Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 415 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 12/02/2022

Project Features

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Ebulonga Mixed Secondary School was started in 2007. The community saw the need for a secondary school for their children so they would not have to walk to a different community for an education. There are currently 389 students enrolled who are taught and supported by 26 teachers and staff.

Students attending Ebulonga Mixed Secondary School has to wake up early. They have to walk to school and ensure that the school gate that closes at 6:30 am does not shut them out. There is a morning study hall that goes until they do some cleaning of the school compound and facilities. Then, there is a break for students to buy snacks from women who set up stands nearby. Later, a lunch of maize and beans is served. Extracurricular activities like journalism, science club, and math club are offered after afternoon classes.

The school has a small plastic tank that collects water delivered by tap via the ministry of water. However, water services in the area are extremely unreliable. In the first 3 months of 2019, the school had already gone through 30 days without running water.

The students and staff here are experiencing a hard time due to the scarcity of water. They are forced to go thirsty when water is not pumped by the supplier, and the school has to look for other means to ensure that the school kitchen operates. This has forced them to pay local people to look for and bring water back to the school. With this kind of water delivered from unknown sources, the students here have had health challenges.

"The water is so unreliable and this causes students to go thirsty, especially after meals since there is no water in school to drink. Doing our cleaning also becomes a problem simply because we don't have a reliable source of water," said Deputy Principal Anindo.

"We really are trying hard to ensure that our state of sanitation and hygiene is good, but the challenge we are having is water scarcity. We encourage our students to work on their personal and environmental hygiene. I can say we are not doing badly off but with enough water, we would do more," said Teacher Kagehi.

What we can do:

Rain Tank

A 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank will help alleviate the water crisis at this school. The school will help collect the needed construction materials such as sand, bricks, rocks, and water for mixing cement. We will complement their materials by providing an expert team of artisans, tools, hardware, and the guttering system. Once finished, this tank will begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff for drinking, handwashing, cooking, cleaning, and much more.

We and the school strongly believe that all of these components will work together to improve standards at this school, which will help lead to better student academic performance and will help unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

Handwashing Stations

There is currently nowhere for students to wash their hands after using the latrines or before eating lunch, let alone the water to do so.

The student health club will oversee the 2 new handwashing stations we will provide, and make sure they are kept clean and in working condition. The club leaders will fill the handwashing stations with water daily and make sure they are always supplied with a cleaning agent such as soap or ash.

VIP Latrines

2 triple-door latrine blocks will be constructed with local materials that the school will help gather. 3 doors will serve the girls while the other 3 will serve the boys. All of these new latrines will have cement floors that are designed to be easy to use and to clean. And with a rain tank right on school property, there should be enough water to keep them clean.


We will hold a 1-day intensive training on improved hygiene, health, and sanitation habits at this school. Our team of facilitators will use a variety of methods to train students and staff, including participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation (PHAST) and asset-based community development (ABCD). We will initiate a child-to-child (CTC) student health club, which will prepare students to lead other pupils into healthy habits at school and at home. We will also lead lectures, group discussions, and provide illustrative handouts to teach health topics and ways to promote good hygiene practices within the school. We will then conduct a series of follow-up trainings before transitioning to our regularly scheduled support visits throughout the year.

Project Updates

01/29/2020: Ebulonga Mixed Secondary School Project Complete!

Ebulonga Mixed 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 and handwashing stations for students, 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.

Student gets a fresh drink from the rain tank

Though most of the students who attend Ebulonga Secondary face many challenges in their education, pupils and staff alike are determined that they attain a quality education from this institution and that accessing water should not be an added barrier. With the completion of this rain tank, a step has been made in solving this burden.

The school shared their thanks for the global community that helped make this project a reality, saying "Our appreciation goes to those who sacrificed their money just to see this tank constructed. Blessings are coming your way!"

Thumbs up for clean water from the rain tank

The official opening of the rain tank brought hope to the students and staff on a day when their unreliable piped water system made the comparison of their pre-tank and current situations even more poignant.

"As we talk right now, our piped water is not available at the tap. We are so happy that this option of the rain tank has been given to us. I can relax now that my plate can be washed after lunch even if the piped water decides not to avail itself," said student Margaret.

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, the school cooks prepared meals for the artisans, and the school provided accommodations for the artisans during their work. Local women and men helped our artisans with their manual labor, too.

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 rain tank. This needed to be the best site with good, clean roofing to catch the rainwater.

Rain tank site excavation begins

Then, we cleared the site by 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.

Cementing the interior rain tank walls

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.

The artisan attaches the guttering system to the roof

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.

There were no challenges or delays during the construction process at this school since the school had prepared well and the weather was favorable. All of the materials also arrived on time thus making everything move smoothly.

Happy students at the rain tank

Once finished, the tank was given 3 weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Ebulonga Mixed Secondary School, though we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of 6 new ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines, half for girls and half for boys.

A girl poses at an entrance to one of the new 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.

Boys pose with their new latrines

Handwashing Stations

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

A girl washes her hands outside the latrines

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.

A boy washes his hands outside the latrines

New Knowledge

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

15 students attended the training. It had rained the previous night making the morning chilly and a bit misty, so we first tried having our training in the school's laboratory but the lighting was poor due to the weather and the electric blackout that the school was experiencing at that particular time. We then opted to have our training outdoors within the school compound. Here everyone was comfortable and jovial since it made the training special and different from the normal class lessons.

A student shares her group's answers during training

In the beginning, the participants were shy and kept their answers to themselves. After the facilitator brought in some jokes concerning their personal hygiene during the health promotion topic, however, the participants felt at ease and got into the discussion making each participant active.

We covered a number of topics, 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.

Facilitator Lillian Achieng takes students through the 10 steps of handwashing

While learning about the parts and function of the rain tank, the pupils were shocked in learning the technologies used to construct the rain tank since most of the construction work was done when they were on school break. They were very impressed by the structure and we noticed students taking particularly excellent notes during this section. Our team agreed this was a good sign of this school's dedication and commitment to the longevity of their new WaSH facilities.

Students crush charcoal to use as a toothpaste alternative during the dental hygiene practical

During our conversation on health promotion and hygiene, the girls humorously attacked the boys concerning personal hygiene claiming that the boys did not like to take baths on a daily basis - laughter and debate ensued! The dental hygiene lesson was also interesting as participants asked many questions concerning dental care. The practical part of this and the handwashing session made each topic come alive. We had a lot of vibrant memories from interacting with this bright group of pupils!

Students demonstrate toothbrushing to their peers using charcoal, toothpaste, and salt

"I have always brushed my teeth before taking my breakfast. All along, I thought I was doing the right thing. Today I've learned that I need to brush my teeth after having a meal and not necessarily before. More importantly, I need to brush before going to bed because that is when the enzymes are so active in the mouth," explained student Duncan after completing the training.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

12/20/2019: Ebulonga Mixed Secondary School Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Ebulonga Mixed 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 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

Rainwater Catchment

Rainwater is collected off strategic areas of a roof, enters a custom guttering system (which filters out debris) and leads to a storage tank. Tanks can vary in sizes and are determined by population and average rainfall patterns. Water can be stored for months, is easily treated in the tank, and is accessible through taps. These projects are implemented at schools with proper roof lines and gutter systems to make them successful.


North Dunedin Baptist Church
Waterford Union High School: French Club
MVMT Love in Action
Sami's Campaign for Water
3 individual donor(s)