Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/02/2024

Project Features

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Ebutenje Primary School does not have a reliable clean water source on school grounds for its 833 students. They have a small plastic water tank that collects rainwater, but it only lasts a day before it needs to be refilled. In fact, there was no water in the plastic tank on the day of our visit, even though it had rained the day before!

This forces students to leave school to go to a community well. This well is about one kilometer away, causing the journey to cut into valuable class time. Not only that, but the large crowds at the well also cause the students to return late to class. The walk back is even more tiresome because students are carrying heavy water containers the entire way.

Students are exhausted and struggle to concentrate during class. They don't have enough water to drink throughout the day.

What we can do:

Not having enough water also cripples the school's ability to keep classrooms, latrines, and other facilities clean. These things are cleaned once a week at the most.

"The sanitation and hygiene in our school is so bad simply because the available pit latrines are few in number in relation to the population. These facilities get dirty easily, more so cleanliness is not done on regular because we don't have enough water," said Senior Teacher Otundo.


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

400 boys only have five pit latrine doors, meaning there are 80 boys per latrine. This is a large shortage!

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

July, 2019: Ebutenje Primary School Project Complete

There is a new rainwater catchment system at Ebutenje 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, despite challenges with finding high quality sand for mixing cement and turnover with school administration. The headteacher we had previously worked with for planning this water project was reassigned to a different location, and so we had to start over in many ways with a new school administration.

However, we are so grateful that as soon as the new headteacher arrived at his school, he immediately saw the need for this project and did everything he could to make it happen.

"It was our prayer that one time we would own a facility like this one. For us, water has been a challenge, especially when kids carry water from home to school. It was difficult to tell which one has come with water from the safer water source," said Teacher Karuha.

"But now personally I am very confident to draw and drink water from this source because I know it."

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 Ebutenje 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.

New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was planned through the assistance of Headteacher Sibonji. We continuously visited the school as we started building the new facilities, discussing any issues together. This is also when we let him know of the Child to Child (CTC) training that accompanies the work. The headteacher together with the sanitation teachers, Mike and Madam Jescah, recruit participants for us.

These students formed a health club that will share the hygiene and sanitation things learned through daily responsibilities and larger health promotion activities.

The day of training, the sun was shining down brightly that hot morning. With such conditions, we could not hold our training outside and opted for a classroom that could provide refuge from the hot sun.

Learners were so jovial throughout the training and would ask relevant questions on each topic. Some of the learners, especially the representatives from class four, were already so informed on dental hygiene and could help us teach the rest of the students.

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 specific topics we covered were:

– dental hygiene, and other facets of personal hygiene

– environmental hygiene

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

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

"Today's training came at the right time. Sanitation and hygiene issues at the school have been a problem not only because we had insufficient pit latrines but also because of lack of information. For us, we do have only one compost pit at the school but from today's training, we have learned the importance of having two - specifically for inorganic and for organic," said Teacher Karani.

June, 2019: Ebutenje Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Ebutenje 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!


Project Sponsor - Columbia Baptist Fellowship