Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 426 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/09/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Samson Mmaitsi Secondary School is located in Mungavo Village, Kenya. It has a total enrollment of 406 students who are taught by 17 teachers. The school also employs three support staff.

When we first arrived at Samson Mmaitsi Secondary School, we second guessed whether or not we were at the right place. There were only two blocks of classrooms, and one of them was made of mud and iron sheets. We thought maybe we had arrived at the wrong place. There was another small mud house in the compound which turned out to be the kitchen.

This is a very rocky area. Students play on the rocks during class break and sit on them for snacks and for lunch.

Water Situation

There is no water source on school grounds. There is one drinking station, which serves as storage for water that students bring to school every morning. There were buckets and jerrycans all around the compound, and we were told that the students are expected to carry water from their homes daily as they come to school.

Most students live near Mungavo Spring where they collect their school water every evening. Later in the day, water is brought in by a motorcycle. The principal says they spend 300 shillings a day for this delivery. When this water is used up, students have to walk back out to Mungavo Spring.

This water is dirty, and students suffer from diarrhea and often miss class because of waterborne disease.

Sanitation Situation

There are only four pit latrines. So many students depend on these that the pits are almost full. They're dirty and infested with bugs. Long lines form during break, and the last person has never had their turn by the time class starts again. There is nowhere for students to wash their hands when they're done.

Headteacher Gladys Kavere said, "As long as there are not enough toilets in this school, and the community at large, it will still be so hard to curb the problem of hygiene. Having the spring around has just tried to help, though it hasn't done much more because it is open to contamination."

What we can do:

Hygiene and Sanitation Training and Handwashing Stations

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. 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 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. 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 neither carry water in the morning nor go out to find it during the day.

There will be enough clean water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. 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

September, 2019: Giving Update: Samson Mmaitsi Secondary School

A year ago, your generous donation helped Samson Mmaitsi 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 Samson Mmaitsi 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: Samson Mmaitsi Secondary School Project Complete

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

New Knowledge

Teachers selected student leaders from each grade to represent their peers. Board members were also requested to select representatives, while the teacher in charge of sanitation and hygiene together with the teacher in charge of school projects would attend. We ended up with 25 participants in all, who would take what they learned and share it with those who weren't there.

The start was a bit delayed since the school administration received an impromptu visit from the local government. We waited for them to finish up before we started.

We covered several topics, including 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 students loved demonstrations, eagerly fighting to be the volunteer who would stand up front. They have also banded together to form a student health club that will recruit even more members.

Since the tank was just about finished, the trainer could clearly demonstrate what needs to be done to care for this new water source.

Water handling, storage, and treatment was a topic everyone got really involved in. One boy was particularly upset when he heard that farming can contaminate nearby water sources. There is a spring on his family's land, but he admitted they've also planted a lot of crops, which they fertilize regularly. He promised to get his family to stop doing that immediately.

Farmer Zakayo Manyasa was a parent in attendance.

"We have learned very important things today. Let us keep this knowledge, share this knowledge, and put it into practice. It will save us from diseases and premature death," he said.

The student health club has already planted vegetables to sell, the funds which will be used when something on the tank or latrines needs to be replaced.

Handwashing Stations

Pupils now enjoy washing their hands with soap thanks to the two handwashing 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.

Always use soap...

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.

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 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.

A school board member checks up on the quality of work.

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.

Finally, the catchment area was dug, plastered, and a staircase installed.

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

Mr. Clement Mmaitsi, who is the chairman of the school board, gathered everyone together to celebrate the finished tank. The principal, who is a strong-willed woman, is so proud of this project. She says she's the first person to bring such a wonderful project to the area. Other neighboring schools have already contacted her to ask how to start the process, and they plan to visit the Kakamega office with request letters.

"We used to fetch water from Mungavo Spring, which never used to have water the entire year. In fact, it could have too much water during the rainy season but then would dry up when it didn't rain and that is when we would suffer getting water from distant places," Prudence Mmbone said.

"Every student would break out in their own way and be expected to return with water."

Students no longer have to leave school to find water, so that time will now be dedicated to studies.

Mr. Aluda Shandron, school staff

Mr. Aluda Shandron said, "The tap is well-fitted and the entrance to the drawing area is well-constructed with staircases. This is the best technology that I have seen, not like the tank I see at our church at Erusui which was constructed using bricks and broke down just within a very short time. This tank, as you can see, is also very attractive. It has been beautifully made, so we are so proud of it!"

June, 2018: Artisans Arrived at Samson Mmaitsi Secondary School

We're excited to share the official word that artisans are constructing a new rainwater catchment tank and latrines at Samson Mmaitsi Secondary School. They'll stay in the community until all this work is finished. High school students in Kenya are on break right now, and it's great to know they'll be returning to clean water as they start a new term. We look forward to sharing a report of all that was accomplished here over the coming weeks, and all of the celebration that ensues.

April, 2018: News from Samson Mmaitsi Secondary School

Dear Friends, we just received word from the field that the tank and latrine construction is delayed. We're moving the completion date back by three months. We continue to work with this school as they prepare for our artisans.

Thank you for standing with us to provide clean water for these students!

January, 2018: Samson Mmaitsi Secondary School Project Underway

Samson Mmaitsi 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.

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: Samson Mmaitsi Secondary School

September, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Samson Mmaitsi Secondary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Hellen Khamasi. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Samson Mmaitsi 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!

On a recent routine field visit to Samson Mmaitsi Secondary School, we saw and heard how the installation of their water projects a little over a year ago has helped change their school for the better.

Now that water is easily available and accessible within the school compound, the school no longer has to buy water. This change has helped Samson Mmaitsi Secondary School save money, which is now available for other school development projects.

The school's activities are now running better than ever before. The kitchen staff's duties are moving more smoothly and the kitchen is cleaner. Having enough water means the staff does not have to ration their drinking, cooking, or cleaning because they are no longer relying upon purchasing it for their use.

"We are now sure of the source of water we are drinking, unlike before [when] we used to send someone to buy the water for us not knowing where exactly the water is coming from, which was risky," said School Administrator Emily Amugunyi.

School Administrator Hellen Khamasi with Field Officer Georgina Kamau

"Cleaning of the school and meal preparations are now done in good time because water is readily available in the school compound," she said.

Student Johnson Bulemi

16-year-old Victor Avaro offered a student's perspective of how improved access to water changes the very nature of his and his classmates' school day.

"The school's sanitation has improved since the project was implemented since we can easily access water. We are now saving a lot of time since cleaning is done in good time which helps to increase the time for learning, which in return has improved the school's performance," he said.

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 Samson Mmaitsi 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 Samson Mmaitsi 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.


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