Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 325 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/13/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Students at Imbale Mixed Secondary School wake up by 5:30am to get ready for school. When cleaned and dressed, they go to different places to fetch water for school.

When they get to school, they have an hour's study hall before they split into groups for cleaning chores. Normal classes begin at 8am and go until lunch. Afternoon classes begin again at 2pm and go until game and club hour.

The school opened in 1989 and started with just 10 students. It's grown to 300 students, of which 177 are girls and 133 are boys. The school employs 19 teachers.


The school's only water source is a plastic tank connected to a gutter that collects rainwater. It can hold 5,000 liters of water when full. There's a smaller 3,000-liter tank that the students use for water storage. The rainwater tank empties quickly, which often leaves the school looking for an alternative water source.

Students must carry water with them to school every morning, which is used for drinking, cooking, and cleaning purposes. Administration officials can't verify the quality of different sources students go to. One of the most popular places is a protected spring a few hundred meters from the school.

However, students often find this protected spring already crowded by community members. To save time, students will resort to other dirty sources. But just one container of dirty water contaminates the entire storage tank. As a result, students and staff sometimes miss school because of typhoid.

Students need to go back out into the community to find more water, when the water carried in the morning isn't enough to get through the day. The water shortage costs these students both their time and their good health.


There are 11 pit latrines, but they're all almost full. Because of poor conditions, students prefer other less smelly, private locations. Some students admit to going behind school buildings rather than waiting in line. There are no handwashing stations, either.

"Our school's facilities are in poor condition, leading to poor hygiene to both the teachers and the students," Principal Rabbeca Kuya said.

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

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. Three doors will serve the girls while the other three serve the boys. 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. Students will no longer be responsible to find enough water to carry to school every day, nor leave class again to find more.

We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. These higher standards will translate to better health which will unlock the potential for higher academic achievement.

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

July, 2019: Giving Update: Imbale Secondary School

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to build a rainwater tank for Imbale Secondary School in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories. Read more…

May, 2018: Imbale Secondary School Project Complete

Imbale Secondary School in Kenya now has a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your support: A new rainwater catchment system has been built. Handwashing stations were installed, and students and staff have received training in sanitation and hygiene.

New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was scheduled with the help of the school principal, who ensured that the training date would be convenient for students, staff, and parent representatives. Individual teachers helped by selecting at least five students from each class to represent the others.

There were actually more students than we anticipated, many of whom wanted to take some form of leadership and responsibility for the new facilities. There were 29 students in total.

A number of topics were covered, including personal hygiene such as 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 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.

Students were especially interested in dental hygiene since tooth decay is a big issue in many of their communities. Many of them heard about how you should brush your tongue for the first time.

"This training has changed and improved the way we think and we have learned a lot in terms of hygiene and sanitation which will help us a lot in our daily lives," 14-year-old Wendy Akoth said.

"This has enabled us to know how to maintain the facilities so that it will help even the future generations. Thank you."

The students learned way more than they expected and even asked if we could continue coming back for the rest of the week.

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines. The boys received four new pit latrine doors since the girls already had some useable 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

The two handwashing stations were delivered to the school and handed over to the CTC club. These were placed outside of the boys’ and girls’ latrines to encourage handwashing after latrine use. CTC club members teach other students how to properly wash their hands at the stations, and make sure there is always soap or ash available. Now the school has the stations they need, and they have the water to fill them.

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. 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 hardcore 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 iron mesh frame for the tank walls.

Finally, the catchment area was dug, plastered, and a staircase installed.

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.

The dome, like all parts of the tank, is constructed in layers to prevent leaking.

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

The ceremony was a great chance for us to acknowledge the school administration and students as the primary parties entrusted with the tools we've given, as well as remind them of our continued support as they develop.

April, 2018: Imbale Secondary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Imbale 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: Imbale Secondary School

July, 2019

A year ago, you funded a rainwater tank at Imbale Secondary School in Kenya – creating a life-changing moment for Loise Wekesa. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Imbale 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!

Life at Imbale Secondary School looks very different than it did just one short year ago.

During one of our recent field visits, we were pleased to see that the hygiene and sanitation conditions in the school have improved greatly due to the availability of water and toilets. There are fewer cases of waterborne diseases among the school community because of access to clean and safe drinking water. All of the students and staff are also able to wash their hands before and after meals and every time after they visit the toilet.

We were told there has also been improved academic performance among the students because they do not waste time looking for water at the community water points as it is now readily available in the school.

Sanitation Teacher Mrs. Mumford Isadia has seen these changes first hand at her school.

"The classes and other school buildings are clean because there is sufficient water for cleaning purposes. The students are able to spend more hours studying because they do not have to go look for water outside the school. Consequently, they are able to concentrate more on their studies and hence perform better," she said.

Mrs. Mumford Isadia

For 18-year-old Loise Wekesa, these water and sanitation projects have altered her school routine for the better.

"The students can now easily access clean water that can be used for both drinking and cleaning purposes," Loise said.

"The students do not have to go to the community water points to get water because it is available in school," she added. That means more water for everyone - both students and community members, including their parents - since there is no longer competition for the same water source."

Loise (left) with another student

Smiles for flowing water!

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 Imbale 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 Imbale 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 Underwriter - Yakima Foursquare Church
Bethany Academy Water Challenge
North Dunedin Baptist Church
Huntington Middle School
Arie Ben David
Houria's Campaign for Water
9 individual donor(s)