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Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 259 Served

Project Phase:  Installed

Functionality Status:  Functional

Community Profile & Stories

This project is a part of our shared program with Africa Sand Dam Foundation. Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).

Welcome to the School

Ndwaani Primary School is located in Kambuu, Makueni County. The school was formed in the year 1954. It is a public school that has a population of 259 total, including teachers. The school has been challenged with water scarcity over the last several years.

Ndwaani Primary School is where most of the Twone Mbee Muselele Group sends their children. They applied for a project so that their children wouldn’t have to suffer the bad situation at school any longer.

Water Situation

The school has two plastic water tanks that collect water when it rains. One has a capacity of 10,000 liters and the other is 5,000. The school needs 300 liters of water per day. Because of this requirement, these tanks only last three months after the rainy season. They will not collect water again until the next year’s rainy season, forcing students to look elsewhere for water.

The closest water point is River Yandia, which is three kilometers away. To meet the school’s water demands, pupils are required to carry water from home every day. If a student is allowed to attend class, they must have at least five liters of water with them. The school uses this water for cooking, hygiene and sanitation uses e.g. washing of hands, offices, and classrooms. Since the neighborhoods these students come from don’t have a permanent safe water source, it is likely that the water brought to school is not safe for consumption. The lack of water has affected performance of the school due to frequent truancy of students who want to avoid this stress, especially girls.

The water from River Yandia is not protected from contamination. Holes are dug in the ground at the riverbed to fetch water. Alternatively, there is a borehole that is also three kilometers away from which the school buys water from time to time. There are also some local vendors who are paid to fetch water and deliver it to the school.

There have been constant reports of waterborne disease after drinking water at school. This in turn leads to constant absences and poor academic performance. To try and help the dire situation, the school purchases water, but this is a huge expenditure for them.

Sanitation Situation

The water scarcity issue here has also led to poor hygiene practices and a dirty school environment. Classrooms and latrines aren’t cleaned when there isn’t enough water for cooking and drinking.

There are 16 pit latrines on school grounds, but they are filthy and smelly. There are no hand-washing stations for students to wash their hands after the latrine and before eating. There is a little awareness on good hygiene and sanitation here, but students and staff don’t have the water needed to maintain high standards.

The students have tremendously poor hygiene. They complain of stomachaches, skin rashes, and lice.

We met the school head teacher, Onesmus Waema. He told us “To combat the current situation and cater for a growing population in the school, an alternative water source is necessary.”

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Students and staff will be trained for one day. Those in attendance will form a hygiene club that will promote good hygiene and sanitation practices both at school and home. They will learn all of the steps to proper hand-washing, how to treat water, and how to keep their environment clean. The school will also be taught how to best oversee and maintain their new rainwater catchment tank and hand-washing stations.

Plans: Hand-Washing Stations

Three hand-washing stations will be delivered at the project’s completion. These are plastic tank fitted with taps. The hygiene club and school management will be responsible for making sure tanks are filled with water and that a cleaning agent such as soap or ash is available.

Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank

We will build a 105,000-liter rainwater catchment tank for Ndwaani Primary School. This water will benefit the students, teachers, and supplementary staff. Parents will mobilize the materials needed for construction, such as sand and stone. They will also lend some strong arms to help with the actual construction.

The huge capacity of this tank makes the others look tiny in comparison; 105,000 liters should collect enough water to carry students through the entire dry season. As soon as the tank has time to cure, it can begin to collect rainwater for drinking, cooking and cleaning!

Recent Project Updates

12/20/2017: A Year Later: Ndwaani Primary School

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater catchment tank and latrines for the Ndwaani Primary School in Western Kenya. Because of these gifts and the contributions of our monthly donors, our partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from our partner Titus Mbithi with you.

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12/20/2016: Ndwaani Primary School Project Complete

We are very excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, the students and staff of Ndwaani Primary School in Kenya have a new source of safe, clean water: A new rainwater catchment system has been built. Hand-washing stations have been installed, and students and staff have received training in sanitation and hygiene. Just imagine the difference these resources will make in the lives of these people! You made it happen, now help keep the water flowing! Join our team of monthly donors and help us maintain this rainwater catchment tank and many other projects.

We also just updated the project page with new pictures. Make sure to click on the “See Photos & Video” tab to check them out! The report below shares the latest details of the project. We anticipate a second update by the end of January that includes pictures of a painted tank and students as they take advantage of clean water on school grounds!

Project Result: New Knowledge and Hand-Washing Stations

Hygiene and sanitation training was held at the school beginning on October 19th. All sessions needed to be taught in the morning since students had examinations scheduled in the afternoon. We worked with school administration to arrange for the time, place, and participants. It was also important to have teachers present to both keep order and learn for themselves.  The headteacher decided that all students should attend training, since water, sanitation and hygiene affect everyone.

We taught lessons on preparing and storing food, contamination routes, using and cleaning latrines, fetching, treating and storing water, and hand-washing.

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The hand-washing stations were delivered before training so that they could be used in the hand-washing demonstrations. Students had plenty of opportunities to practice with the trainers. Also, the students in the health club were taught how to take care of the stations, making sure that they are filled with water and that a cleaning agent like soap or ash is available.

We used this opportunity to strengthen the student health club on campus. These students will promote healthy practices and teach their peers about what they learned. The club will hold activities to help popularize using latrines and washing hands. Mwikali Munanie is a 12-year-old young lady who attended training with her classmates. She told us, “The training has helped me to understand when and why it’s important to wash hands. I used to keep long nails, which I will now cut to prevent germs.”

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Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

Parents and school staff started collecting construction materials in May. The school administration was integral in delegating these tasks and ensuring that the school was prepared for our project artisans. We checked on their progress once a month, and deemed the school prepared for actual construction in September.

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Once our artisans arrived, actual construction of the 105,000-liter tank took a total of 28 days to complete. The only challenge to implementation was rainy weather; it took an especially long time for the tank’s concrete to fully dry. Thankfully, the tank is now ready to take advantage of these downpours and collect water.

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We want to finish this tank by painting it in white with helpful reminders like, “Wash your hands to stay healthy!” We anticipate this painting job will be completed in January, when new pictures of students will also be taken. This is exam month, and nobody is allowed on school grounds while students are taking tests. We will be allowed back on campus when classes start again on January 4th. But when students arrive at school after their Christmas holiday, we are grateful that they will have clean water on school grounds.

Ndwaani Primary’s headteacher, Mr. Onesmus Waema, was so grateful for this huge improvement to his school. He now has great hope for the future, saying “We are very happy with this project. The project has increased the competitive advantage of the school. It’s expected our students will work harder and perform better in their academics. Thank you for considering this school for the project!”

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11/14/2016: Great Progress at Ndwaani Primary School

We are excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, Ndwaani Primary School in Kenya will soon have a new source of safe, clean water. A rainwater catchment tank is curing, hand-washing stations have been provided, and the school is being trained on proper sanitation and hygiene practices. Imagine the impact this will have on these students! Thank you for noticing the need here, and we’ll keep you posted as the work is completed.

Check out the progress this school has made already, and Thank You for your generosity that is unlocking potential for students in Kenya!

The Water Project : 2-kenya4504-progress

Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment
Location:  Makueni, Kambuu
ProjectID: 4504
Install Date:  12/20/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 12/21/2017

Visit History:
03/02/2017 — Functional
06/04/2017 — Functional
09/06/2017 — Functional
12/21/2017 — Functional

A Year Later: Ndwaani Primary School

December, 2017

We have stopped carrying water to school, we clean our hands after visiting the latrines, and we now have enough clean drinking water!

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater harvesting tank and latrines for the Ndwaani Primary School in Western Kenya. Because of these gifts and the contributions of our monthly donors, our partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from our partner Titus Mbithi with you.

Students attending Ndwaani Primary School no longer have to carry water with them to school every day. Even if from a clean source, this water would be unsafe for drinking after the dusty journey to school. And after carrying both textbooks and water, students would be worn out before they even began class.

Field Officer Mbithi, students, and their headteacher give a thumbs up for clean water.

We met Headteacher Onesmus Waema at the rainwater catchment tank. Though the paint is wearing away, the tank itself is in excellent condition, and students are keeping the area clean. He said there is “enough water for drinking, and levels of hygiene and sanitation have improved.”

Catherine Sila

Classrooms are clean, latrines are clean, and students are still washing their hands at the hand-washing stations.

14-year-old student Sila Catherine affirmed that this is the case, saying “we have stopped carrying water to school, we clean our hands after visiting the latrines, and we now have enough clean drinking water!”

The student health club is still active with 30 members and is led by three teachers. The committee is effectively managing the tank, ensuring that there’s always enough clean water to serve Ndwaani Primary School and its students.

The Water Project and our partners are committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by monthly donors, allows us to visit communities up to 4 times a year. Read more about our program and how you can help.


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Country Details


Population: 39.8 Million
Lacking clean water: 43%
Below poverty line: 50%

Partner Profile

Africa Sand Dam Foundation (ASDF) supports self-help groups to harvest and conserve water through construction of sand dams & shallow wells, rock catchments and school roof catchments.