Project Status



Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 260 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2024

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/21/2024

Project Features


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Community Profile

Precious Blood Secondary School is adversely affected by drought and shortened rainy periods, which leaves them facing a daily water crisis.

The school's small rain tanks (which hold 30,000 liters total) are meant to provide adequate water for the 260 staff and students, but they cannot collect and hold enough water to last more than a few days. Without enough water to go around, students fight over any small container of water to prevent going thirsty for much of the day. Because there's no water to cook with, meals at the school are often delayed.

"When coming from lunch, we have to struggle for water, and you can end up not getting water," said 18-year-old student Noah M. (shown below).

When the tanks run dry, there are only two options. The school can either purchase water from a water boozer (delivery truck) or force students to carry water to school from dubious sources in the community. Both possibilities present significant challenges.

Purchasing water is costly and drains the school's meager resources meant for academic programs and improvements. Without strengthening those areas, the students suffer the consequences of less-than-ideal learning opportunities.

"When we have no water, it affects the school's schedule. Students sometimes go on strike because there is no water in the school," said 52-year-old headteacher Joyce Mulinge (seen above).

Mrs. Mulinge continued: "We spend so much on the water boozers, which strains the school's financial capacity. The available plastic tanks are not sufficient because of the large school population. [The tanks] easily break because of the scorching sun."

But for students to collect water and carry it to school requires so much of their time and energy. The task leaves students exhausted, missing valuable learning time, and everyone drinking water from unreliable sources that put their health at risk. Water-related illnesses are commonly reported and, sadly, keep students out of class.

"Water in the school is not enough, and we are often asked, like last term, to bring water from home, and most of my classmates come from far [away]," said Noah.

To top it off, the school's latrines and classrooms are rarely cleaned, creating an inhospitable learning environment where concentration is difficult.

The school needs a large water source that can provide enough water for everyone to drink, for meals to be prepared on time, for academic programs and school projects to move forward, and most importantly, for students to be in class learning instead of jostling for a position to collect water.

"The installation of the proposed 104,000-liter rainwater tank will ensure students have a nearby source of clean water. They will be no longer exposed to water-related infections like typhoid and amoeba," said field officer Alex Koech.

He concluded: "Students will be more attentive and comfortable in class because they will no longer have to carry water to school; thus, the school population and academic performance will improve. The school will also use the saved water expenses on other important activities like building better classrooms or washrooms."

Rain Tank

We will build a 104,000-liter rain tank for this school, making the others look tiny in comparison. Because of how rarely it rains in Southeastern Kenya, this tank's large volume is designed to store as much water as possible during the seasonal rains, making more water available through the dry months. This water will benefit the students, teachers, and supplementary staff.

Parents will mobilize the materials needed for construction, including sand, stones, and water. They will also lend their strength and time to help with the construction. We will complement their materials with a skilled artisan to lead the project in addition to providing the tools, lumber, metal, cement, and gutter system.

As soon as the tank has time to cure, it can begin collecting rainwater for the school's use.

Training

We will train students and staff on sanitation, hygiene, and other topics for 1 day. Those in attendance will form a school health club that will promote good hygiene and sanitation practices both at school and at home. They will learn all of the steps to proper handwashing, how to treat water, and how to keep their environment clean. The school will also be taught how to best oversee and maintain their new rain tank and handwashing stations.

Handwashing Stations

A total of 3 handwashing stations will be installed upon the project's completion and before training. These are 1,000-liter plastic tanks fitted with 3 taps each, allowing 9 students to wash their hands at once. The student health club and school management will be responsible for making sure the tanks are filled with water and that a cleaning agent such as soap or ash is always available.

Project Updates


March, 2024: Precious Blood Tyaa Secondary School Rainwater Catchment Complete!

Precious Blood Tyaa Secondary School in Kenya now has access to a new safe, clean water source thanks to the completion of their 104,000-liter rain tank! In addition, we installed handwashing stations and trained students and staff on improved sanitation and hygiene practices. Together, these components will unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

"Our stay in school will be much [more] comfortable because I will be drinking clean water whenever I can and will no longer have to struggle after meals to get clean water for drinking. I am glad that my parents will no longer be paying more fees for water expenses because most of us come from humble backgrounds," said 16-year-old Geoffrey.

Geoffrey.

"The teachers will also not have to purchase their drinking water because they will be getting clean water from this water point. I will be in school most of the time which means I will be getting better grades. Being in a clean classroom that is regularly cleaned using water will also contribute to a comfortable learning place," said Geoffrey.

"The students will have a comfortable stay here in school because will no longer delay due to lack of water, and they will be drinking enough clean water. They will also no longer be sent home for school fees to pay off the water expenses. Therefore, they will be spending most of their time in school," said 29-year-old teacher Ronald Ngetich.

Ronald Ngetich.

"We will be able to save a lot on water expenses because we will have [a] tank in our school which will harvest rainwater and offer clean water for all of us. The students will be able to remain in school during their academic days and be able to get better grades. We will also be cleaning our latrines and the school environment at large because we have enough water," continued Ronald.

Rain Tank Construction Process

First, we held a meeting with all parents and the school headteacher to plan the project. The parents agreed to collect construction materials like sand, rocks, and water. We complemented their materials by delivering the expertise, tools, lumber, metal, cement, and gutter system.

This tank is a whopping 104,000 liters because of how rarely it rains in Southeastern Kenya. Therefore, the more water the tank can store during the seasonal rains, the more water will be available through the dry months for the students.

Construction for this large rain tank is much like constructing a concrete house. First, we leveled the ground for foundation excavation. Next, we laid alternating layers of impermeable rocks and mortar up to seven feet high for the tank's outer walls. With such sturdy construction (the walls have internal and external diameters of 25 and 28 feet, respectively!), the tank will stand for a long time.

We built a reinforced concrete column up to the tank’s center, which holds the roof and prevents it from caving in. We then plastered the walls inside and out with waterproof cement. After that, we installed guttering and channeled it into the tank. Finally, we installed the roofing, made of iron sheets and timber with vents to allow rainwater into the tank from the gutters.

Handwashing Stations

We delivered three new handwashing stations in time for training. Each of these new stations has three taps so that nine students can wash their hands simultaneously.

New Knowledge

We trained on a variety of health, hygiene, and sanitation topics. These included student health club activities, disease transmission and prevention, personal hygiene, handwashing, water hygiene, food hygiene, latrine hygiene, and soapmaking.

"The skill and knowledge of soap making will help us greatly because buying soap is really costly, but from today, that money will be used to buy soap-making materials and make the liquid soap. I am so sure that some of us have gotten a business opportunity, and they will sell the soap or else teach their guardians on the same. The money can be used to pay fees and cater for other household needs," said 15-year-old Mercy, who was elected the president of the student health club.

"The training will help us improve our own hygiene at [the] personal level and here in school as well as that of our families because we will train them on what is expected of us as far as hygiene is concerned, and this will help us reduce diseases incidences and school absenteeism," concluded Mercy.

Conclusion

This project required a substantial collaboration between our staff, our in-country teams, and the community members. When an issue arises concerning the rain tank, 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 their local field officers to assist them.

Also, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program. We walk with each community, problem-solving together when they face challenges with functionality, seasonality, or water quality. Together, all these components help us strive for enduring access to reliable, clean, and safe water for this community.

With your contribution, one more piece has been added to a large puzzle of water projects. In Kenya, Uganda, and Sierra Leone, we’re working toward complete coverage. That means reliable, maintained water sources within a 30-minute round trip for each community, household, school, and health center. With this in mind, search through our upcoming projects to see which community you can help next!

Thank you for making all of this possible!




January, 2024: Precious Blood Tyaa Secondary School Rainwater Catchment Underway!

The lack of adequate water at Precious Blood Tyaa Secondary School costs students time, energy, and health every single day. Clean water scarcity contributes to community instability and diminishes individuals’ personal progress.

But thanks to your recent generosity, things will soon improve here. We are now working to install a reliable water point and improve hygiene standards. We look forward to sharing inspiring news in the near future!




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!


Contributors

31 individual donor(s)