Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 508 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 01/24/2024

Project Features

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Kapkeruge Primary School is located on the outskirts of Serem town in Kapkeruge village. The school sits on a four-acre piece of land with permanent buildings connected to electricity, thanks to the Rural Electrification Program implemented in 2002. The road leading to the school is accessible due to good maintenance. Kapkeruge Primary school was established in 1992 as a community school with just two classrooms, sponsored by the Pentecostal Assembly Church of God. The institution has slowly grown, today serving 496 students and 12 teachers and staff.

The school's biggest challenges come from its total lack of water on campus. Each day, students have to carry water from home for use in school. They do this in the morning before their first classes and again in the afternoon. This cumbersome daily requirement drives absenteeism cases as students would sometimes rather miss class than face punishment for not bringing enough water. Each walk to and from school drains students of their energy and wastes a lot of learning time. When students finally return to class, they often have trouble concentrating, dragging down their academic performance.

"The lack of sufficient water in school has, on various occasions, led me to abscond from school in times when I am not able to get water to carry to school. Carrying water to school every day from home is hectic and tiresome, and this does affect my concentration and comfort in school," said student Ashley.

Students' home sources of water vary greatly. Some use a partially protected spring in the village, but the spring has a slow discharge, and it is located far away from the school compound. The spring's environment is not well kept, with many stagnant and muddy water surrounding the access area. The spring is also seasonal, meaning that for part of the year, it is consistently dry. Teachers are aware of the spring's questionable water quality, but when students fetch water from home, the school has no way of ensuring the water's quality or safety.

"Water brought to school from home is not 100% safe for consumption. Someone cannot easily tell by looking with a naked eye whether water is contaminated or not. On various occasions, I have fallen victim to drinking contaminated water, forcing me to abscond my duties in school," said Headteacher Fred Indeche.

When students contract waterborne diseases, they have to miss more class time as they stay home to recover. Water-related illnesses are also quite expensive to treat, draining students' families of their financial resources.

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

June, 2021: Kapkeruge Primary School Rain Tank Complete!

Kapkeruge 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.

"Availability of sufficient clean, safe water in the school compound will guarantee an atmosphere for learning, and because it's available here, I see myself not missing out on school," said Ashley.

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

"Accessing clean water for drinking every day guarantees me good health and comfortability while in school. We foresee high enrollment in this school in the coming years. We anticipate a reduction in the cases of absenteeism by our learners. We do also expect improvements in academics," said Fred Indeche, Head 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.

The facilities were handed over to the school management on the day of completion, and a prayer of thanksgiving was made to God for the project's success.

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 Patience Njeri and Samuel Simidi deployed to the site to lead the event. Fifteen students and teachers attended the training, which we held.

Western Kenya is experiencing the third wave of COVID-19. Therefore, we requested the school management allow us to carry out hygiene and sanitation training. It is vital considering the times we are living in. The weather was hot, so we were forced to carry out our training under shade in the school compound. We trained a small group of 15 who will then be ambassadors to observe all the guidelines put in place by the Ministry of Health.

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 its 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.

During this session, the facilitator discussed the various ways of curbing the spread of COVID-19. The facilitator encouraged participants to continuously wash their hands, wear masks, especially in public places, and always avoid close contact with people—the reactions from the participants after the session was encouraging. The participants promised to share the knowledge with other community members to help control the spread of COVID-19.

"Good health practices are key in ensuring that one lives a healthy life. Today's training has been enriching as we have been reminded and encouraged to observe proper hygiene and sanitation standards, especially during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. We promise to be ambassadors of today's training to ensure that our people live a healthy life," said a student attending the training, Glean Asirigwa.

We asked Jael, a young woman who attended the training, 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 was not sure of when school would open due to COVID-19 being widespread in our country. I was negatively affected because there was no time for me to study since I was engaged in my parent's business instead of going to school. Missing my teachers and classmates was a big deal, so I am happy about the reunion and am rejuvenated. I see a fulfilling future ahead of me as I am now able to create ample time for my studies at school," said Jael.

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: Kapkeruge Primary School Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Kapkeruge 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: "I have greatly benefited from this project."

June, 2022

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kapkeruge 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!

We spoke to Celestine C., a 14-year-old student, about life before we installed a rain tank at her school, Kapkeruge Primary, last year.

She said, "Before the project was implemented in this institution, I used to perform poorly on my studies because a lot of time [was] spent carrying water for domestic use in school."

But now, things are different for Celestine and her classmates.

"I have greatly benefited from this project. [The] availability of water has helped me to achieve in my academic performance. This is because I am no longer wasting a lot of time looking for [water] far away from school," said Celestine.

Not only has Celestine's academic performance improved, but she also shared that her hygiene has improved. "This is because I am now accessing reliable, safe, and clean drinking water, which has really impacted me positively in hygiene practices," concluded Celestine.

Celestine splashing 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 Kapkeruge 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 Kapkeruge 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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