Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 424 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/06/2024

Project Features

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Please note, original photos were taken before the pandemic.

Jeptorol village is a peaceful, rural area with frequent noise from motorcycles which is the common mode of transport in this place. The area is vegetated mainly with tea plantations and trees, though a few people grow maize, bananas, and vegetables too. People here also rear cattle, goats, and chickens on a small scale. Beautiful scenery comprising of granite rocks in varied shapes can be seen in different parts of the village.

K.G. Jeptorol Primary School was founded in 2002 under the sponsorship of the Pentecostal Assemblies of God (PAG) Church. The school's original goal was to serve orphans and children living in destitution in the community. The church building served as classrooms until 2007 when the school constructed its first classrooms. It started with an enrollment of 57 pupils and 3 staff which has since grown to the current population of 409 pupils and 15 staff. Teachers and staff still share the staff room and kitchen with the church, which is in the same compound as the school.

What neither the church nor the school has been able to provide for students is a source of water on campus. The lack of water on campus means the entire school relies on students carrying water from home for all of the school's drinking, cooking, and cleaning needs. But the students can never carry enough to meet all of these needs. Still, it is a daily requirement the school has no choice but to enforce.

On a typical school-going day, each pupil begins their morning early at home by collecting water. They must either take it from their family's water storage, such as their home rain tanks or buckets where their mothers already fetched water by hand. Otherwise, after washing up and taking breakfast, they begin their walk to school and hope to collect water along the way. Some students will fetch water from surface runoff on the side of the road or streams, simply because it helps them get to school on time.

"As a mother, it pains me when l see children as young as 4 years walk into school every morning carrying water and books at the same time. Cases of absenteeism are very high because pupils get sick frequently as a result of the consumption of contaminated water. We are eagerly awaiting the implementation of the WASH project in our school so that these problems can be solved," said Headteacher Mrs. Florence Aseyo.

By 7:00 am, pupils arrive in the school compound carrying their jerrycan of water and a bag of books. They arrive at 7:00 am and start with some cleaning tasks. There is not always enough water to clean things thoroughly, however, so things like the latrines and students' hands frequently go unwashed. Students start their classes at 8:00 am until 12:45 pm when they break for lunch. Lunchtime is another opportunity for students to walk home and back to fetch more water.

Pupils are back at school by 2:00 pm with more water from home. Immediately after they arrive, pupils attend afternoon lessons until 4:00 pm when they go for games or, if it is a Friday, they wash the classrooms, offices, and latrines. They are released for the day at 5:00 pm. In between lessons, pupils are given short breaks to use the toilets and play.

There are many complications to an entire school relying on students for water. Pupils often arrive late and tired from their burdensome walk, and sometimes they are too tired to focus well in class. This negatively impacts their performance.

Since teachers and parents alike cannot monitor the children as they fetch water at home, no one is sure of which source is safe for consumption and which is dirty. Even clean water is contaminated by pupils' dirty containers or unwashed hands as they carry the containers to school. And once at school, the water is combined for use, so even 1 contaminated source means everyone is at risk of water-related diseases.

Drinking water from this water source causes frequent illnesses among students and teachers alike. The most commonly reported cases include typhoid, bilharzia, and diarrhea due to the consumption of the contaminated water brought to school.

School staff must also enforce a strict rationing system to make do with the little water students are able to bring to school, impacting everyone at school.

"I get very thirsty during the day but I have no water to drink because the water that we bring from home is very little and is only used for cooking, cleaning, and other chores. We also don't wash our hands after using the latrines, yet dirty hands are major transmitters of hygiene-related diseases," said pupil Critcos.

"If we had water in school, we would have sufficient, clean, and safe water to drink, clean, and cook."

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 1 handwashing station meant to be shared among all students and staff at the school, but there is rarely enough water to fill it. It is also located in front of the staffroom, which discourages students from using it.

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: KG Jeptorol Primary School Rain Water Tank Complete!

KG Jeptorol 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! In addition, 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.

"I will not be carrying a jerrican to school every morning, so I'll be arriving at school fresh and ready for learning. In addition, the availability of safe drinking water means a reduction in the transmission of waterborne diseases to us," said Silas.

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

"As a teacher, I'll be happy to see my pupils come to school with books only, and not with a jerrican of water like it has previously been," said teacher Jane Imali.

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. Next, we cast the foundation by laying big stones on the level ground and reinforcing them using steel wire, concrete, and waterproof cement. Finally, 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. Next, they began layering the walls with cement, alternating with the inner and outer sides 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. Next, 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. In addition, 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 Afuya Elvis, Victor Alemo, and Amos Emisikodeployed to the site to lead the event. Sixteen students and teachers attended the training, which we held.

With the help of the senior teacher, Mrs. Imali, participants were randomly picked across the eight classes in the school. The training was conducted at the school parade grounds. It was the ideal location due to good air circulation and good lighting, and it proved spacious enough to maintain a physical distance.

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.

The participants were amazed to find out the best practices regarding dental hygiene, such as brushing their teeth. They were willing to depart from their traditional brushing ways that might be harmful to their gums. In addition, the students enjoyed learning about solar water disinfection and how they can easily treat drinking water and make it safe for consumption.

"The training has been of immense help to us. For example, we have learned how to treat water without boiling and or chlorination. We have also learned how to properly brush our teeth to avoid injuries to our tender gums," said Eugene.

We asked Eugene 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.

"We were greatly affected by the closure because we are now one class behind in terms of our studies. I missed interacting with my friends at school and learning. Now that I'm back to school, I'm working hard in class so that I can be promoted to the next class."

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: KG Jeptorol Primary School Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at KG Jeptorol 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: No More Stomachaches!

July, 2022

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help KG Jeptorol 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!

Before we built a rain tank at KG Jeptorol Primary School, everyone used the water students were able to fetch from outside of the school grounds. Pupils would juggle their books along with heavy containers of water, depleting their energy before their school day had even begun. Students were often absent, and there was no end to the crisis in sight.

"It was tiresome and difficult to get clean and safe water," said 13-year-old student Alfin L.

Now, a year later, the rain tank has changed the lives of staff and students alike. Hygiene practices have significantly improved and students are no longer bringing water from sources open to contamination.

"It feels good to get water from this water point," Alfin continued. "I no longer have stomachaches and this has enabled me to be in school more. This water point has made me learn and practice good general hygiene."

With water on school grounds, students have been able to get back to learning, ensuring better futures for the entire school population.

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 KG Jeptorol 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 KG Jeptorol 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 - Cornvinus Trading
The Michelle LeMay Philanthrophy Fund
2 individual donor(s)