Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Nov 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/07/2024

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

Malaha Primary School was established in 1993, starting with a student population of 167. It is sponsored by the Legio Maria Church. It presently has 857 students out of which 439 are boys and 418 are girls. The ECDE (early childhood development) section of the school has a total of 79 students, out of which 38 are girls and 41 are boys. Malaha Primary School employs a total of 29 teachers with another three in the ECDE section.

(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.)

The school's motto is "Sacrifice Breeds Success." Maybe this is what motivates its students to wake up and prepare for school at 6AM! They walk to school with a jerrycan full of water, which is immediately put to use cleaning classrooms. Students then sit in morning study hall for 30 minutes until normal classes at 8AM. After lunch, afternoon classes stretch until 3:45PM when students play games until they're allowed to return home.

Water Situation

The school has a well but it is not operational; it requires an expensive, major repair to restore it to its proper working condition. Malaha Primary School has a 3,000-liter plastic water tank. which is not sufficient to serve the student and teacher population combined. This is why students must help by bringing water to school every morning.

Since students fill their jerrycan anywhere and anyway possible, it's impossible for us to ensure their water is clean. Many fetch water from the open water source closest to their home, or one along the route to school.

When delivered to school, water meant for drinking is dumped in a 100-liter reservoir, and the rest of the water for cleaning and cooking is left in the students' jerrycans.

When the school uses up water in all of these containers, students must again search for water. They often travel long distances for water that is likely unsafe. After drinking, students miss school suffering from waterborne diseases at home, while their parents struggle to gather the resources to help their children.

Sanitation Situation

The school has a total of 14 latrines out of which two are for teachers and visitors, leaving ten for the students. Out of the ten toilets for the students, four are for boys and six are for the girls. The ECDE section has 2 toilets. There is a shortage of latrines, resulting in pupils wasting a lot of time lining up and waiting during break. And due to water shortage, a good number of latrines cannot be cleaned and thus are not used. Some of the pits are almost full, and others have been condemned. Some even lack doors and the floors are falling apart, presenting danger to these small students.

The school has just one hand-washing facility with a stand, but has done a good job improvising a temporary hand-washing container as well.

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.

Headteacher Dominic Barasa is very excited about the opportunity for training sessions. "I am eager to see the commencement of the project. I reaffirm my commitment to contribute what was required from the school by availing the school community for the training and put in place measures to ensure management and maintenance of the facilities," he said.

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 from the spring for mixing cement. Once finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff. Students will no longer have to carry water every morning or leave class to search for more.

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

Project Updates

November, 2018: A Year Later: Malaha Primary School

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to construct a rainwater catchment tank for Malaha 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...

November, 2017: Malaha Primary School Project Complete

Malaha 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

The headteacher of the school, Mr. Dominic Barasa, was in charge of organizing the training as directed by our training officers. He was asked to select pupils from standards five and six, and two teachers to guide the pupils during their CTC (child to child) club activities. Student selection was based on gender and leadership skills, giving priority to females so as to encourage them to boldly participate in health and hygiene promotion practices in both school and community.

Training was held in one of the empty classrooms, and was attended by 19 people.

Students, staff, and parents listening attentively to the trainer.

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.

Our trainer instructing students on the 10 steps of thorough hand-washing.

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.

Training participants gather together for a picture after their final session. They are now members of the school CTC club!

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!

Girls line up at their new latrines.

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.

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.

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.

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

The only challenge during this process was that there weren't enough construction materials for the artisan to finish the tank. He had to wait an extra day as another order was sent in and then delivered.

The school staff is extraordinarily grateful for now having clean water on school grounds so that students will no longer have to carry their own water on a daily basis. Not only will time and energy be saved, but good health will be restored to these children so they can fully focus on their academics.

September, 2017: Malaha Primary School Project Underway

Malaha Primary School will soon have an adequate source of clean water thanks to your generous donation! A rainwater catchment tank and new latrines are being constructed, hand-washing stations 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 continues. But for now, enjoy our introduction to the school complete with stories, maps, and pictures.

Thank You for partnering with us to unlock potential!

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: Malaha Primary School

November, 2018

“The pupils are very happy because they are now accessing safe and clean water.” – Headteacher Dominic Barasa

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Malaha 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 Malaha 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 Mary Afandi with you.

After the completion of the water, sanitation and hygiene project, Malaha Primary School has access to safe and quality water. The pupils used to carry water from their respective homes to school to be used for drinking and cooking. This project saves the children valuable time and energy that enables them to concentrate in the studies.

"The pupils are very happy because they are now accessing safe and clean water. The ready availability of water has resulted in an increase in the number of pupils at the school," Headteacher Dominic Barasa told us during a recent visit.

"In addition, there is a remarkable improvement in the academic performance at the school."

Initially, Malaha Primary School did not have enough latrines. Most of the latrines were in poor conditions and posed a health hazard to the school community. The latrines that were constructed last year have alleviated this problem, 16-year-old student Kevin Lutomia said to us. He also noted the fact that he now spends more time studying thanks to the time saved not waiting to use the bathroom or fetching water for school. In addition, the handwashing facilities make it possible for the students to wash their hands after visiting toilets.

"The toilets have reduced congestion when the pupils want to use them," Headteacher Barasa added.

From left to right: Kevin Lutomia, Mary Afandi, and Headteacher Barasa

Construction of the rainwater catchment 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.

Kevin Lutomia turns on the tap at the tank

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 Malaha Primary School is changing many lives.

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 Malaha 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 Malaha 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.


Project Underwriter - H2O For Life
2 individual donor(s)