Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 329 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/19/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

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

Waita Primary School was started in 1949 to offer education to the children of Waita Village. The school has a total population of 329 students, of which 168 are boys and 161 are girls. The school employs 12 teachers and two support staff.

The school has enjoyed a close relationship with Kyeni kya Karuri Self-Help Group, which has been working with ASDF since 2015. Members of Kyeni kya Karuri SHG are parents of students attending this school, and are well aware of the dire water situation and needs at the learning facility. It is for this reason that they proposed the construction of a water tank to help alleviate the suffering that their children go through. Their affiliation to Kyeni kya Karuri SHG and the alarming water access challenges that the pupils go through are the main reasons why the school has been accepted for a water project.

Water Situation

The school is connected to the Tanathi water project pipeline. This system has proved unreliable. At the time of our first visit, the school reported that the tap had been dry for a week already. When the tap does produce water, the school feeds it into a 10,000-liter plastic tank. Whenever the school gets enough water from the tap to completely fill this tank, it lasts them about one month with strict rationing.

The school used to have some concrete tanks, but they have fallen into disrepair.

Students are required to carry three to five liters of water to school every day that the pipes aren't working. When the system fails unexpectedly, the school has to order water from local water vendors. These vendors fetch water from rivers to fill their drums, which they sell for 100 shillings each.

13-year-old student Esther Mutheu told us that "Sometimes, the available water is colored and unsafe for drinking, but we resort to using it because we lack better other options. This places us at a high risk of contracting waterborne diseases. Many have been reported in the past!"

Sanitation Situation

There are seven pit latrines; three for female students, two for male students, and two for teachers. The field officer also observed that open defecation is an issue here, with students not willing to wait in line for their turn at the latrines.

There is one hand-washing station, but this is intended for teachers' use only. Garbage is thrown in one specific area, but it is not in a pit to keep it from blowing around the school grounds.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Students and staff will be trained for one day. Those in attendance will form a school health 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 1,000-liter plastic tanks fitted with four taps. The health 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 104,000-liter rainwater catchment tank for this 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; 104,000 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!

Project Updates

November, 2018: A Year Later: Waita Primary School

A year ago, your generous donation helped us construct a rainwater catchment tank for Waita 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...

January, 2018: Waita Primary School Project Complete

Waita Primary School in Kenya now has a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your support: A new rainwater catchment system has been built. Hand-washing stations are on the way (we'll reach out again when we have pictures), and students and staff have received training in sanitation and hygiene. Just imagine the difference these resources will make in the lives of these students and teachers! 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, so make sure to check them out! The report below shares the latest details of the project.

Project Result: New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was rolled out to all of the school's teachers and pupils under the shade of a tree in the school compound.

The trainer led sessions on proper food handling, preparation, and storage. Similar sessions on water were even more important, teaching how to safely fetch, carry, store, and treat water. We also covered topics including:

– Importance of using a pit latrine

– Prevention of diarrhea

– Proper handling of food and water

– Hand-washing

– Flies and other spreaders of germs

– Personal hygiene (washing face and brushing teeth)

Students particularly enjoyed the demonstrations, role plays, and group discussions.

Though the hand-washing stations weren't delivered by training, students were able to practice with running water and soap.

By the last day of training, a student health club was established to carry out the following objectives:

– Teaching other students about hygiene and sanitation

– Ensuring the latrines and school compound are always clean

– Ensuring that students always wash their hands with clean water and soap after visiting the latrine, and ensuring these hand-washing stations have clean water and cleaning agents at all times

13-year-old Theresia Mwikali spoke with staff after the training to share her impression, saying "It was good. We will improve our hygiene as students, and we have learned about the importance of hand-washing. This will help us prevent diarrhea diseases." Teacher Winfred Muema added, "The training was good. Stomachache cases will decrease in our school because we will be practicing hand-washing at all times. As we implement the content of today’s training, latrine hygiene will improve and we will keep our school compound clean all the time. As teachers, we will be more responsible for personal hygiene of our pupils."

Theresia Mwikali, the student on the left

Project Result: Hand-Washing Stations

Large, multi-tap hand-washing stations are scheduled to be delivered at the end of this month. We will share pictures as soon as we have them!

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

Waita Primary School is affiliated with the Kyeni kya Karuli Self-Help Group, since most of its members’ children attend here. These parents and school administration approached the self-help group committee and requested their help in alleviating the water shortage at the school. A meeting with all of the parents and the headteacher was then held to plan out the project. Parents agreed to collect construction materials like sand, rocks, and water. They also worked hard alongside our artisans.

Construction for this 104,000-liter rainwater catchment tank is much like the construction of a concrete house. First, the ground is leveled for foundation excavation. Alternating layers of impermeable rocks are laid upon mortar up to seven feet high, with internal and external diameters of 25 and 28 feet respectively. A reinforced concrete column is built right up the center of the tank, which holds up the roof and prevents it from caving in. The walls are then plastered both internally and externally with waterproof cement. After that, several feet of guttering is installed and channeled into the tank.

The paint is a final touch!

Once the tank has cured (dried) sufficiently, it can begin to collect rainwater. Students were excited to return from holiday break and have clean water in their tank! They wasted no time fetching their first cups of clean water. Teacher Winfred said, "We had been having water problems due to lack of water harvesting facilities, but the new tank has solved that problem. We used to buy water for drinking, which is very expensive. But now we have enough water for drinking and cooking! We will start a club at the school to plant vegetables using the water from the tank, to improve the diet and health of our pupils and to supplement the nutrition that they lack back home."

November, 2017: Waita Primary School Project Underway

Waita Primary School in Kenya will soon have a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your donation. A rainwater catchment tank is being built, hand-washing stations are being 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.

Thank You for your generosity that is unlocking potential for students in Kenya!

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: Waita Primary School

November, 2018

“Parents are no longer expected to bring water for the school’s use as they used to because we now have sufficient water to sustain the school feeding program and all the school necessities.” – Headteacher Julius Maithia

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Waita 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 helped us construct a rainwater catchment tank for Waita 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 Lilian Kendi with you.

The availability of water has improved the hygiene and sanitation levels at the school. There are fewer complaints pertaining to diseases like typhoid, amoeba, stomachaches, and diarrhea. The school has handwashing stations which are always filled with water, thus enabling the students to wash their hands often. Due to the availability of water, the school management has led the students in planting trees around the school.

Giving tank water to a seedling

We talked to Headteacher Julius Maithia and his student, Dan Mumo, to hear about the other improvements they've witnessed over the past year.

From left to right: Esther Lila, Lilian Kendi, Dan Mumo

"The school water tank has harnessed a lot of rains since they were experienced early this year. Parents are no longer expected to bring water for the school's use as they used to because we now have sufficient water to sustain the school feeding program and all the school necessities," Headteacher Maithia said.

"We have planted 400 tree seedlings within the school and the students water them every day. We also established a vegetable nursery where we planted vegetables for the learners."

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.

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 Waita Primary is changing many lives.

"We used to have problems of water in the school because at times if it were not our parents who brought the water to school, we were expected to come to school with jerrycans of water. It was very exhausting, but since the tank was completed we face fewer challenges and we can also concentrate on our studies. We arrive at school on time," remembered 14-year-old Dan.

Dan Mumo and his classmates used to carry water to school. They don't have to anymore because there's enough water in the tank - even enough to water gardens and trees!

"The water we used to drink was not safe because we used to fetch water from the river. Some students also have no water at home so the only water they drank was the one from the river. Stomachache complaints have reduced."

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 Waita 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 Waita 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.


Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Ohio
Santee School Board and Superintendent
St. Michaels School on the Navajo Nation
Folsom Memorial United Methodist Church
Faith Chapel
Ariel & Sara Dog Services
United Illini for a United Campus
Girl Scouts of Greatere Chicago and Northwest Indiana Indiana Troop #413
BRHS Class of '74, Beach Girls
Belle Meade UMC Youth
Bertha Tredray
Many individual donors