Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 373 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/09/2024

Project Features

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In 2014, community members and the Salvation Army Church began Salvation Army Matioli Secondary School to bring education closer to home for the area's students. Beginning with just 108 students, today, the school serves 344 students and 29 teachers and staff. Something else has grown in step with the school's population: their severe shortage of clean and safe water.

There are two different water sources on school grounds, but there are challenges with each. The school relies on a shallow well without a hand-pump and a small plastic rain tank for water.

First, both the well and the rain tank are seasonal, meaning they dry up during part of the school year. The rain tank is seasonal due to its small size, whereby the students deplete the water very quickly. Students access the rain tank water through a standpipe from the grass a few meters away from the tank.

When it is not dry, it is more difficult to access water from the well. Without a hand-pump, students have to lower a 10-liter bucket attached to a rope down the 40-foot well, submerge it, then haul it back up to pour the fetched water into their containers to carry back to the school kitchen.

The process is time-consuming and tiring, and students often scramble for water as no one wants to be scolded for being late to class. Because it is shallow and not fully sealed off, the well water's safety is also questionable. The bucket and rope, handled by many different students on any given day, contaminate the well each time they are lowered into the water.

According to school principal Madam Ruth Mayavi, the school has recorded waterborne diseases among the students. These are expensive to treat and keep students out of class while they recover, affecting their academic performance.

The lengthy process of fetching water at the well delays students trying to get to their morning classes, along with any other time of day. They must fetch more water for all of the school's drinking, cooking, and cleaning needs. Still, many of these needs are going unmet.

"Cleaning of our classrooms and our sanitation facilities is not done daily because of inadequate water in the school. This makes our sanitation facilities full of a bad smell. Besides that, we waste a lot of time lining up for water in the school well when washing our utensils after lunch," explained student Carlos.

"Water challenges in the school cannot affect the learners alone; it also affects the teaching staff because if classes are dirty, it will not be conducive to teaching. Also, the challenges of long queues for water consume a bit of time scheduled for lessons, so one ends up teaching in less than the required time," said Principal Mayavi.

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 used by the school’s students and staff for drinking, handwashing, cooking, cleaning, and much more.

The school and we 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 unlock the potential for these students to live better, healthier lives.

Handwashing Stations

The student health club will oversee the two new handwashing stations we will provide and ensure 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

Two triple-door latrine blocks will be constructed with local materials that the school will help gather. Three doors will serve the girls, and three doors will serve the boys. These new latrines will have cement floors 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.

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

We will hold a one-day intensive training session with students, teachers, and parents. This training will cover a wide range of topics, including COVID-19 symptoms, transmission routes, 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 various 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 home. We will also lead lectures, group discussions and provide illustrative handouts to teach health topics and promote good hygiene practices within the school, including handwashing and water treatment. We will then conduct a series of follow-up training before transitioning to our regularly scheduled support visits throughout the year.

Project Updates

July, 2021: Salvation Army Matioli Secondary School Rain Tank Complete!

Salvation Army Matioli Secondary School in Kenya now has access to a new source of safe, clean water thanks to the completion of their rain tank, which can collect 75,000 liters of water! We installed new latrines and handwashing stations for students, and we trained the school on improved sanitation and hygiene practices, including COVID-19 prevention. These components work together to unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

"Access to reliable, safe water from the water point will impact my life positively because water-borne diseases will be something of the past; hence I will not be missing going to school as a result of waterborne diseases. The water point will help me save on time that I could waste going for water elsewhere. More so, I will not be prone to water-borne and water-related diseases because I will be consuming water from the known water source. I am also anticipating good performance as a result of humble time in my studies," said Annet, a 16-year-old female student.

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

"Water from the rain harvesting tank will really impact me positively since I will not be buying distilled water from the shop as we will have safe, clean water in the school. More so, the challenges of water shortages in the school will be a thing of the past. Definitely, the hygiene and sanitation standards in the school will improve because there will be regular cleanliness of the sanitation facilities. Also, classrooms and the entire school compound will be conducive for learning as it a requirement for each and every student to learn in a conducive environment," said Jaika Barasa, Deputy Principal.

How We Go From Ground to Rain Tank

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

Parents, staff, and students helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction. The school’s kitchen staff and a few parents helped provide meals for the artisans, while the school provided the artisans’ accommodations. 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 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.

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.

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.)

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.

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.

We propped 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 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.

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.

We officially handed over the rain tank to the school directly following the training. Students and staff celebrated the presence of clean water on campus. The event was an excellent chance for us to acknowledge the school administration and students as the primary parties entrusted with the tools we have given and remind them of our continued support as they develop. Happiness, thanksgiving, and appreciation were the order of the day flowing in all directions.

The school principal and his deputy conveyed a word of appreciation for considering their school for WASH projects. They said the project came at the right time when a lot of water in the school is needed for drinking and washing hands in fighting the spread of COVID-19.

VIP Latrines

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

Handwashing Stations

The two 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 wash their hands at the stations properly, make sure the stations are filled with water, and ensure that there is always a cleaning agent such as soap or ash available.

New Knowledge

We scheduled hygiene and sanitation training with the school’s staff, who ensured that the training date would be convenient for pupils and teachers. When the training day arrived, Wilson Kipchoge, Nelly Chebet, and Amos Emisiko deployed to the site to lead the event. Twenty-three students and teachers attended the training, which we held on the school campus.

The training was done under a garage for shade within the school compound because of inadequate classroom space. The venue was good because it was well ventilated and spacious enough to adhere to COVID-19 protocols.

We focused on COVID-19 prevention, transmission, and symptoms while also covering several other topics. These included personal hygiene such as bathing, oral hygiene, and the ten 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 significantly involved in the water, sanitation, and hygiene project management at school. It 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 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.

The demonstration of handwashing was an exciting exercise. Almost all the participants wanted to demonstrate how they normally wash their hands though they were not aware of the ten steps of handwashing. The facilitator took them through the ten steps, and they were excited to learn. They promised to be good ambassadors of hygiene and sanitation at the school and their various homes.

"The training was of great value to me as I learned new things on hygiene and sanitation. It has impacted me positively because we don't have to purchase everything when we have locally made materials that can be useful, like used oil containers can be used to make a handwashing station by improvising it. The group will be an ambassador of hygiene and sanitation in the school. They will champion hygiene not only in the school but also at their various homes," said Jaika Barasa, Deputy Principal.

"There were so many challenges when the school was closed. Initially, we were so worried, thinking that we will never come back to school because the virus was deadly. Besides that, the closing of school due to COVID-19 led to time wasted because we overstayed at home for a whole year, making us repeat classes we had before COVID-19," said Annet.

We asked Annet what it was like to be at home for most of the last year due to Kenya's national coronavirus-related school closures and what it has been like coming back to school.

"I really missed following school routine activities and schedules like attending classes, playing at the break, and game time with my classmates and friends. Also, I missed interacting with my teachers and other school employees, who happened to have been my close friends too. I am very delighted to be back in school to learn and make my ambitions come through, as education is the key to success."

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 field officers to assist them. Also, 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!

June, 2021: Salvation Army Matioli Secondary School Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Salvation Army Matioli 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!

A Year Later: Striving for Excellence!

August, 2022

A year ago, your generous donation helped Salvation Army Matioli Secondary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Japheth. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Salvation Army Matioli Secondary School.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Salvation Army Matioli 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!

The students at Salvation Army Matioli Secondary School struggled to collect enough water to meet their daily needs last year.

"Water in the school wasn't enough, especially during drought season where we had to find water elsewhere to help us in other areas such as cleaning of classrooms," shared 15-year-old student Japheth S.

But now, students enjoy the benefits of having their own rain tank on campus, and things have improved.

"Having enough water in the school has helped us a lot, especially in carrying out our sanitation duties," said Japheth.

Since water is readily available to students, they have time for other things like studying, making their futures more promising.

"We have improved on our time management practices, especially on our manual time. We limit our time for cleaning since we have enough water. With this, we continue to strive to excellence," concluded Japheth.

Japheth S.

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 Salvation Army Matioli 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 Salvation Army Matioli 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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