Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 393 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/14/2024

Project Features

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There is no water at Ibwali Primary School.

The 373 students attending here are asked to bring a container of water to class each morning. The 3 to 5 liters of water that students carry is not nearly enough to drink and clean latrines and classrooms. Students are sent back out into the surrounding community to find more water.

The water source is a spring which community members tried to protect. They built a brick wall around the eye of the spring and covered the top with cement. We were told that it had a metal discharge pipe that was later vandalized by an unknown person. This led to the brick cover and wall being broken down so people could get the water inside.

Since this spring is in the community (we are excited to share that we are building a spring protection at this spring), students are usually told to wait for the adults to finish fetching water as a sign of respect - and this leads to loss of class time.

The deputy headteacher narrated to us incidences reported by students; there are times students go to fetch water and find terrible, disgusting things floating inside. A lot of class time is wasted when students go to fetch water from the spring. Between carrying water all the way from home each morning and going back out to the spring, students are often too tired to focus during lessons.

"I'm often dehydrated and suffer from headaches because I have to restrict myself from drinking water while in school," said Mr. Khaguli.

Ibwali Primary School was started in 1992 by Mrs. Roda Weku who was recently trained in Early Childhood Development. She attended the local church, so other church members took their young children to the church during weekdays to be taught by Mrs. Weku.

The school grew at a slow pace because the community as a whole did not support education until just recently. The school is built on Mr. Okwako's land now. He is the present chairperson of the school board and he is very keen on development.

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

There is nowhere for students to wash hands.

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 sanitation of this school is really wanting. Our toilets are usually washed once a day yet most of our students do not know how to use them. By midday, the toilets are usually swarming with flies and a foul stench," said Mr. Khaguli.

"We never want to burden our students with frequent trips to the spring because this would deplete their energy for studying."

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: Ibwali Primary School Rain Tank Complete!

A new rainwater catchment system was built! Ibwali Primary School in Kenya now has a new 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.

Finished tank, big smiles

Masheti Wendo, at teacher at the school who helped coordinate this project, was elated at its completion.

"When I came to this school [before], I was always heartbroken every day to see pupils bringing water from home or from the nearby [unprotected] spring," he said.

"Now, my heart is healed, and I'll make sure that there is minimal wastage so that the water can sustain us for [a] long [time]."

Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction for this 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank was successful!

Parents, staff, and students helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction. All the while, women cooked meals for the artisans, and the school provided accommodations for the artisans during their work. Local men and women helped our artisans with their manual labor, too.

The process officially began with our staff and school administration looking around the school compound to try and determine the best location for a new rainwater catchment tank. This needed to be the best site with good, clean roofing to catch the rainwater.

Building the rain tank's foundation; a smaller plastic rain tank to help with construction was recently installed in the background

Then, we cleared the site: excavating the soil within the required measurements to make level ground for the tank foundation. The foundation was cast by laying hardcore on a level ground and then reinforcing it using steel, concrete and waterproof cement.

Both the drawing pipe as well as the washout pipe were affixed as the foundation was lain. The wall was built with ferro-cement techniques through six layers. The inner wall was plastered while rough casting was done on the outer part. Finally, the catchment area was dug, plastered, and a staircase installed.

Rain tank walls under construction

Dome construction could begin after the superstructure had been given enough time to settle. The manhole cover was fitted, inlet pipes were connected to the roof gutters, inlet screens, ventilation pipes (breathers) and overflow pipes were all done to standard.

Weaving the dome's rebar

Once finished, the tank was given three to four weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Ibwali Primary School, though we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.

Fresh water!

The handing off ceremony was a great chance for us to acknowledge the school administration and students as the primary parties entrusted with the tools we’ve given, as well as remind them of our continued support as they develop.

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines. 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.

Students in front of new latrines

Handwashing Stations

The two handwashing stations were delivered to the school and handed over to the Child to Child (CTC) health club. These were placed outside of the boys’ and girls’ latrines to encourage handwashing after latrine use.

Trainer leading handwashing activity

CTC club members teach other students how to properly wash their hands at the stations, and make sure there is always soap or ash available. Now the school has the stations they need, and they have the water to fill them.

New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was scheduled with the help of the school principal, who ensured that the training date would be convenient for students, staff, and parent representatives. Individual teachers helped by selecting students from each class to represent the others.

Training begins

Training involved 20 students and several teachers, all of whom would would serve as ambassadors to teach the rest of the school what they had learned. All sessions went smoothly, and the participants were highly engaged. The boys were more active and bold than the girls at first, but when it came to voting for the CTC club leaders, the girls ended up outshining the boys!

A number of topics were covered, including personal hygiene such as bathing, oral hygiene, and handwashing with soap as a barrier from germs; operation and maintenance of the new facilities, with each person understanding their role for long-lasting clean water and good health. The new CTC health club will be greatly involved in project management and will be responsible for encouraging good health and hygiene practices amongst their peers, teachers, and the larger community.

Learning how to care for the rain tank

A moment that brought great laughter to everyone was during the Child Rights session. The next session was to be held outside to practice handwashing, but to progress to that stage, we asked every student to stand and say one right they had before they went outside. After a group of students was already outside, the remaining pupils were desperate to leave the room and join the rest!

Most of them ended up saying random, silly things as their rights, and we had to ask them to make sure that they sat down and came up with correct answers to later present to the rest of the school. This was a hilarious and special moment!

With these new projects came a sense of renewal and hope for the Ibwali Primary School students and staff. They were also soon anticipating local support for a modern school kitchen project, and protection of the nearby spring the pupils were originally using for their water source.

Mr. Wendo was very pleased with both the outcome of the project and the training.

"Knowledge is power and we would like to appreciate you for empowering us against hygiene-related diseases. We can now be a healthy community which is environmentally and hygiene friendly," he said.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

May, 2019: Ibwali Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Ibwali 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 - Imago Dei Communty