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The Water Project : 1-kenya4650-school-sign

Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 487 Served

Project Phase:  Installed

Functionality Status:  Functional

Community Profile & Stories

This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water And Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO). Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).

Welcome to the School

Matende Girls High School was started in the year 1974 by its sponsor Church of God. Their purpose was to make sure that children living in the area were educated, empowered and in turn developing their entire community.

The school now has a total of 450 girls and employs 26 teachers and 11 support staff. The girls are a mix of both boarders and day scholars.

Girls boarding at the school wake up at 4:30AM to prepare for morning study hall which begins at 5AM. Day scholars arrive at 6:30AM for daily cleaning. Normal lessons run between 8AM and 4PM with two breaks and a lunch hour in between. Students are sent to the field for games and sports for two hours after classes, whereafter the day scholars leave for home and boarders eat supper and study on their own.

Water Situation

During our first visit to the school, the lack of proper water was obvious. The school gets water from a well for a portion of the year, and they have a few plastics tanks for storing well water and rainwater. The water here is not sufficient for the entire school population, especially since it is a boarding school.

What’s worse, the well does not provide water during the driest season of the year (a period of three months or more). And throughout the changing seasons, the well continues to silt up, exacerbating the low levels. In this situation, the school must buy water from vendors. The water purchased from vendors is not only inadequate, but it’s quite expensive. Poor health and thus low academic performance is always reported during these water-scarce times of the year.

Sanitation Situation

The school’s sanitation level is quite low and needs to be addressed. There are 10 doors of poorly-constructed pit latrines in the boarding section, and 10 doors in the learning section. Two of each set of latrines belong to the teachers and any other visitors.

The school only has one improvised hand-washing facility being used by teachers, compromising sanitation and hygiene among students. Students are at a high risk of contracting water and hygiene-related diseases, thus leading to a high rate of absenteeism and a massive spending of resources on treatment.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training and Hand-Washing Stations

Training will be held for two days. The facilitator will use PHAST (participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation), ABCD (asset-based community development), CTC (child to child), lectures, group discussions, and handouts to teach health topics and ways to promote good practices within the school. The CTC method will prepare students to lead other students into healthy habits, as well as kickstart a CTC club for the school. This CTC club will oversee the new facilities, such as hand-washing stations, and make sure they are kept clean and in working condition. The two hand-washing stations will be delivered to the school, and the club will fill them with water on a daily basis and make sure there is always a cleaning agent such as soap or ash.

Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank

A 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank will be constructed on school grounds. Teachers, students, and parents will gather the materials needed for this project, including sand, ballast, bricks, and hardcore. This contribution will fuel a sense of responsibility for the school and community to take care of their new facilities. Once materials are mobilized, the WEWASAFO team will arrive to lead the construction effort.

With adequate clean water, the school will have water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and hand-washing.

Plans: VIP Latrines

Two triple-door latrines will be constructed, providing six new latrines just for the students. Latrine materials will be mobilized the same way as the tank, ensuring the school feels these facilities are truly theirs. And with a rainwater catchment tank nearby, there will be enough water to keep them clean.

Principal Elizabeth Musambai said, “Today, everybody is advocating for education for the girl child. Matende Secondary is one of the schools tasked with that noble task. It is a fact that this cannot be achieved if the school does not have sufficient and clean water. The project being undertaken by WEWASAFO will go along way in ensuring that he girl child is clean and well taken care of. This will indeed motivate the girls to work hard and better their performance because they will also be studying in a clean environment.”

School administration and parents are positive that with these new facilities and training, their students’ academic performance will improve. Students will be healthy and empowered to focus on what’s important!

Recent Project Updates

05/08/2017: Matende Girls High School Project Complete

Matende Girls High School in Kenya now has a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your generous donation. A new rainwater catchment system has been built, and there are now six new latrines being used. Two hand-washing stations have been installed, and the entire student body has received training in sanitation and hygiene. Just imagine the difference these resources will make in the lives of these students!

You made it happen, now help keep the water flowing! Join our team of monthly donors and help us maintain this rainwater catchment tank and many other projects.

The report below from our partner gives the latest details of the project. We also just updated the project page with new pictures.

Project Result: New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was held in the library. This room was picked because it is the largest in the school. There are radical changes taking place in Kenya’s education sector. One of the changes is a directive that no programs and activities should be conducted during official class lessons. After consulting with Deputy Principal Jael Maleche, we decided to conduct the training in the evening when regular classes ended. With the help of Mrs. Maleche, two students were picked from each grade. Two teachers, one member of the school board and two support staff were also included. There ended up being a total of 26 participants.

We taught an entire lesson on management and maintenance of the new tank and latrine facilities. Regular checking and cleaning of the gutter system is a must! It’s also important to treat the water while it is still in the tank. We also covered topics including but not limited to:

– Water pollution and water treatment

– Personal and environmental hygiene

– Group dynamics, leadership, and governance

– Forming an effective CTC (child to child) club

– Hand-washing

We used a number of different ways to teach the above topics, while demonstrations were used for hand-washing and tooth-brushing. We facilitated group discussions and presentations. The girls also received handouts which will help them teach hygiene and sanitation to their peers.


The child to child club will include both students and teachers who want to take responsibility for spreading the message of good health and hygiene among their peers. They will also be responsible for taking care of the new hand-washing stations, making sure they are always filled with water and that a cleaning agent like soap or ash is available. A water user committee has also been formed by parents and school administration, which will be responsible for overseeing and maintaining the new facilities.

18-year-old Bridgit Mmbone spoke to us after training, saying “I am grateful to have such a chance to sit and learn the most crucial information about hygiene and sanitation. This is really going to assist me in my entire life and those around me. Despite being in the final class, I am grateful to have the chance to acquire such an important information. God is good. Thank you!”


Project Result: Hand-Washing Stations

The two hand-washing stations were delivered to school and handed over to the CTC club. They will teach other students how to properly wash their hands at these stations, and will make sure there is always soap or ash available. Now the school has the stations they need, and they have the water to fill them! The CTC students even want to make their own hand-washing stations to give every student the opportunity to wash their hands.

The girls who formed the CTC club even decided that the two hand-washing stations weren’t enough. We helped them improvise more hand-washing stations made from containers, sticks, and rope.


Project Result: VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new VIP (ventilated improved pit) latrines. These latrines are easy to use and easy to clean. And with a rainwater catchment tank, there should be enough water to keep them clean all the time!

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Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction on this 50,0000-liter tank began in March.

Parents, staff, and students first helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction. All the while, women cooked meals for the artisans, and the school provided accommodations for the artisans during their work.

15 kenya4650 latrine construction

First, the location for the tank was decided on with the input of school leadership. We had to find a place that provided enough roof for a gutter system. We then cleared the ground, set and cast the foundational slab, built the five-inch-thick wall, built roofing, and installed the fittings such as delivery pipes, vent pipes, and screens. Finally, good drainage was ensured. Before the tank could begin collecting rainwater, we had it cure for three weeks. Once dry, we could remove the supportive beams and then install the gutter system. The school now has the opportunity to collect 50,000 liters of water!

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A ceremony was organized by the school to celebrate project completion. On arrival we found teachers, students, parents and the support staff waiting for our team. The ceremony started with an opening prayer from one student, followed by songs and poems of gratefulness. The school principal delivered a speech about how the school had suffered from water shortages, but she is now optimistic that the problem is fully solved. Our organization confirmed that we would be in constant touch with the school to ensure that the project serves them well. Students then sang local Luhya songs as they escorted our team out the gate!

These girls will now have more time to study undistracted, and are at a much lower risk of disease. Their academic performance is in turn expected to increase, and the principal expects that most of her girls will now be able to get into university.

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03/14/2017: Matende Girls High School Project Underway

We’re excited to share that thanks to your help, the students at Matende Girls High School will soon have an adequate source of water! A rainwater catchment tank and new latrines are being constructed, hand-washing stations provided, and the school is being trained on proper sanitation and hygiene practices. Imagine the impact this will have on these students! Thank you for noticing the need here, and we’ll keep you posted as the work continues.

Check out the tabs above to read more, and Thank You for partnering with us to improve life for the girl child.

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Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment
Location:  Kakamega, Matende Village
ProjectID: 4650
Install Date:  05/08/2017

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 08/17/2017

Visit History:
05/25/2017 — Functional
08/17/2017 — Functional


Project Sponsor - Imago Dei Community
1 individual donor(s)

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Country Details


Population: 39.8 Million
Lacking clean water: 43%
Below poverty line: 50%

Partner Profile

Western Water and Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO) works together with less privileged and marginalized members of communities in Western Kenya to reduce poverty through harnessing and utilization of local resources for sustainable development.