Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/11/2024

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

Iyenga Primary School was started in the year 1993 by its sponsor Africa Church of Holy Spirit (ACOHS). The school now has a total of 534 primary pupils and 70 early childhood education children. The school employs 16 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.)

Students who attend this school have to wake up particularly early to reach school on time. Since there's no water source at school, they're required to fetch water and bring it with them on a daily basis.

Headteacher Mark admitted that "being a leader in an institution like this comes along with numerous challenges. When certain things aren’t right with the institution every one tends to look at you expecting you rectify the condition. Health situation has been deteriorating in my school and everyone has been on my neck to either resign or upgrade. My hands are tied and thus cannot afford to bring clean safe water in my school."

Water Situation

Students report that they most often draw water from a stream that's on the way to school. This stream is open to contamination from many different sources such as animal waste and farm fertilizer.

Students carry this back to school for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. Whenever the water in the students' jerrycans is used up, they are sent out as a class to fetch more. A lot of time is wasted when students need to leave class for more water.

Waterborne disease is a reality here; the school buys Water Guard to treat the water, but absences are still common.

Sanitation Situation

During our visit it became clear that the school’s sanitation needs to be addressed, since it only has seven latrine doors for girls, four doors for boys, and a urinal. There are two doors set aside just for teachers.

The school does not even have a hand-washing facility. Pupils are exposed to a high risk of disease because they don't have the opportunity or the knowledge to wash up after using the latrine or before eating.

The school also lacks a proper pit to dispose of their garbage in, so it's piled up and subject to blowing around in the wind.

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 from the spring for mixing cement (students have already started helping). Once finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff. Students will no longer be responsible to find enough water to carry to school every day.

We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. These higher standards will translate to better academic performance! With this help, the school will consider sitting for their first national exam this year.

Project Updates

December, 2018: A Year Later: Iyenga Primary School

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

March, 2018: Iyenga Primary School Project Complete

Iyenga 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 students!

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.

Project Result: New Knowledge

Arranging hygiene and sanitation training was tough, since the school didn't have time until Christmas break. Though it was great to have our pick of all the empty classrooms, we were nervous about getting students to come back to school during their vacation. We were pleasantly surprised! Each class was represented with a total of 31 students. There were also three teachers and two parents.

Students received new notebooks and pens to record the things they learned.

We taught that hygiene entails personal hygiene, water hygiene, and environmental hygiene. Attention needs to be given to each facet of hygiene to enjoy a healthy life.

We covered topics including but not limited to:

– Water pollution and water treatment

– Cleaning self and clean environment

– 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 new hand-washing stations were delivered in time for training.

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. An entire lesson was 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. 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.

Teacher Benard Mambia said, "Whenever light sets in, darkness departs. Knowledge is power and this training has opened our eyes to see what we could not see initially. There are a number of things that we have been taking for granted, but from today we are going to change. Our pupils are happy and we have commissioned them to extend the same information to their homes."

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.

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

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

Headteacher Mark constantly visited our office leading up to construction to make sure we'd arrive on time! He was so excited to see clean water benefit his students and staff.

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 and women even helped our artisans with their manual labor.

The construction 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. The catchment area was dug, plastered, and a staircase installed.

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.

The tank was given three to four weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Iyenga Primary School. Headteacher Mark said, "We thank God because we are finally able to access clean and safe water from a reliable source. As a school, we shall do our best to ensure that the tank is well-used and managed so that it can serve the school for a long time."

January, 2018: Iyenga Primary School Project Underway

Iyenga Primary School in Kenya has begun building a new source of safe, clean water because of 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, please enjoy the new stories, pictures, and maps of this school.

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: Iyenga Primary School

December, 2018

“We are indeed fortunate to have the project,” said Zebedee Alubitsia.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Iyenga 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 tank for Iyenga 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 Jacklyne Chelagat with you.

Iyenga Primary School has experienced massive changes following the implementation of the project a year ago. Upon entering the school compound, the clean and neat environment is a clear indication of the presence of sufficient clean water. The aesthetic value upheld in this compound is amazing. Bright faces and smiles shown to us during our visit to the school population were a clear indication of great satisfaction.

The ability to access clean and safe water has greatly improved the health of students. The absences previously recorded among the pupils are now history, and the school is optimistic of having better academic results this year.

Headteacher Christopher Birgen and field officer Jacklyne Chelagat

"Absenteeism among learners is in the past tense and this guarantees better performance in school," said Headteacher Christopher Birgen.

He also says that since students no longer have to spend time searching for water during the school day, they have the ability to stay in class and learn more.

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 project in Iyenga Primary School is changing many lives.

"It is so fortunate to be in this school at this particular period of time where the total concentration and preparation is required as a candidate. The implementation of the water project has enabled us to settle in class and learn instead of wasting time going to the stream and fetching water," said 13-year-old Zebedee Alubitsia.

Zebedee Alubitsia

"The presence of clean and safe water in school has improved our health status. We are indeed fortunate to have the project."

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 Iyenga 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 Iyenga 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.


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