Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/09/2024

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

Tulon Secondary School was founded in 1999 by community members and their local church, which donated land for the school buildings. Since then, the school has opened a boarding section for students who come from villages too far for a daily walk. The school currently has a population of 565 students. They employ 23 teachers, three cooks, three security guards, one secretary, one accountant, one driver, one storekeeper, a technician, groundsman, and matron.

This school is three hours away from our office, but it has not deterred us from addressing the need here.

Water Situation

There is a hand-dug well, but administration tells us that there are months every year that it runs dry. "Sometimes when the level of water goes down, students are forced to invade the neighboring villages in search of water, which leads to conflict and enmity between the school and the villagers. Though we try our best to ensure that the students get water within the school, problem of storage also arises as we only have two plastic tanks of 10,000 liters each, which cannot fully support the whole population." This water shortage is especially difficult for the boarding students who need water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and bathing.

It was also plain to see that the parts used for the pump are of poor quality, and are rusting so badly that they now contaminate the water. Even more bad news came to light when The Water Project's program director paid a personal visit to Tulon; he found the pit latrines just a few strides from the well!

Sanitation Situation

Our visit not only revealed the water scarcity here, but poor hygiene and sanitation too. The latrines there aren't enough for the student enrollment, nor are there any hand-washing stations. Well, the teachers have a hand-washing station that the students aren't allowed to use.

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 worry about their unreliable contaminated water well - its water could just be used for cleaning, while clean water from the tank would be used for drinking and cooking.

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.

Project Updates

November, 2018: A Year Later: Tulon Secondary School

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to construct a rainwater tank for Tulon Secondary School in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local 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...

December, 2017: Tulon Secondary School Project Complete

Tulon 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 students have received training in sanitation and hygiene. Just imagine the difference these resources will make in the lives of these young men and women!

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 school computer lab. (Editor's Note: It might come as a surprise to see a computer lab in Kenya, but this is the kind of thing we see all the time! We've come across hospitals that have been running for years without clean water. Schools in Kenya can access government funding for their classrooms, computer technology, vehicles, and many other things, but the government does not subsidize water infrastructure.) The computer lab was most convenient because all of the other classrooms were being used for midterm exams.

Principal Yego recruited the student leaders who attended training, pulling both male and female students from each grade. These student leaders will be supported by teachers whose aim is to spread the hygiene and sanitation messages they've learned.

Students received new notebooks and pens to record everything they learned.

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.

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. And since the tank was finished by the time we held training, we could take everyone to see exactly what we were talking about when it comes to caring for their new water source.

14-year-old Faith Jepkemboi said, "I am so much happy to have been chosen as one of the trainees in this very informative training. I promise to share whatever ideas I have learned today with my classmates and siblings at home."

There are so many other amazing things that happen during our relationships with schools and communities, and often they're not even water-related. We were moved to hear that during the project here at Tulon, one of the field officers heard about a young man who hadn't been able to attend school since the end of the third quarter. Though his parents had paid 4,000 shillings to enroll him at the school, his remaining balance was 28,000 shillings. The officer immediately contributed 10,000 shillings of to go toward the boy's education, and asked the school accountant to clear the rest of his balance. Amazingly, the school showed grace and forgot his remaining debt of 14,000 shillings. He's now back in school, speechless, and has promised to work harder than ever to earn the highest grades in his class!

Project Result: VIP Latrines

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

Project Result: Hand-Washing Stations

The two hand-washing stations were delivered to school and handed over to the CTC club. These have been placed outside of the boys' and girls' latrines to encourage hand-washing after latrine use. CTC club members 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.

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. Some local men and women even helped our artisans with their manual labor.

The process officially began with our staff and school administration moving around the school compound to try and determine the best location for a new rainwater catchment tank. This needed to be the best site with good, clean roofing to catch the rainwater.

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.

Iron grid functions as the concrete wall's frame.

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.

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 Tulon Secondary School. It already has some water in it!

There were a few challenges along the way. Heavy rains could start as early as 6am in the morning and stretch until lunchtime. It would sometimes come on and off through the afternoon, too. This really slowed down our artisans' progress. Secondly, the school is very far away from our main office, and the officer in charge of this project sometimes had to stay overnight in a nearby town. Thanks to the dedication of everyone involved, Tulon Secondary School now has a clean water resource of their own.

School accountant Edwin Bitok said, "You people have really helped a lot in solving our water issue. This big water tank is going to assist us in storage of water during the rainy season."

November, 2017: Tulon Secondary School Project Underway

Tulon Secondary School in Kenya has begun building a new source of safe, clean water because of your generous donation. 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. But for now, please enjoy the new stories, pictures, and maps of this school.

Thank You for partnering with us to unlock the potential of these young 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: Tulon Secondary School

November, 2018

The success of the tank and latrines constructed last year inspired the parents to construct a new dorm for the girls.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Tulon 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, your generous donation enabled us to construct a rainwater tank for Tulon Secondary School in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local 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 local team member Wilson Kipchoge with you.

The school now has access to safe, reliable drinking water because of the water tank that was constructed last year. Students are also enjoying a clean environment because they can now use clean latrines with good ventilation.

"Because of availability of safe water at our school, I spend all my time concentrating on studies, thus improving on my academic performance," 16-year-old student Jackline Cherono said to us during a recent visit to the school.

Jackline Cherono

With the availability of the facilities at this school, joy and hopefulness shine from the students' faces. This group can access safe, clean drinking water at their doorstep. Their environment is really promising, with new structures currently under construction. The vegetation looks green and new flowers are seen growing around the compound as well as new trees along the fences.

Improvements like these mean that students have a lower chance of of contracting hygiene-related diseases. They are bolstered by the training that was done on proper hygiene practices, such as handwashing with soap and proper use of the sanitation facilities.

"Previously, I used to suffer from a lot from stomachaches, but nowadays I am very healthy thanks to safe water at the school compound and the handwashing facilities which help free us from hygiene-related diseases," Jackline added.

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 Tulon Secondary School is changing many lives.

Isaac Metto

"Since the project was brought to our school, our 600 students are no longer going out of the school compound to fetch water, for they now have a very safe and reliable source near them," teacher Isaac Metto said.

He went on to show us the new dormitories that the parents built alongside the new latrines and water tank. These new rooms will accommodate several boarding students.

New dorm nearly completed

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 Tulon 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 Tulon 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.


Providence United Methodist Women: In Memory of Betty Boger
The Mitchell Family
PS135Q The Bellaire School
In Honor of Nancy Shear
46 individual donor(s)