Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 445 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/07/2024

Project Features

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The area around Nyang'ori Primary School is densely populated and well-vegetated. It is the meeting place of both rural and urban areas, as exhibited by local businesses running alongside nearby small-scale farms.

Every evening, the 430 students of Nyang'ori Primary School walk 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) to collect water from a well, the community's primary water source, and bring it home for the night. Students leave some water at home for their family's needs in the morning, then haul the rest to school. It's a tiring journey carrying both their books and heavy water jugs.

Some students choose to find water from other sources (often contaminated) because it seems easier. However, the dirty water leads to illnesses amongst the students and staff, like typhoid, diarrhea, and stomachaches.

By midday, the students and staff at the school are usually in need of water again. Teachers send students to fetch it during class time. Students return home to collect the remaining water from the night before or head to the well once again. This distraction means they are missing valuable learning time, but there is no other choice.

This task brings with it a couple of serious risks. First, the students must cross a busy, dangerous road. Then, once they get to the well, they must be very cautious as they draw water. There is a bucket tied to a rope which takes quite a bit of strength to pull up, and the children must be careful not to fall into the open well.

"[I] am always tired of carrying water from home to school every day. To make matters worse, the well where we fetch water is far from home and also dangerous for young children to get water without any adult around to guide us," shared a young girl named Snidah A.

There is a small plastic rain tank at the school, but it runs dry after a week (during the rainy season). Pupils and teachers cannot depend on the small tank because it is not large enough to be sustainable and does not serve the school's needs.

The school needs two large rainwater tanks that can collect sufficient water and ease the student's burden of hauling water to school two times a 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

May, 2022: Nyang'ori Primary School Rain Tanks Complete!

Nyang'ori Primary School in Kenya now has access to safe, clean water thanks to the completion of their rain tanks! We also installed new latrines and handwashing stations and trained students and staff on improved sanitation and hygiene practices. Together, these components will unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

"I [am] sure I will be healthy and free from waterborne diseases," said student, Blessing A. "This is because we used to consume dirty water from different homes and it really affected me. I will be able to have enough time to study and carry out group discussions with my classmates."


Blessing at the new tank.

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

"Access to safe water in school will enable me to fully attend to my pupils' needs," said headteacher George Anonda. "I will be able to utilize the time that we wasted looking for water to have extra lessons with my pupils. Through this, [I] am sure that my pupils' grades will improve and the school will shine academically."


How We Go From Ground to Rain Tanks

Construction for these 75,000-liter rain tanks was successful!

Parents, staff, and students helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction. The school community provided meals and accommodations for the tanks’ artisans. Locals helped our artisans with manual labor, too.

The process officially began with our staff and school administration scouting around the school compound for the best rain tank locations. The sites need enough land and nearby buildings with good, clean roofing to catch the rainwater.

Marking the tank sites.

Then, we cleared the sites by excavating the soil to make level ground for the tank foundations. We cast the foundations by laying big stones on the level ground and reinforcing them using steel wire, concrete, and waterproof cement. We affixed the drawing and drainage pipes as we spread the foundations.

Next, we formed the walls using skeletons of rebar and wire mesh with sugar sacks temporarily tied to the outside as backing. We attached the frames to the foundations’ edges to start the Ferro-cementing process. The sugar sacks are removed once the interiors receive their first two layers of cement. We layered the cement until six layers were in place, ensuring long-lasting construction.

Cementing the first layer.

Inside the tanks, we cast one central and four support pillars each to ensure the domes do not cave in once cemented. Meanwhile, we plastered the inner walls and roughcast the outer walls.

Plastering the support pillars.

We dug and plastered the access areas to the taps outside the tanks, installing short staircases. We constructed soak pits in front of the access areas where spilled water will drain from the access areas through the ground. The pits help to keep the tap areas dry and tidy.

Dome construction began after the walls settled. We attached skeletons of rebar, wire mesh, and sugar sacks to the tanks’ walls before cementing and plastering, using similar techniques to the wall construction. We included small manhole covers to allow access for future cleanings, water treatments, and repairs. We propped long wooden poles (about 75 of them!) inside each tank to support the domes while they cured.

Then it was down to the finishing touches: fitting lockable covers over the tap areas, affixing the gutters to the rooves and tanks, and setting overflow pipes at the edge of the domes for when the tanks reach capacity.

Once finished, we gave the rain tanks three to four weeks to undergo complete curing. We removed the interior support poles and dome sugar sacks and cleaned the tanks.

Finally, we handed over the rain tanks to the school. Students and staff celebrated the presence of clean water on campus.


Finished tank curing.

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 to keep air flowing up and out through the roof. With two rain tanks right on school property, there should be enough water to keep them clean.

Handwashing Stations

We set up two handwashing stations and handed them over to the school’s newly formed student health club. These were placed outside 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, fill the stations with water, and ensure that there is always a cleaning agent available.

New Knowledge

We coordinated with the school's staff to schedule our hygiene and sanitation training. When the training day arrived, facilitators Olivia and Christine deployed to the site to lead the event. 17 students and teachers attended the training, which we held under a shady tree outside the classrooms.

The students hold up the notebooks we handed out at the start of training.

We focused on personal hygiene, 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 school’s water, sanitation, and hygiene project management. It will encourage good health and hygiene practices amongst their peers, teachers, and the larger community. By the end of the training, each pupil understood their role in sustaining clean water and good health within their school community.

The students' favorite topic was handwashing, with everyone eager to come up to the handwashing station and show off their skills. A few of the children said that they were excited to share the technique with their parents and siblings.

There was even a queue of students wanting to demonstrate their handwashing knowledge.

Their second favorite topic was rain tank maintenance. They were eager to learn how to best care for the tank so that they would never again be without water at school.

"The training was valuable to me because it made me learn more about myself and how [I] am supposed to take care of my body," said Tamili O., a student and the new health club's chairperson.

Tamili stands to answer a question.

When an issue arises concerning the rain tanks, 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!

April, 2022: Nyang'ori Primary School Rainwater Catchment Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Nyang'ori 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 improved greatly in my studies."

May, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Nyang'ori 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!

Blessed, 11, recalled what life was like at Nyang'ori Primary School before her school’s rain tanks were implemented last year.

"We would be late to classes since we would waste time fetching water at the spring. The classrooms were really dirty, which made us sick sometimes. There was also sometimes very little and dirty water for drinking and handwashing," recalled Blessed.

But life is much more enjoyable for Blessed and the other students at Nyang'ori Primary School now.

"There is enough water to wash classrooms, for handwashing, for drinking, and I [am] no longer late to class," said Blessed.

Having ready access to water from the rain tanks has made a difference for Blessed, allowing her more opportunities to learn.

"I have improved greatly in my studies since I no longer waste time going to fetch water during class hours," concluded Blessed.

Thank you for helping Blessed access clean water and have time to study, opening her possibilities for a brighter future.

Right now, there are others just like Blessed in neighboring communities that desperately need safe water access. Your support will immediately go to work to provide a clean water project - and we can’t wait to introduce you to the next person you’ll help.


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 Nyang'ori 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 Nyang'ori 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 Underwriter - Lisa R. - Marcia and Phillip Rothblum Foundation
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2 individual donor(s)