Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/05/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Community Profile

This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water And Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO). Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).

Welcome to the School

Kalenda Primary School was started in 1974 by the Catholic Church. The school is located in Kalenda Village, Samitsi sub-location, Shrug location, Kakamega North Sub-County within Kakamega County. The school now has a total population of 628 pupils. The school employs 13 teachers and three support staff. (Editor's Note: While this many people may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only support a population of 350-500 people.  This community would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)

A normal day at Kalenda Primary begins at 6AM as pupils begin reporting to school. Lower grades are responsible for cleaning the compound from 7AM to 7:25AM. On Mondays and Fridays, there is parade during which the Kenyan flag is raised. The master on duty addresses the pupils and invites other teachers to make their announcements. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, lessons begin at 8AM and end at 4:30PM. Pupils are required to stay for games until they are dismissed to return home.

Water Situation

There is no water source at Kalenda Primary School.

Students are thus sent out with jerrycans to fetch water from a protected spring. Though the water from this source is safe, it is over two kilometers away. If students go all the way to the spring, they must walk along a busy road to the edge of the community. Because of this long walk, it is likely that students search for alternative sources to fill their containers, such as unprotected wells or surface waters. Numerous cases of water-related diseases have been reported after drinking water, even when it is fetched from the protected spring. Students who fetch that water struggle to keep it safe from contamination on the long trip back to the school.

There is a functional well within walking distance, but it is across the busy road. Teachers will not risk sending their small students to such a location. Plus, the well is primarily used by about 500 community members, all who take precedent over students who come from across the street.

The school reports numerous absences due to waterborne disease outbreaks among students. Illnesses include typhoid, amoeba and diarrhea-diseases.

Sanitation Situation

The school has a six latrines for boys, all of which lack doors for privacy. Doors or not, these six latrines are far too little for the 283 boys who attend classes here.

Girls attending this school have no latrines at all, and have to cross a busy road to use the latrines at the secondary section. Since they go on class break at the same time as secondary girls, they must line up and wait for the secondary students to use the latrines first. All latrines observed during our initial visit to the schools were smelly and falling apart.

Headteacher Noah Musotsi said, "The situation in our community, and especially the school, has always been wanting since the sanitation facilities are not enough. Pupils waste a lot of time queuing so as to use the facilities. We thank you so much for your concern."

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training and Hand-Washing Stations

Training will be held for two days. The facilitator will use PHAST (participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation), ABCD (asset-based community development), CTC (child to child), lectures, group discussions, and handouts to teach health topics and ways to promote good practices within the school. The CTC method will prepare students to lead other students into healthy habits, as well as kick start a CTC club for the school. This CTC club will oversee the new facilities, such as hand-washing stations, and make sure they are kept clean and in working condition. The two hand-washing stations will be delivered to the school, and the club will fill them with water on a daily basis and make sure there is always a cleaning agent such as soap or ash.

Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank

A 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank will be constructed on school grounds. Teachers, students, and parents will gather the materials needed for this project, including sand, ballast, bricks, and hardcore. This contribution will fuel a sense of responsibility for the school and community to take care of their new facilities. Once materials are mobilized, the WEWASAFO team will arrive to lead the construction effort.

With adequate clean water, the school will have water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and hand-washing. Students will no longer be sent over two kilometers away to fetch water!

Plans: VIP Latrines

Two triple-door latrines will be constructed, providing three new latrines for each gender. Latrine materials will be mobilized the same way as the tank, ensuring the school feels these facilities are truly theirs. And with a rainwater catchment tank nearby, there will be enough water to keep them clean.

School administration and parents are positive that with these new facilities and training, their students’ academic performance will improve. Students will be healthy and empowered to focus on what’s important!

Project Updates

October, 2018: A Year Later: Kalenda Primary School

A year ago, generous donors helped construct a rainwater catchment tank for Kalenda Primary School in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories. Read more...

September, 2017: Kalenda Primary School Project Complete

Kalenda Primary School in Kenya now has a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your generous donation. A new rainwater catchment system has been built, and there are now six new latrines being used. Two hand-washing stations have been installed, and students have received training in sanitation and hygiene. Just imagine the difference these resources will make in the lives of these children!

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.

The report below from our partner gives the latest details of the project. We also just updated the project page with new pictures.

Project Result: New Knowledge

Our field officers asked the headteacher to select 15-20 student leaders to attend hygiene and sanitation training. These same students would join forces to form a club in charge of water, sanitation and hygiene initiatives at their school. We had asked that they find a classroom for us to use, but when we got there we found students moving all of their desks and chairs outside. They were sacrificing their classroom for our training! We opted to be the ones outside so as to not disrupt their regular studies.

1 kenya4657 training

Students participated well in all of our activities. We taught an entire lesson on management and maintenance of the new tank and latrine facilities. Regular checking and cleaning of the gutter system is a must! It’s also important to treat the water while it is still in the tank. We also covered topics including but not limited to:

– Water pollution and water treatment

– Personal and environmental hygiene

– Group dynamics, leadership, and governance

– Forming an effective CTC (child to child) club

– Hand-washing

Demonstrations were used for hand-washing, tooth-brushing, solar disinfection, and many other topics. We facilitated group discussions and presentations, and students took part in role-plays. The students also received handouts which will help them teach hygiene and sanitation to their peers.

6 kenya4657 training

A student practices hand-washing using the ten steps he just learned; and his peers will remind him if he forgets anything!

The CTC club will include both students and teachers who want to take responsibility for spreading the message of good health and hygiene among their peers. They will also be responsible for managing hand-washing stations, cleaning latrines, and keeping the school environment tidy. A water user committee has also been formed by parents and school administration, which will be responsible for overseeing and maintaining the new facilities.

2 kenya4657 training

Students gathered around in groups to prepare presentations on different hygiene and sanitation behaviors.

We were also happy to find out that the Friday after, one of the teachers summarized everything we taught during training to all of the students gathered at morning assembly. They especially focused on the new hand-washing stations and how important it is to use them after the latrines!

Headteacher Noah Mustostsi even admitted that he's learned some new things through this process. "We are happy that the students are now aware of how to maintain the tank and clean the toilets using improvised material like tree branches for brooms. We were not aware that we needed to have a CTC club that will increase awareness of hygiene and sanitation in the entire school," he said.

Project Result: Hand-Washing Stations

The two hand-washing stations were delivered to school and handed over to the CTC club. They will teach other students how to properly wash their hands at these stations, and will make sure there is always soap or ash available. Members of the club also asked us how to improvise some more hand-washing stations of their own so that more students have the opportunity to wash their hands. Now the school has the stations they need, and they have the water to fill them!

Project Result: VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new VIP (ventilated improved pit) latrines. These latrines are easy to use and easy to clean. And with a rainwater catchment tank, there should be enough water to keep them clean all the time!

17 kenya4657 finished latrines

Hey guys, those walls are for privacy - not for climbing!

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction for this 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank was successful!

Parents, staff, and students helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction. All the while, women cooked meals for the artisans, and the school provided accommodations for the artisans during their work.

Rainwater tank construction began with clearance of the site: excavating the soil within the required measurements to make level ground for the tank foundation. The foundation was cast by laying hardcore on a level ground and then reinforcing it using steel, concrete and waterproof cement.

7 kenya4657 oxen delivering water for construction

An ox-pulled cart delivers water to be used in the mixing of cement.

As the foundation was being lain, both the drawing pipe as well as the washout pipe were affixed. The wall was built with ferro-cement techniques through six layers. The inner wall was plastered while rough casting was done on the outer part.

After the superstructure had been given enough time to settle, the dome construction followed. The manhole cover was fitted, inlet pipes were connected to the roof gutters, inlet screens, ventilation pipes (breathers) and overflow pipes were all done to standards.

10 kenya4657 tank almost done

The walls are done, and the dome is next!

Finally, the catchment area was dug, plastered, and a staircase installed. Drainage was set up there, and then the tank was allowed three to four weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Kalenda Primary School. It already has some water in it!

On behalf of the school, Headteacher Noah Mutsotsi  said "We are happy with the project because our students will spend less time collecting water than they used to spend at the community pump! They would line up at the pump and wait for community members to fill all their containers before they were allowed to fetch water." Less time wasted means more time doing what's important - learning, studying, and achieving.

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: Kalenda Primary School

October, 2018

Students are happy and the school grounds are clean, thanks to the rainwater catchment tank and latrines constructed last year.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kalenda 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!

A year ago, generous donors helped construct a rainwater catchment tank for Kalenda Primary School in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – and we’re excited to share this one from Joan Were with you.

Despite being a primary school with playful children, the tank is well-maintained and the drainage system is very clean. The students now practice proper handwashing after visiting the toilet, and this leads to improved health.

"Right now we are really enjoying using the new facilities in school," Teacher Alice Sasaka said.

"Before the rainwater harvesting tank was constructed, we would face a hard time ensuring that the school is clean. Our students would waste a lot of time fetching water from a community pump."

Cleaning is quick now, thanks to the rainwater catchment tank at the center of school grounds.

Construction of the tank is only one step along the journey toward sustainable access to clean water. The Water Project is committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by donors like you, allows us to maintain our relationships with communities by visiting up to 4 times each year to ensure that the water points are safe and reliable.

This is just one of the many ways that we monitor projects and communicate with you. Additionally, you can always check the functionality status and our project map to see how all of our water points are performing, based on our consistent monitoring data.

One project is just a drop in the bucket towards ending the global water crisis, but the ripple effects of this project are truly astounding. This tank at Kalenda Primary School is changing many lives.

"We now have more time to study and we also learn in a clean environment," 14-year-old student Jackyline Ngome said.

Jackyline Ngome

"Since the water tank was constructed, we have water to clean our toilets and classrooms every day."

This is only possible because of the web of support and trust built between The Water Project, our local teams, the community, and you. We are excited to stay in touch with this community and support their journey with safe water.

Read more about The Water Promise and how you can 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 Kalenda 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 Kalenda 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.