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: 07/06/2023

Project Features

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We were excited when we first arrived at Shivanga Primary School because we noticed a well with a pump right in the center of the school grounds. This visit to evaluate the need for water and sanitation facilities might be much shorter than planned! But upon talking to Headteacher Mirriam Nenet, we learned that this well and pump signified an unfulfilled need for Shivanga Primary.

The community, school, and local government partnered together to dig a well at Shivanga. However, the contractors didn't get too deep before they hit a large, unmovable rock. At that, they ceased their efforts and installed the pump that had already been purchased.

Now, students are asked to carry containers of water with them from home each morning. They aren't able to carry enough for cleaning, cooking for the lunch program, and drinking. This forces the staff to send their students back out in search of more water.

"I am a student of Shivanga Primary School. Here in our school, we have a big problem of not enough clean water. This has been resulting in poor performance, a lot of absences because of diseases like typhoid," shared 13-year-old Elizabeth.

"It has really affected us."

Shivanga Primary School was started by the government of Kenya in 1960. It had a low population of 22 students compared the 816 students enrolled today. The school has 15 classes with only 13 classrooms.

It is surrounded by a sugarcane community. Sugarcane is grown, harvested, and processed nearby.

A normal day for a student starts at 6:30am. The teacher on duty stands at the gate and gives instructions to the students for cleaning chores. When finished, they sit in study hall until morning announcements. Normal classes are broken up by short breaks and an hour's lunch.

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

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

There are currently 22 latrines for 816 students, but a large handful of them are missing doors.

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 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: Shivanga Primary School

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

There is a new rainwater catchment system at Shivanga 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!

"It's a blessing that you came to our rescue when we cried for help. The water tank will help us a lot in cutting on class disruptions and enhance healthy living. We were not sure of the sources of water we used to drink," said Headteacher Miriam.

When talking about the success of this project, we can't forget about all the community did to help. The parents were willing to help out with any and all issues. To ensure that there were enough stones to construct the tank foundation, the headteacher only had to ask and two parents volunteered to crush stones into ballast. Sand was supplied by youth and many fathers came to the school to help our artisans.

It was a nice experience working with such a supportive community.

All of the stones gathered and delivered by parents

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

New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was held with participants selected from classes four to six. The school's headteacher randomly selected 30 students across the three classes to represent the entire school. Two teachers who are in charge of sanitation in the school were selected to be part of the training.

Training was held on a sunny morning in an early childhood education classroom. Those young students were already out playing and waiting for their parents to pick them up. The location of the room was excellent as it was in a separate block from the rest of the school, making it quiet and conducive for learning.

We covered a number of topics together including:

– leadership and governance
– primary healthcare
– handwashing

– child rights
– water treatment
– care of the facilities

Learning how to best care for the tank and its water

The training was successful and the pupils certainly did not shy away from asking questions.

"It is a good thing that you had this training conducted. Otherwise, I am sure that we would never have known that the tank needed the kind of care that it does," admitted Teacher Wanyama.

Proper care of the tank will ensure that it provides safe water for years to come.

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: Shivanga Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Shivanga 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: Shivanga Primary School

October, 2019

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Shivanga 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!

Walking into the compound of Shivanga Primary School on a recent early Monday morning, not even one student is in possession of a container in the name of bringing water to school.

This is a good sight compared to a year ago when the students were required to carry water to school.

This group seems to be up in arms to see that the situation they were in a year ago does not come back and for that, we will be with them through this journey to offer our help and support in monitoring and evaluation for anything they might need.

"A great group it is," said Field Officer Ian upon his evaluation of this visit.

The school administration sometimes requests for supply of water from the nearby Butali sugar company, which helps to supplement their rain tank's supply during the dry season. This shows that the school is eager to improve their water situation however and whenever they can, all while taking good care of their facilities. The school compound is clean and one can already spot new lines of flowerbeds in the school, indicating both pride and development as a result of their improved access to water.

Head Teacher Miriam Memeti smiles at the rain tank with Field Officer Ian Nakitare

"The biggest change is that children no longer have to move in and out of class to go fetch water," said Head Teacher Mrs. Miriam Memeti.

"As a parent, I feel good as there were so many hazards they were exposed to. Also, now, we have clean water. One is sure to find clean water at any one point as opposed to when you had to pour it out to confirm both color and smell."

10-year-old student Anne Steven also shared her reflections on how the WaSH projects have impacted her experience as a learner over the last year.

"Nowadays we don't have to carry jerrycans to school. We have water in our school and it is clean. Nowadays we even mop our classes more than once a week."

Beatrice, Anne, and Ian at 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 Shivanga 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 Shivanga 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.


Facebook Donations
William S & Blair Y Thompson Family Foundation
Braren Family Foundation
Folsom Memorial United Methodist Church
Microsoft Matching Gifts
10 individual donor(s)