Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 242 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Apr 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/05/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Mutsuma Secondary School started in 2008. Many students could not pay their school fees because they didn't have working parents, making for slow growth of the school. Thanks to the unity of many well-wishers, including funds sent by the Ministry of Education, the school has become much stabler since 2014.

A day for students attending Mutsuma Secondary School begins early at about 6:30am when they start walking from their different homesteads. Different tasks are assigned and must be done in the 30 minutes before lessons.


There is no sufficient clean water source on school grounds but for a small plastic tank that catches enough water for teachers and staff.

There is a well with an open hatch on school grounds. A 10-liter bucket has been tied to a rope to be lowered up and down for fetching water. Lifting a full bucket of water is a tiring, difficult activity that's only for the physically fit.

This well goes dry when it doesn't rain for a long period of time. During the drier months, students are sent out to an unprotected spring in the community. Not only is the water flowing through the discharge pipe dirty, but students waste a lot of class time walking back and forth and lining up behind community members at their spring.

The dirty containers only increase the high contamination level of water found at both the open well and community spring. This water is used for cooking school lunch, cleaning, and drinking. There are constant reports of waterborne illnesses like typhoid and cholera.

Principal Daniel Wanami said, "We thank God for connecting you with this school. We have been suffering water shortage, especially during dry seasons when the students could go fetch water from the spring. We have been sharing the latrines with the primary section but a well-wisher has finally built two for the girls, so at least the congestion is reduced." He continued, "We have had a problem with absenteeism due to diarrhea cases which are a result of unclean water."


The latrines are too few, and students often can't bear the long wait in line for their turn. Since there isn't enough water for adequate cleaning, the latrines are filthy. The roofs are leaking, the door hinges are broken, and the walls are beginning to crumble.

There are no hand-washing stations. Garbage is thrown in a pile between the classrooms and latrines, and is frequently burned to keep litter from blowing around school grounds.

Here's what we're going to do about it:


There will be two days for teachers and students to meet at the school to learn about hygiene and sanitation practices. They will also attend sessions on the management and maintenance of their new rainwater catchment tank, latrines, and hand-washing stations. We will use all of our training topics to empower participants to invest their time in positive behaviors that promote health, prolong life, and enable them to become more self-reliant citizens.

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

The two hand-washing stations are 50-liter plastic barrels on metal stands, and each has a tap to conserve water. These are often delivered by hygiene and sanitation training so they can be used for demonstrations, but always arrive by a project’s completion.

The CTC club will be in charge of filling these stations with water, and will ensure that there is always a cleaning agent like soap or ash.

VIP Latrines

Two triple-door latrines will be constructed with local materials that the school will help gather. Three doors will be set aside for each gender. 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 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. Once finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff. Students will no longer suffer from drinking dirty water.

We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. These higher standards will translate to better academic performance for these young scholars!

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

July, 2019: Giving Update: Mutsuma Secondary School

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to build a rainwater harvesting tank for Mutsuma Secondary 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…

April, 2018: Mutsuma Secondary School Project Complete

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

New Knowledge

The principal was informed early on that students should attend hygiene and sanitation training. If self and the surrounding environment are dirty, there is a great chance that drinking water becomes contaminated too. Students stayed after school to learn about new ways they can improve their health.

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, 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 CTC club 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 was also formed by parents and school administration, which is responsible for overseeing and maintaining the new facilities.

"As a family of Mutsuma, we are grateful for having this training done in our school. We have learned a lot, especially on water, sanitation and hygiene. Indeed the knowledge you have imparted will affect our lives. We really couldn't get it elsewhere. We promise to disseminate the information to the rest of the school members," Deputy Principal Tasman said.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

The dome construction followed after the superstructure was 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.

The tank was given three to four weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and taken over by Mutsuma Secondary School.

"I would like to thank all who were involved in one way or the other to ensure the project is implemented in our school. We used to fetch water from a hand-dug well that was open, which wasted our time. People like me are disadvantaged, for we can't get water. Now I am glad that I can access clean and sufficient water," Lavendar Winfrida said.

She and other students gathered around to celebrate as we handed the facilities over for them to use. Smiles were all around as we witnessed clean water coming from the tap!

January, 2018: Mutsuma Secondary School Project Underway

Mutsuma Secondary 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.

Thank You for partnering with us to unlock the potential of these students!

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: Mutsuma Secondary School

July, 2019

A year ago, you funded a rainwater harvesting tank at Mutsuma Secondary School in Kenya – creating a life-changing moment for Lorine Khavai. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Mutsuma 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!

Just over a year ago, Mutsuma Secondary School was issued a closure notice by the public health department due to their dire hygiene and sanitation situation with no latrines. Initially, no water was available in the school thus making it impossible for the students to clean the classrooms. Water for uses like cooking and drinking came from the community members who were deployed for casual labor, which was not economical since the school was still new.

Today, that story has been turned on its head.

Mutsuma Secondary School has seen admission rates rise by 20 pupils over the last year - thanks to the inception of the water projects installed there.

16-year-old Lorine Khavia, a student at Mutsuma Secondary, notes how her life and the lives of other students at her school have changed since the installation of the rain tank, latrines, and handwashing stations.

"The project has really brought life to us," she said.

"I remember the last time when people from public health came to close our school because we did not have latrines. Now I am happy that [you] came save our situation. Now we are happily using the new latrines."

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 Mutsuma 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 Mutsuma 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.


2 individual donor(s)