Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Apr 2019

Functionality Status:  Low/No Water or Mechanical Breakdown

Last Checkup: 05/10/2024

Project Features

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It was a cool and wet afternoon when we left our office for Vihiga County. When we arrived at Kegoye Primary School, many of the pupils had gone for lunch while others were eating in their classrooms. Some had already finished eating and were playing outside.

The school is in a rural setting away from the busy market. The surroundings are peaceful, providing a comfortable environment for the learners. About 20 meters away are some small shops that serve as a canteen where students can go buy a few items they need.

The school has 12 classrooms that are split in half to host two classes. There is a small library that also serves as a staffroom. The school also has a special unit which teaches 11 pupils. These children are taught different technical courses such as hairdressing, tailoring, and knitting. There is a well-kept kitchen that’s used to prepare food for teachers and some pupils.

A normal day starts as early as 6am when students prepare for their walk to school. On arrival, various chores are done, including cleaning the compound and fetching water from the spring. The teachers arrive at school around 8am to start regular lessons.

Students have to go to the spring because there is only a little bit of water at school. A plastic water tank stores rainwater and provides 3,000 liters when entirely full. Since there are 500 students and over one dozen staff members here, this amount only lasts for two days until more rain is needed. This forces students to leave school and go out to the community’s spring at least one or two times a day.

The spring is about 700 meters away from the school along a path that scares the young students; it is steep and slippery. They carry their heavy containers back to the school and return to class feeling tired. Teachers note many absences because of typhoid.

"We have been having issues with insufficient water for a long period now. As a teacher, when it’s your duty you find it hard to follow pupils every morning to the spring. They come back very wet and not even able to concentrate in class," said Mrs. Violet Kavoga.

What we can do:


Training on good hygiene habits 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

The latrines are very dirty because there isn’t enough water to clean them. Some have broken doors and most floors have cracks that could allow a collapse.

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

April, 2019: Kegoye Primary School Project Complete

There is a new rainwater catchment system at Kegoye 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 of this new rainwater catchment tank was a big success!

"The new water has really brought us joy and we gladly appreciate. We have not had any storage for our water and this has been our biggest challenge, which you have solved. No more hustle every morning and during lunch hour to go fetch water," said 12-year-old Kezia.

"My school life is taking another shape, which I will put all that effort in my studies and so I bless everyone who ensured the project was brought to our 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 tank 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.

Working on the tank foundation

Students carrying water from the spring to help mix cement. They look forward to having a rainwater tank that will keep them from having to carry water every day!

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. A metal cover with a lock was placed over the catchment area to avoid water wastage.

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

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.

New Knowledge

A hygiene and sanitation training was planned at the start of the project. The school headteacher was informed about the importance of training so that he could work with teachers to make plans. During the construction process, the staff in charge of supervision nailed down a date with the headteacher, and the headteacher began to recruit student participants. Chosen students formed a child to child (CTC) student health club that will share the health information they learned with their peers and families at home.

Students holding up the new notebooks and pens they received for training

Students really appreciated how training was interactive. They are accustomed to lectures each day in regular class, so this was a nice break from routine. They loved coming up to the front of the classroom to join in demonstrations or volunteer to help the trainer.

Taking a quick break in the middle of training for an energizing activity

Participants 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, and group dynamics along with leadership and governance for the newly formed child to child health club.

Training on how to properly use and care for the tank

Students were very interested in the session about the importance of water in everyday life. The participants were trained on water sources, water handling, storage, usage, pollution, and then treatment. The pupils brainstormed all sorts of pollutants both at school and at home and, also came up with various ideas to curb the problem.

Participants were amazed to hear that your skin will be fresher and healthier if you drink enough water every day, kind of like an anti-aging therapy. One pupil was so excited that she could remain glowing as she aged and vowed to drink a ton of water each day.

Students also appreciated learning about toothbrushing, because they previously didn't understand why they were getting holes in their teeth. They learned all about how leftover food on the teeth attracts bacteria, understanding that they need to regularly brush teeth to keep that from happening.

"This has been an intensive training in which I have learned a lot. Personally, as an adult, I have been neglecting important issues like brushing teeth after meals and making good use of water. From this training, I find these being very important and I see the need to help the pupils and also my fellow teachers to live a long, healthy life as they age gracefully," said Teacher Akinyi.

"Lives for pupils in this school are now going to change for better from the knowledge received in this training."

Thank You for making all of this possible!

February, 2019: Kegoye Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Kegoye Primary School drains students’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to build a clean water point on school grounds 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: Kegoye Primary School

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kegoye 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!

"When I joined this school, water was scarce and this was an impediment towards my overall performance."

"Many a time we were required to go fetch water during class hours for kitchen use and this really interrupted our lessons. We used to take at least twenty minutes fetching water."

"I am indeed happy with this facility as I can now access clean, safe water whenever I am in need of it."

"Water from the tank is easily accessible and sufficient whenever the need arises."

"Construction of the tank has given me a chance to concentrate more on my studies and perform well in all subjects."

"Currently, the school celebrates the facility with no challenge at all."

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 Kegoye 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 Kegoye 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.