Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 284 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/04/2024

Project Features

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Shitaho Community School is located in Shitaho Village in Kakamega County. The school has a population of 284 out of which we have 267 pupils (139 boys and 128 girls) with 30 teachers and two support staff.

The teacher on duty arrives in school by 6:30am and organizes the students for manual work, with the help of class prefects.

The pupils start by cleaning their classrooms, pavement, compound and the latrines which takes about 30 minutes. By 7am they go to class for remedial lessons and the normal class day officially begins at 8am. They take two breaks in the morning and then 12:40pm they go to their respective homes for lunch break. After lunch, the classes resume from 2pm to 3:10pm.

The pupils go for games for one hour and then go back to class for preps for another hour, ending the day at 5pm.


The school has very many challenges where the population of the pupils keeps increasing with the same number of sanitation platforms which are not enough.

"Indeed we are having a large number of pupils, 267 sharing latrines with one changing room for 128 girls and one urinary for 139 boys, we really urge you to intervene and support us please," board chairman, Mr. Simon Muhati, explained.

The headteacher got information about us after the protection of Mwikholo Spring where she is also a beneficiary. After that, she wrote a letter to us requesting for the project at the school.


Pupils gather water from the piped tap water by placing the containers at the tap. The water at the tap is not regular so in cases where is no water pupils are requested to bring water from home. In fact, the tap only runs with water a few times each week.

Gathered water is stored in the same containers used to draw water. The school has one plastic container with a capacity of 2,500 liters which was donated to the school by another well-wisher.

The storage of the water from many different, unknown sources makes it hard to tell if the water is safe for drinking. Most of the pupils are affected by waterborne diseases, and the administration believes it is the poor quality of their water.

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 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.

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

Project Updates

October, 2019: Giving Update: Shitaho Community School

A year ago, your generous donation helped Shitaho Community School in Kenya access clean water.

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

February, 2019: Shitaho Community School Project Complete

There is a new rainwater catchment system at Shitaho Community 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!

"This project has made us proud and has attracted many people already. They come and ask many questions about the project. We are happy that our reputation has changed and we have clean, safe water for drinking," said Teacher Shiraku.

Principal Logedi said that she wishes she could carry this rainwater tank home with her! She says that paying the high water bills will no longer be a monthly burden to worry about; parents could never afford those fees. Now, there's free water on school grounds!

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

New Knowledge

Since it was school holiday, we were worried about finding students to come learn about good hygiene and sanitation. But during the construction work, we asked Madam Phoebe to contact parents and let them know how important this training would be for the health of their children. Madam Phoebe was ultimately successful, and we had 26 participants there on training day.

Students received new notebooks and pens to jot down everything they learned during training.

The students were all active during the entire training. They were taking part in demonstrations, always asking questions for clarity, and answering questions whenever the facilitator asked them.

Students listening intently

Students most enjoyed the discussions about environmental and personal hygiene. They were taught how to share about health practices both at school and at home. We taught about proper waste disposal, how to brush teeth, and how to wash hands.

Some of the participants reported that the boys could take a bath once a week but the girls should take one at least twice a week. The students didn't want to bathe because of the cold mornings. The facilitator told them that was wrong and avoiding bathing could be harmful to their health.

Students formed a health club that will hold activities to teach the other students what they learned. They voted on leaders for the club and also look forward to taking good care of their new handwashing stations, latrines, and rainwater catchment tank.

"I'm grateful and thankful today to be part of this training. I have learned a lot of information that will help me, my parents, and my siblings to improve our hygiene and sanitation status," said 13-year-old Methusela.

"Initially I didn't know the proper ways of handwashing, and I also did not know how to brush my teeth in the proper manner but now I know."

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.

Handwashing stations were delivered in time for training so that students could learn how to use them.

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.

January, 2019: Shitaho Community School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Shitaho Community 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: Shitaho Community School

October, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Shitaho Community School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Melody Njeri. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Shitaho Community 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 completion of their WaSH projects last year, there have been great improvements at Shitaho Community School, reported our team on a recent visit.

Students and staff can now maintain a cleaner environment and the students' hygiene has improved thanks to the water from their rain tank. There is even enough water in the school that the teachers let students bathe at school since they might still be experiencing water shortages at home.

There is no longer a bad smell throughout the school grounds too since the increased number of latrines has meant less congestion and overuse at any one single latrine.

"Before the project, some children living with their grannies could come to school dirty but after the school benefiting from this project, teachers can wash them in the school and wash their uniforms," said Head Teacher Mrs. Jane Lodeki.

"The classes are cleaned on [a] daily basis [and] this has reduced allergies caused by dust. The toilets have been separated into 2 [blocks] for boys and girls, other than other years when the pupils would share the same toilets."

Head Teacher Mrs. Jane Lodeki with Field Officer Rose Serete at the rain tank

15-year-old student Melody Njeri reflected on what these WaSH projects have meant to her as a learner over the last year at school.

"We are very thankful for the project since time is saved and we attend [our] classes fully. We also have enough time for revision. Our school is shining because we clean every day. Absenteeism has also decreased compared to last year."

Mrs. Lodeki with Yvonne, another student, and Rose 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 Shitaho Community 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 Shitaho Community 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 - Erick's Hope Inc.