Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 233 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 01/12/2024

Project Features

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Kosiage Primary School was started in 1994 by community members who formed a team to spearhead starting a school in their village. Over the years, this school has gone through a lot of challenges - ranging from issues such as land ownership to keeping up with ever-growing student enrollment.

This school is located upland with a view of the surrounding area. There is a total of eight classrooms, of which four are made of mud. This school is very disadvantaged with no room for students to enjoy recess. The pupils just use the space between the old and new classrooms as their only play area. Plans have been put in place by the management to increase the size of their land, but it's a slow process. The available kitchen is in very bad condition for it too is made of mud. The muddy walls sometimes become loose and fall into the food while it's cooking.

There is no water on school grounds, so the 220 students and 11 teachers and staff here need to get their water elsewhere.

They most often go to a spring in the surrounding community. It's not far, but the journey is still a challenge. The terrain is very rocky and steep and students have to pay attention to every step they take to avoid falling. When returning with water, they have to rest because of the strain.

Leaving school to get water is wasting such valuable study time and is draining students of their energy. Teachers notice how the strenuous chore of fetching water is impacting students' performance in class:

"Without sufficient clean drinking water, the lives of many pupils are at risk," said Headteacher Mise.

"Cases of pupils yawning in class and some feeling weak and pale makes concentration in class very poor, thus resulting in poor academic performance."

What we can do:

Lack of vital facilities such as a water tank for safe drinking water, handwashing stations for hygiene purposes, and decent latrines for sanitation has led to a reduced student population as parents pull their children out.

"I came to this school not knowing that there are a lot of things that need to be realigned in order to ensure the smooth running of the school. My main objectives are to see that this school, though in this state, will rise to be one of the most improved schools in the region both structurally and academically," said Headteacher Mise.

"I believe that with the help of friends like [you], we shall surely be able to realize our goals as a school."


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

This CTC club will oversee the new facilities, such as handwashing stations, and make sure they are kept clean and in working condition. The two handwashing stations will be delivered 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

There are currently only five usable latrines available for all of these students.

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 from the spring 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

February, 2020: Kosiage Primary School Project Complete!

Kosiage Primary School in Kenya now has access to a new source of safe, clean water thanks to the completion of their rain tank, which has the ability to collect 50,000 liters of water. We installed new latrines and handwashing stations for students, and we trained students and staff on improved sanitation and hygiene practices. All of these components work together to unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

Students give thumbs up for the new rain tank

Rain Tank

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

Parents, staff, and students helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction. All the while, the school cooks prepared meals for the artisans, and the school provided accommodations for the artisans during their work. Local women and men 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 rain tank. This needed to be the best site with good, clean roofing to catch the rainwater.

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

Artisans cementing interior rain tank walls

Both the drawing pipe as well as the washout pipe were affixed as the foundation was laid. The wall was built with ferro-cement techniques through 6 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.

Tying sugar sacks to wire mesh to create the dome skeleton

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.

Artisan works on cementing the dome

Once finished, the tank was given 3 weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Kosiage Primary School, though we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.

Staff celebrate the newly completed rain tank

"I appreciate your coming to implement this project and for the training on how to use the facilities. We promise to take good care of them for them to last for a long time," said teacher Fredrick Oduor.

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of 6 new ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines, half for girls and half for boys.

Girls pose with their new latrines

All of these new latrines have cement floors that are designed to be easy to use and clean. And with a rain tank right on school property, there should be enough water to keep them clean.

Boys pose in front of their new latrines

Handwashing Stations

The 2 handwashing stations were delivered to the school and handed over to the student health club. These were placed outside of the girls’ and boys’ latrines to encourage handwashing after latrine use.

Girls use a handwashing station

Health club members teach other students how to properly wash their hands at the stations, make sure the stations are filled with water, and work to ensure that there is always soap or ash available.

New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was scheduled with the help of the school principal and the head teacher, who together 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.

"We selected a majority of the participants from the lower classes. The reason being they still have time to be in school and among the bright pupils who are able to teach the rest on how to take good care of the projects implemented in their school. The majority are class representatives who already have responsibilities given to them," explained teacher Lillian Ndedah.

She thought to do that way so this new responsibility would be welcomed.

All eyes on Facilitator Laura Alulu

22 pupils attended training, which was held inside a classroom and then outside for practicals. All of the pupils participated actively, were highly motivated, and ready to learn. The sunny weather helped keep the good attitude of the group up too.

We covered a number of topics, including personal hygiene such as bathing, oral hygiene, and handwashing with soap as a barrier from germs; and operation and maintenance of the new facilities, with each person understanding their role for long-lasting clean water and good health.

The new student 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.

Handwashing practice

The most memorable topics were the leadership, governance and maintenance sessions. We discussed the qualities of a good leader, and the students brainstormed traits that should be considered when elected a leader such as kindness, discipline, obedience, patience, love, faithfulness, humility, self-control, trustworthiness, and having high self-esteem.

When it came time to vote for the health club leaders, one student kept nominating herself for each of the 4 positions. We were surprised to see that she got 0 votes, but we were also impressed to see her not give up or get annoyed. In the end, the 4 elected pupils stood proud in front of their classmates and promised to help uphold and lead others into the hygiene and sanitation standards they learned.

The students elected as leaders for their new health club

While covering the topic of facilities maintenance, we talked about why students and their parents were asked to help contribute materials for the project in addition to the school's and our team's contributions.

Trainer Stanley points out the parts of the rain tank to students

The goal was that the school community would feel more ownership and responsibility for the facilities this way than if everything had been provided directly. The pupils came up with a song to grasp the idea of ownership.

They sang, ", to whom to? to whom to? to whom does it belong to? To me!....To me!"

Thank you for making all of this possible!

January, 2020: Kosiage Primary School Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Kosiage Primary School drains students’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install 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 more good news!

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 Underwriter - Alan and Lesley Pedersen
1 individual donor(s)