so happy that their work is going to be easier without the distraction of finding water.

"We thank the Lord because it doesn't matter how many years we suffered. He will bring a solution! That's why you are here. We now have clean safe and drinking water," reflected Teacher Everlyne.

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

New Knowledge

We worked with the headteacher to recruit students for hygiene and sanitation health club training. Student representatives were chosen from each grade to come to learn, and are expected to return to their classes and teach their peers.

21 students met us in a classroom on a sunny, breezy day. Everyone was eager to learn more about the facilities along with new information to stay healthy. There was a bit of competition between the boys and girls who could answer the questions first.

This was a fun club to train!

We covered a number of topics together including:

- leadership and governance
- primary healthcare
- handwashing
- child rights
- water treatment
- care of the facilities

"The school and our parents worked so hard to ensure that we have provided the support for the successful implementation of the project. That is when ownership comes in and we promise that the tank, toilets and the handwashing stations will be well taken care of by us pupils in guidance by the hygiene club that has been formed," said 13-year-old Abigael.

Group discussions

The only challenge during training was that all school pupils wanted to attend training. They were making noise by gathering outside and peeping through the windows. One of the teachers on duty talked to them privately and they were able to go back to their classrooms. The entire student body will be taught these same topics by the hygiene club, so they don't need to worry about missing out.

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.

The new handwashing stations were delivered in time to be used for training demonstrations.

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: Imbale Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Imbale Primary School drains students’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to build them 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 Videos

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: Imbale Primary School

October, 2019

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Imbale 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 rain tank, handwashing stations, and VIP latrines installed at Imbale Primary School last year have greatly helped the school. Pupils now have enough water to drink and even to clean the school environment. Classrooms are nowadays cleaned daily and there is also sufficient water for kitchen and general use.

The rain tank has helped the school to solve their water problem. Cases of water-related diseases have greatly reduced and this has also held to reduce cases of absenteeism in school, in turn improving students' academic performance.

"We have observed great changes in our school in as far as water and sanitation are concerned," said Teacher Mr. Victor Livondo.

"Our pupils now have enough water to drink and even to clean as well. The water harvesting tank, VIP latrines, and the handwashing facilities are so helpful to the teachers, pupils, and even school workers. As a school, we are never worried since we are sure that our pupils are now using clean and safe water."

"At the moment we do not have any major challenges in water and sanitation...We shall work together with [the field officers] to ensure that the facilities are well utilized and maintained so that they serve the school for a long time."

Mr. Livondo at the rain tank

13-year-old student Eunice Mmboga reflected on how these WaSH projects have changed her experience at school over the last year.

Note: To hear Eunice say thanks, check out her video on the "Photos" tab on this project page!"

"The project has changed my life greatly. Before this project came to our school we would stay thirsty throughout the day. During days when the sun is so hot, our bodies would be dehydrated and we could not even concentrate in class."

"Today, I take water as many times as I want in a single day. And since the tank is built by cement the water is always so cold and tasty. At least we can now concentrate in class...In our school, we do not have any problem with water. "

Eunice, Mr. Livondo, and Field Officer Jacklyne Chelagat celebrate the rain tank's water

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 Imbale 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 Imbale 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.