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The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  The New Rain Tank
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Collecting Water For Curing The Tank
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Using Water From Tank For Curing
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Clean Water Flowing
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Clean Water Flowing
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Complete Vip Latrines
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Side View Of Latrines
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Inside Platform Of A New Latrine
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Brick Delivery
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Preparing Materials
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Mixing Concrete
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Rain Tank Site Excavation
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Laying Rock Foundation
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Rock And Rebar Foundation
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Pouring Concrete
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Fitting Wire Form Over Foundation
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Sugar Sacks Tied To Tank Wire
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Interior Cement Underway
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Installing First Pillar
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Plastering The Pillars
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Fitting Dome Skeleton To Tank
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Cutting Dome Wire
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Latrine Foundation Work
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Team Leader Emmah And Staff Check Measurements Of Latrine Foundation
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Pouring Concrete Latrine Foundation
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Latrine Wall Masonry
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Latrine Stalls Take Shape
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Cementing New Latrines
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Water Storage Containers
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Water Storage Containers
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Students Deliver Water To The Kitchen
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Students Carrying Water
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Students Carrying Water
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Students Collect Water From A Small Plastic Tank
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Students Collect Water From A Small Plastic Tank
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Student Joseline
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Principal Mr Mudeheri
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Road To School
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Boys Latrines
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Girls Latrines
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  School Cooks At Work Inside The Kitchen
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Students Outside The Kitchen
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  School Playground
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Students In Class
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Students In Class
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Students In Class
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Classrooms
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Classrooms
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Strive For Excellence
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  School Values
The Water Project: Makunga Secondary School -  Gate

Project Status



Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 530 Served

Project Phase:  Under Construction
Estimated Install Date (?):  01/29/2021

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



Please note original photos and interviews predate the pandemic.

Getting water at Makunga Secondary School is neither simple nor easy for the 500 students and 30 staff who come here every day.

The school owns 4 small plastic rain tanks, but only 2 of them are in use due to the other 2 lacking gutters. (The parents of the students promised to install these gutters, but it has yet to happen and the school has stopped expecting it.) The 2 functional tanks together have the ability to hold just 11,000 liters of water – not even close to enough for all of the school’s daily drinking, cooking, and cleaning needs. The plastic tanks are also located across the road from the school’s kitchen, one of the main locations the water is needed. With speedy motorbikes frequently passing by, each cross of the road puts students at risk of being hit.

When the rains stop coming so frequently and these small tanks dry up, students are forced to go to fetch water from a spring shared with the community. This brings a whole new set of problems to the school, including conflicts with community members trying to fetch water, students skipping class for the rest of the day, and increased cases of indiscipline.

“During the dry season, it is so difficult here with no water in the school. You have eaten but there is no water to quench your thirst, to wash your hands, or to clean your plates. We get forced to go fetch water from a spring which is very tiresome and time-wasting,” said student Joseline.

Students get to school at 6:30 am, when they start cleaning and fetching water from either the 2 tanks, the spring, or both. Those who make the trip to the spring especially are prone to missing their morning preps and sometimes even their first lessons, which start at 8:00 am. Community members insist on fetching their water before the students, and the line is long. This, combined with the walk to and from the spring, means a lot of wasted energy and class time.

Across all of these sources, there is no method for treating water or cleaning the rain tanks at Makunga Secondary School. Because the water students fetch is combined for use, even 1 contaminated source means everyone suffers.

“I can’t drink water from any of the sources simply because it is not clean and safe; they don’t treat their water in any way so it’s not safe for drinking,” said Field Officer Betty Mwangi during her visit.

There are increasing cases of typhoid and flu reported due to the consumption of the untreated water.

“I fear taking water while I’m at school because the water is not clean, so contracting waterborne diseases is very easy,” said Principal Mr. Elphas Chumba Mudeheri.

“The issue of not having enough water in our school has really become a big problem in that every morning, students queue at the plastic tanks that the school has, then cross over the road carrying water to the kitchen for cooking. This is very dangerous because they do waste time and at the same time they do take advantage of that to engage themselves with outsiders who pass by the road…If we had a bigger tank that could collect enough water, I’m very sure all of the issues of water that the school is going through will come to an end,” Mr. Mudeheri said.

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 to unlock the potential 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.

Training on Health, Hygiene, COVID-19, and More

All primary and secondary schools are currently closed in Kenya due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they are scheduled to reopen in January 2021. Once classes resume, we will schedule a training session with students, teachers, and parents. This intensive training will cover a wide range of topics including COVID-19 symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention; personal and environmental hygiene; and the operation and maintenance of the rain tank, latrines, and handwashing stations. There will be a special emphasis on handwashing.

Our team of facilitators will use a variety of methods to train, including participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation, and asset-based community development. We will initiate a 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 including handwashing and water treatment. We will then conduct a series of follow-up trainings before transitioning to our regularly scheduled support visits throughout the year.

Project Updates


11/20/2020: Construction Complete at Makunga Secondary School

Construction of the rain tank and VIP latrines at Makunga Secondary School is now complete!

The complete rain tank at Makunga Secondary School

When Kenya closed schools nationwide in March 2020 to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, we worked carefully to ensure already-planned projects like the one at Makunga Secondary School reached completion despite the closure. To achieve this, we relied on a combination of mutual trust and communication with the school and students’ families to finish construction while keeping our team and the community safe.

Kenyan schools were initially scheduled to reopen in January 2021, when we planned to train students and teachers on COVID-19 prevention, handwashing, and how to take care of their new rain tanks and latrines.

However, recently, the Kenyan government allowed certain students to resume their classes for the remainder of 2020. Upon hearing this news, we treated the water in every school rain tank to ensure a fresh supply of drinking water for the returning pupils.

An Operation and Maintenance team stands on top of a school rain tank to measure the water levels through the removable cover to calculate the amount of treatment required.

With some students now back at Makunga Secondary School, we acted quickly to offer our health, hygiene, and COVID-19 training to better use the clean water from their rain tank to keep students and teachers safe and healthy. We are currently working with the school’s administration to determine the best time for their training, as it depends on their students’ immediate academic needs and their communities’ risk level.

Clean water flows from the new rain tank

Until we can formally hand over the rain tank and VIP latrines to the school and conduct health and hygiene training, we consider this project “incomplete.” That is why we extended the expected completion date to the end of the year, though the final decision of when to host training rests with the school.

The training will ideally include students, teachers, and parents. This one-day intensive will focus on COVID-19 prevention and handwashing. The trainers will also cover a wide range of topics, including personal and environmental hygiene and the operation and maintenance of the rain tank, latrines, and handwashing stations.

A new VIP latrine block with three doors

Once we complete the health and hygiene training and safely celebrate the school’s ownership of the project, we will be sure to send you an update.

Luckily, most students in this school live in communities where we have already completed several rounds of COVID-19 sensitization training. We are continuing to work with all of the communities we serve throughout the pandemic to keep their water running and help them stay informed of the latest COVID-19 guidance.

A New Page for Water & Sanitation at Makunga Secondary School

The rain tank has the ability to collect 75,000 liters of water, providing a new source of safe, clean water on campus. Combined with the six new VIP latrines we built and the installation of two new handwashing facilities, we look forward to seeing all of these components work together to unlock these students’ opportunities to live better, healthier lives.

The latrines will be divided by gender, three for the girls and three for the boys. All of these new latrines have cement floors designed to be easy to use and clean, locking doors for safety and privacy, and vents designed to keep air flowing up and out through the roof. With a rain tank right on school property, there should be enough water to keep them clean.

How We Go From Ground to Rain Tank

Before schools closed, parents, staff, and students helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction. Even after the children went home, the school team of kitchen staff and a few parents helped provide meals for the artisans while the school provided accommodations. Local women and men helped our artisans with their manual labor, too.

Brick delivery at the school

The process officially began with our staff and school administration looking around the school compound to 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. We cast the foundation by laying big stones on the level ground and reinforcing them using steel wire, concrete, and waterproof cement. We affixed both the drawing pipe and the drainage pipe as we laid the foundation.

Pouring the tank’s concrete foundation over a layer of stones

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

Wire tank walls covered in sugar sacks for temporary support

Inside the tank, we cast one central and four support pillars to ensure the dome does not cave in once cemented. Meanwhile, we plastered the inner wall while roughcasting the outer walls. We dug and plastered the access area to the tap outside of the tank, where we also installed a short staircase. In front of the access area, we constructed a soak pit where spilled water can drain from the access area through the ground. The pit helps to keep the tap area dry and tidy.

Casting the central support pillar

Dome construction could begin after the tank walls settled. We attached a dome skeleton of rebar, wire mesh, and sugar sacks to the tank walls before cementing and plastering it using similar techniques as the wall construction. We included a small manhole cover into the dome to allow access for future cleanings and water treatments.

Plastering the pillars

We propper long wooden poles (about 75 of them!) inside the tank to support the dome while it cured. Then it was down to the finishing touches: fitting a lockable manhole cover over the tap area, affixing the gutters to the roof and tank, and setting an overflow pipe in place at the edge of the dome for when the tank reaches capacity.

Cutting the dome’s wire form to size

Once finished, we gave the rain tank three to four weeks to undergo complete curing. Finally, we removed the interior support poles and dome sugar sacks and cleaned the tank.

Using water form the tank for curing

Thank you for helping to make this work possible – stay tuned for an update on training and the handing-over celebration!


The Water Project : kenya20007-the-new-rain-tank


10/14/2020: Makunga Secondary School Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Makunga 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!


The Water Project : 19-kenya20007-students-carrying-water-2


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.


Contributors

1 individual donor(s)