Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/05/2024

Project Features

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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

Mwiyenga Primary School was started in 1974 by the ACK Church. The school now has a total of 663 pupils of which there are 123 early education students and the rest are in primary school. The school employs 16 teachers and two 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 Mwiyenga Primary School begins at 6am as pupils report to school carrying their books and containers of water. Lower classes are responsible for cleaning chores starting at 7am. At the beginning and end of the week, students and staff gather for a flag raising ceremony. The master on duty addresses the pupils and invites other teachers to brief the pupils on what is expected of them. Regular lessons begin and 8am and go until 4:30pm. At 4:30pm, students are required to participate in their club of choice. There are those who are good at poetry, drama, football, and many other things. At 5pm they are all dismissed to return home for chores and dinner with their parents.

Water Situation

The school’s main water sources are two plastic tanks with capacities of 2,500 and 6,000 liters. The smaller tank was saved up for by parents, while the other tank was donated by (VPIA) Virtues Project International Association. These tanks are not sufficient to serve the high student population, and quickly run out when it doesn't rain. As a result, the pupils must carry their own water from home - which is not clean and safe. Many students stop at the most convenient water source along the road to school. The school reports cases of typhoid and swollen stomachs because of the dirty drinking water students find.

Sanitation Situation

The school had a total of 30 latrines, but now only 12 of them can be used! Out of the 12 doors, six are for boys and six are for girls. Some of these cannot lock and compromise students' privacy. The other 18 latrines have been condemned by the ministry of health because of poor sanitation, and they will be demolished soon. The headteacher said that because of so few latrines for so many students, there are very long lines during class breaks - and the wait cuts into class time. There are no hand-washing stations for students or even teachers. This  "is a God-sent organization because the school was given a closure notice just last week. God is so faithful; we are ready to provide anything that the school should provide," said Deputy Headteacher Iydiah Likhaya.

Poor environmental and personal hygiene here has contributed to many health complications, including Jiggers, a type of parasite.

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 kickstart 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: VIP Latrines

Two triple-door latrines will be constructed with local materials that the school will help gather. Three doors will serve the girls while the other three serve the boys. And with a new source of water on school grounds, students and staff should have enough to keep these new latrines clean.

Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank

A 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank will help alleviate the water crisis at this school. The school will also help gather the needed materials such as sand, rocks, and water for mixing cement. Once finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff. With proper management of this huge tank, students will no longer have to carry heavy containers of water to school anymore.

We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. These higher standards will translate to better academic performance!

Project Updates

November, 2018: A Year Later: Mwiyenga Primary School

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to construct a rainwater catchment tank for Mwiyenga Primary School in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local 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...

December, 2017: Mwiyenga Primary School Project Complete

Mwiyenga 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 officer asked the school headteacher to select student leaders from grades four, five, and six to attend. These students are the younger classes, and will have a chance to educate incoming students about what they learned. There wasn't a free classrooms, so we brought chairs and met outside under a tree. There were 23 participants out of which 20 were students, two were teachers, and one was a parent.

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.

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. And since the tank was finished by the time we held training, we could take everyone to see exactly what we were talking about when it comes to caring for their new water source.

Students gathered around to learn how to care for their new water source.

Teacher Mary Lamuka said, "Thank you for making time to take us through this training, and thanks for considering Mwiyenga primary School. We promise to take good care of the facilities and what we have learned will help us maintain this project for a long period of time."

Project Result: VIP Latrines

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

Project Result: Hand-Washing Stations

The two hand-washing stations were delivered to school and handed over to the CTC club. These have been placed outside of the boys’ and girls’ latrines to encourage hand-washing after latrine use. CTC club members will teach other students how to properly wash their hands at these stations, and will make sure there is always soap or ash available. Now the school has the stations they need, and they have the water to fill them.

A girl fills the hand-washing station with water as the others line up to wash.

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. Some local men even helped our artisans with their manual labor.

Water and other materials were delivered to the construction site by local parents.

The process officially began with our staff and school administration moving around the school compound to try and determine the best location for a new rainwater catchment tank. This needed to be the best site with good, clean roofing to catch the rainwater.

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.

The beginning of the tank foundation

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.

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 Mwiyenga Primary School. It already has some water in it!

Staff is so excited about how this project is going to reduce the pressure that their students were feeling. Students will no longer have to balance the heavy burden of water as they carry their books to school every day; they will have the energy and good health to focus on their studies in a safe, clean environment.

August, 2017: Lukume Project Postponed. Meet Mwiyenga!

Our staff in Kenya was ready to get started on the rainwater catchment tank and schedule training at Lukume Primary. As they began to plan these things, they were answered with hesitation. The school told us they’re overwhelmed with other projects that need to be done, and ask to be reconsidered for a water project in 2018. They planned too much for this year!

Mwiyenga Primary School had already sent in their application and was ready and willing to participate as soon as possible – Thus, we’ve decided to replace Lukume with Mwiyenga. Please take some time to meet Mwiyenga Primary and its students!

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: Mwiyenga Primary School

November, 2018

The school environment has noticeably improved over the past year, thanks to the ability to keep things clean with the water from the tank!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Mwiyenga 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, your generous donation enabled us to construct a rainwater catchment tank for Mwiyenga Primary School in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local 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 local team member Betty Muhango Majani with you.

The school has undergone a face lift thanks to the tank and latrines constructed last year. The old, dangerous toilets were demolished and replaced with new VIP latrines, so now the environment is friendly with no bad odor. The toilets are cleaned on daily basis and student hygiene club members disinfect them regularly.

We spoke with teachers and students at the school about how their lives have changed in the year since the project was completed.

"The school sanitation has improved," teacher Mary Lamuka said. "It is evident by pupils washing their hands after using the toilet."

Mary Lamuka

The school also added a lunch program for class seven and eight students because the school now has safe and clean water for cooking, drinking, and washing the utensils after lunch.

Construction of the rainwater 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 in Mwiyenga Primary School is changing many lives.

"Before the water projects were done in our school, we used to spend a lot of time queuing at the toilet but at this moment, we no longer spend much time at the toilet," 15-year-old student Protus Musonye said.

Protus Musonye

"The time we use to spend at the toilet is now converted to serious studies that improve our academic performance."

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 Mwiyenga 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 Mwiyenga 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.