Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 507 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Nov 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/08/2024

Project Features

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Ebumbayi Primary School is located on the outskirts of Luanda town in a remote village called Ebumbayi. The school sits on a 3-acre piece of land with permanent buildings, and the Anglican Church sponsors it. The road leading to the school is well-paved thanks to the active area member of county assembly Akuse Jacktone. Established in 1966 by the community with just three classrooms, the school has since grown to serve a population of 489 students and 18 teachers and staff.

The only water sources on campus are two small plastic rain tanks that quickly run dry once the rains stop. The tanks' capacity is nowhere near large enough compared to the daily demand of the student body's drinking, cooking, and cleaning needs. When there is no water left at school, students have to leave class to fetch water from an open stream in the village. This not only wastes student's precious class time, but it supplies the school with very dirty water that is not fit for consumption. Students report cases of typhoid and other related waterborne diseases, especially during the dry season, when they most rely on the stream for water.

"The rate at which we are requested to go fetch water in a day at the stream is so alarming. Our normal class hours are interrupted, thus affecting my concentration in studies, and this has led to my dismal performance in my academics," said Faith, a student at the school.

"I have been a victim of typhoid infection while serving in this school. I had to abscond from my duties for two weeks to allow myself to seek medical attention to be fit to work. On various occasions, I spend the whole day without drinking water, especially when I forget to carry water with me to school," said Headteacher Johnson Onyino.

When students get sick from the water at school, they have to stay home, costing them more class time and driving their academic performance into the mud. Waterborne diseases can be costly to treat, draining students' families of their financial resources. And when there is a constant water shortage at school, basic hygiene and sanitation practices like handwashing and cleaning the latrines have to be sacrificed, trapping students in a cycle of fecal-oral diseases.

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

November, 2021: Ebumbayi Primary School Rain Tank Complete!

Ebumbayi 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.

Faith is excited for the changes the rain tank will bring in her life. "With the water point in the school, we will no longer have to [be] ejected from classrooms to go and fetch water."

Faith fetching water.

"This waterpoint has made available clean drinking water at school," Faith continued. "This is very important for one to lead a healthy life. It will also greatly impact my academics, as my lessons will not be interrupted."

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

Mr. Onyino at the tank.

"It will create a long-lasting positive impact in our lives," said teacher, Johnson Onyino. "We are certain there will be no more cases of waterborne diseases resulting from consuming unsafe water we have been using before. This means the time spent seeking treatment will be spent in our classrooms."

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.

Students assist with placing the skeleton.

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.)

Community members mix cement for plastering.

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.

VIP Latrines

Boys being hams at their new 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. Participants were selected from across classes 4, 5, 6, and 7. When the training day arrived, the facilitators Elvis Afuya, Amos Emisiko, and Olivia Bomji deployed to the site to lead the event. 22 students and teachers attended the training, which we held on the school grounds.

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.

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.

Most students' favorite learning topic was soap-making, which they were keenly interested in. Mr. Onyino, who also attended the training, promised that the school would be making its own soap from now on, as doing so is both economical and good for students' health.

Students were also asked to demonstrate how they usually brush their teeth. They learned that they don't have to use quite as much force as they had been using and that gentle brushing is enough. Some of the students expressed relief because their gums often hurt after teeth brushing!

"[The training] has been of great value," Faith said. "I have learned how to make soap, how to properly brush my teeth, and general hygiene education. The knowledge will be vital in my quest to maintain proper hygiene and sanitation both at home and at school."

We asked Faith 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 felt bad because I was not able to continue my studies and had to stay home for almost one year," she said. "I missed interacting with my fellow pupils while in school. I greatly missed interacting with my friends. I also missed being taught by our fantastic teachers. The school had done a great job. They had installed handwashing facilities with soap around the school. They also took temperatures of pupils every morning for close monitoring."

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!

October, 2021: Ebumbayi Primary School Rainwater Tank Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Ebumbayi 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: "Huge, huge impact."

December, 2022

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Ebumbayi 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!

Last year when we first visited Ebumbayi Primary School, the students spent much of their time collecting water outside the school campus. They either hauled water from home, which left them tired before the school day even began, or they went to the local stream during class time when they should have been learning. And if that were not bad enough, the water they worked so hard to collect often made those consuming it sick with water-related illnesses because it was contaminated.

12-year-old Faith described what life was like for her before we installed the high-capacity rain tank on her school campus. "We were either getting [water] from home or being sent to the stream to fetch. Carrying from home made me arrive at school already tired," said Faith.

But since we installed the large rain tank, things have been different for Faith and her classmates, with water readily available whenever they need it.

"Huge, huge impact," said Faith. "We come to class fresh, which enhances our concentration. Coupled with the minimal interruptions of our class sessions, I'm confident that I'll perform well in the forthcoming national assessment. More uninterrupted class time has improved my academic performance. With the current competency-based curriculum that is more interactive and attention-demanding, I can be able to follow through well."

Not only have grades improved but so have the students' health, as noted by 56-year-old teacher Johnson Onyino. "Healthwise, we are...doing well. Since [the tank's] installation, no case of water-related illnesses has been reported."

Faith and Mr. Onyino 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 Ebumbayi 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 Ebumbayi 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.


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2 individual donor(s)