Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 446 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/05/2024

Project Features

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(Some photos pre-date the pandemic.)

"As the Senior Teacher, it's really hard to see how children suffer in this school," said Madam Linet Sagire of Kabinjari Primary School.

"Their performance is bad. This is because they waste a lot of time going to fetch water outside the school. Other teachers with the same position as mine really undermine me when we meet. They laugh at the school I am in, saying how I hold a big position and yet the school is poor."

The 431 pupils and 15 teachers and staff that make up Kabinjari Primary School are tired. Tired of walking to get water, tired of getting hurt along the way, and tired of the energy and money they are losing in treating the waterborne diseases that they contract from the water they drink.

Students here must leave school every day to fetch water. They head to a spring in the village, as well as open water sources that include a stagnant trench of muddy water and a small creek, to fetch water for all of their school's drinking, cooking, and cleaning needs. The path is steep, muddy, and often narrow, including a handmade wooden plank bridge over a stream. When it rains, much of the path becomes a slippery stream. Injuries in the name of fetching water are not uncommon. It then becomes an insult to literal injury when the students also get sick from the water they worked so hard to collect.

"They are physically drained," said Field Officer Laura Alulu in her field notes after one of her first visits to the school.

"Looking at the terrain of the place, the children have to go down the slope then climb up while carrying water. This drains them physically. Another negative consequence is how the children struggle for water; they end up fighting each other. Also, when it rains, the place becomes slippery, they fall down and get hurt, and the small bridge they use to cross is also risky for young children."

The spring the students go to has not been maintained well over the years, bringing the quality of the water into question. When students get fed up waiting for their turn to fill their container, the fights break out even though there is really nothing they can do to change the speed of this daily task. The alternative water source - the muddy trench - is faster yet so much worse in quality. Because the water is combined for use back at school, even one container of poor quality water means everyone suffers. Yet every day, the students fetch water from both sources to make it back in time for at least some lessons.

"The current water situation here affects me in a way that I cannot perform my duties well," said Deputy Head Teacher Hadley Shimeka.

"As the Deputy, I am in charge of discipline, so it becomes very hard to solve cases when children get involved in fights when they go to fetch water. Some parents come complaining and this becomes hard to solve such cases. This affects me because I don't feel like I have done my work to perfection."

Established in 1975 under the sponsorship of the Pentecostal Assemblies of God Church, Kabinjari Primary School has never had a water source or even a water storage container to its name. We plan to help change that.

What We Can Do:

Rain Tank

A 75,000-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 to unlock the potential for these students to live better, healthier lives.

Handwashing Stations

There is currently just one handwashing station for students to clean their hands after using the latrines or before eating lunch, but rarely the water or soap to do so.

The student health club will oversee the two 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

We will construct two triple-door latrine blocks using local materials that the school will help gather. Three doors will serve the girls while the other three 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.

Training on Health, Hygiene, COVID-19, and More

We will hold a one-day intensive training session with students, teachers, and parents. This training will cover a wide range of topics including COVID-19 symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention; personal and environmental hygiene; and the operation and maintenance of the rain tank, latrines, and handwashing stations. There will be a special emphasis on handwashing.

Our team of facilitators will use a variety of methods to train, including participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation, and asset-based community development. We will initiate a 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 including handwashing and water treatment. We will then conduct a series of follow-up trainings before transitioning to our regularly scheduled support visits throughout the year.

Project Updates

August, 2021: Kabinjari Primary School Rainwater Tank Project Complete!

Kabinjari 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 75,000 liters of water! We installed new latrines and handwashing stations for students, and we trained the school on improved sanitation and hygiene practices, including COVID-19 prevention. These components work together to unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

"As one of the students in this school, with sufficient water, I foresee improvement in my academics due to ample time for learning and concentration," said Alvine B.

Teachers were just as excited as the students about the new rain tank on campus.

"Being one of the teachers in this school, I project a reduction in the cases of absenteeism by the pupils. With 100% attendance, I foresee major improvements in our academics due to a conducive learning environment. Infections related to water will now be a thing of the past as our water will be fit for consumption," said Phoebe Iminza, senior teacher.

How We Go From Ground to Rain Tank

Construction for this 75,000-liter rain tank was successful!

Parents, staff, and students helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction. The school's kitchen staff and a few parents helped provide meals for the artisans, while the school provided the artisans' accommodations. 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 determine the best location for a new rain tank. This needed to be the best site with enough land and a nearby building with good, clean roofing to catch the rainwater.

Then, we cleared the site by excavating the soil to make level ground for the tank foundation. We cast the foundation by laying big stones on the level ground and reinforcing them using steel wire, concrete, and waterproof cement. We affixed both the drawing pipe and the drainage pipe as we laid the foundation.

Next, we formed the walls using a skeleton of rebar and wire mesh with sugar sacks temporarily tied to the outside as backing. We attached this to the foundation's edges so that the work team could start the Ferro-cementing process. They began layering the walls with cement, alternating with the inner and outer side until six cement layers were in place. (The sugar sacks are removed once the interior receives its first two layers of cement.)

Inside the tank, we cast one central and four support pillars to ensure the dome does not cave in once cemented. Meanwhile, we plastered the inner wall while roughcasting the outer walls. We dug and plastered the access area to the tap outside the tank, installing a short staircase. In front of the access area, we constructed a soak pit where spilled water can drain from the access area through the ground. The pit helps to keep the tap area dry and tidy.

Dome construction could begin after the tank walls settled. We attached a dome skeleton of rebar, wire mesh, and sugar sacks to the tank walls before cementing and plastering it using similar techniques as the wall construction. We included a small manhole cover into the dome to allow access for future cleanings and water treatments.

We propped long wooden poles (about 75 of them!) inside the tank to support the dome while it cured. Then it was down to the finishing touches: fitting a lockable cover over the tap area, affixing the gutters to the roof and tank, and setting an overflow pipe in place at the edge of the dome for when the tank reaches capacity.

Once finished, we gave the rain tank three to four weeks to undergo complete curing. Finally, we removed the interior support poles and dome sugar sacks and cleaned the tank.

We officially handed over the rain tank to the school directly following the training. Students and staff celebrated the presence of clean water on campus. The event was an excellent chance for us to acknowledge the school administration and students as the primary parties entrusted with the tools we have given and remind them of our continued support as they develop. Happiness, thanksgiving, and appreciation were the order of the day flowing in all directions.

VIP Latrines

This project funded six new ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines, three for the girls and three for the boys. These new latrines have cement floors designed to be easy to use and clean, locking doors for safety and privacy, and vents designed to keep air flowing up and out through the roof. With a rain tank right on school property, there should be enough water to keep them clean.

Handwashing Stations

The two handwashing stations were set up during training 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 will teach other students how to wash their hands at the stations properly, make sure the stations are filled with water, and ensure that there is always a cleaning agent such as soap or ash available.

New Knowledge

We scheduled hygiene and sanitation training with the school's staff, who ensured that the training date would be convenient for pupils and teachers. When the training day arrived, facilitators Patience Njeri and Samuel Simidi deployed to the site to lead the event. Eighteen students and teachers attended the training, which we held inside a classroom.

The weather was calm and hot, so we held our hygiene and sanitation training inside a classroom. We maintained physical spacing in consideration of COVID-19 and still managed to create an atmosphere that encouraged participation and learning.

We focused on COVID-19 prevention, transmission, and symptoms while also covering several other topics. These included personal hygiene such as bathing, oral hygiene, and the ten steps of handwashing; environmental hygiene; child rights; operation and maintenance of the rain tank, latrines, and handwashing stations; and leadership and governance. During the latter, the students elected their peers to lead their newly formed student health club.

The club will be significantly involved in the water, sanitation, and hygiene project management at school. It will encourage good health and hygiene practices amongst their peers, teachers, and the larger community. We involved stretches, dances, and physical activities between each topic to keep the pupils' energy up and their minds active. By the end of the training, each pupil understood their role in sustaining clean water and good health within their school community.

One of the most memorable topics was Covid-19 and Coronavirus. The participants wanted confirmation from the facilitator on whether Covid-19 is real. The facilitator confirmed that it is real. It has led to a dramatic loss of human life worldwide and presents an unprecedented challenge to public health.

"For one to live a good life, one needs to be of good health. When we observe and maintain good hygiene and sanitation standards, we are guaranteed healthy living. Today's training has been enriching to me, and I promise to maintain the positive side of all I have learned," said Everlyne V.

"We have been taught how to improvise a handwashing facility. Quite a number of households in the villages don't have handwashing facilities as they are not able to afford them. This has always hindered them from frequent washing of their hands. As one of the ambassadors, this knowledge has to reach every household beginning today so that our people live a healthy life," said Michael K,  chairperson of the student health club.

We asked Michael what it was like to be at home for most of the last year due to Kenya's national coronavirus-related school closures and what it has been like coming back to school.

"I entirely missed my teachers and fellow classmates. Today, I feel good being with them. Finally, there is hope in my life. I am taking my studies more seriously so as to be on par with the many students who want to be successful in life."

When an issue arises concerning the tank, the students and teachers are equipped with the necessary skills to rectify the problem and ensure the water point works appropriately. However, if the issue is beyond their capabilities, they can contact our field officers to assist them. Also, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our ongoing monitoring and maintenance program.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

July, 2021: Kabinjari Primary School Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Kabinjari 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!

A Year Later: Better Concentration in School!

August, 2022

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kabinjari 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!

Life at Kabinjari Primary School was challenging for students like 12-year-old Eunice K. before we installed a rain tank at her school last year.

"Everything before the installation of this water point was hard and painful," Eunice said. "I had to bring water from home on a daily basis. This was really hard and discouraging because you reach school tired, yet you have to be in class the whole day for lessons."

But water accessibility at her school has changed things for Eunice.

"With the water point within the school compound, I now enjoy my lessons more than before because now I can concentrate better knowing anytime water is needed, I will not have to be pulled out of class to go for it."

Having water available has not only helped boost Eunice's mood and motivation, but her whole school has benefited.

"[Before], we would wash our classrooms only once a week on Friday evening. After classes on Fridays, students would go home to collect more water and return to the school to clean. But now we have readily available water, which we use in cleaning our classes and areas around the school. Now our school is very clean," concluded Eunice.

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 Kabinjari 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 Kabinjari 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 Underwriter - H2O for Life
Texas Instruments Foundation Employee Match
Owen and Ari's Campaign for Water
Kingston 's Campaign for Water
Natalie's Campaign for Water
Kimarie's Birthday Campaign for Water
Eliana's Birthday Campaign for Water

And 2 other fundraising page(s)
4 individual donor(s)