Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 309 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/07/2024

Project Features

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"As the Head Teacher, I have always wished to head a school that is able to satisfy the needs of every child in every way, but ever since the school was started it has never had water," reflected Mrs. Monica Wamboi of Kapsegeli KAG Primary School.

"When we meet as school heads, it challenges me how my colleagues have made big steps in their schools. Although I always looked forward to better things ahead, lack of water is a very big problem. When I see the children go for water outside the school I get worried because of their safety. They waste a lot of time and energy, and this affects their performance. Being the headteacher, I really lack peace."

There is no source of water on campus for Kapsegeli KAG Primary's 297 students and 12 teachers and staff. Founded in 1999 by the Kenya Assemblies of God Church and the local community members, it has always been this way.

In an attempt to meet all of the school's daily drinking, cooking, and cleaning needs, pupils are sent to a spring in the community where they wait in long lines - either of their own making due to their high population, or combined with the line of community members fetching water.

The spring is located down a very steep and hilly section of land surrounded by trees, which becomes slick with mud when it rains. Students report tiring out from the trip to get water and carrying it back to school, which they are sometimes required to do multiple times a day. This wastes a lot of precious learning time and zaps pupils' energy and attention once they are back in class.

The spring area is not well maintained, bringing the quality of water into question. Most importantly, however, are the dirty containers students use to collect the water, which contaminate anything that enters them. Typhoid, cholera, and dysentery are among the most commonly contracted illnesses for students here.

Other consequences of relying on the spring water are putting the children at risk of getting physically hurt while slipping in the mud or getting tired, and students and staff feeling emotionally drained. When students scramble on the walk there and back, pushing and pulling each other down the path, they inevitably slide and fall. This adds to their list of physical injuries and brings morale down for everyone.

"The water situation in this school is not good," said School Board Chair Ann Asega plainly.

"The distance from which the children go in search of water is far, and we end up losing students every term to other neighboring schools [with better situations]. As the Board Chair, I always look forward to the school population increasing, but the water issues are now making me worried."

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 nowhere for students to wash their hands after using the latrines or before eating lunch, let alone the water to do so.

The student health club will oversee the 2 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

2 triple-door latrine blocks 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. 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 1-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

June, 2021: Kapsegeli KAG Primary School Rain Tank Complete!

Kapsegeli KAG 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.

"Now, I will be drinking water at school without fear. Having this water point at school means we will no longer go far to fetch water again, so I will use that time for my extra studies and improve on my performance. We will also be cleaning our classroom daily and not weekly like before," said Samuel.

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

"This project has been a big help. Our students will no longer go outside the school compound to fetch water again, which saves time, so we will concentrate on improving our academic performance," said Justus Mambe, a 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.

The school administration invited the board of management and the church that sponsors the school to receive the project. Together we had prayers to dedicate the projects. The school is happy to have the project and has promised to take good care of it and pray that God will protect the donors and give them more life to continue helping the other needy schools around the globe.

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 Stella Inganji, Olivia Chebet, and Betty Muhongo deployed to the site to lead the event. Seventeen students and teachers attended the training.

The training was held outside of the school because the school compound was occupied with construction materials, and it was too hot to be in a classroom. The headteacher chose participants from several different classes in grades five to seven.

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 memorable topic was personal hygiene. We discussed the topic in-depth, and the students enjoyed it and really gave their best by answering many questions. We even practiced some needed hygiene skills like toothbrushing and handwashing.

"The training has come at the right time when the whole country is trying to control this pandemic. To me, what I will carry forward is good hygiene practices. This will help a lot in fighting the spread of COVID-19 and also in being healthy," said Prudence, the student president of the Health Club.

"After the training, a lot will change. For instance, I have been washing my hands with no seriousness believing I might not be affected by the virus, but from now on, moving forward, I will properly wash my hands with soap and running water," said Shillah.

We asked Shillah 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 missed studying and playing with my friends. I also missed my teachers a lot, especially their help in class. Things were not easy at home. I could not study as I wanted to because I had to finish house chores first. Now I can study without house chores disturbing me and even be taught by my teachers."

When an issue arises concerning the water project, 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!

May, 2021: Kapsegeli KAG Primary School Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Kapsegeli KAG 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: "I rarely miss schooling!"

October, 2022

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kapsegeli KAG 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!

"It was so hectic, especially carrying water and books in the morning when it is very cold," said 11-year-old student Iminza S., when describing what life was like for her before we installed a rain tank at her school last year.

"Much of our time meant for studies was going to waste when [we were] sent for more water [at] a distant surface water [source] because [what] water the [students] carried in the morning was not enough to run all [the] school activities," said Iminza. "Water now is readily available within the school compound, so getting it is very easy as opposed to before."

Iminza's teacher, 49-year-old Daniel Apat, also had exciting things to share.

Teacher Daniel Apat.

"Currently, there is increased teacher [and] pupil contact, which has resulted in good performances, and also [the] teaching staff has been able to complete [the] syllabus on time. Health aspects have improved [for] both learners and teaching staff because we are getting enough clean and safe water for drinking. Besides, [the] relationship between [the] school and the [local] society has been restored because students are no longer going outside for water. Also, we do allow them to use [the] waterpoint when they have community functions, thus strengthening the ties more," said Daniel.

"Moreso, water from the tank is safe for drinking because treatment is done on [a] regular basis. Thus, we [are] no longer prone to waterborne and water-related ailments as it was before on consuming water from unknown water sources," said Iminza.

She concluded: "The water point has helped me personally greatly. I used to be a victim of waterborne ailments before, but since the installation of the water point, I rarely miss schooling, and this has translated [into] good performance in my academics."

Iminza waters the school garden.

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 Kapsegeli KAG 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 Kapsegeli KAG 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 - Milliman IntelliScript