Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 209 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/08/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Community Profile

Bishop Makarios Boys' School was founded in the year 2004. The school is in Kesengei Village, on land donated by the local church and surrounding households. This school currently has a population of 192 male students, nine teachers, and eight support staff.

Many of the boys attending this school board here too. They wake up very early in the morning to eat breakfast and prepare for their first class that starts at 7am. Classes for the day are dismissed by 4:15pm, when the boys get to play sports and other games. They're expected to wash up before dinner.


The school started off with only two plastic storage tanks of 4,000 and 5,000 liters. Unfortunately, these two plastic tanks no longer hold water.

The school was privileged to tap into a system from the nearby primary school, but it depends on whether or not someone at the primary school has turned the system on. The primary school is not a boarding school, so the system is normally off on nights and weekends.

As a result, the administration paid to have two holes dug to access groundwater. A bucket is tied to rope to pull up the water inside. The water recedes during the driest months, so the boys have to leave school and walk long distances in search of water - whether it be clean or dirty.


There are some latrines here, but they are all in bad condition. The boys converted their urinal into a bathing facility, and there isn't a handwashing station anywhere on school grounds. Garbage is thrown in a pit and burned when the pile gets high.

Here's what we're going 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. 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.

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 (formatted and edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates

September, 2019: Giving Update: Bishop Makarios Secondary School

A year ago, your generous donation helped Bishop Makarios 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 Bishop Makarios Secondary School. Month after month, their giving supports ongoing sustainability programs that help this school maintain access to safe, reliable water. Read more…

August, 2018: Bishop Makarios Secondary School Project Complete

A new rainwater catchment system was built! Bishop Makarios Secondary School in Kenya now has a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your support. Handwashing stations were installed so that the boys can clean up after using their new latrines, and students and staff have received training in sanitation and hygiene.

Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction for this 75,000-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 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.

Then, we cleared the site: excavating the soil within the required measurements to make level ground for the tank foundation. The foundation was cast by laying stones 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.

Dome construction could begin 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 standard.

Once finished, the tank was given three to four weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Bishop Makarios Secondary School, though we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.

Dried and ready to collect and store water!

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines. All of these new latrines have cement floors that are easy to use and clean. And with a rainwater catchment tank, there should be enough water to keep them clean all the time.

Four doors are by the dormitories, while the other two were built right next to the classrooms. The school made the classroom pit latrines into pour-flush latrines that will be set aside for staff and form four students who are in a grueling year of preparations for the college entrance exam.

The form four students are excited to have latrines adjacent to their classrooms so they can focus on college prep.

Handwashing Stations

Pupils can now enjoy washing their hands with soap thanks to the two stations that were delivered to their school. Before, there was nowhere to wash hands. These new handwashing opportunities will help reduce cases of hygiene-related illness. The training on hygiene has motivated these students to share what they’ve learned both with their peers at school and families at home.

New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was planned with the help of Deputy Principal Andrew Rutto who mobilized both the teachers, parent representatives, and students. The majority of student participants were chosen from forms one and two, as they have the most time left at school to make an impact.

The morning of training was fairly cold, and as time progressed it clouded up and started to rain. We were grateful that we could hold training in the school laboratory, sheltered from the rain. The laboratory was spacious with enough tables and chairs for the 15 participants.

A number of topics were covered, including personal hygiene such as bathing, oral hygiene, and handwashing with soap as a barrier from germs; operation and maintenance of the new facilities, with each person understanding their role for long-lasting clean water and good health. The new child to child (CTC) health club will be greatly involved in project management and will be responsible for encouraging good health and hygiene practices amongst their peers, teachers, and the larger community.

Group discussions

The young men appreciated the complexity of some discussions, including group involvement, leadership, and facility maintenance. They learned that the key to success is their ability to include everyone in this project - to not just sit back and let an organization do everything. They appreciated the diagrams and examples we knew about, including the clinic project down the street that stalled because the government donor stepped away.

Explaining a diagram on group involvement and project sustainability.

They also enjoyed learning how to take good care of the new facilities so that they'll last a long time. They now know how to clean out the water tank and that it's important to lock it overnight and during holidays.

Participants posing for a group picture after training. They received notebooks and pens for recording what they learned.

"With all the topics that have been presented to us today, I believe that the remaining part is for us to implement every aspect of it. I hope that our attitude towards hygiene will greatly improve from now on, and cases of poor hygiene practices will decrease, thus hygiene-related diseases will disappear from our school," Parent Nelly Sang said

"I don't want to ever again see students going down to the nearby stream to take a bath and wash their clothes now that they have a beautifully constructed water tank that will serve everyone at the school!" she continued.

April, 2018: Bishop Makarios Secondary School Project Underway

Dirty water from open sources are making students from Bishop Makarios Secondary School sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know your school through the narrative and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!

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: Bishop Makarios Secondary School

September, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Bishop Makarios School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Hosea Kimutai. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Bishop Makarios 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!

It has been a little over a year since the completion of the 75,000-liter rain tank at Bishop Makarios Secondary School, and on a recent routine field visit, we got time to catch up with faculty and staff to learn how the WaSH projects have impacted their school.

"Since the project was brought to us last year, I proudly say that we have indeed seen its fruits," said Deputy Principal Mr. Andrew Rutoh.

"This big water tank is really a blessing to us as a school because we now have a reliable water source within the compound, thus reducing the time spent by our students going to look for water outside."

Deputy Principal Andrew Rutoh and Field Officer Wilson Kipchoge

Bishop Makarios Secondary School has clearly embraced their WaSH projects. The school does everything possible to try to ensure there is water in the tank, even during dry spells, to promote a continuous supply throughout the year. The school compound looks very clean and well maintained with flowers and trees grown around the compound and along the fences.

The school even has a new gate which makes it look very attractive, an improvement inspired by the WaSH projects which brought much pride, excitement, and attention to the school.

New school gate

"Also, with these facilities around, cases of indiscipline have gone down...Students used to fight along the way or at the [off-campus water] sources while trying to get the water, but now we have very close supervision. Time management is now a norm at our school because of [the] availability of facilities in nearly all spheres of our daily needs i.e water, sanitation, and hygiene," said Deputy Principal Rutoh.

"No more cases of complaints from the students and staff of sickness due to the consumption of contaminated water as there is now a reliable known source within us here at the school compound."

For 16-year-old student Hosea Kimutai, the installation of these WaSH projects have changed the nature of his school day and, with his goals in mind, the course of his education.

"[Since] we got these projects in our school, I no longer go to fetch water from outside the school compound because we have a very big tank. Much of my time is spent on studies and academic activities to improve my performance," he said.

"The water from this tank has brought health to our school because I do not get sick after consuming water from it. The latrines have helped my colleagues and [me] to ensure that open defecation is prevented, unlike in the previous time where students had a hard time trying to access the facilities. With the availability of handwashing stations, I now wash my hands on a daily basis to prevent germs that cause diseases."

Hosea, Andrew, Cyprian, Wilson

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 Bishop Makarios 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 Bishop Makarios 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.