Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 242 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/11/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

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

A normal day at this institution begins at 6:30AM and goes until 4:30PM. Students attend lessons, enjoy break times for snacks, go to the spring to collect water, and play games and participate in clubs. The students here are enrolled in Christian Union (CU), scouting club, science club, math club, environmental club and agricultural club. Every Wednesday between 7:10 and 8:00AM, the entire school goes to the PAG church hall for spiritual instruction from the school chaplain, who also gives students counseling on life issues. On rare occasions, the school invites motivational speakers to talk to students on Saturdays; this is rare because of the high cost of guest speakers.

People in this village own small plots of land on which they plant a few tea bushes. When harvested, leaves from these tea bushes fetch meager pay when sold to Mudete Tea Factory. Some villagers have opted to grow maize or hire themselves out for casual labor. Only a few homes own a dairy animal. Many other community members do businesses by selling milk, sugarcane and green vegetables to travelers along the pathways. Despite the poverty in this area, the school principal said he is impressed with how much the community members thirst for education. "I have two cooks and one guard, though we pay them so little here, they have managed their income and have educated three children, one child finished high school last year," he said.

Water Situation

There is no water source on school grounds, so students are sent to a community spring to fill containers with water. Students must go on the walk for water multiple times a day, traversing steep hills walking one direction, and lugging full jerrycans of water on the way back.

That spring is called Ivana, and it was protected years ago by another well-wishing team. However, proper drainage was never dug and the water source has become an extraordinary breeding ground for mosquitos. Each time a student fetches water from Ivana Spring, they risk malaria.

Students must wade into the water or balance at the side as they hold their jerrycans under the discharge pipe. Once returned to school, the water is delivered to the kitchen and stored in those same containers. As the cooks use the water, they make sure the water containers are cleaned with soapy water.

Marumulah, a form four student, told us "It is like a punishment to be sent to collect water from Ivana Spring, but we only do so because we lack sustainable alternatives." Water shortages have hampered both personal and environmental hygiene at the school; there isn't enough for hand-washing or mopping of classrooms.

Sanitation Situation

There are seven pit latrines on school grounds, but they are old and now dangerous to their users. Some are built over soft, collapsing soils. There are cracks in the walls, and some even lack doors needed for privacy. Others have pits nearly full of waste.

There is one hand-washing station, but it is set aside just for teachers and other staff.

We were surprised that because of the poor latrine conditions, open defecation wasn't an issue. The principal told us that students patiently wait in the long lines for latrines during break. The principal also shares that though every household in the area doesn't have their own latrine, they at least share with a neighbor to avoid going out in the open.

Principal Joseph Onyango does admit that though they try their best, the school still faces health challenges. He told us that "the school has complex health challenges such as a few cases of students living with HIV/AIDS in fear, water shortages and inadequate sanitation facilities. We live by the grace of God because should there be an outbreak of waterborne diseases, we are not prepared to manage it in the face of the current health situation of the school and its neighborhood."

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. Students will no longer waste valuable time walking to the spring.

Plans: VIP Latrines

Two triple-door latrines will be constructed, providing three new latrines for each gender. 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.

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!

Project Updates

October, 2018: A Year Later: Digula Secondary School

A year ago, generous donors helped construct a rainwater catchment tank for Digula Secondary School in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories. Read more...

September, 2017: Digula Secondary School Project Complete

Digula Secondary 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 children!

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

The principal, Mr. Joseph Onyango, permitted all of his students to take a break from regular classes to attend the hygiene and sanitation training. He also selected a handful of student leaders from each grade to form a CTC club (child to child) that will be in charge of water, sanitation and hygiene initiatives on campus. In fact, Principal Onyango really wanted everyone to be there to learn about HIV/AIDS. "I would wish that all of them be quipped on this matter and be helped to overcome stigmatization. There are some of them who are HIV positive, and as a result the joint training will boost their self-esteem and help others appreciate them," he shared. The training was held in the neighboring church, since it's big enough to host the entire school - over 180 boys and girls.

1 kenya4651 Erick Wagaka during the training

Mr. Erick Wagaka led the two days of training in the church hall.

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

Demonstrations were used for hand-washing, tooth-brushing, solar disinfection, and many other topics. We facilitated group discussions and presentations, and students took part in role-plays. The students also received handouts which will help them teach hygiene and sanitation to their peers.

2 kenya4651 hand-washing

This student bravely came up front to practice the 10 steps of hand-washing that the trainer just demonstrated.

The CTC 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 managing hand-washing stations, cleaning latrines, and keeping the school environment tidy. A water user committee has also been formed by parents and school administration, which will be responsible for overseeing and maintaining the new facilities.

4 kenya4651 teaching about tank maintenance

With members of the CTC club standing up front, Mr. Wagaka teaches the students how to maintain their water tank.

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. Members of the club also asked us how to improvise some more hand-washing stations of their own so that more students have the opportunity to wash their hands. Now the school has the stations they need, and they have the water to fill them!

21 kenya4651 hand-washing stations

Project Result: VIP Latrines

Building these latrines presented a big challenge to our artisan - he knew that many of the old latrines sank in this area, and he wanted to design these new latrines so that they wouldn't follow suit. There were also a few days of rain scattered throughout the process, which forced the artisan to delay his work.

9 kenya4651 laying the latrine foundation

Parents help the artisan construct a stable foundation for the latrines.

Thanks to the artisan's perseverance and the support of local parents, six new VIP (ventilated improved pit) latrines have been installed. 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!

19 kenya4651 new latrines

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction for this 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank was successful!

Parents, staff, and students 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.

Rainwater tank construction began with clearance of the site: excavating the soil within the required measurements to make level ground for the tank foundation. The foundation was cast by laying hardcore on a level ground and then reinforcing it using steel, concrete and waterproof cement.

5 kenya4651 community members helping level the ground for the tank

As the foundation was being lain, both the drawing pipe as well as the washout pipe were affixed. The wall was built with ferro-cement techniques through six layers. The inner wall was plastered while rough casting was done on the outer part.

6 kenya4651 tank walls

After the superstructure had been given enough time to settle, the dome construction followed. The manhole cover was fitted, inlet pipes were connected to the roof gutters, inlet screens, ventilation pipes (breathers) and overflow pipes were all done to standards.

Finally, the catchment area was dug, plastered, and a staircase installed. Drainage was set up there, and then the tank was allowed three to four weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Digula Secondary School. It already has some water in it! The primary students were even invited to visit and taste the clean water flowing from the tank.

12 kenya4651 primary students visiting the tank

Primary students filling a bowl with clean water.

24-year-old Odari Morris is a new teacher at Digula. He said, "The presence of the tank on the school compound has solved many water problems for us. The issue of getting water from unknown sources is no more. Besides, we now have a vast water storage facility that will help even during the dry seasons. As if this is not enough, we can now control the treatment and handling of the tank in a more hygienic manner and save a lot of study time that was previously being lost when students were sent to the spring."

22 kenya4651 Teacher Odari Salano

Teacher Odari says thank you!

The school has already sent us a letter to thank everyone involved: have solved one of the major problem to the school through the donation of materials to construct a 50,000-liter water tank, six doors of VIP latrines and two complete hand-washing stations. Due to this, our students will never again waste a lot of time on the road, in the wee hours of the morning and dark moments of the evening, in the same name again, trekking to the spring. In the contrary, they will now arrive at school and immediately embark on serious academic matters without any further delays. This will fertilize their performance to soar up to the north.

For the girls who have been struggling to use the only two pit latrine doors that were available to them, a new dawn has come, a time to rejoice and be glad in the Lord. They are going to enjoy the new latrines that are not only safe, neat and conducive, but have buffer walling in the front to improve on their privacy as they use them. Besides these, there is also a complete hand-washing facility to add to their joy.

On behalf of Digula Community, we highly appreciate...the remarkable love in mobilizing resources for our school to get the project. It must have cost a lot of self-sacrifice and untold passion to reach out and self-motivated drive to minister to us through water and the other sanitation components. We say Thank You and may God the Almighty reward you kindness. We can never forget the effort of WEWASAFO personnel who managed this station, Mr. Wagaka Erick together with the skilled artisan Mr. Obege who together were of great help to our school. Erick was so instrumental in helping us identify and coordinate means of mobilizing the locally available resources apart from being there for us as a contact person between us and the organization. While on the other hand, the artisan is highly remembered for the commendable work he did in designing the best latrine slabbing method to be done on our loose soil. When we harvest the water, it will also be of great help to the Digula Primary School because we share the same compound with them. In fact, it is them that have nursed us as we grow tenderly in their hands since the beginning. Together we say: May God who sees your secret acts of kindness reward you publicly!

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: Digula Secondary School

October, 2018

This tank is consistently providing clean water for all of the secondary students, as well as nearby community members and the adjacent primary school.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Digula 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!

A year ago, generous donors helped construct a rainwater catchment tank for Digula Secondary School in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – and we’re excited to share this one from Joan Were with you.

One year after the tank was constructed at Digula Secondary School, neighboring community families as well as the secondary and primary students, are still accessing treated water from the tank. Everyone is drinking clean water and cases of waterborne diseases have drastically decreased.

"Since the water tank was constructed, we can now attend the morning and evening preparations. We used to miss this extra time of study to go and fetch water from a spring which is far and steeply," 15-year-old Brighton Ababu said.

We were very impressed with the school because it took the initiative to install their own plastic gutters. The gutters have been placed on three buildings, allowing even more water to be collected during the rains. As a result, the water does not run out during the dry season.

Installation of the tank is only one step along the journey toward sustainable access to clean water. The Water Project is committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by donors like you, allows us to maintain our relationships with communities by visiting up to 4 times each year to ensure that the water points are safe and reliable.

This is just one of the many ways that we monitor projects and communicate with you. Additionally, you can always check the functionality status and our project map to see how all of our water points are performing, based on our consistent monitoring data.

One project is just a drop in the bucket towards ending the global water crisis, but the ripple effects of this project are truly astounding. This tank at Digula Secondary School is changing many lives.

"We are very happy because you considered our school for the water project," senior teacher Fredrick Luvai said.

"The tank has helped our students to clean the classrooms and toilets and the overall sanitation of the school has improved. The toilets have also helped reduce the long bathroom queues that were experienced before they were constructed."

This is only possible because of the web of support and trust built between The Water Project, our local teams, the community, and you. We are excited to stay in touch with this community and support their journey with safe water.

Read more about The Water Promise and how you can help.

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 Digula 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 Digula 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.


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