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The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students Celebrating
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students At The Tank
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students At The Tank
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students At The Tank
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students Celebrating
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students Celebrating
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Site Measurement For Excavation
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Excavation
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Stone Filling
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Casting Of Slab
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Casting Of Slab
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Wire Reinforcement
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Sack Placement
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Inside Plastering
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Inside Plastering
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Inside Plastering
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Pillar Placement
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Floor Plastering
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Outside Plastering
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Dome Setting
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Dome Setting
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Dome Casting
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Drawing Point Construction
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Latrine Slab
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Brick Setting
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Brick Work
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Brick Work
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Latrine Roofing
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Door Fixing
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Latrine
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students At The Latrines
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students At The Latrines
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Tank
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Tank
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Tank
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Demonstrating Handwashing
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Demonstrating Handwashing
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Demonstrating Handwashing
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Demonstrating Handwashing
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Demonstrating Handwashing
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Demonstrating Solar Disinfection
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Demonstrating Solar
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Dental Hygiene Training
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Dental Hygiene Training
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Dental Hygiene Training
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Dorcas Answers Question
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Ingredients For Soapmaking
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Learning About Bathing
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Mr Mugera Shares
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Soapmaking Demonstration
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Soapmaking Demonstration
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Soapmaking Demonstration
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Soapmaking Demonstration
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students Handwashing
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students Taking Notes
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Training In Session
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Training On Water Containers
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Training To Clean Tank
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Dorcas A
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Edward Mugera
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Student Carrying Water
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students Carrying Water
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students Carrying Water
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students Carrying Water
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students Carrying Water
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students Celebrating
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students Celebrating At The Water Point
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students Celebrating Water
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students Celebrating Water
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students Celebrating Water
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students Celebrating Water
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Beatrice At The Unprotected Spring
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Collecting Water
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Collecting Water
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Francis Collecting Water
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Water Point
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Leaving The Unprotected Spring
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students Carrying Water To School
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Student Carrying Water To School From Home
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Carrying Water To School From Home
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students Going To Fetch Water From Home
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students Going To Fetch Water From Home
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students Going To Fetch Water From Home
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Water Storage
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Water Storage
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Teacher In The School Library
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Beatrice
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Boys Line Up To Use The Latrines
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Classroom Buildings
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Classrooms With Blue Handwashing Stations Outside
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Community Landscape
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Garbage Disposal Area
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Girls Line Up To Use The Latrines
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Handwashing Facility
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Kitchen With Water Containers Out Front
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Latrine Block
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Path To The School
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  School Compound
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  School Main Gate
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  School Sign Post
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students At The Gate With Water
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students Handwashing
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students Help The School Cook Prepare Food In The Kitchen
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students In Class
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students In Class
The Water Project: Gimariani Primary School -  Students On The Playground

Project Status



Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 480 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



“The lack of clean, safe water in school is very inconveniencing for me. When I cannot get water to carry to school, I am forced to abscond from school for fear of being punished,” said student Francis.

No student should have to wonder where they will get water as a requirement to attend school each day, but Francis is 1 of 469 students and 11 teachers and staff at Gimariani Primary School who each have to ask that question every day.

Gimariani Primary School is located in the remote part of Banja Market in Gimariani village. The area is densely populated, with a majority of the houses being semi-permanent in nature. The area is inhabited by the Terek, a sub-tribe of the Luhya community. Thanks to the area member of the county assembly, the road leading to the school are well-tarmacked with electricity connected throughout the entire village.

Gimariani Primary School was established in 1932 as a community school. In 1946, the Pentecostal Assemblies of God (PAG) Church took over as the school’s sponsors and, later, the government. Despite its age, the school’s growth remains stagnant due to its severe water crisis. There is no source of water on campus.

As Francis described, every morning, students must carry water from their respective homes for school use. When students cannot find enough water, they avoid their classes, affecting their overall academic performance. In the afternoon, students are sent back out to fetch more water. Each trip drains students of their energy and severely eats into their class time. When they get back, many are too tired to focus well.

Students’ “home” water comes from several sources. The most commonly chosen source is an unprotected spring along the path to the school. Students choose to fetch this water to help ease their burdensome walk to get to class on time. The spring is 4 kilometers (about 2.5 miles) away from the school. Its water is filthy and unsafe for consumption. Cholera, typhoid, and other water-related illnesses are common among students, driving absenteeism and contributing to their poor academic performance. Teachers and staff are also affected.

“Water brought to school from home is unquestionably not safe for drinking. I have once fallen victim to drinking contaminated water, forcing me to seek medical attention in the nearby dispensary,” said Headteacher Eunice Kedogo Iramwenya.

Without sufficient water in the school, the school meal program is often delayed. Basic hygiene and sanitation practices such as handwashing and cleaning the latrines often have to be sacrificed, trapping students in a cycle of fecal-oral diseases. The lack of handwashing is especially troubling now, during the pandemic.

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 promote good hygiene practices within the school, 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


09/15/2021: Gimariani Primary School Project Complete!

Gimariani Primary School in Kenya now has access to a new source of safe, clean water thanks to the completion of their rain tank! 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 will unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.


"We all need clean, safe water for drinking. Availability of clean water from the tank will ensure that I live a healthy life, thus allowing for concentration in class. Water for use will be accessible at all times when [the] need arises directly in the school compound," said Dorcas.

Dorcas went on to share what the water tank means for her studies, "I see myself excelling in my examinations as I will have ample time for my class studies."

Clean water to drink!

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

Edward Mugera, the Head Teacher, commented, "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."

Mr. Mugera also envisions the student's health improving with access to clean, safe water. "I foresee a reduction in cases of water-related infections due to the availability of clean, safe water directly in the school compound. Infections related to water will now be a thing of the past as our water will be fit for consumption."

Mr. Mugera with students.

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. Locals 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. 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.

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, the facilitators, Elvis Afuya and Samuel Simidi deployed to the site to lead the event. Twelve students and teachers attended the training held under a tree near the main school building because it was hot.

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.

Students taking notes.

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.

Soapmaking demonstration.

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.

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.

One of the important topics covered during the training was tank operation and maintenance. Participants were able to learn the various parts of the tank for the first time, shown how to handle all the parts, and keep the tank in good working condition for the longest possible time to ensure clean water will continue flowing.

We asked student Jacklyn V. (13), chairperson of the child health club, what she thought of the training: "Today's training has been timely to us as an institution. We have been encouraged to continuously observe proper hygiene and sanitation standards so as to live a healthy life. With good hygiene practices, one is guaranteed a bright future."

Ian M. (11), treasurer of the child health club, also shared his thoughts on the training: "The session has been enriching especially in this fourth wave of the coronavirus. We have learned much on how to handle ourselves to avoid contracting the virus. As a student of this school, I promise to lead others in creating awareness on how to handle ourselves to avoid contacting, spreading the virus from one person to the other."

We asked Ian 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 love going to school, attending my lessons. The long break meant that I had to miss my classes, thus interfering with my studies. Being back to school, I feel motivated. I foresee a bright future ahead of me."

When an issue arises concerning the rain 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!


The Water Project : kenya21241-6-students-celebrating-4


07/23/2021: Gimariani Primary School Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Gimariani 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!


The Water Project : kenya21241-beatrice-at-the-unprotected-spring-2-2


Project Photos


Project Type

Rainwater Catchment

Rainwater is collected off strategic areas of a roof, enters a custom guttering system (which filters out debris) and leads to a storage tank. Tanks can vary in sizes and are determined by population and average rainfall patterns. Water can be stored for months, is easily treated in the tank, and is accessible through taps. These projects are implemented at schools with proper roof lines and gutter systems to make them successful.


Contributors

Riverside Woman's Club
2 individual donor(s)