Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/23/2024

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

Mwitoti Secondary School is a mixed day and boarding school located in Kakamega County. The school started in the year 2000 and has had a steady population growth since. As of now, it has a total of 1,200 students enrolled. There are 36 male teachers and 26 female teachers. The school has tried to solve their water challenge by looking for sponsors to drill wells for them, but all three have all dried up because of an insufficient water table.

(Editor's Note: While this many people may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only support a population of 350-500 people. This community would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)

On arriving at the school to conduct a baseline survey, we met a group of students rolling away a plastic tank that used to store water pumped from one of the wells. There are casual laborers employed by the school who spend the entire day fetching water just to sustain the school throughout the day.

A typical morning around Mwitoti Secondary School begins at 6am, when you won't miss the sight of a group of boys heading out to fetch water.

Water Situation

Not only are community members hired to ferry water to the school, but students must often fetch water too. There is a spring in the village and a well located in a nearby primary school. Students must go to one of these places to get water for both cleaning the school and personal hygiene. In the evenings, girls also take on the responsibility of fetching water from the spring for cleaning their clothes and storing some in buckets for the next morning.

Sanitation Situation

There are only three usable latrines for each gender. There isn't enough water to keep these latrines clean, especially considering how overused they are. Most of them are broken down with crumbling walls and floors. The boarding section of the school is in particularly poor condition.

There are two hand-washing stations, but students don't have enough water to wash their hands after visiting the latrines, and utensils aren't properly cleaned after meals. There isn't any soap for cleaning hands or dishes either.

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: VIP Latrines

Two triple-door latrines will be constructed with local materials that the school will help gather. Three doors will serve the girls while the other three serve the boys. And with a new source of water on school grounds, students and staff should have enough to keep these new latrines clean.

Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank

A 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank will help alleviate the water crisis at this school. The school will also help gather the needed materials such as sand, rocks, and water from the spring for mixing cement. Once finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff. Students will no longer have to leave school to find enough water to meet their daily needs. The presence of this water will be of particular benefit to the students who live in the boarding section.

We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. These higher standards will translate to better academic performance!

Project Updates

December, 2018: A Year Later: Saint Martha Mwitoti Secondary School

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to construct a rainwater tank for St. Martha Mwitoti 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...

January, 2018: Mwitoti Secondary School Project Complete

St. Martha Mwitoti 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

We worked directly with the school principal to find the best time and place to hold hygiene and sanitation training. In turn, the principal asked the school's student president to recruit peers with strong leadership qualities. This student president recruited students of each gender from each grade.

The school biology laboratory hosted 29 students. These student leaders will teach their peers what they learned as they head up a CTC (child to child ) club at school.

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.

CTC leadership

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.

Principal Owino said, "Our students have really benefited from the training and we are are privileged to be be hygiene ambassadors in our school and at home. Sometimes we neglect very little details about personal hygiene that we already know. We want to thank our facilitators for reminding us about proper hand-washing by emphasizing the adverse effects that negligence has on our health and environment."

Training participants pose for a group pictures outside after their final session.

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.

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.

Strong wire mesh is used to fortify the cement for both the wall and dome.

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.

An artisan shaping gutter pipes

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

Students and staff gathered at the tank to pour their first cups of clean water. Principal Owino said, "We are very happy about having our own water source. We previously used to pump water from the well in the primary school section and the pump is prone to breaking down. During those days when the pump would break down and also during the dry seasons, we would experience severe water shortages. Water is now one less problem for us."

November, 2017: Mwitoti Secondary School Project Underway

Ebubayi Secondary School will soon have an adequate source of clean water thanks to 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, enjoy our introduction to the school complete with stories, maps, and pictures.

Thank You for partnering with us to unlock potential!

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: Saint Martha Mwitoti Secondary School

November, 2018

“Thank you so much for touching our lives!” – Kennedy Munyani

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Mwitoti 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 St. Martha Mwitoti 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 Olivia Bomji with you.

St. Martha's Mwitoti Secondary School is the best place to be! The students access clean and safe water for consumption within the school compound ever since the implementation of the project, which has enabled them to work on their studies rather than carry water from their homes. The school principal, the management, and students are very happy about the project and they have maintained the new facilities so well.

The school's sanitation and hygiene have improved too, because students use handwashing stations that were provided and the latrines constructed at the same time as the tank project. Having enough water in school has made the school environment very clean because the classrooms are regularly cleaned and the latrines too.

"The students used to wait in line for the toilet and it wasted a lot of time," Principal Chrispinus Owino said during a recent visit to the school. "Since the implementation of the project, things have changed positively."

Principal Chrispinus Owino

The water in school has been a source of joy to the support staff too, especially the cooks. They are able to prepare food on time for boarding students without facing any water shortages.

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 St. Martha Mwitoti Secondary School is changing many lives.

"We are so happy because now we can access clean water here in school unlike before," 17-year-old student Kennedy Munyani said. "We no longer carry water from our homes for the day students, because we have water in school. Thank you so much for touching our lives!"

Field Officer Olivia Bomji with Kennedy Munyani

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 Mwitoti 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 Mwitoti 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.


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