Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 97 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/28/2024

Project Features

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Gidagadi Secondary School just opened three years ago at the end of 2014. It opened for the same reason many secondary schools do; students from the primary school needed a place to continue their education. It currently has an enrollment of 90 students who are taught by five teachers. The school also employs two support staff.

Students arrive as early as 6:30am to clean their classrooms and pick up the school grounds. Study hall begins at 7:30am and is followed by normal classes before lunch. The school cook prepares a mixture of beans and maize so that students don't have to walk all the way back home.

There are afternoon classes and then an hour of sports and games until students are released at 5pm.


Both Gidagadi Primary and Secondary are headed by the same person. She told us that "soon, the secondary section will have its own Principal because it has finally been registered to stand on its own."

However, it doesn't have any of its own facilities. Not water sources or storage, no hygiene facilities, and no latrines.

Students must leave school to find water. The most convenient water source is Anusu Spring, where water bubbles up and pools at the surface. Students dunk their jerrycans (they're not even their containers, they're borrowing them from the primary students) under the surface to fill them with dirty water.

This water is used for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. The principal said she will be more than thankful for additional facilities.

"The students waste a lot of time going to Anusu Spring to fetch water. We create time between lessons to go and fetch water, which interferes with the program. It also affects them academically, with lower performance. I will really be grateful," she said.


Gidagadi Secondary shares latrines with the primary section. These are already in bad condition, and the secondary students feel they need to defer to the primary students. We observed that quite a few of these latrines look like they're about to collapse.

"Our school does not have sufficient sanitation facilities right now. They share the latrines with the primary section," Principal Lamka said.

"As an institution, we lag behind as far as health and hygiene standards are concerned."

There are no handwashing stations, nor is there the water to fill them.

The secondary school's cook is also working from the primary school's kitchen. As for something positive, we found a well-constructed dish rack to safely dry kitchen utensils up off the ground.

Here's what we're going to do about it:


There will be two days for teachers, students, and parents to meet at the school to learn about hygiene and sanitation practices. They will also attend sessions on the management and maintenance of their new rainwater catchment tank, latrines, and hand-washing stations. We will use all of our training topics to empower participants to invest their time in positive behaviors that promote health, prolong life, and enable them to become more self-reliant citizens.

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

The two handwashing stations are 50-liter plastic barrels on metal stands, and each has a tap to conserve water. These are often delivered by hygiene and sanitation training so they can be used for demonstrations but always arrive by a project’s completion.

The CTC club will be in charge of filling these stations with water and will ensure that there is always a cleaning agent like soap or ash.

VIP Latrines

Two triple-door latrines will be constructed with local materials that the school will help gather. Three doors will be set aside for each gender. 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 waste valuable time journeying back and forth to fetch dirty water.

We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. These higher standards will translate to better academic performance for these scholars!

Project Updates

October, 2019: Giving Update: Gidagadi Secondary School

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

February, 2019: Gidagadi Secondary School Project Complete

There is a new rainwater catchment system at Gidagadi Secondary School! Students have a 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!

"The students will now have ample time to read because now they will not have to go to the spring to fetch water. We are thankful as a school for the donation of the rainwater harvesting tank and the toilets," said Principal Alachu.

"The projects being brought to us is a blessing. I used to ask God to help us get an alternative way of how the students could get water in school instead of going to the spring to access water. Now it has become an answered prayer because now we have the rainwater harvesting tank in our school which will enable us get access to safe, clean drinking water and also will be treated for us to use so as to shun having waterborne diseases in school such as typhoid."

The only challenge was that the school had a hard time collecting supplementary construction materials. We delivered the most expensive materials and hardware, but the school was asked to provide bricks, sand, and stones. The school first tried to procure the materials on their own but finally appealed to the parents for their help, too.

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

New Knowledge

Once we informed the principal of how important it is to teach good hygiene and sanitation, she worked hard to prepare a time and place for us to teach some of her students. She worked with her teachers to select student representatives from each grade. We recommended 15 student participants who will attend training and for a student-led hygiene and sanitation health club.

We did not expect the students to turn up in huge numbers due to the students having lessons going on at that time, but there were 45 participants total. It was a sunny morning at 9:30am when we started the training in one of the empty classrooms; the teacher who was supposed to have a lesson in that class offered us his lesson time so that we could hold training.

Group discussions

It was important to train participants on primary healthcare so that they avoid health challenges that keep them out of class. Waterborne diseases were outlined and the routes of contamination were explained. Good hygiene including dental hygiene and handwashing were demonstrated. Children's rights were covered to enlighten teachers and students on how children should be understood and taken care of, and what needs to be done in case a child is denied their rights.

Demonstrating handwashing

We went over proper operation and maintenance of the new facilities so that they can serve the school community for at least thirty years.

Learning how to best care for the tank

Leadership and governance were also taught to equip the student club with good leadership skills as they teach the rest of the student body what they learned. The training climaxed with the election of the club cabinet leadership.

"This training has been a learning process to us and we thank you for the sacrifice you have made to come and train us on how to maintain the facilities. We have also learned new things such as cleaning of the tank and we shall put them into practice," said Teacher Kivailu.

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. 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.

November, 2018: Gidagadi Secondary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Gidagadi 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: Gidagadi Secondary School

October, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Gidagadi Secondary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Dominic Dangana. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Gidagadi 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!

Clean, safe water is essential for satisfaction in life, and this is what we observed during our recent visit to Gidagadi Secondary School. The students were in good shape and health thanks to the water point, VIP latrines, and handwashing stations installed in their school last year.

Water is life, and the unavailability of clean, safe water threatens one's quality of life but this is now a thing of the past in Gidagadi Secondary School as the students now have sufficient and safe water that serves the entire school population. The latrines we built have helped to reduce congestion of students waiting in line for their use, especially during the break time. This has also helped improve on basic hygiene practices like handwashing, especially after visiting the latrines.

By and large, the school is doing well in rain tank management and water conservation and indeed we do see many promising actions. This includes the extension of the gutters to their rain tank to increase the tank's water harvesting capability - something the school administration initiated and completed on their own, using their own funds. We see a bright future for this dedicated group of students and staff.

Principal Jane Alashu with another staff member in front of their rain tank's plaque

"Life in Gidagadi Secondary School indeed looks much different today than it used to be before installation of the facilities," said School Principal Mrs. Jane Alashu.

"There has been an improvement in efficiency as time is not wasted at the water source. Waterborne diseases are now a thing of the past as water in the tank is treated regularly. Also, we have endeavored to apply the knowledge we obtained during the WaSH training on good hygiene."

"Quality of life for our members has greatly improved thanks to [the] availability of clean, safe water. Academic time has also been saved as students can now access water much faster and easily as it is available to them. As an institution, we are grateful to our partners for having considered us with the facilities. Indeed we are blessed."

Dominic Dangana is a 17-year-old student at Gidagadi Secondary School who reflected on the impacts these WaSH projects have made on his education over the last year.

"The water and sanitation project has brought [a] positive difference in my academic success as now I access water directly from the school's compound, enabling me [to] create ample time to study."

"Before installation of the water point, I suffered typhoid infection twice [which] meant that our main water source wasn't safe for drinking. Praise the Lord, this is now a thing of the past as [I] am now healthy like never before."

Principal Alashu, Dominic, Field Officer Samuel Samidi, and another student at the back 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 Gidagadi 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 Gidagadi 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 - H2O for Life
H2O For Life
Des Lacs High School
Riverview Multiage's Campaign for Water
IRJC’s Campaign for Water
Durand family Christmas campaign for water

And 1 other fundraising page(s)
8 individual donor(s)