Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/17/2024

Project Features

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Kamimei Secondary School is based in a rural area that's filled with grass-thatched houses. The majority of the 838 students and 30 teachers live in the surrounding village. Since Kamimei is in the highlands, it is known for tea production. Parents also raise dairy cattle to make an income.

The secondary school opened in 2010 under the leadership of the adjacent primary school. It finally received its own principal in 2012.

The day begins early in the morning at 6 am. Students carry their homework and a container of water to school each morning. On arrival at school, the students undergo morning lessons from 7 am. Pupils break for lunch at 12:45 pm and resume afternoon lessons at 2 pm. The school provides lunch for all students. Lessons end at 3:10 pm when pupils break for games and other extracurricular activities. They normally leave for home at 5 pm.

Though the school appears to be quite developed, they are still lagging behind in the area of water. When the school first opened its gates to students, there was no water available at all. The school management purchased a plastic tank and a gutter to collect rainwater. However, this tank can only hold 5,000 liters of water.

The water from the tank is strictly rationed but is still not enough to serve the entire student body. This being the case, students must carry as much water as they can to school each morning. Some have a long walk from home and tire greatly from carrying such a heavy water container. And despite this effort, the school still runs out of water during the day. We witnessed at least two students arriving with large buckets of water during our visit that day - a process that interrupts valuable class time.

The water delivered by students must be left out so that dirt can settle before it is consumed.

Water scarcity has also forced the school to sacrifice cleanliness.

"As they say, water is life. The unavailability of clean, safe water in our school has indeed made it difficult - especially during the drought season (when there's no water in the tank) - for us to maintain the cleanliness of our institution. Cleaning the classrooms and the sanitation facilities have been a challenge considering that students need a good environment for them to study," said Principal Kavuludi.

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

There is currently nowhere for students to wash hands after using the latrines or before eating lunch.

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

"As an institution, we have tried to improve on the sanitation and hygiene standards. Our toilets are well kept only that they are not sufficient for the entire population. We tried putting up some toilets but they collapsed during the heavy rains," said Deputy Headteacher Karakacha.

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

March, 2020: Kamimei Secondary School Project Complete!

Kamimei 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.

Girls pose with the new rain tank

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.

Pouring concrete over the rain tank's stone foundation

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.

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 short staircase installed.

Plastering inside the tank

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.

Cementing the access box around the tap

Once finished, the rain tank was given 3 weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Kamimei Secondary School. Students and staff are equipped to handle minor repairs to the rain tank, though we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program for all of their new facilities.

As soon as the tank was ready for use, students and staff celebrated the presence of clean water on campus. The event 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. Happiness, thanksgiving, and appreciation were the order of the day flowing in all directions.

Student enjoying the rain tank water

"Wow! I think I am the happiest creature. We thank God for such a gift in our school for it has come at the right time. From today henceforth, clean, safe water will be available in the school's compound and the rate of sourcing water from outside [the school] will reduce. Thank you!" said a joyful student Bridgit.

Boys pose with the rain tank

"Project implementation at Kamimei Secondary School has taken the institution to another level," said Head Teacher Mr. Kavuludi.

"The students will now access clean, safe water in the school's compound and this will create extra academic hours for the students. The school appreciates the project and we promise to take good care of the facilities. Thank you."

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of 6 new ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines. Because this school has more girls than boys enrolled, and since the girls' latrines were the ones that had collapsed in the rains, the school management decided to give all 6 VIP latrines to the girls. 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.

Girls pose in the door of their new latrines

Handwashing Stations

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

Girls use a handwashing station

Health club members will 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 a cleaning agent such as soap or ash available.

Boys say "Thank you!" for helping them achieve higher levels of hygiene with handwashing

New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was scheduled with the help of the school principal and Head Teacher Mr. Kavuludi, who together 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.

We originally anticipated 20 students, but as it was an examination month, scheduling the training was a challenge. We ended up having to conduct the training in the evening with a total of 15 participants. A cold afternoon would be ideal for someone to describe the day of training. It had just stopped raining a few minutes before our arrival at the school. On arrival, we were received by Mr. Kavuludi who then directed us to the science laboratory where the training was to be conducted. The environment was conducive for training as it was away from the main school block.

Students work together during training

We covered a number of topics including personal hygiene such as bathing, oral hygiene, and the 10 steps of handwashing; environmental hygiene; child rights; operation and maintenance of the rain tank, latrines, and handwashing stations; and leadership and governance. During the latter, the students elected their peers to lead their newly formed student health club.

The club will be greatly involved in the water, sanitation, and hygiene project management at school and will be responsible for encouraging good health and hygiene practices amongst their peers, teachers, and the larger community. By the end of the training, each pupil understood their role in sustaining clean water and good health within their school community.

Pupil Bridgit demonstrates toothbrushing to her classmates

During the on-site training covering the operation and maintenance of the rain tank, the pupils were shocked to hear that every part of the tank served a purpose and that damage to any part could reduce its functionality. The 10 steps of handwashing were interestingly not a new idea to the participants as a majority had been taken through the process at their primary school. All the same, the facilitator demonstrated the steps and made sure all of the students could replicate it so that they can be ambassadors of the hygiene and sanitation training.

Pupil Evans leads a handwashing demonstration at training

"The WaSH training was a success," said Samuel Simidi, the lead Field Officer for this project.

"The training topics were well tackled and one could conclude satisfaction from both ends."

Look at all of this clean water!

"I am so happy being part of this gathering today," said student Evans.

"A lot has been shared and discussed concerning hygiene and sanitation and I know our lives shall never be the same again. We, the beneficiaries of the training, promise to pass this information to the entire community so that our people live a healthy life."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

January, 2020: Kamimei Secondary School Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Kamimei 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

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 Underwriter - G2 Foundation
Numined Diamonds
Give Life Give Water
Rosemark Water Tanks' Campaign for Water
Robert 's Campaign for Water
Titi's Campaign for Water

And 1 other fundraising page(s)
4 individual donor(s)