Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 473 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/05/2024

Project Features

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Some 455 students at Namarambi Primary School do not have a source of water on school grounds.

There is a hand-dug well at the adjacent mosque, but this is overused and thus strictly controlled so that water is available for prayers. With all the mosque's efforts to preserve the water in the well, Namarambi students often bring their buckets, try the pump, and find no water at all. In fact, the well is entirely dry during months without rain.

There is a river nearby that never dries up. With no other option, students walk almost one kilometer to bring back the water they need to get through the school day. This water is filthy, with wild animals coming and going to drink from the open source.

The walk for water takes away valuable class time, and the road students take is full of motorbike traffic that endangers students along the way. The worst part is, all this effort is for water that is dirty and gets students sick - forcing many to miss even more class time.

"We walk for a long distance to go and fetch water for use in school, and the pupils waste a lot of time instead of studying. The water from the river is not safe for drinking since most of us fall sick out of waterborne diseases," 13-year-old student Joan said.

Namarambi Muslim Primary School started in 2009 because of a partnership between the local community and the Muslim Supreme Council. It was first just a kindergarten located inside the mosque. In 2010, pupils needed to move up to class one, but there was no other school nearby. That is when the school started growing.

In 2013, four mud-walled classrooms were constructed in order to accommodate classes five to eight. Due to the growing number of students, the mosque compound could not be enough for the school operations and as a result, the school management acquired land next to the mosque so that they could operate independently. They have started construction of two more classrooms that will be occupied by next year, 2019.

What we can do:


Hygiene and sanitation 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.

"Some pupils are infected with jiggers because the general cleanliness of the school compound and personal hygiene is not observed by the pupils," Pius Wangila, a 12-year-old student said.

"We are really suffering."

Handwashing Stations

There is nowhere to wash hands.

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 only four latrines - two for boys and two for girls. The latrines are insufficient for the pupils, and even the teachers have to share with them. The latrines are in pathetic condition. The pits are almost full and are full of maggots.

"I get ashamed when I rush to the latrine to relieve myself only to find one of my teachers there!" exclaimed Pius.

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 from the river 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

March, 2019: Namarambi Primary School Project Complete

There is a new rainwater catchment system at Namarambi 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.

Namarambi Primary School has been issued a closure notice by the government because of their water and sanitation crisis. The work done here has redeemed the school and allowed them to stay open for these 455 students.

Rainwater Catchment Tank

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

"We appreciate this project since now we will be able to access clean and safe water. Getting water to wash our plates and wash our hands had been a challenge because of lack of water," said 14-year-old Collins.

"Thank you for implementing this projects in our school when we really needed it the most."

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

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.

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.

New Knowledge

We worked with Deputy Headteacher Ngome to plan a child to child (CTC) training to equip students with knowledge of good health habits and how to share it with others. Mr. Ngome worked with other teachers to select student representatives from each grade, all who would form a CTC club that recruits new members. There was a total of 22 participants waiting for us in a classroom.

We covered topics including:

– primary healthcare
– taking care of the new facilities
– common illnesses and their prevention
– waterborne illnesses
– CTC club activities
– dental hygiene

When it came to voting for leaders of the CTC club, many students came forward and nominated themselves for positions. One of them, Miss Rennis, said that she wanted to be at the forefront to make sure that hygiene and sanitation standards in the school are improved. Since she was elected as one of the officials, we are confident that the formed club will run smoothly!

Proper handwashing was discussed exhaustively. The participants identified when they should wash hands and the importance of washing hands. They were taught how to wash their hands thoroughly with soap in ten steps. In the case that one doesn't have soap, ash can be used as an alternative.

This was special because most of the participants come from poor families and sometimes lack soap for cleaning. They were happy to learn that ash can be used as a cleaning agent and said they would share the information with other family members.

Group discussions

"Through this training we have learned how to keep our bodies and environment clean in order to prevent infections and illnesses caused by poor hygiene. We have been informed that keeping oneself clean and the environment doesn't have to be expensive since one can improvise and use locally available agents like ash, charcoal, and leaky tins (handwashing stations)," said Teacher Konah.

"This training has come in handy for me as a sanitation teacher and I will make sure that everyone in this school and beyond is trained on proper hygiene and improved sanitation."

Thank You for making all of this possible!

February, 2019: Namarambi Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Namarambi 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 these students 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: Namarambi Primary School

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Namarambi 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, we used to make several trips to the river to get dirty water for daily use. This made us tired in that we could not fully concentrate in class after fetching water."

"Sometimes, class lessons were interrupted for us to go and get more water when the need arose."

"Now, the water point is located in the school compound which makes it easy for us to fetch water anytime we need it."

"We use the water for drinking, cleaning, and cooking, too."

"This water source has helped us in time management, and our health has also improved since the water is safe and clean."

"As a result, our academic performances have improved and our parents have been saved from incurring high hospital bills in the treatment of typhoid and diarrhea."

Rennis with Field Officer Christine Masinde and Teacher Johnstone Makokha at the rain tank, before the pandemic.

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 Namarambi 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 Namarambi 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 Underwriter - H2O for Life
ditoma limited
3 individual donor(s)