Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 314 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Apr 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/05/2024

Project Features

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Ebubere Secondary School is still on a journey of growth. It faces many challenges like lack of enough academic classrooms, few latrine blocks (toilets), and water scarcity. The school dug a hole and installed a hatch so that students don’t have to walk long distances for water. A bucket and rope are lowered down each time there’s a drinking, cooking, or cleaning need. However, the water in this well gets extremely low when it doesn’t rain, exacerbated by the fact that there are 300 students relying on the well’s water.

Students draw the water even though standing over the open hole is dangerous. Beyond the danger of falling, there’s the danger that the dirty water itself poses. The students draw up their water and drink it immediately. Because the water is contaminated, students suffer from typhoid.

Principal Elly Onyango tells us that at some point last year, they experienced a diarrhea outbreak due to the well water. One concerned community member, Mr. Josphat Ekaya, rush to Kisumu Town to get some chemicals so that the water could be treated. This solved the problem for a while but now it keeps recurring. This has put the lives of these water users at stake.

"Water scarcity has seen our students waste a lot of time at the well, especially when we want to clean our classrooms and a lot of water is needed. We have also had our staff and students complain of stomach-related diseases," said Principal Elly Onyango. He also admitted that one of his biggest fears is that one of the students will fall inside the well.

The initiative of starting this school was birthed by a Member of Parliament (MP) Mr. Benjamin Washiali during a meeting in December 2011. The idea was very well-received by the people. Mr. Washiali was able to secure the funds to buy the land, but by the year 2013 the school was still not able to enroll students because they didn’t have any buildings yet. The primary section then offered them a room in the year 2014, and they started with 39 students.

By the end of the year, the school was able to move into their own buildings that were under construction. The community members cooperated by providing pit latrines at their nearby homesteads for the teachers and students to use. They also provided furniture and even offered to cook meals in their homes for the teachers. The government stepped in and provided more funds that have let the school grow gradually.

What we can do:


Having clean water is extremely important, but it's equally important to handle and store this water in a wise way. A clean self and environment will go a long way in ensuring that each student lives a healthy life.

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

The available water for handwashing near the toilets is kept in 20-liter jerrycans that are difficult to use since they do not have taps. One has to tilt the jerrycan and wash hands from the opening of the jerrycan.

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

Due to the high population, the latrines are overused and not well-maintained. They are smelly, with those for the boys being the worst since they do not have a separate urinal.

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 well 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

April, 2019: Ebubere Mixed Secondary School Project Complete

There is a new rainwater catchment system at Ebubere Mixed 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 of this new rainwater catchment tank was a big success!

"This will give us ample time to finish up cleaning and be set for class at the required time. I now more than ever can trust the safety of this water, more than the water from the open well. It will be safe for consumption," said 16-year-old Linda.

Implementation of this project at St. Patrick's Ebubere Mixed Secondary School was a smooth journey all the way from the baseline survey to the construction of the facilities. The parents came through to support in full by delivering local materials to our artisans.

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

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.

On one of our visits during the implementation, we got a chance to talk to the parents who had come for a parents' meeting. Mr. Elly, the principal, had gone ahead and sunk an extra pit latrine next to the ones we already prepared - just to ensure that the students get enough toilets.

He wasn't sure of where the extra money to pay the artisan or get the extra materials would come from, but the parents joyously came forward in full support during that meeting. After seeing the construction of this new rainwater tank and the VIP latrines, they in unison agreed to work together with the principal to see the extra latrine completed.

This is so encouraging to see a school that had just four latrines for everyone growing to have sixteen latrines.

New Knowledge

On a supervision visit during tank construction, our field officer talked to the deputy principal about the importance of good hygiene and sanitation. We planned a training together for the following Friday, and we advised her to select student leaders from every class. These training participants then formed a child to child (CTC) student health club that spreads this new knowledge with their peers.

The 23 participants were eager from start to finish. Since it was a beautiful day outside, we decided to hold training under the trees.

The students and their teachers needed knowledge on how to improve standards of hygiene and ensure that the sanitation facilities given to them are well-maintained for years to come. Some of the topics we covered included water pollution and treatment methods, handwashing, dental hygiene, operations and maintenance of the facilities, and group dynamics along with leadership and governance for the CTC club.

Students taking notes on the new notebooks and pens they received for training.

Students also learned a lot about the things they can do to improve their own individual health, including washing hands and brushing teeth. These topics were special and interesting because participants got to do some things practically through demonstrations. They got charcoal from the school kitchen to crush it into powder that can be used to brush teeth if a family cannot afford toothpaste.

The handwashing session was fun too, as every participant wanted to try out the ten steps of handwashing for themselves.

The trainer demonstrating handwashing to the students

"From this training, we will be able to take charge of hygiene and sanitation of our school since we are the pioneers of the CTC club in our school. We have learned a lot of things today and we will even educate our family members back at home. We promise to keep the spirit," said 16-year-old William.

Thank You for making all of this possible!

February, 2019: Ebubere Mixed Secondary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Ebubere Mixed Secondary School drains students’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to build a clean water point on school grounds 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: Ebubere Mixed Secondary School

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Ebubere Mixed 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!

"It used to take us a long time to access water at the river. That water was very dirty because, at times, children from the surrounding community would go play in it."

"The path to the river was not safe since we would go through and between sugarcane plantations to get there."

"Now, with the rain tank, it takes us a shorter time to wash dishes and rush to class unlike before when we would even ignore washing our plates just to avoid going to the river."

"We now have access to fresh and clean water which is a huge change and a great impact on its own."

"Our studies have improved since there is no time wastage, school food is cleaner than before, and the classes and toilets are now easier to clean."


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 Ebubere Mixed 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 Ebubere Mixed 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.


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