Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/05/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

When we went for our first visit to Sikhendu Primary School during the holiday and therefore did not find anyone there. We had to make a call to the nearest teacher available, Mr. Paul Mwema. He received our call and rushed to the school very quickly after he heard that we were there to help provide his students with water. He said that we were "God-sent" since they have been desperately waiting for this kind of help.

There are 850 students attending Sikhendu Primary School who do not have a reliable source of clean water. When the school first opened in 1992, the parents recognized their children's need for water and dug a well behind one of the classrooms.

This well is a hole in the ground covered by a hatch. It is entirely susceptible to contamination, especially as students constantly lower a bucket inside to bring up the water. Whoever dug the well stopped right when they hit water. This is a problem because the well dries up during the dry season because it is not deep enough.

Water scarcity affects the pupils' academic performance because it takes a lot of time to collect water. It is also very dangerous for the younger pupils because they can easily fit through the hatch and fall inside.

After drinking the water from this well, the pupils tend to get sick.

"We suffer so much," said Teacher Paul Mwema.

"Especially during the dry season because the well dries up. The pupils have to bring water from home every day which places a physical toll on them and wastes their time."

The water students carry to school during these times is even riskier to drink, since teachers have no idea where it comes from.

Students need a cleaner, more reliable source of water. A rainwater tank will allow the school to store water in a way that it can be treated before drinking. With clean water nearby, they will be able to focus on their studies in mathematics, English, Swahili, social studies, sciences, and religion.

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 currently nowhere for students to wash their 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 population is on a high increase. The National Government Insurance Fund helped to construct the Early Child Development classes but they did not construct toilets for them - so they use the available toilets which are at the far end of the school. The toilets are in poor condition as even some of the doors are falling off while others have leaking roofs," said Headteacher Carolyne Musonye.

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

December, 2019: Sikhendu Primary School Project Complete!

Sikhendu Primary School in Kenya now has access to a new source of safe, clean water thanks to the completion of their rain tank, which can 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.

"The children were wasting a lot of time going to fetch water from home during dry seasons, but now, with the availability of water in the school, the children are enjoying their breaks and lunch sessions," said teacher Salome Kabosa.

Sikhendu Primary School members are indeed grateful for the project that will change their lives in a big way. They will now enjoy clean drinking water in the school compound. Before, they had very few pit latrines which were barely enough for the huge population. With the additional pit latrines constructed, the congestion has decreased.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of 6 new ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines, 3 for girls and 3 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.

New Knowledge

The project officer together with the deputy headteacher planned for a hygiene and sanitation training. They ensured that the training date would be convenient for students The participants were recruited from classes 4 to 6, both boys and girls, and were instructed to be ready in the assigned classroom on Wednesday at 11 o'clock. The headteacher, deputy headteacher, and some teachers also attended at on point of the training.

The day of the training was hot. We conducted the training in one of the new classrooms in the school which had not been officially opened for the pupils to use. This created the perfect quiet environment away from distractions.

We covered several 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.

The participants were very involved and active since initiatives were being handed to the most active pupil which made everyone to be keen during training. The students were taught how to develop themselves through the Child to Child club so that the lessons that were learned during the training could be taught to fellow students and maintained in the future. The new group plans to meet every Thursday at 3:30 PM, then decided by the end of the training.

"The training will help us know how to maintain the tank so that it can serve us for as long as possible," said Headteacher Carolyne Musonye.

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.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

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 - H2O for Life
The Roney Family Foundation
27Teas, LLC