Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 350 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/08/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Womulalu Secondary School started as a public school to give a local option to children having to walk miles away to other villages.

We arrived at Womulalu Secondary School during class break, when students were playing outside. A good number of these students were running around without shoes, and others were just in sandals. The bell for the end of break rang and we saw pupils rush to attend class in classrooms that were built several years ago. When asking administration why they haven't patched holes in the walls or finished the windows, they said they simply don't have the funds.

For the families living around Womulalu Secondary School, it's normal to wake up and not know what the day will bring. The neighborhood is spread out over quite a large area because each family has their own farmland. Many have lost hope in their farms as this is a drier area not conducive to high yields.

Standards of living are so low, and many families can't afford three meals a day.


There is only a plastic 10,000-liter tank adjacent to the classrooms. This lasts for a short time before water needs to be found elsewhere.

But finding clean drinking water is also very hard in this community. People often dig holes in their gardens so that water will flow and collect there when it rains. Both humans and animals alike depend on this water to meet all of their needs. It's these same sources that students must trek to when more water's needed at school. Not only are they missing valuable study time to go find water, but they're missing even more school when they're out sick from this dirty water.

Students suffer from diarrhea, stomachaches, and headaches which often cause them to miss school and seek treatment at health clinics.


There are only eight usable latrines. These have rugged floors that are nearly impossible to clean. Students have to line up and wait a long time for their turn.

We realized that after getting out of the toilet, there is nowhere for them to wash their hands either. Teacher Janet Asubwa said, "The health situation in this school is very wanting, and we would appreciate any help to educate the pupils about the importance of cleanliness and maintaining hygiene."

What we can do:

Hygiene and Sanitation Training

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.

Handwashing Stations

This club will oversee the new facilities, such as handwashing stations, and make sure they are kept clean and in working condition. The two handwashing 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 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank will help alleviate the water crisis at this school. Students' parents 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 (edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates

July, 2019: Giving Update: Womulalu Secondary School

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to build a rainwater catchment tank for Womulalu 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…

June, 2018: Womulalu Secondary School Project Complete

Womulalu Secondary School in Kenya now has a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your support: A new rainwater catchment system has been built. Handwashing stations were installed, and students and staff have received training in sanitation and hygiene.

New Knowledge

We worked with school administration to invite teaching staff, students, and their parents to attend hygiene and sanitation training. Each person is expected to relay what they learned to the rest of their peers. The students listened and boldly asked questions when they needed clarification.

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.

Gathered around the tank to learn about the best ways to manage and maintain their new water source.

Focused group discussions were some of the best moments for the students; if any of them had been nervous to voice their opinions or ask questions, they were much more confident in a small group.

The training was a success as students continued to demonstrate what they had been taught. A visit to the school the following week was very encouraging: All students were washing their hands after using latrines, and the school compound was tidy and free of litter. Classrooms were also tidy, as well as the staffroom. The deputy principal was one of the training participants. He was so impressed by the content that he requested facilitators to return to the institution at a later date to train all parents, teachers, and pupils so that even those who had not attended the first workshop get time to ask questions about health.

14-year-old Trevor Kaveza said, "The training topics have been so helpful to students and parents. Indeed lifestyle-related issues have been on the increase, thus sessions that challenge us to be more responsible and watchful in whatever we do both at school and at home are so welcome. The quantity of water we have will push us hard to practice hygiene..."

Miss Trevor

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines. The girls received three new pit latrine doors since the boys already had some useable 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.

Handwashing Stations

The two handwashing stations were delivered to the school and handed over to the CTC club. These were placed outside of the boys’ and girls’ latrines to encourage handwashing 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 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 hardcore on a level ground and then reinforcing it using steel, concrete and waterproof cement.

The catchment area was dug, plastered, and a staircase installed.

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.

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 Womulalu Secondary School, though we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program. Meeting together at the tank gave us a wonderful opportunity to both verbalize and symbolize our expectations of the school to take good care of these important resources. Mr. Shadrac Muyale works at Womulalu Secondary and joined students and other teachers to celebrate clean water. "We are very grateful for the project, for we can now take clean water without fear of getting waterborne diseases like before. The water tank has already helped a great deal since as we were trained that one needs eight glasses of water per day, we can all meet this goal since there is water with us that we can access anytime," Mr. Muyale said. Many others believe that a curse has been lifted from the land.

There once lived a madman where the school now sits. When the school purchased the land and opened, nobody could see anything good coming from it. These thoughts even entered the minds of the first students here and set them up for failure. There had been not only poor sanitation and hygiene but also a very low student enrollment.

Now, students are flocking to Womulalu Secondary School. Though many young people live nearby, they were walking long distances to reach schools that had a better water and sanitation situation. Trekking to those schools sapped the energy of students. Hellen looks forward to the new year with great optimism, believing that her academic performance will improve because Womulalu is close to her home.

At first, the new principal had refused to transfer to Womulalu because of its bad name and the impoverished, hopeless nature of the institution. She finally accepted the offer when she realized that it was only by accepting the transfer that she'd ever get promoted. Once she arrived at Womulalu, she persistently called and even met with our field officers to ask for help in getting clean water and good sanitation to her students.

This has been such a great lesson for the community that had been saying, "What will a woman principal do in a school where men have tried and failed? It is better they do away with it once and for all. Only fools take their children to such a cursed institution." The same people are now bringing their children to Womulalu, and they believe that women can be even better leaders than men. This is an incredible development in a village where women have been belittled and seen as only good for giving birth and doing domestic work. Now, we can hear men say that a woman has brought great change to their village.

May, 2018: Womulalu Secondary School Project Underway

Womulalu 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, handwashing 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.

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: Womulalu Secondary School

July, 2019

A year ago, you funded a rainwater catchment tank at Womulalu Secondary School in Kenya– creating a life-changing moment for Oliver Legemila. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Womulalu 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!

School Principal Mrs. Janet Kibicho is a happy woman.

Mrs. Kibicho led the entire school community to implement the rainwater tank project at her school, where they have just celebrated one year of successful tank operation.

Implementation of this project changed many community members' poor perception of women in the community, and it has boosted the community's confidence in the school and its capacity to meet the academic needs of their students.

The project has also influenced more students to enroll in Agriculture as a subject because they now have water ready to use for raising seedlings at the nursery beds. Additionally, the tank water has eased work for the laboratory technician who now washes all the apparatus without worrying that the water might negatively influence the outcome of test results. Thus students can now do more practicals than before the project implementation.

Senior Teacher and Water Management Committee Member Austine Odiwuor shared with us the many exciting ways the water and sanitation projects have helped his school and students.

"The school has saved money that was once used to buy water, [which] even then...was characterized by cases of flu amongst users," said Mr. Odiwuor.

"Now our drinking water source is secure, treated, and very reliable. We no longer experience water shortages during the dry periods because we have learned to use the water to serve students' needs all year round. Thus, class lessons are now conducted without itches and villagers don't quarrel with students for water at the springs."

Mr. Odiwuor

Mr. Odiwuor continued, "The latrines and handwashing facilities have helped us to improve on basic hygiene practices like handwashing after visiting the latrine and before eating, cleaning classrooms, and washing utensils by students during meals."

Even for those students who are new to Womulalu and don't yet understand how to use the rain tank and latrines, "the school has a program to keep training students and other school employees on water safety, management, and care," said Mr. Odiwuor. "This is done during the regular meetings held weekly by the CTC club members."

18-year-old student Oliver Legemila was eager to share his reflections on the rain tank and other new sanitation projects since they were installed at his school over a year ago.

"We have saved a lot of academic time because now we fetch water from the tank within the school compound. Consequently, students have improved in their academic work," Oliver said.

"We can now attend our Physical Education lessons... unlike before when such moments were used to send students to fetch water from the spring. The project has also enabled us to keep our classrooms clean, neat, and comfortable. We use water to mop our classes and to clean the latrines."

"[Further], more students now prefer agriculture to business studies as their best optional subject," he continued.

"The tank water aids them in conducting various field practicals by providing readily available water to irrigate their crops during the dry spell. We also enjoy going for laboratory practical lessons because the apparatuses are now clean and students also have enough water to wash their hands after such lessons."

The multiple, diversified, and proper uses of water by this school is a typical example of a group that appreciates the value of the water resource within their reach. The manner of their spirited campaign to keep training water users on how to make the most of the water while at the same time conserving it is in the right direction in ensuring the project's sustainability.

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 Womulalu 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 Womulalu 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.