Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 238 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/07/2024

Project Features

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Tambua Village is full of crops on small pieces of land. It is quiet throughout the day, and little noise is heard from Gimariani Secondary School even in the evenings when students are out playing games. There are just 224 students attending Gimariani Secondary School who are taught by 11 teachers and supported by 9 staff. They learn Kiswahili, English, geography, biology, chemistry, physics, history and government, agriculture, mathematics, religion, music, and life skills.

A day at this school starts at 6:30 am and goes until 4:30 pm during which students attend lessons, have short breaks, go to the river to collect water, play games, and take part in extracurricular clubs. Walking to the river to collect water should not be a part of the regular program, but students have no other choice. The school administration purchased a small black tank that can collect up to 1,000 liters of rainwater, but this is nowhere near enough and lasts very little time when it doesn't rain.

In fact, the tank was dry during our visit.

Much time is wasted going to the spring to fill containers. It's not too long of a walk from school property, but the spring itself is in bad condition. The yield is low and it takes a long time to finish fetching water. We counted seven minutes before a 20-liter jerrycan was full. When students return to school with their filled containers they dump them in a 70-liter barrel in the kitchen that's meant for drinking water. But students say there's nowhere enough water for them to drink, which causes them to get thirsty especially during the afternoon classes.

The principal also says that he thinks many of the students are absent because of the dirty water they drink. Teacher Lwanga Charlly added, "I can say lack of enough safe drinking water has caused us a lot of trouble and it has hindered our progress in all areas because people who are sick are not at peace and whoever lacks peace can hardly be productive."

Some 70% of the students attending here live with their grandparents. These are orphans, many of who never even met their biological parents. Community members attending a local church fundraise the money to send these students to school.

What we can do:

"Students do not practice good sanitation and hygiene. They do not wash hands after using latrines. We really need handwashing facilities so that we wash hands immediately after using latrines. Lack of enough latrines also poses danger to us since the few are overused. Some of the latrines are almost full and in bad shape. Please come and help us," said Teacher Gavalia.


We will hold training on good hygiene habits for two days. Our 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 are currently no handwashing stations.

We will deliver two handwashing stations to the school, and the CTC 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

We will construct two triple-door latrines 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

December, 2019: Gimariani Secondary School Project Complete!

Gimariani 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.

Student having fun with water in front of the new rain tank

Rain Tank

Construction for this 50,000-liter rain tank was successful!

School staff enjoying the rain tank water

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.

Students and community members help deliver materials for 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.

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.

Artisan smiles while adding concrete to the rain tank walls

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. The only challenge experienced throughout construction was the heavy seasonal rainfall, but our artisans and the school persisted and all work was successfully completed.

Cement work inside the tank

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

Students celebrating running water from the rain tank

"Glory to God, we now have a water point in our school's compound," said student Vincent.

"From today henceforth, students will access clean and safe water directly in the school's compound and this will reduce the rate of absenteeism. Most students had been avoiding classes for fear that they would be tasked to go fetch water out of the school's compound, but now this will stop."

VIP Latrines

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

Girls posing with a handwashing station

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.

Thumbs up for handwashing

New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was scheduled with the help of the school principal and the deputy head teacher, Mrs. Nancy Joshua, 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.

Some 27 students and parents attended training, which was held inside a classroom due to the cold weather of the day. Due to the variety of languages spoken by the group, we translated the entire training to be sure all parties understood each topic. Since the recruitment was done voluntarily, those who attended showed great zeal and passion during the entire training process.

Students working together during training

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. Handwashing was a particular hit among students as they learned the new practice and got to the point where they could demonstrate it to their peers.

Handwashing demonstration and practice outside

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.

Enjoying clean water at the rain tank

"The training has been timely, and I believe that all we have learned here today will be a milestone in improving hygiene and sanitation standards in our school. We are the ambassadors of hygiene and sanitation now," said student Brian.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

November, 2019: Gimariani Secondary School Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Gimariani 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 - SJR
Netivot 5th Grade Making a Difference
Kirsten's Campaign for Water 2019

And 1 other fundraising page(s)