Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/09/2024

Project Features

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Mabanga Community is rural and yet full of different activities. There's lots of farming and lots of construction, with a big new bridge being built on a main road nearby.

Mabanga Primary School began in 1981 with just a nursery class and the first two grades. The school grew as the years progressed and in 1989 they held their first Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exams. Now there are 816 students enrolled at the school.

The school has no water. They must send students out to find what they need. The main water source is Mabanga Stream, but during the dry season the streams dries up and pupils are asked to bring water from their homes where the sources are unknown and often unsafe for drinking.

The walk for water and the process of delivering it back to school interrupts class and study time. Students are tired after hauling heavy containers of water. Moreover, this water is dirty and so students constantly suffer from waterborne illnesses like typhoid.

The water at the school is not treated in any way and is stored in a 70-liter plastic container that is used for cooking and drinking. The container for storage is not covered and anyone can use the water from it for drinking.

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.

VIP Latrines

There are only nine usable latrines, and these latrines are in pathetic condition. They do not have doors! They are dirty with cracks in the floors.

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.

The school is eager to demolish some of the old, dangerous latrines once we've built these new ones.

Handwashing Stations

There is no water near the latrines which means students don't wash their hands after going to the bathroom.

We will deliver two handwashing stations to the school, and the CTC club will fill them with water on a daily basis and make sure there is always a cleaning agent such as soap or ash.

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

May, 2019: Mabanga Primary School Repair Work

The artisan returned to the tank at Mabanga Primary School to reconstruct the drawing point so that the hatch fits nicely over the top. This will ensure the safest, easiest access for students as they fetch water throughout the school day! Check out the new pictures uploaded to the project page to see the repair process.

March, 2019: Mabanga Primary School Project Complete

There is a new rainwater catchment system at Mabanga 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 have received training in sanitation and hygiene.

Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction of this new rainwater catchment tank was a big success!

"When Emma walked into my office in October 2018 accompanied by Rev. Flavian, I thought this is another visitor who signs a visitors' book and leaves. When she called in December 2018 for us to sign an MOU (memorandum of understanding), I still was skeptical about the project - but when in January 2019 materials were delivered to the school, I said 'my God you have remembered Mabanga Primary!' You have given the school the most important service, and that's water, since water is life you have given this school life," declared Headteacher Echesa.

Stones are still being gathered so that we can fill in the drainage trench, but that should be done soon too!

It was such a celebration to hand the tank over to the school, especially because it had received its first rains. Students came out of their classrooms and sang and danced in celebration (see video in the Photos section)!

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 students helped our artisans a lot by gathering the water need to mix cement.

Students dropping off water they got from the river

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 stones 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 lain. The wall was built with ferro-cement techniques through six layers. The inner wall was plastered while rough casting was done on the outer part.

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. The school prefect has one of the keys and will open it when his peers need water.

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 three weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Mabanga Primary School, though we will continue to offer them great support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.

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.

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit latrines. These were all given to the female students since they had the greatest need. All of these new 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.

The latrines are very good for the pupils, especially the girl child. Students will have privacy while using the latrines, as the older ones have no doors. We have continued to talk to the headteacher to see if there is any way to put doors on the old ones, even if they are made of iron sheets.

New Knowledge

We planned a hygiene and sanitation training once construction of the rainwater tank and VIP latrines was complete. We worked with the headteacher and the sanitation teacher to select student leaders from classes four through seven. These students will form a student health club that is responsible for sharing what they learned with their peers.

All the participants were eager and ready to learn. The project excited the whole school and we had pupils peeping through the windows to have a glance at what was being done inside the training room.

The students and their teachers needed knowledge on 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 water pollution and treatment methods, handwashing, dental hygiene, operations and maintenance of the facilities, group dynamics, and leadership and governance.

When the facilitator asked students what healthcare means, Milka said that it means "matibabu" (treatment for any disease or ailment). The facilitator explained that healthcare is taking care of personal health, the environment, and hygiene. It is important to take a bath, keep nails short because long nails store germs, keep hair neat, and to air out beds.

Toothbrushing training

On environmental hygiene, we talked about water storage because the school has never had good water storage on school grounds.

The facilitator also showed different pictures of good hygiene practices like covering water storage with a lid, not drinking directly from the storage container, how to cover food with a lid to avoid insects and dogs from eating from the cooking pots, the importance of washing hands, and wearing clean clothes.

When asked about how much water one should drink per day, Yasin said eight glasses but confessed that he only drinks water when at home. That will all change with the rainwater tank - it has been received with so much excitement and the school was so eager for the first rains (which came soon after).

"I never used to wash my hands because there was no water, but now I know the importance of washing my hands to keep away diseases," said Pelinah.

Thank You for making all of this possible!

February, 2019: Mabanga Primary School Project Underway

Due to an unforeseen transition in school leadership, the water project at Shihumbu Girls’ Secondary School is on hold. To ensure your support has the greatest and most lasting impact possible, we’ve transferred your support to nearby Mabanga Primary School. The situation at Mabanga Primary is severe and urgent as students are leaving class every day to get water from a dirty river that flows along the main road in Mabanga.

Get to know Mabanga Primary School through the stories and pictures we’ve posted, and read about the water, sanitation and hygiene project you will be supporting. We join Mabanga Primary School in being so thankful for your support!

Project Videos

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!

Giving Udpate: Mabanga Primary School

February, 2021

A year ago, your generous donation helped Mabanga Primary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Milcah. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Mabanga Primary School.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Mabanga Primary School maintain access to safe, reliable water. Together, they keep The Water Promise.

We’re confident you'll love joining this world-changing group committed to sustainability!

"We used to bring water from home and sometimes if there was no water at home, we were forced to come and fetch at the river near the school. We never used to play, as free time was used for fetching water."

"We had stomach problems and they said it was because of drinking dirty water. We wasted a lot of time meant for reading."

"Today, I am happy I have enough time to study. We have clean water for drinking and it is treated. We now participate in extracurricular activities, and I believe that I will pass my exams since I have time to study."

"I have excelled in my examinations. I can now play because there is time. We have improved in hygiene, and we have water to wash our hands at the handwashing facilities."

Milcah and another student give thumbs up for clean water from the rain tank.

Navigating through intense dry spells, performing preventative maintenance, conducting quality repairs when needed and continuing to assist community leaders to manage water points are all normal parts of keeping projects sustainable. The Water Promise community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Mabanga Primary School maintain access to safe, reliable water.

We’d love for you to join this world-changing group committed to sustainability.

The most impactful way to continue your support of Mabanga Primary School – and hundreds of other places just like this – is by joining our community of monthly givers.

Your monthly giving will help provide clean water, every month... keeping The Water Promise.


Project Sponsor - Imago Dei Community
23 individual donor(s)