Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 514 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/09/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

St. Joseph Malimili Secondary School is a day school located in Kakamega, Kenya. Student enrollment is 485, 253 of which are boys and 232 of which are girls. The school employs 20 teachers and nine support staff.

A normal school day begins at 6am with morning study hall. At 6:40am, students break into groups to tackle their assigned cleaning chores, like sweeping and picking up litter. Morning classes stretch until an hour lunch break, after which students return for their afternoon classes that go until 5:30pm.

Fee payment is at a low, for many parents struggle to make a steady income. Many others also struggle with alcoholism. Since the school doesn't receive the income it needs, it's struggled to undertake the water or sanitation projects that are desperately needed here.


The school only has small plastic tanks; some for harvesting rainwater and others just for water storage. Students must bring water from home to supplement the water in these tanks.

Nobody can verify the sources students fetch their water from; just one jerrycan of dirty water contaminates the entire storage tank. While students could walk the extra distance to find a spring protection project with clean water, it's most convenient to carry this heavy burden from a nearby dirty water source. Students nor administration know anything about treating water, and these plastic tanks haven't been cleaned since installed. The water is used for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. After drinking the water, students suffer from stomachaches and headaches that result in missed class.

Principal Kizito said, "We have suffered due to lack of a sufficient water supply in the school for a long time. We have approached the county government several times for assistance, but our struggles have been in vain. At times, we accepted that this was our fate and there would never be a day for our school to have clean, safe water. But our God has remembered us, and our health and performance standards will automatically improve!"


Since the school has such a limited ability to keep water on the premises, there is strict rationing. Water is primarily used for drinking and cooking school lunch, while cleaning is sacrificed. Students keep up with "dry cleaning" like picking up litter, but don't get to clean their latrines out with water very often.

There are 10 useable pit latrines for students, and two for teachers. There is only one hand-washing station for all of these students to use.

Here is what we plan to do about it:


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.

Hand-Washing Stations

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.

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.

Rainwater Catchment Tank

A 75,000-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 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!

This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water And Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO). Our team is pleased to provide the reports for this project (edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates

August, 2019: Giving Update: Malimili Secondary School

A year ago, your generous donation helped Malimili Secondary School in Kenya access clean water.

There’s an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water at Malimili Secondary School. Month after month, their giving supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Malimili Secondary School maintain access to safe, reliable water. Read more…

May, 2018: Malimili Secondary School Project Complete

Malimili Secondary School in Kenya now has a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your generous donation. A new rainwater catchment system was been built, and there are now six new latrines in use. Two hand-washing stations were installed, and students received training in sanitation and hygiene.

New Knowledge

We worked directly with Principal Andole Kizito to arrange hygiene and sanitation training. He recruited participants from grades one to three, teachers, and parent representatives. We often hold training outside to allow room for demonstrations, but students were relieved that we chose to meet in a classroom. It was a relatively cold day!

We taught that hygiene entails personal hygiene, water and food 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

– Health starts with a clean 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, and many other topics. We facilitated group discussions and presentations, and students took part in role-plays. The students also received handouts to help them teach hygiene and sanitation to their peers.

Students were particularly excited to learn about hand-washing, and that there are ten steps to get rid of germs this way. They admitted they never knew that hand-washing should be this thorough, and realized a lot of their illnesses could have been avoided with good washing.

The CTC club includes both students and teachers who want to take responsibility for spreading the message of good health and hygiene among their peers. They are also responsible for managing hand-washing stations, cleaning latrines, and keeping the school environment tidy. A water user committee was formed by parents and school administration, which is responsible for overseeing and maintaining the new facilities.

Teacher Allan Amuchisi said, "As a school, we have never had a forum like this, which aims to ensure the health of our students. My students have really suffered due to lack of proper information on water and sanitation. However, the information received is going to play a great role in ensuring that the students' health improves and the sustainability of all installed facilities."

Training participants posing for a group picture.

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit (VIP) 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.

Students giving us thumbs up for their new latrines.

Hand-Washing Stations

The two hand-washing stations were delivered to school and handed over to the CTC club. These were placed outside of the boys’ and girls’ latrines to encourage hand-washing after latrine use. CTC club members teach other students how to properly wash their hands at the stations, and 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.

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. Local men and women helped our artisans with their manual labor, too.

The construction process officially began with our staff and school administration looking 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.

We had to clear 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.

Both the drawing pipe as well as the washout pipe were affixed as the foundation was lain. 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. Finally, the catchment area was dug, plastered, and a staircase installed.

We could start on the dome after the superstructure had been given enough time to settle. 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.

Once finished, the tank was given three to four weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Malimili Secondary School. This tank now has the ability to capture and store 75,000 liters of water, which will be treated with rock alum and chlorine after it receives fresh rain.

We used to construct tanks with a capacity of just 30,000 liters. As we noticed that student enrollment increases as clean water arrives on school grounds, we upped the capacity of tanks to 50,000 liters. St. Joseph Malimili Secondary school is the first institution to be privileged with a 75,000-liter tank. Being the first tank with this large capacity, everybody anxiously waited to see how the tank would turn out. Everyone made frequent visits. It was a joy to be the first field officer to oversee the construction of this. Initially it looked challenging, but with a lot of consultations with the director, project coordinator, fellow colleagues and the artisans, the entire process became much simpler.

St. Joseph Malimili Secondary school is one of the most populated schools in Malimili area. With a gross population of 518 people, it was indeed a wise idea to implement the construction of the 75,000 liters tank in the school. It will help the institution along way in the realization of their academic goals and in the implementation of the Kenya educational curriculum." One child if not all, will achieve his goal in life and realize his professional dream courtesy of this project."

There were smiles all around as students and staff witnessed water coming from the tap for the first time. Teacher Samuel Owichi spoke on behalf of all, saying "I am so grateful for the great work done in our school. I personally lack the words to express my gratitude. The project will not only play a significant role in improving the academic performance here, but it will also go a long way in increasing student enrollment. Parents want to send their children to schools with a sufficient supply of clean and safe water for drinking."

January, 2018: Malimili Secondary School Project Underway

Malimili Secondary School will soon have a source of water on school grounds thanks to your 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! For now, check out the report with narrative, pictures, and maps to learn more about this project. Thank you for noticing the need here, and we’ll keep you posted as the work continues.

Project Videos

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!

Giving Update: Malimili Secondary School

August, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Malimili Secondary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Alan Amuchisi. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Malimili Secondary 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 little over a year since the implementation of the WaSH projects at Malimili Secondary School, on a recent visit we saw how the projects have already positively impacted the school community. Malimili Secondary is currently attracting a lot of attention, turning it into a center for academic excellence. This has led to high student enrollment each term. Accessing clean and safe water has reduced the rate at which students were going home for treatment, therefore absenteeism due to waterborne illnesses is in the past.

All of these positive changes are attributed to the new water and sanitation projects at the school.

"The WaSH project came [at] the right time, when all our hopes of ever accessing clean and safe water [and] enjoying better standards of hygiene and sanitation were almost gone," said Sanitation Teacher Mrs. Getride Chemayo.

"The implementation of the project has made us shine and become an attraction center for academic excellence. Schools which used to look down on us and consider [us] as failures are now looking [up to] us and conducting exchange programs with us. The ability to access clean and safe water for consumption has really resulted [in] good health [for] our students and now the absenteeism rates have drastically reduced, [driving] better academic performance...may God bless you all!"

Mr. Alan Amuchisi, the sanitation teacher who oversees the students' health club, was very pleased to sit down with us and share his perspective on the projects.

"From a teacher’s perspective, I’d like to give some of the advantages that we’ve enjoyed since the implementing of the project in the school that has actually aided in having sufficient water for use. One, it’s been so hard previously to actually do the cleaning in the school. So, over the years we’ve been sending students to fetch water down the stream which is around 3-4 kilometers away, and you know this being a mixed school it’s also very dangerous to send a boy and a girl out there," he said.

Now, the school finds they typically have enough water to do their cleaning, in addition to drinking, cooking, and washing dishes with it, without sending students off-campus for water.

"A learner also needs time to be in class," said Alan, explaining that students used to get in trouble on purpose to skip class, knowing that their punishment would be getting sent to the river to fetch water.

"Now, it is not so easy," he said.

Both students and teachers are finding the benefits of more time spent in class. "The implementation of this project in our school has positively impacted my academics," shared one student.

"I used to appear mostly on the list of absenteeism due to health issues that were related to [the] consumption of dirty and unsafe water. Poor sanitation contributed...also. I was performing so poorly until the arrival of [the] WaSH projects. I am glad that my performance as we speak is progressing to my dream grade A."

The water and sanitation projects have turned things around for the better in this school. The environment they have created with these new projects makes anyone visiting the school feel comfortable and free to interact and stay in the school as much as possible. The bright faces, smiles, and beautiful laughter depicted satisfaction and contentment all around.

"May God sustain you all," said the student.

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 Malimili Secondary 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 Malimili Secondary 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.