Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 138 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/04/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Shitoli Secondary School started in 1997 with a tiny enrollment of six students. It began thanks to the community's initiative and was realized with the assistance of the local church. Its first national exams were done jointly with Shivagala Secondary School since they didn't have enough students to be an exam center.

Today, there are 119 students. Staff and students report to Shitoli Secondary School at 7 in the morning. The day is full of study hall, lessons, sports, and clubs.


Enrollment is still relatively low not because there aren't good teachers or classrooms, but because there isn't enough clean water. They have plastic tanks to collect rainwater, but they don't have one larger than 5,000 liters - one-tenth as big as what is needed. The tanks don't serve the students for long before running empty, and teachers find themselves putting the class on hold so they can find water.

Students are sent out into the community with 20-liter jerrycans in hand, searching for the water they need to drink, clean, and cook school lunch. This tiring, time-consuming task is why so many students choose not to attend Shitoli Secondary School. Plus, water is often brought back from the most convenient yet dirtiest places.


There are four pit latrines that are all in working condition, though the doors themselves don't lock firmly. There are two handwashing stations, and we found the rest of the school compound neat with minimal litter. Despite the water shortage they face, students and staff have done their best to keep their environment tidy.

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. This CTC club will oversee the new facilities, such as hand-washing stations, and make sure they are kept clean and in working condition.

Handwashing Stations

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. It will be up to the school to divide these six latrine doors between the students to make both boys and girls comfortable. 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. They will no longer have to leave school in search of water.

Teacher Adelide Baraza said, "Student enrollment has been so low, but I believe that with the construction of the rainwater harvesting tank, we will be able to experience an increase." We and the school also strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. These higher standards will give students the chance they deserve to study hard and get good grades.

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: Shitoli Secondary School

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

July, 2018: Shitoli Secondary School Project Complete

A new rainwater catchment system was built! Shitoli 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

We worked closely with Principal Adelide Basraza to plan hygiene and sanitation training at her school. We initially expected the training attendance to be low since it was opening day for the new term. Often, many students miss the first day of school because they have not paid the necessary fees. We were happy to have over a dozen students waiting for us in a classroom.

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.

The students had so much fun going outside to learn about handwashing. They were there with their sanitation trainer and got a kick out of him washing his hands; he just couldn't remember any of the steps we taught. The students kept reminding him of what we taught! Young people really are quick at grasping new concepts and are enthusiastic about sharing these things.

"I do not have a leadership position in my school, but now I believe I am a leader because I have a chance to educate other students who were not here in this training. I will tell them about the importance of good sanitation and hygiene; more so on handwashing," 16-year-old Collins Ngaira said

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.

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.

One of the handwashing stations was placed outside of the girls' new latrines.

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.

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 Shitoli Secondary School, though we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.

"I am so excited that the teachers won't be limiting us on accessing water since the tank is so big, unlike the plastic one we'd been using," 17-year-old student Aurelia Imbiti told us.

"I am sure now that other students from out there will envy our new tank, they will want to be admitted to our school and our population will go up!"

May, 2018: Shitoli Secondary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Shitoli Secondary School drains students’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know your school through the introduction 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 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: Shitoli Secondary School

September, 2019

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Shitoli 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!

Initially, students at Shitoli Secondary School used to fetch water from a nearby river outside the school compound. The water was not clean so students used to complain about waterborne illnesses such as typhoid and stomachaches. Another problem was that the river is located downhill from the school, so it was difficult to climb up the hill with water. This would make the students tired and wasted a lot of their time. By the time students got back to school they were tired and in the long run this affected their academic performance.

Today, Shitoli Secondary tells a different story. Ever since the implementation of their rain tank last year, the cases of waterborne illnesses have stopped. Right now, students and staff are able to get clean and safe water at their convenience. The tank has never gone dry since the area receives a high amount of rainfall, so there is always enough water.

Sanitation Teacher Mrs. Josephine Chiteyi shared how the abundance of water has impacted her school for the better. The biggest challenge they face now? Some of the students do their cleaning chores too quickly because they can use as much water as they like. They also require a lot of patience when cleaning the tank, since this requires draining it and the abundant rainfall means it is always full.

Student Barbra Muhonja and Sanitation Teacher Mrs. Josephine Chiteyi at the rain tank

"We are now very comfortable, we have plenty of water since one doesn't need a lot of time to go and fetch water outside the school compound like before," said 16-year-old student Barbra Muhonja.

Barbra at the rain tank with running water

"We are able to bathe after participating in games, [and] especially for us girls the water really helps us [since] sanitation is key. Our health is also good. Initially, we used to suffer from waterborne diseases like typhoid but now we get clean, treated safe water. I am happy because I came to this school when the project was not yet in place, I am happy because I am sure for the 2 remaining years I am sure of clean water, hence I will be able to concentrate on my studies."

Barbra takes a drink from the rain tank

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 Shitoli 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 Shitoli 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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