Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 558 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/02/2024

Project Features

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Kapchemugung' Primary School sits on a small piece of land on the outskirts of Gambogi town. Buildings in the area are of a permanent nature, and they are connected to electricity. The road leading to the school is well-paved, allowing easy access to the school.

Founded in 1935 by the Kapchemugung' Pentecostal Assemblies of God church, the school began in just one muddy, grass-thatched house divided into classrooms and an office using mats. In 1962, the then-headteacher, Mr. Kipruto, started building semi-permanent buildings to accommodate all students, especially during the rainy season. Currently, the school has 13 permanent classrooms, an administration block, and a few latrines, all serving 538 students and 20 teachers and staff.

Despite its age, the school's growth has been slow, and its academic performance average due to the school's inability to provide enough clean water for students. There is just one small water source on campus - a plastic rain tank - that runs dry within a few days after it rains. This is due to the tank's small capacity compared to the student population's high needs.

To make up for their lack of water, the school requires students to fetch water during break times and often, even during scheduled class times. The students head to various sources off-campus. One source is a partially protected spring with a slow discharge rate during the dry season, wasting students' time as they wait to fill their jerrycans.

The other water sources students choose all surface water, typically small streams on the side of the road leading to the school. Students choose these sources because they do not have to wait in line like at the spring to try to hurry back to class sooner.

The stream water, however, is not safe for consumption. As a result, students and teachers alike report cases of waterborne and water-related diseases throughout the year. For students, that means more class time missed and expensive medical bills for their families.

"Two weeks ago, I experienced sore throat issues forcing me to seek medical attention. I became uncomfortable and couldn't attend to my class lessons," said Deputy Headteacher Joseph Chebui.

"The lack of sufficient water in school is very inconveniencing for me. When I am not able to get water to carry to school, I am forced to abscond from school for fear of being punished," said student Eunice.

 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

September, 2021: Kapchemugung' Primary School Rain Tank Complete!

Kapchemugung' 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.

"With the water point available, I will be able to achieve good academic results and good health as well," said Eunice, a student at the school. "It will greatly influence my life positively because the time I was using to fetch water will be utilized in class, which in turn will enhance my grades. I'm also confident that I will not get any health complications."

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

"There will be [a] general reduction in waterborne and water-related infections as a result of consuming unsafe water," said Joseph Chebui, a teacher. "From an administrative point of view, we also expect fewer absenteeism and indiscipline cases."

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.

Isn't it beautiful?

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. Despite the school being in recess, the school administration was able to effectively mobilize the participants. Each gender was equally represented. The participants exceeded the facilitators' expectations in terms of numbers and active participation.

When the training day arrived, the facilitators, Afuya Elvis, Samuel Simidi, and Elizabeth Akinyi, deployed to the site to lead the event. 26 students and teachers attended the training, which we held in the school's playground.

"I have learned how to brush my teeth well," said Larren, one of the school's students. "I'm also happy to learn about solar water disinfection. Going forward, I'm confident I will practice good oral hygiene and that I'll consume safe water."

Larren speaking with a training facilitator.

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 favorite topics of the day was soap-making.

The participants were amazed by how they can cut costs by making their own quality soap. The Head Teacher vowed never to buy soap again.

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.

"The COVID-19 training has been very informative," Larren said. "The facilitator talked to us about the huge threat posed by the pandemic and insisted that we should be extra-careful. With this knowledge at hand, I'll be able to protect myself better to avoid being a victim of this deadly virus."

We asked Larren 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 my school friends a lot," Larren said. "Also, I was negatively affected academically because I had missed two academic terms. Besides taking existing precautions seriously as advised by today's facilitators, I'm going to practice the 10 steps of handwashing and make it my norm. I will also illustrate that to my family members and to my classmates who were not able to attend the training."

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!

August, 2021: Kapchemugung' Primary School Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Kapchemugung' 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: Drastic Improvements!

December, 2022

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kapchemugung' 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!

Kapchemugung' Primary School students used to spend much of their learning time collecting water since their school had insufficient water sources. And sadly, much of the water they collected made those who consumed it sick with water-related illnesses, causing students to miss even more time in class.

"We used to take breaks from class [for] hours to go fetch water in the village across the road to provide water for all school needs such as cooking, drinking, and cleaning," said young Francis.

But after we installed a large rain tank on the campus last year, things have been different for Francis and his classmates.

"Access to clean, safe, sufficient water has been made easy and affordable to all members of the school. We now access water that is safe directly in the school compound at any time of need," said Francis.

"As a student of this school, I do enjoy ample time to do revisions (studying), and this has been fruitful as my academic performance has improved drastically," concluded Francis.

With more time in class, Francis' academic experience has improved, and his future is looking bright.

Francis collecting water.

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 Kapchemugung' 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 Kapchemugung' 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 - StossWater