Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 268 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/06/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

St. Stephen Maraba Secondary School hosts both boarding students and day students. Boarding students are early risers, up by 5am to wash up for morning study hall. These students attend study hall until breakfast is ready, giving them the energy to do class chores until their morning lessons begin. Day students have arrived by that time to work alongside the boarding students. Classes run from 8am to 4pm, when students are required to stay for another hour of sports and special interest clubs. There are a couple of short breaks between classes, interrupted by an hour for lunch.


The secondary students don't have a water source on school grounds. The neighboring primary school has a well from which they pump water to a plastic tank. The tank has a tap where students line up to get their water.

Borrowing from the primary school has created a lot of contention. The young students demand first in line with the rationale that it's their water source, so the older students spend a lot of time waiting at the end of the line. While the schools can do their best to run on different schedules, there are often squabbles

Sometimes the secondary students are restricted from the water they need altogether.

These students desperately need a clean water source of their own. Administration from the neighboring school also admitted that the plastic tank hasn't been cleaned out since it was donated, and that could be why all of the students are still suffering from waterborne diseases.

"Like you can see, this boy is going home for treatment. He is complaining of a stomachache and headache. In my opinion, water could be the cause of his sickness," School Principal Mr. Bonface Sirima said.


There are six pit latrines, but these are smelly and many of the doors have fallen off. There are two shelters for the boarding students to bathe in. However, there are no handwashing stations.

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 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.

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: St. Stephen Maraba Secondary School

A year ago, your generous donation helped St. Stephen Maraba 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 St. Stephen Maraba 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: Maraba Secondary School Project Complete

A new rainwater catchment system was built! Maraba 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

The headteacher helped us plan for hygiene and sanitation training by selecting student leaders from each grade. Some of the students seemed disengaged at first, but developed an interest when they realized this wasn't a class lecture like they're used to; hygiene and sanitation training is much more participatory.

Students having fun during an opening team-building activity.

Students loved the opportunities to learn and develop action plans in focused groups. They participated in community-building roleplays, handwashing exercises, and tons of other activities.

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 children in attendance will kickstart a child to child club at their school. 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.

Handwashing Stations

Pupils can 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.

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! The only challenge was finding the right sand to mix with cement since most of the sand in this area contained a little soil, too.

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.

Digging a space where the students will fetch water from the tap.

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 weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Maraba Secondary School, though we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program. 16-year-old Jackson Burudi is one of the boarding students. "This tank has been placed near our dormitories. This will make it easier for us to fetch water for use while staying in the dorm," he said.

Even the surrounding community is impressed with the project because many of them thought it would be an impossible mission since they are just peasant farmers. Many of them bring cereals in place of cash to use for their children's school fees. Some even bring firewood to be used for cooking in exchange for an education. Their children having access to safe drinking water in school has brought so much joy to their hearts.

April, 2018: St. Stephen Maraba Secondary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at St. Stephen Maraba 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 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: St. Stephen Maraba Secondary School

September, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped St. Stephen Maraba Secondary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Phelistus Sakwa. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help St. Stephen Maraba 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!

Right out of the gate at St. Stephen Maraba Secondary School, life has greatly improved in many aspects that can be directly attributed to the presence of their new water and sanitation facilities that were installed last year. The school compound is evidently clean, and so are all the buildings and people in them. Students and staff here have greatly appreciated the support given to them by these projects and our team, which can be proved by the way they maintain the facilities well and taken the sanitation and hygiene training to heart.

"Health standards have greatly improved and this has lessened cases of diarrhea in the school, especially among students," said school Principal Mr. Dominic Ongeri. "There is therefore very high retention of children in school and this will definitely improve their performance progressively."

One of those students, 21-year-old Phelistus Sakwa, knows these impacts personally.

"This project has enabled us to maintain the school environment, making it attractive and so being my source of pride," she said. "In addition to that, the classrooms, latrines, and other buildings are also cleaned using water from the tank and so I hardly get diseases connected to poor sanitation and hygiene."

Principal Dominic Ongeri, student Phelistus Sakwa, another student, and Field Officer Samuel Samidi at 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 St. Stephen Maraba 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 St. Stephen Maraba 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.


Project Sponsor - Pineapple Fund