Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 317 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2019

Functionality Status:  Low/No Water or Mechanical Breakdown

Last Checkup: 06/05/2024

Project Features

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Dr. Gimose Secondary School started in an empty classroom on the primary school grounds in 2014. Its first full year, 2015, brought in 78 students. The school has grown tremendously to have 317 students this year!

These 317 students don't have the water they need on school grounds. Nearer to the school's beginning, a science laboratory was built for the school by the school's namesake, parliament member Dr. Gimose. The laboratory came equipped with a 10,000-liter water tank that pipes water to taps at the lab counters.

But since 10,000 liters isn't enough water for all of the school activities, most importantly for school drinking, students have to go out during the day to find more water.

They pick up empty 20-liter yellow jerrycans and walk to a river that flows through the surrounding village. This river is about one kilometer away from the school, with the walk being toughest on the way back because of the heavy water containers.

"For a long time, our school has been facing a challenge of supply of safe drinking water. As you know, water is life and a lack of it would create discomfort in school, thus affecting our performance. We welcome any donations from our partners to help install a water point in our school," said Principal Esitika.

A continuous shortage of clean and safe water leads to widespread cholera, typhoid, and other waterborne diseases. Students and their teachers must sometimes miss school to seek medical attention, and this affects their academic performance.

What we can do:


Training on good hygiene habits 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

We will deliver two handwashing stations 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

"Currently, our school has no sufficient toilets considering the ever-rising in the number of students each day," said Deputy Headteacher Kome.

"Students, especially during the short breaks, waste much time at the toilets and this at times eat into their class lessons. As an institution, we welcome any assistance to help us come up with extra doors."

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 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

August, 2019: Dr. Gimose Secondary School Project Complete!

Dr. Gimose Secondary School in Kenya now has access to a new source of safe, clean water thanks to the completion of their rain tank, which has the ability to collect 50,000 liters of water. We installed new latrines for students, handwashing stations, and we trained students and staff on improved sanitation and hygiene practices. All of these components work together to unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

Rain Tank

Construction for this 50,000-liter rain 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.

Everyone lends a hand

The process officially began with the artisan's arrival, which was a dream come true to the school as they had longed to see the day become a reality. We immediately got to work, with our staff and school administration looking around the school compound to try and determine the best location for a new rain tank. This needed to be the best site with good, clean roofing to catch the rainwater.

Tank foundation begins

Delivering stones for the tank foundation

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 level ground and then reinforcing it using steel, concrete and waterproof cement.

Looking down on the rain tank

Both the drawing pipe as well as the washout pipe were affixed as the foundation was laid. The wall was built with ferro-cement techniques through 6 layers. The inner wall was plastered while rough casting was done on the outer part. Finally, the catchment area was dug, plastered, and a staircase installed.

Being rainy season, the normal working days were sometimes interrupted with heavy rains but this did not challenge our artisan as he was well prepared for any contingencies.

Installing the tap and manhole cover

Tank dome almost complete

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 3 to 4 weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Dr. Gimose Secondary School, though we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.

Immediately after conducting the training, we gathered at the rain tank for the official handing over process. Both the field officer and the headteacher gave a speech of thanks, after which the field officer handed over the project to the school.

The celebration 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.

"This water point has indeed come at the right time when the school highly needs it," said sanitation teacher Mr. Sadanji Chiseve.

"From today, our students will no longer go to the river to fetch water as we now have a facility of our own. We are grateful to our partners for having considered our school. We will guard this facility at all times."

Mr. Sadanji Chiseve

Head Teacher Mrs. Sarah Esitika echoed Sadanji's sentiments.

''Installation of these facilities will be of great help to the school as [they] will allow our students [to] have ample time in their studies," she said.

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of 6 new ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines. All of these new latrines have cement floors that are designed to be easy to use and clean. And with a rain tank right on school property, there should be enough water to keep them clean.

Brave girls posing outside their new latrines during a passing rainstorm!

Handwashing Stations

The 2 handwashing stations were delivered to the school and handed over to the Child to Child health club. These were placed outside of the girls’ and boys’ latrines to encourage handwashing after latrine use.

Health club members teach other students how to properly wash their hands at the stations, make sure the stations are filled with water and work to ensure that there is always soap or ash available.

Student using a handwashing station

New Knowledge

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

When our team arrived at the school for training, the weather was cold given the current rainy season but we held the lessons inside the school building so that w would not be affected by the harsh weather.

Before the official training began, we were given the opportunity to speak with the entire school community, which was a great chance to connect with students and staff. 19 people attended training, which was 4 more than we had expected. We gladly welcomed the additional, interested students to join us.

Taking notes at training

A number of topics were covered, including personal hygiene such as bathing, oral hygiene, and handwashing with soap as a barrier from germs; and operation and maintenance of the new facilities, with each person understanding their role for long-lasting clean water and good health.

The new student 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.

Beverlyn Manayo leads a training activity

Having volunteered for the training, the participants gave it their all. We experienced total involvement of the participants during the entire training. At the time of closure, we were surprised that the participants were not ready to let it go, requesting more and more time and topics from the facilitators.

Student Bynum Savatia leads an activity

Leadership and Governance was a particularly fun and unique session. The facilitator took the participants through the qualities of a good leader with a focus on various animals in mind, including a chameleon, giraffe, lion, tortoise, elephant, and cat. After much thought and discussion by the students, it was concluded that the lion, elephant, and giraffe had the required qualities of a good leader.

Beverlyn Minayo

When it came to students voting for their health club leaders, however, something very interesting happened! During the election stages, the sanitation teacher Mr. Sadanji Chiseve had to intervene when he noticed the males were dominating the positions.

This made him disqualify other boys for vying in other top positions, preserving them for the girl child. This did not please the boy child at first, but they learned that to promote gender equity they would have to relinquish some power in these positions.

Dental hygiene training

Another special moment came during the dental hygiene training, which we were able to complete with the entire school before we paired down to the smaller group. During demonstration time, the participants were left amazed particularly with the quantity of toothpaste applied on the toothbrush.

The participants had in mind that the bigger bead of toothpaste you apply, the better one brushes their teeth! We explained that while this is not necessarily true, their brushing would be enhanced if they used enough toothpaste.

Valentine Sonny

"I am glad [I was] considered for today's training. It has been timely for all of us, and this is the time we come together and sensitize the entire community on maintaining proper hygiene and sanitation standards. We promise to be ambassadors of today's training so that our community lives a healthy life," said 17-year-old student Valentine Sonny.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

July, 2019: Dr. Gimose Secondary School Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Dr. Gimose 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!