Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 354 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Apr 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 12/07/2022

Project Features

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St. Peter's Khaunga Secondary School was established in 2003 by the Anglican Church of Kenya and currently serves 330 students. They are taught and supported by 24 teachers and staff. The school is located in a peaceful, rural area that is highly vegetated. That, however, is where the simple story of this school ends and their complicated struggle to find a reliable water source begins.

The school initially used to get water from the nearby primary school's well, but that dried up leaving the secondary school with the choice of either digging their own well or asking students to bring water from home.

They chose to dig, but after getting just 25 feet deep, they encountered bedrock which prevented them from going any further. They stopped there and covered the hole, knowing this was not deep enough to provide sufficient water for their school. Next, they identified a second place to try digging a well, but they encountered bedrock again and resolved to stop digging.

Now, when it rains the second well gets some water, but after fetching just 80 liters it dries up again. The water from this well is now used by the school cows for drinking due to its poor quality and low volume.

The school then identified a parent who has 2 children in the school and who had trouble paying their school fees. The administration decided that if this man could deliver water to the school every day, they would pay him for half of the water's value and use the remaining half to settle his children's school fees.

The school, however, is not aware of where he gets the water and because of that, the teachers do not drink it. Instead, they buy bottled water which the principal confessed to be straining their budget a lot.

At one point, after students kept complaining about stomachaches and it forced the school to take them to the dispensary to ascertain the cause of their illness, it was discovered that the water they had consumed was not safe. Some of them were diagnosed with typhoid. From there they advised the kitchen staff to ensure that the water is boiled before kitchen use, but they cannot afford to spare the fuel to do the same for the drinking water.

Finally, there is a small, 5,000-liter plastic rain tank on campus. But even still, the school runs out of water.

"It is very expensive getting the water to run the school programs. As the school head, I am straining to ensure that the school operates on the water that is bought. When the students complain that the water is not enough, it affects me psychologically and I feel I am not doing enough to provide the school with water," said Principal Mr. Rothe Wakhisi.

Due to the expense and scarcity of it, all water the school can get is prioritized for drinking and cooking. As a result, the latrines cannot be cleaned effectively. The cooks do not get enough water to clean up the utensils or to clean and cook food thoroughly. When the parent supplying the water is sick of unable to make a delivery, the school programs are disturbed because assigning a new water vendor takes time, disrupting the normal school routine. All of the money currently spent on water is meant to be invested in other development projects on campus, but water is always at the top of the priority list.

"Because of the lack of enough water, the classes are not cleaned well. Most students sneeze while in class [from the dirt]. Some days the latrines are not cleaned well due to the lack of enough water in the school. This makes some students afraid to visit the latrines, hence suffering silently in class," said Maureen, a 16-year-old student.

What we can do:

Rain Tank

A 75,000-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 just 1 handwashing station for students to use after visiting the latrines and before eating lunch.

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

04/29/2020: St. Peter's Khaunga Secondary School Project Complete!

Please note, all photos in this report were taken before social distancing recommendations went into effect.

St. Peter's Khaunga 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 75,000 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.

A view from the rain tank's dome looking down at students celebrating the presence of water on campus

"Now having a 75,000-liter tank, it will help on developing my academic and sanitation goals," said student Dennis.

"In St. Peter's Khaunga Secondary School, water was a challenge and some of our academic projects like agriculture need some water. Now we can make a club and benefit from the water tank and in return build a stronger Sanitation Club."

Teachers were just as excited as the students about the new rain tank on campus.

"We as the teachers have suffered because the students had to bring water from home and this wasted a lot of time that they could use for learning," reflected Deputy Principal John Kalande.

"I am happy because I will have more time with the students in class. I will be able to extend the morning preps session which will help improve the school's mean grade because the morning hours that the students used to go get water will be channeled into studies and tutoring the weaker students."

The handing-over ceremony between Field Officer David Muthama (left) and Deputy Principal John Kalande

Rain Tank

Construction for this 75,000-liter rain tank was successful!

Parents, staff, and students helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction. All the while, the school cooks and community members 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 enough land and a nearby building with good, clean roofing to catch the rainwater.

Excavating the rain tank site

Then, we cleared the site by excavating the soil to make level ground for the tank foundation. The foundation was cast by laying big stones on the level ground and reinforcing them using steel wire, concrete, and waterproof cement. Both the drawing pipe as well as the drainage pipe were affixed as the foundation was laid.

Adjusting the wire over the stones before pouring the concrete for the rain tank's foundation

Next, the walls were formed using a skeleton of rebar and wire mesh with sugar sacks temporarily tied to the outside as backing. This was attached to the foundation’s edges so that the work team could start the Ferro-cementing process, in which the walls are layered with cement alternating with the inner and outer side until 6 layers of cement are in place. (The sugar sacks are removed once the interior receives its first 2 layers of cement.)

Cement work begins inside the tank

Inside the tank, 1 central and 4 support pillars were cast to ensure the dome does not cave in once cemented. Meanwhile, the inner wall was plastered while the outer walls received their roughcasting. Outside of the tank, the access area to the tap was dug, plastered, and a short staircase installed, along with a soak pit where spilled water can drain from the access area through the ground. This helps to keep the tap area dry and tidy.

Pillar and plaster work inside the tank

Dome construction could begin after the tank walls had been given enough time to settle. Using similar techniques as used on the walls, the dome started as rebar, wire mesh, and sugar sacks and was attached to the tank walls before receiving cement and plaster. A small manhole cover was built into the dome to allow access for future cleanings and water treatments.

Team Leader Emmah and Field Officer Lynnah measure the rain tank wall's height

Long wooden poles (about 75 of them!) were placed inside the tank to support the dome while it cured. A lockable manhole cover was fitted over the tap area, the gutters were affixed to the roof and the tank, and an overflow pipe was set in place at the edge of the dome for when the tank reaches capacity.

Working on the tank dome

Once finished, the rain tank was given 3-4 weeks to undergo complete curing. Finally, the interior support poles and dome sugar sacks were removed, the tank was cleaned, and we waited as rain filled the tank with fresh water. When there was a sufficient volume in the tank, we treated the water and we officially handed it over to St. Peter's Khaunga Secondary School.

"After Physical Education we can now quench our thirst."

As soon as it was ready, 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 have 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.

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 pose in front of their new VIP 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.


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.

Girls line up to wash their hands

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. When the training day arrived, facilitators Jackylyne Kangu, Betty Mwangi, Lynnah Akuku, and David Muthama deployed to the site.

Students learn the parts, function, and care of the rain tank from Trainer Betty (center)

22 students attended training, most of whom were part of an already-active Sanitation Club in the school. Training was held inside one of the school's classrooms which was well-lit and set a good mood for the day. All of the students were very active and not shy at all to speak their mind, ask and answer questions, and share ideas. Their high energy and drive to learn made the training lively and memorable.

Raised hands for questions and volunteers were the norm for this group of students

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.

Trainer Lynnah listens in to a group discussion during training

The students' health 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. We involved stretches, dances, and physical activities in between each topic to keep the pupils’ energy up and their minds active. By the end of the training, each pupil understood their role in sustaining clean water and good health within their school community.

A student volunteers to demonstrate toothbrushing during the dental hygiene session

We were also able to discuss the symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention of COVID-19 as the virus had at the time not yet reached Kenya. We learned that many myths were circulating about the virus, which we were able to address one by one and counter with factual information about the Coronavirus. It was a plus for the training to be able to cover this topic with the students and teachers alike.

A pupil demonstrates handwashing at the training

When asked if she found this training useful, pupil Maureen said, "Yes, it is valuable to me because it will help me maintain a high level of hygiene in the society being in charge of sanitation in the school." Maureen is dedicated to her role as Deputy Secretary of her school's Sanitation Club and showed up to training wearing her pin to indicate her role of responsibility in the school.

Maureen, Deputy Secretary of the Sanitation Club

When an issue arises concerning the water project, the students and teachers are equipped with the necessary skills to rectify the problem and ensure the water point works appropriately. However, if the issue is beyond their capabilities, they can contact our team of field officers to assist them. In addition, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our ongoing monitoring and maintenance program.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

03/18/2020: St. Peter's Khaunga Secondary School Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at St. Peter's Khaunga 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.

Giving Update: St. Peter's Khaunga Secondary School

July, 2021

A year ago, your generous donation helped St. Peter’s Khaunga Secondary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Sylvia. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in St. Peter's Khaunga Secondary School.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help St. Peter's Khaunga Secondary School maintain access to safe, reliable water. Together, they keep The Water Promise.

We’re confident you'll love joining this world-changing group committed to sustainability!

Before gaining access to clean water, it was very frustrating. I had to bring 10 litres of water to school every morning from my home, far away. I used to arrive at school very tired.

Now, with the rain tank, getting water is no longer a challenge. Getting to school became easier since I no longer carry water from home, and I arrive very fresh in my mind, body, and spirit.

One of the things I plan to continue is washing my hands to stay safe and make soap since I was taught soap-making skills during the training.

Navigating through intense dry spells, performing preventative maintenance, conducting quality repairs when needed and continuing to assist community leaders to manage water points are all normal parts of keeping projects sustainable. The Water Promise community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help St. Peter's Khaunga Secondary School maintain access to safe, reliable water.

We’d love for you to join this world-changing group committed to sustainability.

The most impactful way to continue your support of St. Peter's Khaunga Secondary School – and hundreds of other places just like this – is by joining our community of monthly givers.

Your monthly giving will help provide clean water, every month... keeping The Water Promise!


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