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Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 450 Served

Project Phase:  Installed

Functionality Status:  Functional

Community Profile & Stories

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

Ngaa Primary School was started in 1982 to serve the children of Ngaa Village. Enrollment is at 450 this year, all taught by just 10 teachers. The school also employs two support staff.

Ngaa Primary School has enjoyed a close relationship with Kiluta Sand Dam Self-Help Group, which has been working to build clean water projects in their villages. The group members send their children to this school, and are aware of their dire water situation. It is for this reason that they are committed to constructing a rainwater catchment tank at the school.

Water Situation

The school buys large quantities of water, delivered from personal boreholes around Matiliku at 3,000 shillings for a 2,000-liter truckload. The water is then poured into a 3,000-liter plastic tank that the school uses to store water. Sometimes the trucks have to park at the school until the water is used up because there isn’t enough space in the plastic tank. Pupils are also required to carry water in three to five-liter containers to school every morning from their homes.

Both financial and health issues arise because of this situation. The school must consistently order these water deliveries at what is an exorbitant price in Kenya. But this water isn’t enough, and students must carry water for personal use every morning. The quality of the water cannot be verified, and teachers are unable to force students to collect water from safe sources. After drinking this water, students suffer from typhoid, bilharzia, and ringworm.

13-year-old female student John Ndanu said, “Every day after school I walk to Ikuma River, three kilometers away to fetch water for carrying to school and for house chores. In the morning, carrying five liters of water to school has not been easy; sometimes the fatigue has led to low levels of concentration in class.”

12-year-old student Paul Mutua wants to be a lawyer when he grows up. He told us “Sometimes, meals have been served late due to lack of steady water supply. This has caused disruptions to the school routine, leading to loss of time meant for classwork. Again, our toilets and classes are rarely washed, creating an unfavorable learning environment.”

Sanitation Situation

There is not enough water for cleaning the latrines, so they are rarely clean. Pupils who use them are at risk of infection. Girls and boys have 15 stalls of latrines each, and the teachers have three that they share. However, many of the girls’ and boys’ latrines are missing doors, and thus students wait in line to share the other stalls.

There are no hand-washing stations, nor would there be enough water to fill them.

The school has also dug three garbage pits in different locations to give students no excuse when it comes to littering.

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! Teacher Vincent Mutie told us that he and the other teachers are also planning to start a kitchen garden once the tank has collected enough water.

Recent Project Updates

11/16/2017: Ngaa Primary School Project Complete

Ngaa 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 have been installed, 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 held outside the classrooms on school grounds. The field officer consulted with the headteacher to find the best dates for training, and in turn the headteacher communicated these plans to the teachers and students. All 10 teachers and 448 pupils gathered their desks and chairs under a tree, where they were able to share their fears and learn about how to live safer, healthier lives.

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

– 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.

Even though the permanent hand-washing stations hadn’t yet been delivered, students still used running water to practice the ten steps of hand-washing.

By the last day of training, a student health club of 10 members 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

Teacher Vincent Mutie said that training “was a nice presentation; very articulate, and was beneficial to both teachers and pupils.”

Project Result: Hand-Washing Stations

Hand-washing stations have just been delivered and placed outside of the latrines. With such a large tank, students will have more than enough water to fill these stations.

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

Ngaa Primary School is affiliated with the Kiluta 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.

Look at all of the stones that parents brought to the construction site!

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.

Teacher Vincent Mutie also added that “the school water tank project came at a time when we needed it the most. It has answered many questions on water shortage, and we are very happy. We are current using the water for drinking. We are also planning to start a kitchen garden for our school.”

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09/28/2017: Ngaa Primary School Project Underway

Ngaa 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!

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Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment
Location:  Makueni, Kiluta
ProjectID: 4797
Install Date:  10/31/2017

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Functional - New Project


Project Sponsor - The Lifeplus Foundation

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Country Details


Population: 39.8 Million
Lacking clean water: 43%
Below poverty line: 50%

Partner Profile

Africa Sand Dam Foundation (ASDF) supports self-help groups to harvest and conserve water through construction of sand dams & shallow wells, rock catchments and school roof catchments.