Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2019

Functionality Status:  Low/No Water or Mechanical Breakdown

Last Checkup: 07/02/2024

Project Features

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Ingwe Primary School was established under church sponsorship in the year 1987 with a population of 50 pupils. The school has grown in infrastructure and enrollment through the help of the county and students' parents. This year there are 720 students enrolled.

The school is located in a rural area where most people farm maize and sugarcane. We were quite curious about why they took the name "Ingwe," which means leopard. The senior teacher explained that before the school was established, the school compound was a forest and the community says that leopards lived in that forest.

But ever since the beginning, Ingwe Primary School has not had an adequate source of water. There are a couple of large plastic tanks that collect rainwater, but these are only 5,000 liters each. Because the water in these tanks often runs out, students must leave school grounds in search of the water they need. They frequent a spring where community members built a discharge pipe that makes it easier to fetch water.

This spring is seasonal and dries up when it doesn't rain. It's also shared with community members, meaning that students often have to wait their turn in line to fetch water.

The trip to the spring itself is not safe for students because they walk along a dirt road where there are many young motorbike drivers. All of these efforts disrupt class and waste away the time meant for studying.

But trouble isn't over once water is delivered back to school grounds: After drinking this water, students suffer from waterborne illnesses like typhoid and are absent from school.

"Our school is average in terms of performance because of outbreaks of waterborne diseases. Absenteeism cases are very high and this has contributed to poor performance in academics," said Teacher Daniel Akoyo.

What we can do:

"Accessing safe water in this school has been a nightmare, as we have been wasting a lot of time to access water. Currently, we have been served with a closure notice by the Public Health to increase the toilets and also ensure a constant supply of water or face closure," said Teacher Gregory Otuba.

"We will be glad if we can get partners to help us."


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 current latrines have pits that are almost full.

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: Ingwe Primary School Project Complete

There is a new rainwater catchment system at Ingwe 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.

"Since I came to this school water has been the main challenge. Sometimes we are asked to go out of class to get water from the spring. This has contributed to poor performance for some of us," reflected 12-year-old Brian.

"Today I am the happiest pupil because our prayer has been answered. Ours is to show results and compensate for the time we lost in the past."

The construction process for this school was very successful because everyone participated in one way or another. Parents came together and agreed to help find unskilled labor to support our artisans, and teachers helped the school cook prepare meals for the artisans and the unskilled labor. Pupils assisted by fetching water from the spring so that the work team could mix cement. They also carried extra bricks for the project whenever they returned to school from their villages.

Students carrying water that will be used to mix cement

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. 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.

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 Ingwe 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

Plans for the hygiene and sanitation training started immediately after construction work started. Together with the headteacher and sanitation teacher, we planned to have a combined ten pupils from classes four, five, and six. Attendance ended up exceeding our expectations. There was a total number of 41 participants out of which we had 28 pupils, two board of management members, and nine teachers.

Initially, we planned to have two teachers in charge of sanitation in the school but were shocked to see all nine teachers present and ready to learn. 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.

All of the participants were active, but the teachers were the most active. One of the teachers stood up and requested that all of the teachers put in more effort because their major challenge has been solved part of the way; it will be up to them to use the tools we've provided.

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

Students learned the 10 steps of thorough handwashing, and that handwashing should always be done with running water and a cleaning agent.

– dental hygiene

– group dynamics along with leadership and governance for the newly formed CTC health club
– operations and maintenance of the facilities

The students here needed more information about how they can practice good health because to them, they think everything they need to practice good health is found in a shop or supermarket. For example, many families can't afford toothbrushes or toothpaste. We taught how a cleaned, chewed stick can replace a toothbrush and how charcoal can be crushed for toothpaste.

The senior teacher stood up after the final session and could not hide his joy. He said that the project has changed the image of the school and he is sure that the next term, the school will not be the same. He also asked the entire school to now put more effort into their academics because they don't have to worry about the water and sanitation situation anymore.

Thank You for making all of this possible!

April, 2019: Ingwe Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Ingwe 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: Ingwe Primary School

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Ingwe 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!

"Our lessons used to be interrupted for us to go and fetch water from the spring. It used to be tiresome and dangerous as we had to be careful of the dangerously driven motorbikes on the way."

"The spring was shared with the community, therefore we had to queue as we waited for our turn to fetch water. This wasted a lot of our class time."

"The water is now easily accessible and in addition, it is clean and safe for drinking and for other uses."

"We are healthy and spend more time in class and also get time to play during break time."

"Being in Standard 8, I need to study hard so that I can pass my exams. The availability of the water point in school has contributed to saving time that was wasted as we went to fetch water from the spring."

"My academic performance has gone up and I owe it to the construction of the water point in our school."

"Thank you very much for implementing this project in our school."

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 Ingwe 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 Ingwe 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 Sponsor - Yakima Foursquare Church
1 individual donor(s)