Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 728 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/07/2024

Project Features

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Getting connected to a piped water system seems like the ideal water solution at first glance. If you get water flowing to your location, you can distribute it to as many taps as you'd like. But unfortunately, tap water does not work well in Western Kenya.

Bumini High School was optimistic when they got connected to a piped water system, but they have experienced unreliable, rationed water since day one. School administration reports that the water is on for only three days each week, and they only have a small plastic tank to get them through the service gaps. Sometimes, the water is down for even longer. Worse yet, the water isn't safe for drinking.

This forces these 728 students to look elsewhere for their water. The closet source is a 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank we installed at Bumini Primary School, but the high pressure put on the tank during the times the secondary school borrows water is just too much - it forces the secondary students to also get their water from a spring in the community.

If the 728 students at Bumini Secondary School have their own large 75,000-liter tank, they'll be able to make it through the days when piped water is not running.

What we can do:

"The hygiene and sanitation standard at the school is not very good," said Teacher Opati.

"The number of facilities is less compared to the student population. This is God's given time for the school to be blessed. I welcome the assistance to our school, as a school we are ready to play our part."

The school has handwashing facilities at the teachers' toilets, but there are no handwashing facilities for the students. The pupils wash the school's toilets every morning, but the school needs more toilets and sufficient water to address low hygiene and sanitation standards at the school.


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

There are a total of 11 working toilets for these 728 students.

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 75,000-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: St. Theresa's Bumini High School Project Complete!

A new rainwater catchment system was built! St. Theresa's Bumini High School in Kenya now has a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your support. Handwashing stations were installed, 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!

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.

Materials collection

The process officially began with our staff and school administration looking around the school compound to try and determine the best location for a new rainwater catchment tank. This needed to be the best site with good, clean roofing to catch the rainwater.

Sinking the latrine pits

Latrine construction

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.

Rain tank foundation

Tank walls going up

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 six 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.

Delivering water for construction

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.

Inside the tank, pillars support the dome

Preparing the dome

Once finished, the tank was given three to four weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to St. Theresa's Bumini High School, though we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.

The ceremony 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.

St. Theresa's Bumini High Schools' Board of Management, staff, and students acknowledged the enormous contribution that our team had made to their school during the ceremony. The new principal, who was so happy, appreciated our field officers for their commitment and dedication during the implementation period.

Our field officers thanked the school administration for their cooperation and support from the onset of the project. Finally, the school community was given full authority to manage all of the WaSH projects.

"As a school, we are grateful to [you] for the 75,000-liter water tank, toilets, and handwashing facilities. This is the doing of God.", explained an excited sanitation teacher at the School, Mrs. Jacklin Nanatsi.

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit (VIP) 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.

Completed girls' latrines

Completed boys' latrines

"On behalf of my fellow pupils and the entire school, I really appreciate [you] for considering our school with such facilities. The facilities will help improve the hygiene and sanitation standards at our school. Initially, the school had few latrines and this led to congestion when used," explained 16-year-old student Stella Inyangala.

Handwashing Stations

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

CTC club members teach other students how to properly wash their hands at the stations, and make sure there is always soap or ash available. Now the school has the stations they need, and they have the water to fill them.

New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was scheduled with the help of the school principal, 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.

Attendance was far better than anticipated, which was excellent. It was sunny in the morning and the weather did not interfere with our day. The training was conducted under a tree within the school compound, which gave the participants an opportunity to concentrate during training. The participation and involvement of the trainees were good and encouraging. Both boys and girls were actively involved in the training. They responded well to questions and took part in all demonstrations.

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

During the handwashing session, participants promised to also teach members of their families and friends what they had learned. The passion throughout the day of training, and especially in Operational and Maintenance sessions, was an indicator that this school community will be able to apply the skills and knowledge both at school and at home to improve their personal hygiene and sanitation.

All of these new WaSH facilities have greatly transformed the school's infrastructure. It was a surprise to many people from the neighboring community who had not seen a tank of such a size to see it completed and functional. Even the neighboring academic institutions were surprised at such a development in the area.

Many people called in to inquire who was behind such great work in the community, and we are now in conversations with other nearby and interested schools to see if this project might be a good fit for their WaSH needs as well.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

July, 2019: St. Theresa's Bumini High School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at St. Theresa's Bumini High School drains students’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to solve this issue by building a clean water point 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 news of success!

Project Videos

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!


Project Sponsor - Monomoy Regional Middle School