Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 300 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Oct 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/04/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Shikhondi Girls Secondary School is situated along the Kakamega-Chavakali road. It was established in the year 2014 with a population of 46 students. The school was registered as a boarding school, but unfortunately operates only as a day school due to lack of adequate facilities and resources - one of which is enough safe, clean water. A typical day begins at 6:45am and classes end at 4pm, after which there are games, clubs and societies with cleaning the school compound ending at 5pm.

What a long day!

Sometimes, the students have to take their classes in the principal's office. The classrooms, staffroom and principal's office are iron sheet makeshifts which get too hot during the summer season.  Most the students are those who qualified to get admission into schools rated as national schools in the country, but since their parents can’t afford to pay the requirements for such schools, the girls are enrolled here. Shikhondi Secondary School is a fast-growing school with a current population of 280 students. The future for this school is promising! They just need more clean water.


The main water source for the school is a small plastic rainwater catchment tank. There is also a spring - at a distance from the school - and intermittent, unreliable piped water. All three of these points together is not enough for the school to take on more students next year, never mind have them board there, also.

Students draw water from the plastic water tank and the protected spring using cups, buckets, and jerrycans. The amount of water this plastic tank can hold is no greater than 10,000 liters, which is used up quickly. The piped water - which is so unreliable and costly - is fetched at a tap in the school compound. With a high chance that both taps will yield no water, these girls have to take up their jerrycan and go out into the community to search for an alternative.

These girls and their teachers are in need of a reliable clean water source on school grounds. Without it, they are at risk of a closure notice issued by the local government.


The ten latrines that these girls use actually belong to the primary school.  They are dilapidated, and some don't even have doors and others have crumbling walls.

"Our children are facing a risk every day because they are using latrines that are even sinking. Not having hand washing facilities in our school has contributed to stomachache complaints amongst our students since they don't wash their hands after visiting the latrines and even before eating," Principal Violet Musotsi commented.

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

The 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. With clean water and high standards of cleanliness, students’ good health will give them the chance to earn better grades and live a better life.

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: Shikhondi Girls Secondary School

A year ago, your generous donation helped Shikhondi Girls 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 Shikhondi Girls 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: Shikhondi Secondary School Project Complete

A new rainwater catchment system was built! Shikhondi 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.

Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction for this 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank was successful!

"For a long time, we hadn't a place to draw drinking water from. The piped water is not reliable and this could make us go thirsty the whole day and this could get worse after our lunch," 16-year-old Bilha Indoshi remembered.

"But with this new facility in our school, we can be sure of safe drinking water. God bless you for remembering us."

Being a school that is not more than five years old, these new facilities are like a facelift for the community. Everyone is full of joy about the work that was done. At first, we assumed the school would have a rough time mobilizing the supplementary materials like sand and water but to our amazement, they were able to gather the materials way before our artisan arrived. The school was still constructing their administrative office building at the time.

They saw this as the best time to have a rainwater tank that would harvest all of the water from the new building's roof.

Great excitement and determination could be seen through the way the school treated our skilled artisans. The principal ensured that they had a good place to lay their heads and also regular meals to keep them energized for their work. The girls celebrated the tank even while still under construction. This is a fast-growing school that will use these facilities to do even more.

The Process:

Our staff and the 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.

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 a staircase installed so students can easily get 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 Shikhondi Secondary School, though we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit 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 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.

New Knowledge

The field officer in charge of the project started planning training during the supervision of construction. Participants were drawn from three of the youngest classes. These students are expected to take the lead in sharing what they learned among their peers and at home. There were 17 girls in attendance.

We handed out new notebooks and pens to all the 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 equipped the new health club to promote hygiene and sanitation awareness at their school.

Students especially enjoyed the handwashing demonstrations. They were grateful to learn about how handwashing is the most efficient and effective way to prevent the spread of germs; that a lack of handwashing was putting them at a greater risk.

Though the tank wasn't fully finished at the time of training, the instructor could still take everyone outside and provide some instruction on care and maintenance. She explained how the parts of the tank work, along with the way we treat the rainwater with rock alum and chlorine.

The instructor and participants at the tank after learning about how to manage and care for their new water source.

"From the training, I will be able to change the people in my community both here at school and at home," said 16-year-old student Trivix Mukari.

Trivix presenting her group's answers during a personal hygiene activity.

"Initially, I could use a whole piece of charcoal to brush my teeth and I couldn't reach my molars but today, I have learned that I need to crush the coal into a powder form and then use a toothbrush to brush my teeth."

August, 2018: Shikhondi Secondary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Shikhondi 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 this 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!

Shikhondi Girls Secondary School

September, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Shikhondi Girls Secondary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Trinix Shikanga. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Shikhondi Girls 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!

There have been great changes in the sanitation practices at Shikhondi Girls Secondary School ever since the implementation of their WaSH projects last year. The girls now have enough water to take care of themselves, especially when they are menstruating.

Crowding was once rampant where they used to fetch water because they could all only go at a specific time, and they also shared the river with the villagers. Since the project was implemented, they no longer have to go out of the school compound to get water. In turn, this has also helped them save on academic time and improve performance by spending more time on homework and in class.

The school environment is so clean and everyone you meet and ask about the WaSH facilities gladly expressed their joy and satisfaction. The sanitation teacher Mrs. Conjestar Mutanyi together with the student health club members who were around during the interview promised to continue working together to maintain their rain tank and facilities well.

Mrs. Mutanyi (right) with Field Officer Laura Alulu at the rain tank

"The tank is strategically placed, it serves both the students, teachers and other staff like the cooks comfortably since they can reach the water point without interfering with anybody. It has also improved on sanitation practices especially during their monthly periods they can go clean themselves in case they get dirty," said sanitation teacher Mrs. Conjestar Mutanyi.

Field Officer Laura Alulu with student Trinix Shikanga

One student, 17-year-old Trinix Shikanga, shared with us how these projects have impacted her experience as a learner at Shikhondi Girls Secondary School.

"In the past year, our lives have really changed," Trinix said.

"Initially we used to have few classes. Right now, we have many and permanent buildings that [are] required to be cleaned at least daily with soap and water. We now do [the] cleaning without straining to go and fetch water in the river, [and] again girls are normally associated with cleanliness, so we feel so [very] happy with this project in our school. We also have enough toilets and this has improved on privacy."

School cook Mrs. Hilda Ayodi with students 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 Shikhondi Girls 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 Shikhondi Girls 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.