Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/13/2024

Project Features

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Mayoni Township Primary School is located along the busy highway right next to Mayoni Market, so there's a lot of activity taking place outside the school. Next to the school are residential houses, which also make the place a bit noisy. The school has a huge compound with grass everywhere. Since it is in the lowlands, the soil is very fertile.

The school was started 17 years ago by the community members, and has grown to a population of 1,480 pupils. The school is the best performing school in the area, hence the huge increase in population over the years. They are faced with the challenge of not having enough classrooms to fit the huge population.

Even more importantly, they are faced with clean water scarcity. Because parents knew their children need water while at school, they dug a well behind the classrooms. It has a hatch that opens to a bucket and rope that are lowered to fetch water.

The water looks OK when you peek inside the well, but when it's out and in a clear container you can see how dirty it really is. Whoever dug the well must have stopped as soon as they hit water because it does not last through dry times. When the well doesn't have water, students must carry a large container of water to school each morning.

Students drink dirty water from the open well and end up missing school to deal with waterborne illnesses like typhoid.

"On behalf of the school, I have also witnessed the challenges of not having enough clean drinking water. One of the biggest challenges are diseases like typhoid that have really affected the students and this has led to an increase of absenteeism in the school and drop of school performance," said school board member Mr. Bakari Ramadhan.

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

We will deliver two handwashing stations 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 18 latrines are in very poor condition. They are all almost full and very smelly. They are full of flies, making them very uncomfortable to use.

"The sanitation conditions of the school are wanting. Most of the toilets have been decommissioned and the rest are almost full," admitted Headteacher Dennis Ngalame.

"The government has threatened to shut down the school if measures to change the situation are not taken."

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

June, 2019: Mayoni Township Primary School Project Complete

There is a new rainwater catchment system at Mayoni Township 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.

"Now that we have a tank, I think almost all of our water problems have been solved. With a capacity of 50,000 liters, I am hopeful that we will be able to have water enough to take us through a full term without having to look for alternative sources," said Mr. Ramadhan, the school board chair.

"Better still, we will be able to monitor the water and avoid catching these waterborne diseases that have been terrorizing us."

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.

The actual construction of the rainwater tank began with excavation. Stones were then carefully packed onto the excavated area to create a strong foundation. An iron weave of waterproof cement was cast over these stones to create the slab foundation.

As this was being done, the wall’s skeleton of wire mesh and rebar was erected and secured into the foundation. Upon completion of the foundation, the walls were cemented and plastered to completion both inside and outside.

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.

A concrete reinforcement pillar was built up to support the dome, which was also made of strong wire and rebar mesh and concrete. A hatch was installed in the dome to allow the tank to be cleaned out before heavy rain, and the gutter system was 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 Mayoni Township Primary School, though we will continue to offer them great support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.

We trained the school on the frequency of gutter and tank cleaning to ensure that they collect clean water. In addition, we do routine treatment of the water every three months using rock alum and chlorine.

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. Three doors were given to the girls and three to the boys. These 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 latrine construction process took a lot longer than usual here. The school witnessed the collapse of latrines they'd built in the past, and it was clear to us that the soil in the area is very loose. Therefore, the artisans decided to build latrines with the pit entirely lined with bricks to prevent collapse.

Unfortunately, the artisans couldn't find enough volunteers to help them prepare for the latrines by digging the pits. One community member offered to do the work and he single-handedly sunk the pit of 10 feet deep.

New Knowledge

The deputy headteacher was informed of the opportunity for hygiene and sanitation training during one of our visits. He selected the student representatives from classes 4, 5 and 6, totaling 33 participants. These students formed a child to child (CTC) health club that will share what they learned through daily responsibilities and larger health promotion activities.

All of the participants were active and interested in what was being taught. The boys, in particular, seemed to outdo the girls in terms of active participation, but all students were generally active and involved in the training.

We taught students 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:

– dental hygiene, and other facets of personal hygiene

The level of honesty in this group was off the charts. Everyone answered the questions as honestly as they could. One of the questions asked was how many times they should take a bath, and it was amazing to see that however much some bathed, even as sporadically as once every two days, they admitted to it without being shy - citing water shortages as their main challenge.

– environmental hygiene
– water pollution and ways to treat drinking water
– group dynamics along with leadership and governance for the newly formed CTC health club

The group was educated on the importance of involving children in leadership and allowing them to have a voice. During the electing of leaders, one of the students asked where they would raise the funds to support the group. The facilitator gave them ideas about small agricultural projects and immediately, most of them wanted to come up with an idea of a project that they would be able to do.

– operations and maintenance of the tank, latrines, and handwashing stations

– handwashing

There are 10 steps to thorough handwashing that should be done with running water and soap.

The training seemed to have a positive effect on the pupils at Mayoni Township Primary School. Some of the information seemed to be an addition to what they already knew, while other pieces were completely new. Students caught on quickly to these new topics, one of which was the 10 steps of handwashing. A few students were seen practicing them together after training.

"I am glad I attended this training, as I would never have known that it is important to brush your tongue. It was beneficial to me!" said 13-year-old Faith.

Thank You for making this possible!

May, 2019: Mayoni Township Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Mayoni Township Primary School drains students’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to solve this issue by building 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 news of success!

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: Mayoni Township Primary School

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Mayoni Township 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!

"Fetching water before the project was not the best experience, I must say."

"Students have different characters and sometimes you could find that one or two had decided to fetch completely dirty water that was supposed to be used in the kitchen or for drinking."

"Now, it's a breeze."

"We no longer have to depend on students getting water from home or the unreliable piped water."

"As a teacher, for me, the tank has helped us so much in time management, especially in getting the morning and afternoon classes to start on time."

"We have been able to push the syllabus much faster compared to when we had to get water from the students."

"We have also been able to bring down the number of students getting sick from consuming dirty water."

Madam Kuya

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 Mayoni Township 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 Mayoni Township 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.


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