Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 270 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 11/10/2022

Project Features

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Banja Primary School started in 1954 but has grown at a snail's pace because of high poverty in the surrounding communities. There are currently 256 students enrolled taught by 14 teachers and staff.

Students report to school by 7:00 am, do cleaning chores, then start normal lessons at 8:00 am that last until lunch. Students are sent back home to get food and return for afternoon classes. In between the lessons, short breaks are included in the timetables for the students to go to the latrines and to fetch water from Katigara Spring.

Students have to walk to Katigara Spring between classes because there is n0t enough water on school grounds. There is just a small tank of 2,300 liters that is insufficient to support the water requirements of the school. Students' hygiene is in jeopardy because they lack water to wash their hands after using the latrines.

"Our poor hygiene can cause dangerous diseases that could even lead to death. Students do not understand the importance of practicing good sanitation and hygiene and when we try to tell them, they still do nothing as they believe they do not have the power to change anything, especially with their limited facilities," said school board chair Mr. Kihima.

Katigara Spring is a long walk from the school, making it an exhausting chore for students - especially on the way back as they carry a heavy container of water. Spring water is just kept in the students' containers because there is not enough storage on school grounds. Some students drink directly from their containers while others use small cups. Teachers prefer to either bring their own water in the morning or get it from the plastic tank.

The administration is wary of the water students fetch from the spring because their containers are dirty and there is a high chance of contamination as they make the long walk back to school.

"We suffer in this school because of using dirty water. Diseases spread through water have robbed us of our money every now and again and that challenge can be solved with the availability of clean water," said Teacher Ngereso.

The school is facing challenges beyond water. There is a single mixed-gender latrine for all 14 staff members. Preschool children share latrines with the primary school learners, too. There are 3 for each gender.

This is an institution close to the border of Vihiga County and Nandi County, therefore it has a mixture of students from different people groups. Board chairman Mr. Kihima believes that if this school can get a large rainwater tank and 6 latrines, so many problems students face, like diarrhea, will end.

What we can do:

Rain Tank

A 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank will help alleviate the water crisis at this school. The school will help collect the needed construction materials such as sand, bricks, rocks, and water for mixing cement. We will complement their materials by providing an expert team of artisans, tools, hardware, and the guttering system. Once finished, this tank will begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff for drinking, handwashing, cooking, cleaning, and much more.

We and the school strongly believe that all of these components will work together to improve standards at this school, which will help lead to better student academic performance and will help unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

Handwashing Stations

There is currently nowhere for students to wash their hands after using the latrines or before eating lunch, let alone the water to do so.

The student health club will oversee the 2 new handwashing stations we will provide, and make sure they are kept clean and in working condition. The club leaders will fill the handwashing stations with water daily and make sure they are always supplied with a cleaning agent such as soap or ash.

VIP Latrines

2 triple-door latrine blocks will be constructed with local materials that the school will help gather. 3 doors will serve the girls while the other 3 will serve the boys. All of these new latrines will have cement floors that are designed to be easy to use and to clean. And with a rain tank right on school property, there should be enough water to keep them clean.


We will hold a 1-day intensive training on improved hygiene, health, and sanitation habits at this school. Our team of facilitators will use a variety of methods to train students and staff, including participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation (PHAST) and asset-based community development (ABCD). We will initiate a child-to-child (CTC) student health club, which will prepare students to lead other pupils into healthy habits at school and at home. We will also lead lectures, group discussions, and provide illustrative handouts to teach health topics and ways to promote good hygiene practices within the school. We will then conduct a series of follow-up trainings before transitioning to our regularly scheduled support visits throughout the year.

Project Updates

01/08/2020: Banja Primary School Project Complete!

Banja 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 for students, handwashing stations, 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.

Student enjoying the water from the 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: 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.

Tamping concrete over stone rain tank foundation

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.

Students help mix cement while work on the access area and soak pit continue behind them

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 area did receive heavy rains quite frequently throughout the construction process which did slow the work and completely bring it to a standstill some days, but all was eventually completed on time.

Once finished, the tank was given 3 to 4 weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Banja Primary School, though we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.

A student enjoys a fresh drink from the rain tank

The celebration 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. We celebrated the completed project directly following the training session.

"From today our students will no longer carry water to school thanks to the rain tank. We will also access clean water at all times, reducing the rate of infections related to water," said Senior Teacher Mr. Livingstone Jumba.

Senior Teacher Mr. Livingstone Jumba gives a speech of thanks in front of the rain tank

VIP Latrines

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

Girls 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 with 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.

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.

Student Faith uses a handwashing station

New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was scheduled with the help of the school principal and Senior Teacher Mr. Livingstone Jumba, who together helped ensure 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.

"‘Hot!’ was the best description for the weather of the day," said Field Officer Samuel Simidi.

"Much as it still was early mid-morning, the sun was blazing down on us."

The venue for the training was under a tree having been approved by both the facilitators and the senior teacher as it was cool and conducive for the training. The training was attended by 19 students, Mr. Jumba, and 2 facilitators. The participants for the training showed great zeal during the recruitment process and no participant was forced to attend. The willingness to attend was depicted during the training process as they were engaging directly with the facilitator during the entire training session.

Student volunteers to hold training materials to show to other students

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.

During the Participation and Involvement session, the facilitator defined the 2 terms as taking an active role in the implementation of the project. The facilitator and pupils discussed how the contributions the children made were intended to help them feel ownership of the project. At the end of the session, each participant promised to be responsible for safeguarding the standards of the facilities.

Facilitator Samuel Simidi explains the solar disinfection method of treating water at training

Under the topic of Leadership and Governance, the facilitator helped the pupils understand that leadership comes with power, and power is associated with great responsibility. Driving this point home, he made it clear that a good leader is one who recognizes the power they have and still does not misuse or abuse it. This led to the election of the student health club leaders, which became a one-of-a-kind exercise. This was because more than 4 people contested for every single seat, yet each winner took their title with complete landslide victories. It was a very exciting moment for all of the students, and their enthusiasm showed great promise for their responsibility for their new WaSH facilities.

"Today's hygiene and sanitation training has impacted much knowledge on us and we hope to adhere to the best standards shared here today. As ambassadors of the training, we will share what we learned with our community so that their lives are impacted positively just like our own here today," said student Videlis.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

11/22/2019: Banja Primary School Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Banja 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

Rainwater Catchment

Rainwater is collected off strategic areas of a roof, enters a custom guttering system (which filters out debris) and leads to a storage tank. Tanks can vary in sizes and are determined by population and average rainfall patterns. Water can be stored for months, is easily treated in the tank, and is accessible through taps. These projects are implemented at schools with proper roof lines and gutter systems to make them successful.


shanahii's Campaign for Water
Sage's Campaign for Water
AQUA Party 2019

And 3 other fundraising page(s)
1 individual donor(s)