Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 215 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/04/2024

Project Features

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The headteacher at St. John Cheptech Secondary School heard about our projects that improve access to safe water in schools and decided to pay a visit to our offices. He completed the necessary steps to apply, and we determined during our visit to the school that it is indeed in need of support.

There are pipes on the school grounds connected to a community borehole. Hundreds of people rely on this well, even though it produces water that is turbid and salty - signs that it is likely unsafe for drinking. As a result, the students go to a nearby river to fetch drinking water. It exposes them to risk of contracting waterborne diseases.

"The students often complain of stomachache and diarrhea because of the contaminated water that they carry from home. Some of their water sources cause them to have a fever and sore throat. These cases are very rampant in the rainy seasons and many cases of absenteeism are usually reported," Principal Fred Chikamai said.

The toilets are in a pathetic condition, said our field officers. The floors are worn out and very dirty. The school management has neglected the latrines and the students have to wade through long grass that has grown along the toilet corridors.

A normal day for the students starts by getting up very early in the morning, taking breakfast and start their long walk to school. The lessons begin at 7am for morning preps, then assembly time at 8am where teachers give the orders of each day, after which class work lessons run from 8:15am to 4:15pm including breaks.

Finally, the students end the day during games time from 4:15pm to 5pm. After the games, the students usually go to class for evening study hall which ends at 6pm when they leave for home.

What we are going to 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.

Project Updates

October, 2019: Giving Update: St. John Cheptech Secondary School

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

December, 2018: St. John Cheptech Secondary School Project Complete

A new rainwater catchment system was built! St. John Cheptech 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

Hygiene and sanitation training was scheduled with the help of the principal, who ensured that the dates were convenient and didn't interfere with the academic schedule. The principal also requested the deputy principal to recruit student leaders from grades one to three while ensuring that all genders were represented.

The turnout was more than we had requested, but of course we did not turn away the extra students who wanted to learn. They were eager to learn about ways to promote health and hygiene in their school, and have formed a student health club that will spread this message to all the other students.

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 student health club to promote hygiene and sanitation awareness at their school.

Learning about how the tank works and how to best care for it

Students were extremely attentive to any information about dental hygiene. Even those who were previously uninterested tuned in. The students realized that losing teeth isn't necessarily a sign of old age, but is an indicator of poor dental hygiene. It's not only sweet snacks that cause cavities, but starchy food particles that stick to the mouth after eating.

Different types of activities, like this group discussion pictured here, kept students interested and engaged.

Training was a lot of fun at St. John Cheptech Secondary School, and students wished that it would go on for the rest of the day.

"This training came at a very crucial time when our candidates are just a month away from sitting for their [final] exams," said Teacher Kipchumba Kamogoi.

"We believe that this training will minimize the cases of stomachache during the exam period. We used to think that the students were having exam fever, but now we realize that they had been practicing poor hygiene throughout the year."

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 six new ventilated improved pit latrines. These were all given to the female students since they had the greatest need. 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.

Rainwater Catchment Tank

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

"Our school now looks upgraded. Thank you for giving this school a facelift," said Principal Fred Chikamai.

"With the availability of water, we are hoping to expand and make it a boarding school. Thank you for considering us for this project."

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 St. John Cheptech Secondary School, though we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.

Students spend approximately 80% of their time in schools. Therefore, a clean and hygienic school environment coupled with safe water and sanitation facilities will reduce outbreaks of waterborne diseases.

Provision of safe water and sanitation facilities is the first and step towards a healthy learning environment.

November, 2018: St. John Cheptech Secondary School Project Underway

Dirty river water is making students attending St. John Cheptech Secondary School sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a rainwater catchment tank at their school and much more.

Get to know your school through the narrative 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: St. John Cheptech Secondary School

October, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped St. John Cheptech Secondary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Derrick Magweli. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help St. John Cheptech 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!

"Since the tank was constructed, our students no longer waste class time going to the river to fetch water. The queues at the latrines have also reduced. Our latrines were almost full and on the verge of collapsing. We are grateful that you came to salvage the pathetic condition of the school," said Teacher Mr. Alexander Idache of St. John Cheptech Secondary School.

On a recent visit there, our team caught up with teachers and students to hear how their WaSH projects installed last year have impacted their school experience.

With the small school population at St. John Cheptech Secondary, the 50,000-liter rain tank is providing safe, sufficient and affordable water for the school. With the additional introduction of clean water, VIP latrines, and handwashing facilities at the school, students have been enjoying more time to study since they can stay healthy, hydrated, and able to concentrate in class.

Student absenteeism from waterborne illnesses is now a thing of the past.

Derrick Magweli is a 19-year-old student at St. John Cheptech Secondary School. He reflected on how these projects have impacted his experience as a learner.

"The water tank has really helped us to stay healthy and not miss classes due to the recurrent cases of waterborne diseases. We can now redeem more time for studying because of the availability of clean water in the school. The toilets are also enough because we are a total of 65 boys. Miss Adema (a teacher) says that she no longer has to carry a heavy water bottle from home for drinking."

Field Officer Joan Were with Derrick, Mr. Idache and another 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 St. John Cheptech 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 St. John Cheptech 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.


2 individual donor(s)