Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/03/2024

Project Features

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It was a chilly and drizzly day just as we were to set out for Kakamega Muslim Primary School. We had to wait a bit for the rain to subside because we'd need to tour the school and get good pictures. We were able to visit later that day when the sun came out.

The school started in the 1960s with the objective of educating children who had to travel 2 kilometers to the nearest school. They started the school with the name Ndani Primary School and changed the name to Kakamega Muslim Primary School in 1998. It is a public primary school that admits learners of different religious backgrounds from within and without Kakamega County.

The 9 classrooms on school grounds are not enough for the 491 students, so some of them have to meet outside. They study English, Kiswahili, social studies, mathematics, science, and religion, taught by 39 teachers and staff. (We have capped the number served by this project to 500 due to the average expected capacity of a rain tank).

This primary school used to share a compound with the secondary section, but since the partition was done, the protected well fell on the side of the secondary school. The water is entirely owned and managed by the secondary school and the primary students have to operate on their terms. That means that at times, the secondary school restricts access and is not willing to pump the water up to the primary school's small plastic tank.

When the students don't have water, they have to go out into the community to find it. They carry their containers to a surface water source where community members also draw water. This water is filthy and unsafe for drinking.

The headteacher reported that there are many cases of students getting skin diseases, and they miss school to receive treatment. When there is limited access to the water from the well the students go to the spring which poses even greater health risks. "I personally have to carry a bottle of drinking water from home since there is no assurance that we will get water from the well. The students mostly depend on the water from the tank or the spring, but for those who can manage, they carry water from home. This basically does not last them the whole day. This kind of situation in one way or another affects our health, work, and performance," said Headteacher Oyuga.

What we can do:

The area around the school is bushy and overgrown, creating a conducive environment for mosquitoes. Some of the boys' toilets have no doors installed so they provide no privacy. The toilets also have a strong smell and get dirty quickly because they are only cleaned in the morning. The pupils also share the toilets with outsiders who pass through the fence, which has subjected them to overuse. We also noted that there is no water kept nearby the latrines due to scarcity.


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

We will deliver 2 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

2 triple-door latrines 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. 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

January, 2020: Kakamega Muslim Primary School Project Complete!

Kakamega Muslim 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 a thumbs up for clean water in front of the new rain tank

"This new water point will really be of great help to us," said Head Teacher Mr. Silvester Oyuga.

"This school has been facing a lot of challenges due to a lack of water. The sanitation levels were down simply because the water was not enough. In addition, we used to borrow water from the high school section. This was a big challenge because they always required us to pay before they pumped the water over to us. In cases where they failed to give us the water, then our students were forced to go outside the school compound in a nearby spring to look for water. The place was so risky for these young children since it was so close to the street. This new water point will really be of help to us, we are so grateful."

A pupil laughs after splashing her face with water

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.

Artisan lays wire over the rain tank's stone foundation

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.

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.

Cementing interior rain tank walls

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.

Pupil watches as dome's wire base is attached to the rain tank

The only challenge during the construction of this project was how it ended up occurring at the same time as the pupils' national examinations. These are taken very seriously and no one other than pupils and students are allowed on campus when they are underway, so our artisan had to be very flexible with early morning and late evenings to get the work done. Though it was slow-going at first, the work team persisted and all construction was eventually completed.

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

Girls pose 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 stand in unity 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 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. 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.

A pupil uses a handwashing station

New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was scheduled with the help of the school principal and Head Teacher Mr. Silvester Oyuga, who together helped ensure that the training date would be convenient for students, staff, and parent representatives. Mr. Oyuga and Sanitation Teacher Mrs. Claura Amatha helped by selecting students from each class to represent the others. Priority was given to those who are typically active in class and have a high level of participation.

Pupils taking notes during training

23 students attended training. The majority of those who were selected were able to attend. In addition, other participants also came because they got interested and wanted to know what the rest were being taught. The conditions for training were so favorable as the weather was sunny. This affected the training positively. Since it was not so hot, we did the training outside under a big tree that provided some nice shade. This venue was also favorable for the breeze, which kept all of the participants alert. Being outside was also good for demonstrations as we did not have to keep moving in and out to do demonstrations like toothbrushing and handwashing.

A boy demonstrates toothbrushing during training

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.

A girl demonstrates handwashing to her classmates

The level of participation for the attendees was high. This could be seen in how they responded to questions and were keen on what they were told. The pupils grasped the demonstrations given to them and were able to do exactly what they were told.

Pupils were particularly interested in the session on personal hygiene and sanitation as they asked many questions. First, students wanted to know why they were encouraged to drink a lot of water, so we talked about how water keeps our skin from drying out, aids in digestion, and helps to reduce headaches, among the many other reasons. Under this topic, we also demonstrated solar disinfection as a free method for treating water, which the pupils were very interested in.

A student's notes diagraming the parts of the rain tank and how it is to be cleaned

Later, while teaching the students about the parts and functions of the rain tank, they were very keen on understanding how it is cleaned. Everyone promised to be each other's keeper and to help each other remember what they were told concerning maintaining the structures that they have been provided with. We took this as a good sign for the longevity of their rain tank.

"As the sanitation teacher of this school, this training will really be of great help to us," said Mrs. Amatha.

"For a very long time, this school has had issues with sanitation and hygiene. This is because of the lack of water in our school. Being a Muslim school, water is also used in plenty. A lot of what the students didn't have knowledge of has now been imparted to them. They will also share the same knowledge with those who didn't attend this training so that they can all work together to ensure that sanitation and hygiene standards are high and that the project is well-sustained."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

December, 2019: Kakamega Muslim Primary School Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Kakamega Muslim 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!


H2O for Life
3 individual donor(s)