Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 01/11/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

There is no water at Bumbo Primary School. Students are forced to think ahead and pack enough water to get through each school day. These 580 students come to school each morning balancing books and a container of water.

This water isn't enough to get through the afternoon, so students are reminded to bring back more water as they return from lunch break at home. In fact, it was raining when we first arrived at the school, and pupils were being rained on as they ran back to school with their jerrycans full of water.

The school started way back in 1953 but it has grown extremely slowly because of the poor conditions. There are currently 520 students enrolled.

Students feel tired in class because of their long walk to school with water, and they're no strangers to waterborne diseases. They fetch water from various sources, some of which are dirty and dangerous for drinking.

"Water is life and since we don't have clean, safe drinking water pupils are affected with waterborne diseases every now and then," said Teacher Mmbone.

The sanitation conditions are very poor. Since the school has no water, cleaning cannot take place the way it should. There are no handwashing facilities nearby which mean the pupils do not wash their hands after visiting the latrines, either.

The school lunch program is for high school candidates who are in class eight. The parents provide rice, beans, and firewood. The feeding program has a big challenge because there is not sufficient water for cooking because it is often used first for drinking and cleaning.

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

There are only 12 latrines on school grounds, which means there are 48 students to one latrine.

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

March, 2020: Bumbo Primary School Project Complete!

Bumbo 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.

"This is a new dawn in our lives," said teacher Mr. Andrew Muhadi.

"God is so great for bringing us your team [so that] we can now access clean and safe water without going outside [of the school] fetching water. This will enable us to concentrate on our studies, and cleaning our classes will be so easy."

Students give thumbs up for their newly completed 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. The local Member of the County Assembly, Calystus Ayodi, also coordinated with the school to be sure everything was in order for the project. 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.

Laying the rain tank's stone foundation over excavated base

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.

Teamwork inside the tank for cement and plaster work

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 short staircase installed.

Attaching the dome structure and working on the access point to the tap

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. The only challenge we had throughout the entire construction process was in the beginning when we had a shortage of water for construction.

This happened because the students were on school break for the early part of the work, so they were not there to help fetch water for the artisan's work needs. As soon as we shared this information and need with the school's neighbors, however, nearby community members acted swiftly and construction work went on smoothly.

A student enjoying water from the rain tank

Once finished, the rain tank was given 3 weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Bumbo Primary School. As soon as the tank was ready for use, students and staff celebrated the presence of clean water on campus. The event 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. Happiness, thanksgiving, and appreciation were the order of the day flowing in all directions.

Thumbs up for rain tank water

VIP Latrines

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

Girls celebrate their new latrines

Handwashing Stations

The 2 handwashing stations were set up during training and handed over to the student health club. These were placed outside of the girls’ and boys’ latrines to encourage handwashing after latrine use. Health club members will 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 a cleaning agent such as soap or ash available.

Washing hands outside of the boys' new latrines

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.

26 students, teachers, and parents attended training, which was held inside a classroom to avoid the cold and rainy weather of the day. The level of participation and interest was particularly high for this group of pupils, who were eager to learn all day.

Taking notes at training

We covered a number of topics including personal hygiene such as bathing, oral hygiene, and the 10 steps of handwashing; environmental hygiene; child rights; operation and maintenance of the rain tank, latrines, and handwashing stations; and leadership and governance. In the session on the parts of the rain tank, the students were particularly interested in learning each step of construction that they did not personally witness since they were on school break during part of the construction. This challenged the school staff to explain the process in their own words too as they saw much of what happened.

Students learn the parts of the rain tank with Trainer Victor Musemi

During the leadership and governance session, the students elected their peers to lead their newly formed student health club. One young girl in particular who was elected came from a humble family. This was a sign that the pupils understood from the lesson that everyone can be a great person and leader in life and that you do not need wealth to be elected. The club will be greatly involved in the water, sanitation, and hygiene project management at school and will be responsible for encouraging good health and hygiene practices amongst their peers, teachers, and the larger community.

Handwashing session

We involved stretches, dances, and physical activities in between each topic to keep the pupils’ energy up and their minds active. By the end of the training, each pupil understood their role in sustaining clean water and good health within their school community.

When an issue arises concerning the water project, the students and teachers are equipped with the necessary skills to rectify the problem and ensure the water point works appropriately. However, if the issue is beyond their capabilities, they can contact our team of field officers to assist them. In addition, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our ongoing monitoring and maintenance program.

Students and staff at the end of training

"We thank you for your coming and sharing this knowledge with us. In the past, we have not known the 10 steps of handwashing and more so the [reasoning behind the] hygiene and sanitation," said school parent Mr. Benard Machanule, who attended the training.

"The entire Bumbo community is saved through your team and we shall impact and share [this information with] the enter school. Thank you and God bless us all."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

January, 2020: Bumbo Primary School Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Bumbo 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!


Harold J Belkin Foundation
Bounce Treatment Services, LLC
Network for Good
Faith Chapel
40 individual donor(s)