Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Oct 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/02/2024

Project Features

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Imusutsu High School is located in Mutsotso Village of Vihiga County, Kenya. With a population of 778 students, the school has endeavored to be a center for excellence in their society. But currently, the school is rated average in academics. The institution enjoys a good performance in extracurricular activities, emerging among the best schools in Vihiga County and also on a national level. '

'We attribute this to hard work and commitment of both teachers, students, and the entire community at large,'' Mrs. Jane Arunga, the PTA chairlady said.

However, a daily struggle with clean water scarcity has put a damper on this success.


The school has two 4,000-liter plastic tanks that collect rainwater. While these provide safe water to the students, they don't provide it for long. Thus, students go out into the community to find water. The go-to sources are most often open, polluted holes of water in the ground. This water is brought back and used to state thirst, but the consequences are unavoidable. Students are often absent as they deal with waterborne illnesses like typhoid.

"Water has been a challenge in the school, and this has affected the performance of our students as they spend much of their study time going to fetch the precious commodity," Mrs. Kavuludi reported.

"This is a dream come true for us. Once the project is installed in our institution, we know our students will have sufficient time to focus on their studies."


There are just 17 pit latrines on school grounds. This may sound like a lot of bathroom facilities, but it's not nearly enough to serve 778 young students. Without enough water on school grounds, the cleanliness of these latrines is sacrificed. There is a plastic container with a tap that's used for handwashing, but there's rarely enough water to keep it running. It will also be important for students and staff to begin using soap. If soap can't be afforded, then they should use ash.

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 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 (edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates

September, 2019: Giving Update: Imusutsu High School

A year ago, your generous donation helped Imusutsu High School in Kenya access clean water.

There’s an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water at Imusutsu High School. Month after month, their giving supports ongoing sustainability programs that help this school maintain access to safe, reliable water. Read more…

October, 2018: Imusutsu High School Project Complete

A new rainwater catchment system was built! Imusutsu High 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!

Parents, staff, and students helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction including sand, stones, and water.

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.

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

"We have waited for a long time for such a facility. But we thank God, for today we own one through our sponsors. This facility is going to serve the entire institution as purpose, and we promise to maintain standards," said Bursar Fredrick Kasavai.

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.

"With the availability of water in the school and the sanitation facilities, we shall be a center of excellence," said Mrs. Jane Kasavuli.

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

We scheduled hygiene and sanitation training with the help of the principal who set a convenient date. Since the school was on holiday, the principal was able to find plenty of students to come for training. She requested that the school head boy recruit the training participants. The school head boy made sure that the sanitation prefects attended the training, and also observed gender balance when inviting other student leaders.

These 14 students will band together with the help of their teachers to form a child to child health club for the school. This club will share about good hygiene and sanitation both at school and at home.

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.

Learning how the tank works and how to keep the water clean.

Students learned a lot of new things when it came to dental hygiene. Many students admitted to holding onto their toothbrushes as long as possible. They were unaware they should be replaced every three months. There were surprised at all of the places they should brush, including their tongues.

Handwashing lessons were similar, with students learning that handwashing isn't just about dipping your hands under running water. You have to get between the fingers, the backs of hands, and the wrists.

"We are so glad for having undergone the training. It has been intense, but we have gained much and I believe as an institution we are going to implement all we have learned," shared Headteacher Fred Simiti.

"For years now, I have never had a formula on how to rush my teeth but I am grateful for having learned it today. I will stick to it!"

August, 2018: Imusutsu High School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Imusutsu High 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!

Giving Update: Imusutsu High School

September, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Imusutsu High School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Smarone Khasandi. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Imusutsu High 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!

Life for students and staff at Imusutsu High School has really changed over the last year. Since the installation of their new rain tank and sanitation facilities, they have been easily accessing water right in the school compound. This is compared to years past when they used to go outside the school compound looking for water from a spring, which was unsafe to drink due to its handling.

Today, the school has clean and safe water for drinking. Absenteeism has decreased because the students are free from waterborne diseases, and they are no longer forced to frequently stay home or go to the doctor for treatment. The school has also improved in academic performance.

Time that was once used to go and fetch water from the spring has been converted and used for revision purposes. Students and teachers now have more time to focus on what matters most at school: learning. Last but not least, the appearance of this institution has also changed thanks to more frequent cleanings using water from the tank, and the greater sense of pride in attendees of this school.

Thus, the school compound looks neat and tidy.

Student Smarone Khasandi, Teacher Mrs. Doreen Imungu, and student at the rain tank

Student standing proud at the rain tank

"The school looks neat [since] we have enough water to carry out our daily chores, [such] as cleaning the latrines and classrooms," said Teacher Mrs. Doreen Imungu.

"Performance has really gone up. The students have enough time to revise [unlike] other years when they wasted a lot [of] time going to the spring [in the] evening. Now, that time is recovered and indiscipline cases have reduced compared to the previous years."

Teacher Mrs. Doreen Imungu takes a drink from the rain tank

18-year-old student Smarone Khasandi attested to these changes in her school.

"Since the implementation of the project, we have enough water in the school. We can drink as many times as we want. Our school is clean, we clean [classrooms] in the evening and toilets in the evening. This has reduced infections both in classes and toilets. There is no sharing the toilets as we used to share with boys."

Field Officer Rose Serete between Doreen, Smarone, and student 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 Imusutsu High 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 Imusutsu High 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 - Thornton Family