Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 431 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2021

Functionality Status:  Low/No Water or Mechanical Breakdown

Last Checkup: 05/08/2024

Project Features

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In 2011, the African Divine Church (ADC) founded Bahati ADC Primary School. Today, the school serves 416 students and 15 teachers and staff. The school fairs well in academics and even in co-curricular activities, accomplishments that shine brighter when compared to the severe water crisis the pupils face every day.

The only water source on school grounds is a small plastic rain tank. As this tank is quickly and often emptied, the school requires students to arrive in school with water each day. Some students fetch water from their homes, which may or may not have safe sources of water.

Other students fetch water along the way to school at whichever sources they find to ease their burden of carrying the heavy container along with their books and trying to get to class on time. Students commonly choose a muddy river along the road to fetch water, despite the water being unquestionably unsafe for consumption.

"We have really been affected due to the lack of clean and safe water in the school. This has contributed to more time used in carrying water from our homes. Hence we cannot attend morning classes. Secondly, we are forced to do manual cleaning twice a week, hence raising concerns on our hygiene standards which contribute to illnesses amongst us," explained pupil Ivyline. She added that the prospect of the 75,000-liter rain tank in her school would be  "a new dawn in our lives as pupils."

In addition to missing their morning lessons, as Ivyline said, pupils often have to leave school mid-day to fetch more water for the school's use. This eats into their learning time and drains students of their energy and focus if they return. Sometimes, students do not return in the afternoon, too dismayed by the routine and lack of learning to make an effort to walk back.

"This school has been facing challenges emanating from a lack of water. This has contributed to poor hygiene standards. Accessing clean water - it's a challenge. Most of our pupils are missing classes due to the lack of water which has contributed to slow syllabus coverage. Teachers sometimes are forced to carry or buy water to drink, and many of our classes are not cleaned daily," said teacher Boniface Musembi.

Even if some students fetch clean water from home, most pupils' containers are filthy both inside and out, contaminating the water inside them regardless of its original quality. Because water is combined for use at school, even one contaminated source means the entire school is at risk of water-related illnesses.

Students frequently report stomachaches, and some have even confirmed typhoid and cholera cases after drinking water at school. These illnesses keep students out of class while they seek medical treatment. Economically, a majority of school parents are low-income earners. That means the little money they earn is being lost to the high costs of medication for their children's water-related illnesses contracted at school.

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 used by the school’s students and staff for drinking, handwashing, cooking, cleaning, and much more.

The school and we 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 unlock the potential for these students to live better, healthier lives.

Handwashing Stations

The student health club will oversee the two new handwashing stations we will provide and ensure 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

Two triple-door latrine blocks will be constructed with local materials that the school will help gather. Three doors will serve the girls, and three doors will serve the boys. These new latrines will have cement floors 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.

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, 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 various 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 home. We will also lead lectures, group discussions and provide illustrative handouts to teach health topics and ways to promote good hygiene practices, including handwashing and water treatment. We will then conduct a series of follow-up training before transitioning to our regularly scheduled support visits throughout the year.

Project Updates

July, 2021: Bahati ADC Primary School Project Complete!

Bahati ADC 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.

"This is so great. Things will change as far as hygiene and sanitation are concerned. Being a pupil at this school, I will have enough time to concentrate on my studies.  Accessing water will be easier than in the past to create more time for my daily schedule at school. The entire school will improve in the performance of different activities like sports, academics, and agriculture," said Emily, student.

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

"The entire school will no longer face challenges concerning access to clean and safe water. Cleaning will be done daily within a short time hence promoting the hygiene standards of the school. Pupils will also have much time to learn, and this will improve the school performance. Access to clean and safe water will progressively promote the school's development and make sure there is a great change," commented  Felix Ojondo, 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 Victor Musemi and Elvis Afuyo deployed to the site to lead the event. It was held during the school holidays, but eleven students and teachers still attended the training. It was held outside in the sunshine, where we could easily demonstrate lessons and follow COVID-19 safety measures.

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 group had a memorable discussion regarding handwashing. Most pupils believed that handwashing is only done when someone uses the toilet or is preparing to eat. The training facilitator clarified that handwashing should be a lifestyle to avoid transmitting germs."

"Knowledge is power as far as hygiene and sanitation skills are concerned. I know I am in a better position to help others. This will also help me understand the importance of living a healthy life and also minimize the risk of contracting the bacteria-caused diseases through poor hygiene," said Emily Chasumba, a teacher at the training.

One of the challenges of the day was addressing myths and rumors about COVID-19. Pupils believed that the virus is only transmitted to white people but not black people. After a fruitful discussion and explanation from the training facilitator, it was clear to everyone that the virus spreads to all people regardless of skin color.

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!

June, 2021: Bahati ADC Primary School Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Bahati ADC 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 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!

A Year Later: "My life has changed totally."

August, 2022

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Bahati ADC 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 for students at Bahati ADC Primary School was exhausting last year. Every morning they brought water to school because their school's small rain tank would run dry. But not only were they exhausted, but they also were often ill because the water they collected was contaminated.

"Life was hard here in school because we used to drink contaminated water, and it affected me because I used to get sick," said 14-year-old student Felix L.

But thankfully, now that they have a large, dependable rain tank full of clean water, things are different.

"My life has changed totally because [I] am now a healthy pupil because [I] am accessing clean water in school," said Felix. "Having water in school has enabled me to have more time for myself and my fellow pupils because we are now able to read and do assignments together."

With this water source at school, Felix's future is looking brighter than ever.

"Having [a] water point in school has enabled me to do my assignments on time. My grades have improved too because I no longer miss lessons," concluded Felix.

Felix at 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 Bahati ADC 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 Bahati ADC 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 - Erick's Hope Inc.