Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 339 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/28/2024

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

Friends Secondary School Shamakhokho was started by community members in 2002, and is currently sponsored by Friends Church.

The school currently has a total student population of 316, but according to Principal Mr. Otieno, the population is expected to rise because of ongoing form one enrollment. 13 teachers are employed here. The school also has 10 support staff who ensure that the school activities are run in an orderly manner.

The school is located near Shamakhokho Market, where they have the ability to sell fish that they rear in their fish pond on campus.

Proximity to any market center is usually a blessing for many people, especially traders, but not here in Shamakhokho. Bars around the community center are full of prostitution. Some students attending Friends School Shamakhokho were born out of prostitution. These students have had to persevere through the shame of being called bastards by their peers. Many of these students stay with their grandparents because they cannot be accepted by their step-fathers. Some of the young girls end up giving in to sex to earn enough money for buying basic needs, since their elderly grandparents cannot provide for them. School fee payment in this institution is like a nightmare because student guardians are either impoverished or have neglected their families.

A normal day starts with students, teachers and support all preparing for an early arrival at school, sometimes as early as 6:30 AM. Students start by cleaning their classrooms as teachers prepare for the day's lessons.

Students are taught different subjects ranging from languages, arithmetic, humanities to sciences. While teachers and students are in the classroom, support staff is busy cooking, cleaning the compound, and attending to parents and visitors.

Water Situation

This school is connected to a piped water system that feeds from a source in a different community. Piped water may sound like a good thing, but it's not even near a reliable service for those living in Kenya. These pipes are used to ration water to the school, making it available on Mondays and Thursdays. Come every Monday and Thursday, the school must draw as much water as they can to keep in two large, plastic tanks (the tanks can hold up to 10,000 liters each). There are a few taps on this container, and students must wait in line to fetch water as it's needed.

These two days of water cause the school to often run short of what they need. Not only that, but so many things go wrong with the piped system that on any given Monday or Thursday, the school might miss their chance to get water. When they run out of what they stored from the piped system, they have no alternative source. That's why the rationing is so strict, and why the school sacrifices water that could be used for cleaning.

Sanitation Situation

There are 13 pit latrines total, but some of them are almost full. The floors are plastered in concrete, the walls are brick, and the roofs are iron sheets. These are not very clean, since there isn't enough water to wash them with.

There is only one hand-washing station on school grounds. Garbage is piled behind the buildings and burned when it gets too high.

Despite these poor conditions, the principal and his students are still excited to learn about how they can make their environment and themselves cleaner and healthier. Principal Omutondo told us that "many people in this area lack information and awareness on health issues affecting them, and thus many suffer without any assistance." The school is excited that they have the upcoming opportunity to learn!

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. The school will no longer have to rely on rationed water that causes a strain on their student body and their budget.

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: Friends Secondary School Shamakhokho

A year ago, generous donors helped construct a rainwater catchment tank for Friends Secondary School in Shamakhokho Community 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: Friends Secondary School Shamakhokho Project Complete

Friends Secondary School Shamakhokho 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 students have 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

We worked with Principal Otieno to plan the best date and time for hygiene and sanitation training. He requested that each teacher choose student leaders to represent the rest of their classmates, while he invited certain board members and parents to attend as well. 18 participants ended up gathering together in one of the classrooms.

7 kenya4660 training

Students all receive notebooks and pens to help them remember everything they learned.

Students participated well in all of our activities. 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

1 kenya4660 training

The trainer looks on as the students practice and try to recall the 10 steps of 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.

6 kenya4660 training

A young lady presents on the hygiene behavior her group discussed.

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.

Mrs. Elizabeth Sagwa is on the school board, but used to be a teacher here too. She opted to attend training, and is grateful she did. "Am a retired teacher by profession, but today I have learn a lot from you WEWASAFO team - things which I used to see as minor but I have concluded to be major things. Things like steps of hand-washing was not major to me but truly learning is a continuous process. Now I will have a duty to teach others who didn't get a chance to attend today's training," she shared.

2 kenya4660 training

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!

23 kenya4660 dedication

The CTC club decided to have one station for each gender.

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!

13 kenya4660 finished 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.

8 kenya4660 tank construction

Thick wire mesh is the skeleton of the thick tank walls.

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.

10 kenya4660 tank construction

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 Friends Secondary School Shamakhokho. It already has some water in it!

Principal Otieno gathered his school around the finished tank to present it to his students and staff. He dressed in a formal green suit and couldn't hide his joy. "With this rain harvesting tank, we are able to save a lot of money beside getting adequate clean and safe water for drinking and for general use within the school. Waterborne diseases such as typhoid, cholera, dysentery initially were a great challenge in our school. Most of our students spent much of their time seeking medication rather than concentrating on their studies. This project has solved all those problems," he proclaimed.

September, 2017: Finishing Touches at Shamakhokho Secondary School

Dear Friends, since we have an estimated completion date of Friday, September 15 for the work being done at Shamakhokho, we better give you a progress update: Things are a bit behind because of a long summer break in Kenya this year. Work at the school is just about done, and we anticipate a final report in less than two weeks. This is great news! We hope that it will rain as soon as this rainwater catchment tank is finished.

Thank You for bringing clean water and sanitation to these students.

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: Friends Secondary School Shamakhokho

October, 2018

“My health has improved immensely since I drink clean water and wash my hands at all critical points. This has made me healthier.” – Ivy Kagea

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Friends Secondary School Shamakhokho 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 Friends Secondary School in Shamakhokho Community 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 Christine Luvandwa with you.

Friends Secondary School students now enjoy the availability of water in their school compound. It serves a number of purposes, including handwashing, drinking, cleaning, and cooking. This has enabled the students to have ample time for studying and also an environment suitable for learning. Life has become easier for this school community and for the neighboring primary school with which they share the compound.

"Before, the library time that is scheduled for each day from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm would be used as the time to go fetch water from the river," school librarian Enock Musalia said.

"This has, however, changed since the students now visit the library more often and we thus anticipate an improvement in their performance."

Ivy Kagea and Enock Musalia at the water point

Construction 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 in Friends Secondary School Shamakhokho is changing many lives.

"Since the implementation of this project, the biggest changes have been in terms of hygiene and sanitation standards for the school. We now witness students adhering to high standards that ensure they are healthy," Mr. Musalia said.

Ivy Kagea, a 16-year-old student who recently joined the school instantly noticed the high level of hygiene and sanitation at Friends Secondary School.

Ivy Kagea

"Unlike my previous primary school, where we used to take such practices for granted, now I can say my health has improved immensely since I drink clean water and wash my hands at all critical points," she said.

"This has made me healthier."

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 Friends Secondary School Shamakhokho 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 Friends Secondary School Shamakhokho – 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 - Yakima Foursquare Church