Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/17/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

There is no source of water at Ikoli Primary School. When students need water, they have to leave school and walk to Andati Spring in the surrounding village. Since this water is shared with the community, students often have to wait their turn at the back of the line.

The students get tired since the full containers of water are heavy for them. Time meant for studying and socializing is wasted as students look for water. This water is poured into one of the two filter containers the school has outside, while the rest is kept in the same containers used for fetching.

"The [filters] cannot supply enough drinking water, and most pupils prefer to draw water from the spring which is not treated. If you construct the water tank for us I am sure I will have a healthy school," said Deputy Headteacher Emmanuael.

Lack of water in the school has compromised hygiene. We observed that utensils are not cleaned very well. The latrines are dirty and smelly, and the lack of water is compounding this problem. There is no water to mop the dusty floors, so jiggers are bothering several students.

Ikoli Primary School was established in 2013 by the county. Enrollment that first year was 46 pupils across four grades. It has since grown into a full school from grades one to eight. Early Childhood Development classes are also held in the adjacent church building. Now, there are 559 students taught by 14 teachers. There isn't much more room to grow on the school's one-acre plot of land. The teachers do not have a staff room, and so they sit on the verandah of the classroom building.

Ikoli is a peaceful village with lots of trees, located about one hour away from our office.

Students start arriving from 6:30am to 8, immediately starting on cleaning the compound, sweeping classrooms and doing homework. Normal learning begins at 8:20am and go until lunch at 12:40pm. Classes begin back up at 2pm. Students have this long lunch window because most have to return home to find something to eat. There are games and club meetings at 3:10 before students are dismissed. Some students are always scheduled to go out and draw water from a spring and bring it back to school for storage. This water is stored overnight and used the following day.

What we can do:

Rainwater Catchment Tank

A rainwater catchment tank will help curb water scarcity here, enabling pupils to settle back into a steady class routine. This 50,000-liter tank will be used for drinking, cooking lunch for grades seven and eight as they prepare for high school entrance exams, handwashing, and cleaning the latrines and classrooms.

VIP Latrines

The school administration admitted that the girls' latrines have gotten so bad that they need to be demolished. We will have these demolished and build new latrines in their stead. While the latrines we build are normally split between the boys and girls, we will set aside all six latrine doors to serve the girls.

Handwashing Stations

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.


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. This CTC club will oversee the new facilities, such as handwashing stations, and make sure they are kept clean and in working condition. They will be ambassadors for hygiene and sanitation among their peers at school and their families at home.

Project Updates

October, 2019: Giving Update: Ikoli Primary School

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

January, 2019: Ikoli Primary School Project Complete

There is a new rainwater catchment system at Ikoli 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.

New Knowledge

We start planning for hygiene and sanitation training during construction. With the help of the headteacher and sanitation and hygiene teacher, the school selected students from classes four to six.

We met in a classroom during a hot, sunny day. The 23 participants were very active and showed great interest in what they were learning.

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.

Tank care training held at the tank

These leadership activities segued into establishment of a student health club and the election of its leaders. This club will share the message of good hygiene and health that they learned during training.

The students were most interested in dental hygiene as the trainer demonstrated toothbrushing. One of the participants said that his mother had taught him to brush his teeth before taking breakfast to avoid vomiting because of the toothpaste, but he learned the contrary and promised to return home to teach his mother.

"This training will help us improve on sanitation and hygiene both here at school and at home," said 13-year-old Simon.

"We have learned how to keep ourselves clean and drinking clean water."

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.

A new handwashing station placed outside of the girls' latrines

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit latrines. These were all given to the female students since they had the greatest need. 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.

The girls were especially happy to have these new latrines because their old latrines had just collapsed

Rainwater Catchment Tank

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

''I am feeling very excited because of the water in the school," said 14-year-old Christopher.

"We have been wasting much time going to fetch water at a nearby spring. Sometimes the outgoing class eight could harass us while at the spring saying they want to fetch water first because they are [secondary school] candidates. but now we will be able to concentrate on our lessons without any interference, even our performance will improve."

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

December, 2018: Ikoli Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Ikoli 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 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: Ikoli Primary School

October, 2019

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Ikoli Primary School-Mumias East 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 following story comes from Field Officer Betty Mwangi, who recently returned to Ikoli Primary School to check up on their rain tank and interview students and staff about the water project's impact in its first year since completion:

"Pupils and teachers are able to clean their hands well after visiting the latrines or anytime they encounter dirt, hence [they are] not spreading the germs unlike before whereby they were not able to clean their hands due to...lacking enough water. [The] presence of water within the school has brought [great] impact [for these] project beneficiaries, in that it came with a package of training them on how to clean their hands and its importance."

"Teachers are more secure on [the] availability of water in the school unlike before [when] they were insecure because they were not sure where the water was brought from by the pupils. [Many] were very afraid [that] some pupils could bring unsafe water in the school, so even eating at school to them was a problem. But, since the project was brought in the school, in the past year they enjoy the products of the water project without any worries."

Head Teacher Mr. Chitechi with student Cheinster Indeche shaking Field Officer Betty Mwangi's hand in front of the rain tank

"Pupils are not suffering from the waterborne diseases and end up missing school unlike before [when] they could miss school due to illness that was caused by unsafe water. Taking clean and safe water that is always treated has brought much change to the lives of these beneficiaries."

"The [student health] club has improved their lives in such a way that they captured what they were taught during [their] training on income-generating activities and they decided to keep poultry for themselves at their homes since in the school there is no security. They have about 10 chickens [from] which they normally gather the eggs and sell to their teachers."

The money they get from their sales they collect together, and through their sanitation teacher and the head teacher, they buy liquid soap which is used to clean their latrines. On the same note, they have been able to continue training others on [the 10] handwashing steps on a weekly basis which has really improved so much even the lives of the [youngest students] who always clean their hands after visiting their latrines. All these changes are caused by the presence of the water project in the school.

"To be precise, this group of people through the head teacher has really tried to maintain their water usage. They were offered a 5,000-liter [rain tank] by [the government] within this year and the head teacher decided that the water from that tank - since it's not treated - will be used for cleaning and washing, whereas the TWP tank will be used for drinking and cooking because it's safe and clean. Throughout the year [even] now [as] they are about to go for holidays, they still have enough water."

"Having water in the school has really changed their environments including classrooms and latrines. Pupils don't get...dirty like before because they clean their classes and latrines every day. Generally, the water project has brought much improvement in the school including shaping the school, it has also made FOT Foundation to be recognized whenever any of the staff members pass by the school, pupils always shout The Water Project."

Cheers to clean water!

Head Teacher Mr. Chitechi has been a champion of the rain tank and other WaSH projects at Ikoli Primary School. Interviewed by Field Officer Betty, Mr. Chitechi reflected on the many improvements these projects have made on his school in the last year. (To hear Mr. Chitechi and student Cheinster Indeche say thank you, check out their video on the Photos tab of this project!)

"Time management has been controlled since the past year. This is because pupils used [to] up and down in search of water which they used to fetch some distance away from the school...even sometimes carrying from their homes hence ending up not completing their lessons on time and even others being skipped. But now, lessons run smoothly without any interference and so [this is] a big change in this institution.

[We have] improved hygiene standards of both the staff and pupils, whereby handwashing after visiting [the] latrines or even before eating anything has been observed. Also, cleaning of utensils, as well as cooking and drinking of the clean water, is a big change.

[There is now a] good relationship between pupils and teachers. This is because before, teachers on duty used to have bad [a] relationship with pupils when they sent them out of class to go and fetch water or reminding them to carry water while coming to school. It's something that used to create enmity between teachers and pupils, but now the water is within the school building, therefore, everybody is able to access it freely. It has made pupils become more friendly to their teachers and even improved on respect."

Mr. Chitechi enjoys a drink of fresh water with a school staff member

Cheinster Indeche, a 14-year-old student, was glad to share how his experience as a student at Ikoli Primary School has already been shaped by the water projects in the last 12 months.

"Personally, I used to see it [as] hectic and tiresome carrying water from home or going to fetch [it] from a nearby spring, instead of concentrating in class. Our cook also used to have it rough going to fetch water or even sometimes sending pupils to go and bring water, which took more time and delayed food for both pupils who take their lunch at school and teachers."

"But, since the water was brought within the school, everything changed. It is easy to fetch water within the school at the water tank, the cook also saves much time and she is able to prepare for lunch on time."

"I usually feel happy and safe while drinking the water from the tank because it is clean and safe because it's always treated.Before we were forced to carry along drinking water from home and if you forgot to carry [it] then you could suffer feeling thirsty and [there was] nobody to offer water."

"My school uniform is always clean as well...because before, cleaning classes was a problem due to inadequate water in the school but now it's easy because of [the] availability of water in the school."

"Washing hands was also difficult after visiting [the] latrines because there was no water but now, cleaning is easier and also we were trained on how to clean our hands with water and soap."

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 Ikoli Primary School-Mumias East 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 Ikoli Primary School-Mumias East – 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 - H2O for Life
3 individual donor(s)