Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 954 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/04/2024

Project Features

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"Water being a scarce commodity in our institution, I'm forced not to take water even if I feel thirsty for the fear of contracting waterborne diseases. This forces me to carry water for drinking from home which is so tiresome," reported Gladwell, a student at Khungoyokosi Muslim Primary School.

"I have been receiving complaints from parents since accessing water is also a problem at home. Making students carry water to the school puts more strain on them during the day. We are also forced to adjust our timetables which makes it difficult to complete the syllabus," said the school's Head Teacher Saidi Olacho.

The more than 800 students and teachers at Khungoyokosi Muslim Primary School face a severe clean water shortage every day. There is no source of water on campus, forcing the school to require students to carry water from home every day, at least twice a day. As Gladwell and Mr. Olacho explained, this affects the entire school, and each individual, negatively. With each trip home, students miss class time, the school meals program delays while waiting for the students' water to use for cooking, and students grow tired and discouraged from their long daily walks carrying their heavy jerrycans full of water.

"The water is not safe for consumption since the containers used to carry the water from home are not clean and also without covers. I could not drink the water because, from the teachers' remarks, it seems some students bring water from unknown sources which makes it riskier if taken," noted team member Joyce Naliaka following her recent visit to the school.

Students visit health facilities very often due to waterborne diseases such as typhoid, cholera, and many others caused by drinking the water that they carry from their homes. These illnesses keep students out of school while they recover and drain their families financially as they pay for treatment.

Khungoyokosi Muslim Primary School was established in 2012 by a group of Muslim community members who founded the institution as a community school. The school started with a population of 200 pupils and has been growing gradually since there are no other schools around the area. Due to a lack of infrastructure, it has taken the school several years to host students ready for their national examinations. This year was the first time students from Khungoyokosi Muslim Primary School sat for their KCPE exams, a big milestone for the school. The candidates performed so well with a high mean score, attracting more pupils to the school.

Teachers and administrators know that having a source of water on campus will only help improve their rate of student retention and students' academic performance.

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

September, 2022: Khungoyokosi Muslim Primary School Rain Tank Complete!

Despite tireless discussions over the past several months with those responsible for purchasing construction materials for the second rain tank (in this case, the parents and the school administration), our in-country staff has determined it is not possible to move forward on constructing a second tank. As you may know, it has been a struggle for the school to access locally available funding to purchase the sand and gravel for the second tank, and it ultimately became impossible.

Of course, the good news is that the first tank we built with your help now provides water for the students' and staff's daily needs. We will continue to monitor the status of water availability closely, as we do with each water project we build.

While we had hoped to install a second tank to provide a buffer against the lengthening dry seasons in Kenya, the water in the first tank has already changed the lives of the school's staff and students.

"I will not be staying at home because of sickness as I have clean water to drink in school," said 13-year-old Moses.

Moses stands at the rain tank's drawing point.

When we asked Moses about his plans now that his school has water, he said, "I will be attending clubs, as we never had a club in the school. I am now a member of [the] Child to Child [health] club."

This child-to-child health club will help spread the practices students learned during their hygiene and sanitation training to the entire student body, and Moses is excited to spread the message among his peers.

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

"[The tank] will help us improve our sanitation at school. I will also have [a] very easy time ensuring students settle in class," said 32-year-old teacher Mary Wasonga. "We will have our own garden as a club, which will be irrigated with water from this water source."


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 community provided meals and accommodations for the tank’s artisans. Locals helped our artisans with manual labor, too.

The process officially began with our staff and school administration scouting the school compound for the best rain tank location. The site needs enough land and a nearby building with sturdy, 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 the drawing and drainage pipes as we laid the foundation.

Next, we formed the walls using a rebar and wire mesh skeleton with sugar sacks temporarily tied to the outside as backing. We attached the frame to the foundation's edges so we could start the Ferro-cementing process. The sugar sacks are removed once the interior receives its first two layers of cement. We layered the cement until six layers were in place, ensuring long-lasting construction.

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 and roughcast the outer walls.

A layer of cement cures in the sun.

We dug and plastered the access area to the tap outside the tank, installing a short staircase. We constructed a soak pit in front of the access area where spilled water will drain from the access area through the ground. The pit helps to keep the tap area dry and tidy.

Dome construction began after the tank walls settled. We attached a skeleton of rebar, wire mesh, and sugar sacks to the tank walls before cementing and plastering, using similar techniques to the wall construction. We included a small maintenance hole to allow access for future cleanings, water treatments, and repairs. We propped long wooden poles (about 75 of them!) inside the tank to support the dome while it cured.

Students bring sugar sacks to be placed on the tank's dome.

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 at the dome's edge for when the tank reaches capacity.

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

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

Our field officer, Protus (left), hands over the tank to the school's headteacher, Mr. Saidi.

This event was an excellent chance to acknowledge the school administration and students for their assistance and remind them of our continued support as they develop. Happiness, thanksgiving, and appreciation were the order of the day, flowing in all directions.

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines. 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 a well right on school property, there should be enough water to keep them clean.

Field officer Purity shares a lesson on handwashing outside the new latrines using one of the new handwashing stations.

Handwashing Stations

We set up two handwashing stations outside the latrines and handed them over to the newly formed student health club. 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 Julius, Protus, and Purity deployed to the site to lead the event. 18 students and teachers attended the training, which we held on school grounds under a shady tree.

Students bring benches from their classrooms to set up the training space.

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 the newly formed student health club that Moses mentioned.

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.

One topic that made students laugh was when we discussed the maintenance of the rain tank. We asked the kids for examples of how someone might mishandle the tank, the drawing point, or the water itself. One boy said someone might take a swim in the tank at night. Our field officers reminded the students that the tank would have a locked manhole cover for maintenance only - not for nocturnal swimming sessions.

Students listen to their peer as she asks a question.

When we asked students how they felt about the training after its conclusion, 11-year-old Mercy M. said: "I will be clean. I will work hard so that I can achieve my dreams since I have water and no excuses in working hard in class and scoring good grades."

Mercy on the day of the training.


This project required a substantial collaboration between our staff, our in-country teams, and the community members themselves. 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 their local field officers to assist them.

Also, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program. We walk with each community, problem-solving together when they face challenges with functionality, seasonality, or water quality. Together, all these components help us strive for enduring access to reliable, clean, and safe water for this community.

With your contribution, one more piece has been added to a large puzzle of water projects. In our target areas, we’re working toward complete coverage of reliable, maintained water sources within a 30-minute round trip for each community, household, school, and health center. With this in mind, search through our upcoming projects to see which community you can help next!

Thank you for making all of this possible!

May, 2022: Khungoyokosi Muslim Primary School Project Delayed

Thank you for your generous contribution to the Khungoyokosi Muslim Primary School project. When we attempt to install a new water project, sometimes we hit roadblocks. For Khungoyokosi, that roadblock is construction materials.

Although we were able to acquire construction materials and complete construction for one rain tank, a few attempts at acquiring the materials needed for the second tank have been unsuccessful so far. We are now working with locals within the community to solve this issue, and we look forward to sharing good news about this project's completion soon.

One thing is for sure: this community is going to benefit from a water project that you made possible. And we hope that a notice like this, although unexpected, is actually further proof that your gifts are being carefully used towards a water project that lasts. If you have questions, please know we are happy to discuss them. Thank you!

March, 2022: Khungoyokosi Muslim Primary School Rainwater Catchment Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Khungoyokosi Muslim 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!


Project Sponsor - StossWater