Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 768 Served

Project Phase:  Under Construction
Estimated Install Date (?):  02/10/2023

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Hamutua Primary School is busy, with 747 students and 21 teachers moving about every day. Such a large number of students on the campus also means that the water demand for drinking, cooking, and cleaning can be overwhelming, especially without their own source of water.

Currently, there are only two choices to meet the school's water needs. Rainwater can be collected from a stream 3 km (nearly two miles) away but only during the limited rainy season (usually three months a year). Or water from a hand-dug shallow well located at the home of a community member, Mama Irene. Everyone is grateful for her willingness to share the water, but it comes with challenges.

The water is unsafe for drinking because of contamination from surface runoff, including dirt, trash, and animal feces.  Students regularly suffer from water-related illnesses like typhoid and diarrhea, which keep them out of school and cost their families money to treat.

To get to the waterpoint, pupils risk serious injury as they walk alongside a dangerous, busy road used by motorbikes and tractors to transport sugarcane and maize. Once they arrive, the well is usually very busy because community members also rely on it for their water. Often students get pushed aside and told to wait, which causes arguments that end with the school administration disciplining them.

All these factors mean students like Mary I., 13, miss valuable learning time. "Going to the well is usually a task. You have to ask for the teachers to accompany you or you might not be allowed to fetch water. The well is also a bit far, and sometimes the teacher might start teaching while I am still out getting water which makes it difficult to catch up on some topics like science and maths."

Head Teacher Alfayo Chilali, 45, shared his concerns, "I have barely been here long enough, but I have noticed that the well is a big hazard to my students and also a point of quarrels between the community and the school. I have had to deal with motorbike riders who almost knocked down my students on this road. And with some community members chasing students from the waterpoint to [not] be allowed to fetch water. Also, many cases of stomach upset, diarrhea, and typhoid from the water. The surface water (rainwater) helps as it is easily accessible, but with the current sunny (dry) season, there is none of that."

Hamutua needs its own clean, accessible water source on its campus so students can get back to learning and not have to risk their safety or their education every day.

What We Can Do:

Two Rain Tanks

Two 75,000-liter rainwater catchment tanks 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, these tanks will begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school's students and staff for drinking, handwashing, cooking, cleaning, and much more.

We and the school strongly believe that all of these components will work together to improve standards at this school, which will lead to better student academic performance and help to 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 make sure 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—one block for girls and one for boys. All of these new latrines will have cement floors that are designed to be easy to use and clean. And with two rain tanks 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 and teachers. This training will cover a wide range of topics including: COVID-19 symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention; personal and environmental hygiene; and the operation and maintenance of the rain tanks, latrines, and handwashing stations. There will be a special emphasis on handwashing.

Our team of facilitators will use a variety of 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 at home. We will also lead lectures, group discussions, and provide illustrative handouts to teach health topics and ways to promote good hygiene practices within the school, like handwashing and water treatment. We will then conduct a series of follow-up trainings before transitioning to our regularly scheduled support visits throughout the year.

Project Updates

11/16/2022: Hamutua Primary School Second Rain Tank Still Delayed

We're sad to share that we're still waiting on construction materials for Hamutua Primary School's second rain tank. As we've said before, gathering construction materials in sub-Saharan Africa can be difficult. With drought, inflation, and food shortages added to the mix, the school is having a harder time than ever sourcing sand, cement, and stone to begin construction.

We are still hoping to construct a second rain tank with the capacity to fully serve the school's large population and looking forward to the day we'll be able to share some good news. We haven't forgotten about Hamutua Primary School, and we hope you haven't, either!

We're always open to conversation about our process and are happy to answer your questions. And, if you get a notice like this, it’s actually further proof your gifts are being carefully used towards a water project that lasts.


08/16/2022: Second Rain Tank Delayed

The students and staff at Hamutua Primary School are enjoying their first rain tank and thank you for your support.

The second rain tank is taking longer than expected to finish as we wait on the school to collect the construction materials that they must contribute to the project.

As you can imagine, coordinating all the people involved in this kind of project is key to a great project. The field officers are meeting frequently with the school leadership, and based on their last review, the school needs more time to prepare. We look forward to keeping you updated with more news in the coming months!

If you have any questions, please know we are happy to discuss this change further.

03/25/2022: First Rain Tank at Hamatua Primary School Complete!

We are excited to share that one rainwater catchment tank at Hamatua Primary School has been completed. As you may know, communities contribute locally available materials like rock and sand to their water projects. It’s a big commitment on their part, given that many of these heavy materials must be carried by hand!

So, it’s taking a little longer than usual to get the remaining materials for the second tank and the completion of the second half of this project has been delayed. We hope to have more news for you on the second tank in July!

In the meantime, students will be able to use the tank as soon as the rainy season arrives. We'll be sure to send you pictures of flowing water and smiling kids when we can!

02/01/2022: Hamutua Primary School Rain Tank Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Hamutua 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

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.


8 individual donor(s)