Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Apr 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/02/2024

Project Features

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It was a cold day when we first visited Namakoye Primary School since it had rained the previous night. Later in the day, it became sunny and this helped make our visit successful.

It took quite some time to get here from the main offices - about three hours total. Some of the roads are so muddy, rough and bumpy that only a motorbike can traverse them. This is a very rural area where the community depends mostly on farming sugarcane and maize to make a living.

Namakoye Primary School was started in 2009 by community members who didn't want their children walking miles to school. The school has grown from an enrollment of 90 pupils in 2009 to 710 pupils now. The school has a total of eight classrooms of which some are still under construction. Despite that, students have to use all the classrooms because there is not enough space for all of them. The teachers even sacrificed their staffroom to the early education children who were learning outside without a classroom.

Throughout all of this growth, the school has never had a source of water for its students.

Students have to walk out into the community to find water, and the closest source is a spring located more than one kilometer away. The pupils get tired because of the long way to the spring; so much so that they have a designated place to rest each trip so that they can make it back with their heavy water containers.

This spring runs to the surface adjacent to some maize farms. Its water is not safe for drinking as it is completely open to contamination. The pupils step in the water and fetch it at the same time - further contaminating the source!

When students return from the spring, drinking water is stored 20-liter jerrycans in the school kitchen. Some are also left outside because the kitchen is small and the school cook is afraid the plastic containers will catch fire. The water is not treated and pupils often drink it directly from their own small jerrycans.

After drinking this water, students are often absent from school dealing with typhoid.

"Water is everything and it's what determines how healthy we are," said Joselyne Akwana, the school cook.

"It's what we use in doing all the domestic work at home, at school, and at work. The lack of water in this school has really affected the pupils because some of them choose not to come to school because they walk a long distance to fetch water and they get tired."

What we can do:

"The classrooms are dirty because there is not enough water to do cleanliness in school," continued Mrs. Akwana. "Instead it's done once per week and this has made many pupils affected with flu because they spend a lot of time in dirty and dusty classrooms."


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

There are no handwashing stations for students to use.

Two handwashing stations will be delivered to the school, and the CTC 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 just two latrines for the boys and three for the girls. The latrines are not clean because of the water shortage.

"The school is in need of water and sanitation facilities because the population is increasing every year and it's becoming a challenge for the students to stay in class," said Headteacher Johnstone Nyongesa.

What's worse, five latrines means there's only one latrine for every 142 students.

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 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: Namakoye Primary School Project Complete

Water is flowing from a new rainwater catchment system at Namakoye 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 received training in sanitation and hygiene.

Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction of this new rainwater catchment tank was a big success.

"We are so happy and grateful as a school... it's a miracle to own such facilities in our school. The pupils will no longer carry water to school because when the rains start, our tank will harvest a lot of water, and our parents won't complain anymore about pupils loosing jerrycans at school," reflected Headteacher Nyongesa.

"All the energy will be directed to classwork! I am so hopeful that even the school performance will improve and our pupils will join big schools compared to other years."

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.

Upon decision of the construction site, the top earth layer is excavated and cleared. Stones are then carefully packed onto the excavated area to create a strong foundation.

Pipes being affixed as the foundation is constructed

The foundation is cast with sand, cement, ballast, and waterproof cement. As this is being done, the wall’s skeleton of wire mesh and rebar is erected and secured into the foundation. Upon completion of the foundation, the walls are cemented and plastered to completion both inside and outside.

The catchment area is dug, plastered, and a staircase installed so students can easily get water from the tap. A metal cover with a lock is placed over the catchment area to avoid water wastage.

Progress on the catchment area

A concrete reinforcement pillar is built up to support the dome, which is also made of a strong wire mesh and concrete. A hatch is installed in the dome to allow the tank to be cleaned out before heavy rain, and the gutter system is also installed at this time.

Once finished, the tank was given three weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Namakoye 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.

Handwashing stations were placed on the way out from the latrines so that students can conveniently wash their hands

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit latrines, three for the boys and three for the girls. 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

The school head teacher and the sanitation teacher helped prepare a place for hygiene and sanitation training. They also selected student representatives from each grade. The selected students formed a child to child (CTC) health club that will share what they learned in training with their peers and families at home. There were also some teachers in attendance too!

The participants formed a CTC club to lead their peers in hygiene and sanitation. We handed out notebooks and pens so that they wouldn't forget a thing!

We normally hold school training sessions in English, but there were some participants who just didn't have an adequate English level yet. Training ended up going a bit longer because we would switch between English and Kiswahili so that everyone could understand.

The students 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 (keeping water safe from source to mouth)
– handwashing

Students mimic the trainer as they learn the 10 steps of thorough handwashing

– dental hygiene

– environmental hygiene
– child rights
– operations and maintenance of the facilities

The tank was almost finished at the point of training, so we took everyone outside to learn about how the tank works and how to best care for it

– group dynamics along with leadership and governance for the newly formed CTC health club

"We have learned so many new things that we did not know! Our perception has changed completely now that we know more about water, sanitation, and hygiene."

Mr. Andati addressing the participants during training

"The teachers and the pupils all together will embrace and ensure that sanitation and hygiene in school is a priority. I am personally challenged to do more about handwashing even back at our homes. This was the most educative and informative training I have ever attended," said Mr. Andati, the sanitation teacher responsible for overseeing the CTC club.

Thank You for making all of this possible!

January, 2019: Namakoye Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Namakoye 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: Namakoye Primary School

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Namakoye 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!

"We used to walk long distances searching for water. This was time-wasting and we would also get tired and lack concentration during classes."

"Since the installment of the rain tank, we have enough water to clean our classrooms and toilets, and we always have our lunch on time due to the availability of water in the school."

"With water within the school compound, pupils are able to concentrate more in class because they are not worried about carrying water from home, hence good performance is realized."

Students pose 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 Namakoye 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 Namakoye 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.


Texas Methodist Foundation
Texas Methodist Foundation
1 individual donor(s)