Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/07/2024

Project Features

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Kima Primary School was established in 1938 and the population has grown slow and steady each passing year. They also have a morning program for early childhood education, giving them a total of 700 students throughout the school.

We spoke with Henry Kibisu about what a normal school day looks like.

"I wake up at 5:30 am to prepare for my day's learning program. I take a bath, have my breakfast, then leave for school at 6:30 am to arrive by 7 am. [School] begins at 7:50 am with pupils together with our beloved teachers assembling together to begin the day with a word of prayer and short briefings from the headteacher and the teacher on duty. Normal classes commence from 8 am with short breaks in between, going to about 3:10 pm. We break for games until about 4 pm," shared Henry.

He and his peers attend classes such as mathematics, English, Kiswahili, science, social studies, and religion.

However, the daily schedule becomes a challenge because the school does not have enough water.

"We are indeed in a state of dilemma," said Headteacher Lukongo.

He continued to share more:

We have a shortage of clean, safe water for our general use at school. We have tried reaching the ministry of water but we have not received positive results. The response has always been all about congestion and illegal connections by some of the members of the village. With the high numbers in school, this is affecting the performance of the students - considering we are a giant in this area. As you know, the lack of water usually leads to time wastage, absenteeism, headache, and so on. For the past two years, we have had the challenge of water in our school which forced us to install a 2,500-liter plastic tank to help tap rainwater which is normally used to prepare only meals. 

Since the plastic tank cannot hold much water for general use by the institution, the administration has been forced to request pupils to carry water to school from their homes. Piped water can be down for days at a time (it was off on the day of our visit), so students have to come with water both in the mornings and after lunch breaks.

The school is also in bad shape when it comes to sanitation facilities. There are eight latrines for the 369 girls, but four of the pits are uncomfortably full. The 331 boys have six latrines.

"We have a challenge with the sanitation facilities and this is allowing the pupils to waste time at the toilets due to congestion," said Deputy Headteacher Mwaka.

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

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

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.

This being a rainy region, a rainwater catchment tank is a perfect solution to provide water when the rationed piped water system is not working. Students will no longer carry heavy containers of water from unknown sources.

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: Kima Primary School Project Complete

There is a new rainwater catchment system at Kima 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.

"Kima Primary School for a long time has been faced with the challenge of water and this has had some influence on the overall performance of the school in the National examinations,'' said Headteacher Lukongo.

"Absenteeism has been a culture in the school this majorly due to fear of being told to carry water to school. We are indeed happy and appreciate the project as from today our children can now access clean safe water from the schools compound. Installation of the tank has been timely. We will no longer carry water from our homes to the school and this will save on time and absenteeism of some of the pupils."

"We thank our partners for this wonderful project and we promise to guard it at all times," he said.

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 Kima 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.

Mercy washing her hands at one of the new handwashing stations

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

April is normally a holiday month for schools here in Kenya, so we faced a delay due to the government prohibiting learning sessions during the holidays. This forced us to plan a hygiene and sanitation training for May.

Participants for the training were randomly selected from different classes. During this recruitment process, we certainly considered the level of interest; if a particular student was excited to attend they would be invited to do so. Thus we were able to recruit participants who were ready and willing to participate in the entire process.

These students formed a child to child (CTC) health club that will share what they learned through daily responsibilities and larger health promotion activities.

The training participants gather together for a group picture

Following the guidance of the school's headteacher, the training was conducted under a tree since there were no classrooms available. Training began at exactly 10:30am as planned, with weather conditions being favorable for the process.

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 topics we covered included:

– 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 CTC health club

Participants were taken through leadership and governance training so as to guide the students in selecting CTC club leadership. The facilitator was able to outline the various qualities of a good leader (bold, trustworthy, strong, not greedy, and faithful) and from these qualities, a good leadership team was elected. During the election process, the majority of pupils wanted to be part of the leadership and this prompted the sanitation teacher to intervene and find a way to scale down the numbers - enabling us to carry out a proper election process.

Participants were also taught how to engage in activities that will enable them to generate funds that will later be used in the maintenance of the facilities installed at their school. The facilitator gave examples such as poultry farming, beekeeping, and planting vegetables. The headteacher offered the pupils a portion of school land on where they can establish the activity they are most interested in. The pupils were happy and thanked the headteacher for the surprise gift.

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

Students learning about how to clean the latrines, which includes pouring ash (deodorizer) down the pit at the end of every day

– handwashing

We taught that handwashing must be done with running water and soap. There are also 10 steps of thorough, proper handwashing such as interlacing fingers and scrubbing under fingernails.

Joseph demonstrating what he learned about handwashing as his peers look on

"Thank God our lives will never be the same again after attending these wonderful training sessions. We have learned a number of new things touching on hygiene and sanitation standards and we promise to stick to all we have learned. Together, we promise to be ambassadors of this to the entire community of Kima so that together we realize this dream," said 15-year-old Sharon.

We will carry out frequent visits to the school as an organization, and this will help monitor progress. In cases where the school faces challenges, we will be able to intervene.

Thank You for making all of this possible!

May, 2019: Kima Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Kima Primary School drains students’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to solve this issue by building a large rainwater catchment tank 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 - Estate of Rebecca Bradshaw