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The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Boys At Tank
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Enjoying Water
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Happy For Water
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Enjoying Water
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Sip Sip
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Happy With Water
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Water Celebration
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Thumbs Up For Clean Water
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Enjoying Water
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Enjoying Water
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Enjoying Water
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Water Celebration
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Water Celebrations
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Water Celebration
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Water Celebrations
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Water Celebrations
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Celebrations
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Water Celebrations
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Water Celebration
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Celebrations
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Drinking Water
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Elijah L
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Elijah L
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Elkana K
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Elkana K
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Happy With Water
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Kelvin Carrying Water
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Kelvin Fetching Water
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Kelvin K
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Kelvin K
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Kelvin K
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Vincent E
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Melkizedek M
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Teacher David Wanyama
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Teacher David Wanyama
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Teacher David Wanyama
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Water Flowing
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Water Flowing
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Dental Training
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Dental Training
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Dental Training
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Handwasahing
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Handwashing
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Handwashing
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Handwashing
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Handwashing
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  On Site Training
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  On Site Training
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Soapmaking
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Soapmaking
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Students At Training
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Students Take Notes
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Training In Session
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Training In Session
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Training In Session
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Concrete Works
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Concrete Works
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Site Excavation
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Rock Filling
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Rock Filling
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Rock Filling Copy
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Wire Reinforcement
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Wire Reinfocement On Stones
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Concrete Placement
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Concrete Placement
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Concrete Placement
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Score System Setting
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Tap Setting
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Wire Wall Installation
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Wire Wall Installation
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Wire Wall Setting
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Wire Wall Setting
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Sack Placing
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Sack Placing
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Inside Plaster Works
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Inside Plaster Works
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Floor And Wall Plaster
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Floor And Wall Plaster
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Inside Plaster Works
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Outside Plaster Works
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Outside Plaster Works
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Outside Plaster Works
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Outside Plaster Works
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Outside Plaster Works
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Outside Plaster Works
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Outside Plaster Works
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Pillar Placement
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Dome Setting
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Dome Setting
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Dome Setting
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Dome Setting
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Drawing Point Construction
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Drawing Point Construction
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Drawing Point Construction
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Complete Tank
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Flowing Water
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Latrine Brick Work
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Brick Work
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Brick Works
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Latrine Brick Work
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Complete Latrines
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Complete
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Boys At Latrines
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Boys Celebrating
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Boys Latrines
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Students In Class
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Students Fetching Water
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Water Storage Containers
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Godwin S
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Kitchen Interior
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Kitchen Interior
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Staffroom
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Students Playing
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Students Fetching Water
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Latrines
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Students Ferrying Water
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Water Point
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Students Latrines
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Students Fetching Water
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Entry Gate
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Kitchen Exterior
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Students Ferrying Water
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Students Fetching Water
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Exterior School Buildings
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  David Wanyama
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Students Playing
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  School Layout
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Hand Washing Station
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Exterior School Buildings
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  School Layout
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Exterior School Buildings
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Entry Gate
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Firewood
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Dairy Cows
The Water Project: Silungai Secondary School -  Garbage Heap

Project Status



Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 914 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Apr 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 11/24/2022

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



Silungai Boys High School in Western Kenya started in 1998 as a mixed secondary school. In 2012, it became solely a boys’ school due to drastic population growth.

Currently, this school of 851 students and 63 teachers faces the challenge of not having enough clean water throughout the year. Water pumped from the nearby river flows into storage tanks that are too small to meet the current daily needs.

It is especially trying for students like Godwin S., who boards at the school. “Sometimes the water gets exhausted at night, and we have to wait until the next day for it to be pumped,” Godwin said. “For us who are boarding, [we] experience a hard time in the morning when this happens.”

The river water is contaminated and not safe for consumption due to community members taking baths and doing laundry in the river. During the rainy season, the water becomes especially dirty and difficult to use. The amount of water pumped in the dry season drastically reduces, and the taps inevitably run dry.

David Wanyama, a teacher at the school, shared, “Controlling these boys so that they can minimize the usage of water is not easy. It makes my duty tiresome since the water has to be used sparingly.”

Water is pumped daily and used almost immediately, so there is no time for water treatment, leading to water-related sicknesses for pupils and staff.

Having two rain tanks at this school will allow students to access sufficient clean, safe water throughout the entire year.

What We Can Do:

Rain Tanks

Two 75,000-liter rainwater catchment tanks 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, these tanks 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 lead to better student academic performance and help to 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 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

Two triple-door latrine blocks will be constructed with local materials that the school will help gather—one block for girls and one for boys. All of these new latrines will have cement floors that are designed to be easy to use and clean. And with two rain tanks 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 and teachers. This 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 tanks, 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, like 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


04/05/2022: Silungai Secondary School Rain Tanks Complete!

Silungai Secondary School in Kenya now has access to safe, clean water thanks to the completion of their rain tanks! 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 will unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

Boys celebrating water.

Kelvin K., 17, said, "I can rest assured that we will be drinking clean water. The water from the river is usually dirty but we've always had no alternative. It's a sigh of relief for me."

Kelvin collecting water.

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

Teacher David Wanyama said, "I won't have to watch over the boys to use the water sparingly since these storage tanks will increase our water quantity. When I have the boys fully in class, I'll be able to complete the syllabus on time giving, us enough time to revise (study) for the examination. No more time will be wasted in search of water. My duty will be made easier."

Mr. Wanyama collecting water.

How We Go From Ground to Rain Tank

Construction for the two 75,000-liter rain tanks 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. Locals 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 the new rain tanks. 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 foundations. We cast the foundations by laying big stones on the level ground and reinforcing them using steel wire, concrete, and waterproof cement. We affixed both the drawing pipes and the drainage pipes 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 sides until six cement layers were in place. (The sugar sacks are removed once the interior receives its first two layers of cement.)

Inside the tanks, we cast one central and four support pillars to ensure the domes do not cave in once cemented. Meanwhile, we plastered the inner walls while roughcasting the outer walls. We dug and plastered the access areas to the taps outside the tanks, installing short staircases. In front of the access areas, we constructed soak pits where spilled water can drain from the access areas through the ground. The pits help 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 small manhole covers into the domes to allow access for future cleanings and water treatments.

We propped long wooden poles (about 75 of them!) inside the tanks to support the domes while they cured. Then it was down to the finishing touches: fitting lockable covers over the tap areas, affixing the gutters to the roofs and tanks, and setting overflow pipes in place at the edge of the domes for when the tanks reach capacity.

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

We officially handed over the rain tanks to the school. 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. 

VIP Latrines


This project funded 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.

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, facilitators Lillian, Olivia, Dominic, Beverlyne, and Erick deployed to the site to lead the event. 19 students and teachers attended the training, which we held under an indigenous tree in the school courtyard.

Attendance was higher than expected. Some participants had to be asked to go back to class to make physical distancing effective. Many wanted to take part and ended up hanging around the area just to be a part of it.

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 encourage 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.

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.


A memorable topic during the training was soapmaking. Participants were excited to see chemicals they had learned about in their chemistry lessons being used in the process. They showed great interest and did every step as the trainer directed.

Vincent E.

Chairperson of the child health club, 16-year-old Vincent, said, "From the training, I am able to wash my hands properly now. I also now understand the importance of using soap when washing hands."

Melkizadek, 16, the child health club's secretary, said, "Soapmaking is one thing that I'll make sure I practice when I get back home. I may get few chances to make it here in school but I'll do it often at home and also teach my parents and siblings. This will help everyone in my family to wash their hands with soap."

Melkizadek M.

We asked Melkizadek 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.

"That was the most boring period of my life. Knowing that a whole year is wasted and having to repeat my class gave [me a] headache. I could study on my own but couldn't understand everything without the help of my teachers. They impart so much knowledge in us that helps us in our national examination."

He continued to share how things are now that he is back in school, "I am a happy person because I am assured now I'll be completing my high school education in time and head to university. I want to be through with education so that I can face the world out there."

When an issue arises concerning the rain tanks, the students and teachers are equipped with the necessary skills to rectify the problem and ensure the water points work 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!


The Water Project : kenya22206-happy-with-water-1


02/08/2022: Silungai Secondary School Rain Tank Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Silungai 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 : kenya22206-students-in-class-1


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

Project Sponsor - Blanke Foundation
7 individual donor(s)