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The Water Project: Shihumbu Girls Secondary School -  Lined Up To Use The Latrine
The Water Project: Shihumbu Girls Secondary School -  Carrying Water Back To School
The Water Project: Shihumbu Girls Secondary School -  Carrying Water Back To School
The Water Project: Shihumbu Girls Secondary School -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Shihumbu Girls Secondary School -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Shihumbu Girls Secondary School -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Shihumbu Girls Secondary School -  Walking To The Stream
The Water Project: Shihumbu Girls Secondary School -  Girls Carrying Their Containers To The Stream On A Day The Tap Is Dry
The Water Project: Shihumbu Girls Secondary School -  Girls Gathered Around The Tap On A Day They Could Afford Water
The Water Project: Shihumbu Girls Secondary School -  Students And Principal Judith

Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 100 Served

Project Phase:  Under Construction
Estimated Install Date (?):  11/30/2018

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Community Profile

Shihumbu Girls Secondary School is a new boarding school that started in 2017. The current principal had been dreaming of starting an all-girl school and is thrilled to see it come to fruition. It now hosts 90 students, six teachers, and four support staff.

A normal day begins with the girls waking up at 4:30am. They prepare for the school day by bathing using water they gathered the previous night. They then groom themselves and rush to their classrooms to start their morning study hall. Study hall ends at 6:30 when breakfast is ready for the girls. This fuels them as they do their cleaning chores, which takes about 40 minutes and includes tasks like cleaning latrines and sweeping classrooms.


There is one faucet at the school that is connected to a town pipeline. Unfortunately, the tap is off for the majority of the time because the school does not have enough funds to pay for it. It is also not available on a consistent basis. Without this water, girls have to leave school to get it elsewhere.

We visited the school on two days: one day early in the year when the tap was working, and later when the girls had to go out into the community to find water. We followed them as they took up their jerrycans, learning that they walk far away to retrieve water from a stream that isn’t even clean. Students and staff both fall ill after drinking this dirty water, suffering from diarrhea that’s often diagnosed as typhoid.

There is a 5,000-liter plastic tank in which they store water. This can also collect rainwater, but it doesn’t last long when girls are using it for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and bathing.

Lots of time is wasted as students and staff seek to address the clean water shortage. The administration reports low academic performance, and the finger is pointed at the search for dirty water and the subsequent waterborne illnesses:

“Clean and safe water is vital for human life. My girls have suffered as a result of not having enough water in school. Any time they fetch water from the stream, a good number of them do not attend their lessons, and most of them complain of stomachaches or feeling so sick. When they are tested, they end up testing positive for typhoid. This has adversely affected the girls’ health, culminating in poor performance,” reported Principal Judith.


There are only two pit latrines shared by students and staff. These are not very clean, which can be attributed to overuse – 50 girls per latrine – and to the lack of water. There is a handwashing station that’s limited for staff-use only.

What we can do:

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

The CTC 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. 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 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 have to ration water and make frequent trips into the community.

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

06/19/2018: News from Shihumbu Girls Secondary School

Everyone at Shihumbu Girls Secondary School is excited about their new rainwater catchment tank. Timing is very important as we ensure that everyone is ready for these big changes at their school. The field officers and school administration have agreed that the right time for construction and training will be over the next few months. We had previously scheduled this project for September, but have modified that date to reflect the planning change made by the team. Thank you for standing with us as we continue work in Shihumbu.

We’re always open to conversation about our process and are happy to answer your questions. And, if you get a notice like this – it’s actually further proof your gifts are being carefully used towards a water project that lasts.

The Water Project : 8-kenya18036-carrying-water-back-to-school

05/21/2018: Shihumbu Girls Secondary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Shihumbu Girls 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!

The Water Project : 5-kenya18036-fetching-water

Project Photos

Project Type

Rainwater Catchment

Rainwater is collected off strategic areas of a roof, enters a custom guttering system (which filters out debris) and leads to a storage tank. Tanks can vary in sizes and are determined by population and average rainfall patterns. Water can be stored for months, is easily treated in the tank, and is accessible through taps. These projects are implemented at schools with proper roof lines and gutter systems to make them successful.


Project Underwriter - Todd And Vicki Kacalek
Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah School District
First Presbyterian Church
Tim Cole - Sutter Middle School - Mrs. Zarate
10 individual donor(s)