Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 511 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2024

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features

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Every day, along with their books, the 484 students of Gamoi Primary School haul water with them over the rocky, hilly terrain that surrounds the school—and who knows how far they had to venture to get the water in the first place. Before they even begin their school day, they are already exhausted.

"We come to school tired in the morning," said student Kevin (shown below at the school's primary water source). "Some of us start sleeping in class because of walking long distances while carrying water. Even understanding what the teacher is teaching is sometimes an uphill task."

Then, later in the day, students must leave school grounds again, scrambling up and down stone-scattered hills to the nearby spring.

"We are wasting lots of class time fetching water, especially on the days extra water is needed, like for washing classrooms," said teacher Jesca Vugutsa (pictured below). "This affects me personally because I'm also a parent here, and my son has to carry water every morning to school."

The school does have a rain tank donated by a well-wisher, but it is far too small for a school with 511 students and staff members.

"The 5,000-liter rainwater tank is grossly inadequate for a population of over 500 dependents," said our field officer, Elvis. "With less than 10 meters of the guttering system in place, the tank is unable to collect sufficient water [from the roof] even if it rains. The tank frequently runs dry."

The water students gather from substitute sources is questionable in quality and murky in color. Although the school filters the water before it is used for drinking or for the school lunch program, not all contaminants can be filtered out. Students most commonly complain of itchy throats after drinking the water at school. They also frequently fall on their way to collect water outside the school grounds and sustain injuries, which are costly for their parents to treat.

The school needs a much larger rain tank that will be able to store more water for the school to keep in reserve for Kenya's dry seasons. Students will expend less energy fetching water and have more time to concentrate in class. Hopefully, then, their lives and futures will improve.

What We Can Do:

A 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, the tank 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 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 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 tank, 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

March, 2024: Gamoi Primary School Well Complete!

Gamoi Primary School in Kenya now has access to safe, clean water thanks to the completion of its rain tank! 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.

A student collecting clean water.

"It was really tiresome to fetch water during school hours. As a result of this, concentrating in class would be very difficult. Therefore, having this rainwater tank will be of great help since access to water will be at any time and will help even during the dry seasons. I will no longer have to worry about going to fetch outside the school," said 12-year-old Velma.


"I'm going to improve my marks because I will have more class-time as compared to when I would spend as much as two hours out of class going to fetch water. This was because the nearest water point was quite far. Furthermore, it was tricky to drink water that other students brought from home because it was mostly contaminated. Therefore, I will also not get sick from drinking contaminated water," Velma continued.

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

"I will have more class time. Adding to this, the risk of getting sick from time to time, especially from typhoid and diarrhea will reduce because of consuming water from one known source. Time management will be one great achievement since I will be able to cover the syllabus in time compared to the past, where students would waste a lot of time looking for water. The school mean score will be expected to go up because there will be more class time for students and more teaching time for teachers," said 50-year-old senior teacher Lillian Maleya.

Lillian Maleya.

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.

Beginning the walls.

We cast one central and four support pillars inside the tank to ensure the dome does not cave in once cemented. Meanwhile, we plastered the inner wall and roughcast the outer walls.

Casting the dome pillars.

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 help carry the tank dome underlayment.

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.

The completed tank.

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

We also held a dedication ceremony. This event was an excellent chance to acknowledge the school administration and students for their assistance and remind them of our continued support. Happiness, thanksgiving, and appreciation were the order of the day, flowing in all directions.

Happy for clean water!

VIP Latrines

Cleaning the new latrines with water.

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 rain tank on school property, there should be enough water to keep them clean.

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 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 Joel Shitindo and Victor Musemi deployed to the site to lead the event. Twenty-three students and teachers attended the training, which we held under a shade tree in the school's field.

Training participants.

We focused on personal, menstrual, oral, and environmental hygiene; proper water handling; soap-making and the ten steps of handwashing; the importance of primary health care; the prevention of teen pregnancy and COVID-19; child rights; the operation and maintenance of the pump, well, latrines, and handwashing stations; and leadership and governance. During the latter, the students elected their peers to lead their newly formed student health club.

Opening prayers.

The student health club members 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.

Learning how to properly care for the tank.

The most memorable topic was onsite training. Students were really eager to learn about the new water point and how to use it. They asked great questions about how often and how to clean the tank properly.

Learning to make soap.

Another great topic of the day was the proper handwashing techniques. The students creatively made up a song out of the ten steps of handwashing, which was quite memorable. We believe they will be good ambassadors of what we taught them.

"This training was very educative. I really learned a lot especially on matters of hygiene. I also got to know the process of soap making through which I'll try and make some soap for business," said Velma, who was quoted earlier.


This project required a substantial collaboration between our staff, in-country teams, and community members. When an issue arises concerning the rain tank, the students and teachers have 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 Kenya, Uganda, and Sierra Leone, we're working toward complete coverage. That means 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!

January, 2024: Gamoi Primary School Rainwater Catchment Underway!

The lack of adequate water at Gamoi Primary School costs students time, energy, and health every single day. Clean water scarcity contributes to community instability and diminishes individuals’ personal progress.

But thanks to your recent generosity, things will soon improve here. We are now working to install a reliable water point and improve hygiene standards. We look forward to sharing inspiring news in the near future!

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!


G2 Foundation
15 individual donor(s)