Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 267 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Oct 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/03/2024

Project Features

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Joyland Special Secondary School hosts refugee students from Somali and Sudan in addition to the Kenyan students from the community.

"We are indeed blessed to offer education to all members of the community, regardless of who you are, how you are, and where you come from. We do not discriminate because it is God who created us, and he has a reason for one being the way he or she is," shared Headmaster Raphael Aura.

A normal school day begins by 8am when students and staff gather outside for morning announcements. Normal lessons go from 8:30am to 4pm, with short breaks after each.

There are 229 students enrolled who are taught by 18 teachers. The school has also hired support staff to help things run smoothly and assist the students as needed.


There is only a 4,000-liter plastic tank on school grounds, which collects rainwater in a gutter running along the classrooms. It is not nearly big enough for the whole school. We found the roof to be dirty and were disappointed to hear that water isn't being treated once it's in the tank. This water doesn't last long, forcing students to look elsewhere for the water they need. Everyone who is physically able is expected to go out and fetch water to make up for the shortage.


There are eight useable pit latrines, but quite a few of them are unusable for students with physical disabilities. These are in filthy conditions since the little water the school has is used first for drinking and cooking. There are no hand-washing stations.

"As you can see, we have a shortage of water and toilets in this institution, which is a risk to us. We do have special students in our school who really need sufficient water, but we are denying them of this special commodity. We are requesting your assistance so that we can be able to curb the situation," Headteacher Aura said.

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.

Handwashing Stations

This 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 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

September, 2019: Giving Update: Joyland Special Secondary School

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

October, 2018: Joyland Special Secondary School Project Complete

A new rainwater catchment system was built! Joyland Special 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 scheduled hygiene and sanitation training with the help of the school principal, who set up a convenient date before students closed the term. He requested the school head boy to recruit the training participants. All of the sanitation prefects attended the training among several of their peers. In all, we had 25 people in attendance.

Construction was long underway at that time, and the community members had been continuously involved every step of the way. These parents had longed for the day their children would have reliable water at school. They were so eager to learn more from us. When they heard of the training that was to take place at the school compound, they promised to attend.

Training participants

The school needed to be equipped with knowledge on how to improve standards of hygiene and to also ensure that the sanitation facilities given to them are maintained to serve the school for years to come. Some of the topics covered include water pollution, personal and environmental hygiene, operations and maintenance of the facilities, group dynamics, and leadership and governance. The group activities resulted in the formation of a child to child health club that will spearhead hygiene and sanitation awareness at their school.

Discussing the importance of handwashing, and how the stations will need to be kept full of water and soap made available.

Students particularly enjoyed learning about dental hygiene.

Jeremy Onyango said, ''I have been brushing my teeth for years now but still I experience bad odor coming from my mouth.''

After demonstrating the various steps to thorough toothbrushing, Jeremy understood why his mouth wasn't feeling clean.

"We have really benefited from the training and we are privileged to be hygiene ambassadors in our school and at home," shared Mary Achieng.

Mary Achieng addressing us, her classmates, and school staff.

"Sometimes we neglect very little details about personal hygiene that we already know. We want to thank our facilitators for reminding us about proper handwashing by emphasizing the adverse effects that negligence has on our health and environment."

We have already scheduled future visits to Joyland Special Secondary School to check up on the new student-led club, the rainwater catchment tank, and many other facets of this project. If students and staff are still struggling to implement important health practices, we will be able to offer continued encouragement.

Handwashing Stations

Pupils can now enjoy washing their hands with soap thanks to the two handwashing stations that were delivered to their school.  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 with their peers at school and families at home.

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of new ventilated improved pit latrines. All of these new latrines have cement floors that are easy to use and clean. These have been built with the safety and privacy of these students in mind.

And with a rainwater catchment tank, there should be enough water to keep them clean all the time.

"Our quest for water and toilets has finally been fulfilled," said Principal Aura.

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 including sand, stones, and water. They also hosted our artisans so that they could remain in the area for the duration of construction.

Building a ladder to help with construction

Our staff and school administration started by looking around the school to determine the best location for their 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. The foundation proved to be harder to build than usual because of soft soil, so the artisans worked for three extra days to build a stable, long-lasting foundation for the tank.

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.

The catchment area was dug, plastered, and normally a staircase would be installed. For Joyland Special Secondary School, we used extra bags of cement to build a walled ramp leading up to 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.

Strong enough to stand on!

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

"We are indeed grateful as a family of Joyland Special Secondary School for the wonderful project installed in our institution," said Teacher John Opiyo.

"It has been a journey ever since the school began operating. We have continuously had challenges to do with water, as the school relied on water from the primary school section and a 4,000-liter capacity tank in our own compound," Mr. Opiyo continued.

"We appreciate your efforts and may the Almighty God bless you in abundance."

August, 2018: Artisans Working at Joyland Special School

We are excited to share that our artisans have arrived and begun actual construction on the rainwater catchment tank and latrines at Joyland Special School. Teachers also arranged their class schedules so that our trainers could hold hygiene and sanitation training. We heard training went very well, and we look forward to reaching out with the final project details and pictures soon!

June, 2018: Joyland Special Secondary School Update

Students and teachers are excited to have important water and sanitation facilities at Joyland Special Secondary School. We are in constant communication with our field officers and the school administration throughout the process of construction and after its completion in order to ensure that the school has reliable access to safe water. A part of this process is determining when is the best time to start construction. Based on their feedback, we've adjusted our planning a bit to allow construction to continue over the following months.

We believe communication is important at The Water Project. That means constant conversation with our teams and supporters, like you. 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.

If you have any questions, give us a call. We're happy to answer your questions.

May, 2018: Joyland Special Secondary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Joyland Special 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: Joyland Special Secondary School

September, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Joyland Special Secondary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Solomon Otieno. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Joyland Special 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!

Today, life at Joyland Special Secondary School looks much different than it did about a year ago when we first installed their rain tank, latrines, and handwashing stations in the schools compound.

When you walk into the school, you spot a neat, well-maintained compound and this can be attributed to the sanitation and hygiene training conducted at the school which did emphasize environmental cleanliness. Before installation of the tank, the quality of life for the institution members was a threat considering the unavailability of clean, sufficient water and this is now a thing of the past as they can now access clean, safe water at all times.

The availability of safe water is critical not just for health reasons, but also for social and economic development. Installation of the water facility has brought about positive changes to the school and currently, the students are spending more time in class compared to years back, when they were still having to leave campus in search of water.

Mr. Opiyo

Mr. Opiyo, a teacher at Joyland Special Secondary School, said there have been many positive changes that have come along with the project installation.

"Currently, the students' academic time has been saved as the students can now access water much easier and faster compared to back then when water was a threat to the sustainability of the school. The school has been able to save some coins that were once catered for [the] supply of water from the vendors."

"Water stored in the tank is secure as it is treated and we are a witness to that. Hygiene standards have improved drastically thanks to the WaSH training conducted at the school. Construction of the tank has influenced enrollment of more students in the school."

One student, 16-year-old Solomon Otieno, shared his perspective on how the projects have impacted his experience as a learner at Joyland Special Secondary School.

"The water and sanitation project in my school has brought about positive changes in my life and this has made my stay here in school much [more] comfortable and relaxed. I now can access clean, safe water for my personal use as the water is treated at all times."

"I have been able to create ample time for my studies as the issue of overcrowding is now a thing of the past as water is available. I am experiencing a positive change in my academic performance thanks to the project."

Mr. Opiyo, Solomon, and Field Officer Samuel Samidi in front of 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 Joyland Special 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 Joyland Special 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.