Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Nov 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/04/2024

Project Features

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It was a hot and dry day when we first toad a motorbike to Shinyikha Primary School, making the dirt road very dusty. Shinyikha Primary School is located nearby Shiyikha Market, but there was minimal activity at the market because it was too hot. The name "shinyikha" in the local dialect means "nuisance". Everything in the area was given this name because the land is swampy and most structures sink.

The school was established in 2007 by the government, and has grown to have 758 students.

Pupils arrive around 6:30am with books and water container in hand. They are asked to bring water that is used for cleaning and drinking throughout morning classes. Students break again for lunch, going back out to find more water for the afternoon.

That's because there's not enough water at school - just one small plastic tank. There isn't even safe drinking water nearby for students to walk to. There is a community member who has a well, but he is not friendly and does not allow the students to fetch water there. So, students leave class to fetch dirty water from open sources that they find in the community.

The water from these open sources dries up in the dry season, so students are forced to bring even more water from home. When that's used up, the nearest water source is a spring located three kilometers away.

To help alleviate the dangers of drinking dirty water, the school staff has some filters in their office. However, some students are too afraid to enter the staffroom and ask to drink that water, so they drink the dirty water without treatment.

So much time and energy is wasted in the search for water, and the students' health is always at risk. The students are often absent because of the lack of water at school, not wanting to carry heavy containers back and forth each day. Or, they go back home early pretending they went back out to fetch more water. Since the water they are fetching is contaminated, water-related diseases affect these students and they miss class for treatment.

What we can do:

The school cook has no dish rack because it was stolen during the school holidays. Now the dishes are being aired on the ground. The headteacher has promised us they'd construct another one. They have one handwashing facility but it's for the teachers only.

The latrine to student ratio is terrible. There are only 10 latrines for these 758 students, which is really half as much as they need.

"We have a few latrines and it gives us a hard time during break time," said Metrine.

Latrines are only cleaned once a week because of the water shortage. Most girls drop out of school early because of their menstrual cycle because they are ashamed to use the filthy latrines. They opt to stay home and often lose hope when they return to school and are not able to catch up with classwork.


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

We will build two triple-door latrines 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.

Handwashing Stations

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

November, 2019: Shinyikha Primary School Project Complete!

Shinyikha 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.

Students give thumbs up for the new 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.

Students deliver bricks to the construction site

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.

Pouring concrete over the rain tank's stone 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.

Working inside the tank to cement the 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.

Attaching the dome's form to the tank walls

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

Completed rain tank

The project was handed over to the school in the presence of the Board of Management chair and the teachers. Happy faces everywhere were evidence of the joy they felt. The head teacher was very grateful to our team for easing the burden of water for the students in the school. He said he hoped that absenteeism will be managed as the time wasted to get water has always delayed the learning process. He promised to ensure that the project is well maintained to benefit the school.

Officially handing over the project to the school

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.

"With this water at the school we will be now coming to school with lesser luggage, we [will] no longer carry water [with] the books while coming to school. We will be in school on time. We will drink safe and clean water since now we will be sure of where it is coming from," said 16-year-old student Nelson Atolwa.

High fives for safe water

VIP Latrines

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

Boys 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.

Girls celebrate 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.

Girls at a handwashing station

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.

New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was scheduled with the help of the school principal and Health Teacher Wilkister Ingato, who together 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.

23 students attended training, all of whom were really eager to learn and participated actively. The weather for the day was sunny and pleasant which was conducive to a good day of training, which was held both in a classroom and outside.

Students react 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.

Student uses a handwashing station

We also conducted a clinic for jigger removal on the same day as training, helping 8 students. After this, students especially wanted to learn how to manage the jiggers since they were always afraid to be in contact with those that were affected, and so we discussed it accordingly.

This is a school that we will be making keen follow up on for the anti-jigger campaign, which we will bring right back to students' homes so that the pupils can live in a jigger-free environment. We will organize another cleaning exercise while protecting Marko Spring, which happens to be in the same community.

Jigger removal clinic

In the session on water pollution and proper handling of it, the trainer explained to learners that it is important to change containers of stored drinking water after every 3 days to be sure the water is fresh and safe. One student named Lucy was shocked upon hearing this and asked how can one pour out clean water when it is still clean, but the trainer explained that it is easy for bacteria to start growing in water that sits stagnant in a pot, so it is healthier to change water after every 3 days to avoid this problem.

Clean water flows from the rain tank

"This training has made me learn the importance of cleanliness. From today I will be bathing every day and putting on clean clothes," said 16-year-old student Chrispnus Museve.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

October, 2019: Shinyikha Primary School Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Shinyikha 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!


1 individual donor(s)