Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/09/2024

Project Features

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Riding into Chavakali on a motorbike, one is met by lush, green surroundings. The area is covered with trees and plantations of maize, tea and bananas. Tea is the main cash crop in this area. Some buildings are permanent while others are made the traditional way out of mud. This area looks so peaceful with everyone minding their own business; there are those working on their farms tilling and cultivating while others are seen in small groups chatting in low tones at the market centers and bus stops. We continued to Koitabut Primary School thinking that this community seems like a great place to live.

But without clean drinking water, things really aren't as good as they seem.

The 514 students attending Koitabut Primary School have to go out into the community to find the water they need. The only water source available is an unprotected spring located about 500 meters away. The source is completely open to contamination as pupils and community members step in the water itself as they fill their containers.

Beyond the poor quality of water, this spring is a seasonal water source that dries up during severe dry seasons. This means that during the dry seasons, pupils have to carry water from home or walk miles more in search on water. Many a time they will fetch water from any available source irregardless of its quality.

There are a lot of absences because most of the pupils don't want to be sent out for water throughout the school day. Those who stay at school and drink that water suffer from typhoid. Parents spend a lot of money taking their children to the hospital.

"Actually, we have suffered a lot in terms of not having enough clean drinking water in our school. It is really affecting us, especially academically as we learners waste a lot of time going to fetch water," said 13-year-old Sarah.

"As we have seen you, we are hoping that our lives are going to change positively after receiving clean drinking water."

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

Though the school is aware that they need to wash hands at critical times, they still have no handwashing stations for the pupils.

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 school has 12 latrines, six each for boys and girls. These facilities are not sufficient considering the population of the pupils. As a result of this, there are very long lines during class break - so long that many students cannot wait and have to find a private place outside. On the other hand, due to lack of water in the school compound, these latrines are not cleaned daily because water is prioritized for drinking and cooking.

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

May, 2019: Koitabut Primary School Project Complete

There is a new rainwater catchment system at Koitabut 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.

"I am excited! I do not know if this project has taken place in any of our neighboring schools but I believe we have the biggest tank in this town. We have water!" said Teacher Sayo.

"Thank you so much!"

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 the decision of the construction site, the top earth layer is excavated and cleared. In this case, a tree stump and its roots had to be removed. Stones are then carefully packed onto the excavated area to create a strong foundation.

The foundation is cast with sand, cement, ballast, and waterproof cement. Students were especially helpful at this point, using class breaks to shuttle water over to the artisans so that they could mix 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.

Digging a drainage pit for water that falls into 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 Koitabut 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.

VIP Latrines

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

After notifying the deputy headteacher about the importance of hygiene and sanitation training, he quickly secured a classroom and recruited student representatives from each grade. The students in attendance formed a child to child (CTC) health club that will share what they learned with their peers and families at home.

We gave students new notebooks and pens so that they could record everything they learned

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 ways to treat water for drinking
– handwashing

It was nice seeing such a curious group learn about the ten steps of proper handwashing. They were happy to understand the reason for each step and tried to redo the steps after the training came to an end.

– dental hygiene

Students learned that they shouldn’t opt out of toothbrushing just because they can’t get their hands on toothpaste or a toothbrush. Local materials can be used, too! For example, a stick can be washed and then chewed on the end to replace a toothbrush. Charcoal can be crushed in place of toothpaste.

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

The group was educated on the importance of leadership, why leadership positions are important, and what is required of them as leaders. When asked to name the qualities a good leader should have, the pupils opted to name things a leader should not be. They gave qualities a leader should not have to qualify him or her as a good leader.

– operations and maintenance of the facilities

"This training is a nice addition to the water tank we have been given. I had not known that washing hands was this significant to the health of a person. With the training, I think we are well equipped to help us manage this water source. Thank you so much," said Teacher Mukhwana.

Upon completion of the project and the training, the teachers who were present in training were very impressed and wished to see more projects reaching some of their neighboring schools. For them, this was the first intervention by anyone who was not the government, and that has actually ensured that the project was completed successfully.

Thank You for making all of this possible!

March, 2019: Koitabut Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Koitabut Primary School drains students’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to build 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 again 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: Koitabut Primary School

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Koitabut 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!

"Previously, it was so hard to get the water from a very dirty source where people bathed, washed their clothes, and did other cleaning like cleaning their farm equipment such as their pesticide spraying containers."

"Crowding at the water source led to time-wasting and also caused water from the source to be dirty."

"I thank God that He protected us from any harm till the time we got our beautiful tank in the school. We do not go out anymore to get water from other sources."

"Our tank has enough safe, clean drinking water, which is accessible anytime and within a stone's throw distance from the classrooms."

"I personally use the time previously wasted to study, so as to improve my academic performance by scoring high marks in my class."

"My desire had always been to remain healthy and always be in school learning, with no thought of being interfered with by being sent to fetch water outside the school compound."

Velma takes a drink from the rain tank.

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 Koitabut 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 Koitabut 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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