Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 221 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/12/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

This project is a part of our shared program with Africa Sand Dam Foundation. Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).

Welcome to the School

Kithaasyu Secondary School was started in 2012 to serve the children of Kithaasyu Village, Makueni County of Kenya. It has a student enrollment of 204, who are taught by 13 teachers. The school also employs four support staff.

The school is affiliated with Masola Kaani Self-Help Group. By virtue of them being either parents or grandparents of pupils at the school, they clearly understand the water-related challenges faced on a daily basis. It is for this reason that they proposed construction of a rainwater catchment tank.

Water Situation

The school has a 5,000-liter plastic tank attached to a gutter system. Any rain stored in the tank is used up within five days, so the school has to look elsewhere to fill their tank.

Water is delivered by small trucks from Kinyambu Town or Kibwezi. These water vendors sell a 20-liter jerrycan for 20 shillings. Sometimes, students are send to Metava earth dam to fetch water, which is six kilometers away. With a daily use of more than 1,200 liters of water for drinking, cooking, washing offices and watering trees, the water situation at the school is dire.

17-year-old James Kimondiu told us that "walking six kilometers to Metava earth dam to fetch water has not been an easy task. It is tiresome and also deprives us of useful time which could otherwise be utilized in other class activities. The water is also not safe for drinking, and exposes us to potential health hazards."

Sanitation Situation

18-year-old student Mary Ndumi is in form two, and dreams of being a lawyer someday. But right now, she is distracted by day to day concerns that chip away at her hope to achieve her dream. "There have been low levels of hygiene in school, as classes and latrines remain in unhealthy conditions which expose us to health risks. My wish is to be a boarder here and put more of my time in academic work, but this has been held back by the lack of clean water supply to facilitate boarding facilities," she shared.

There is one hand-washing station with soap, and a designated place to throw trash. However, a pit needs to be dug to keep trash from blowing around and littering school grounds.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Students and staff will be trained for one day. Those in attendance will form a school health club that will promote good hygiene and sanitation practices both at school and home. They will learn all of the steps to proper hand-washing, how to treat water, and how to keep their environment clean. The school will also be taught how to best oversee and maintain their new rainwater catchment tank and hand-washing stations.

Plans: Hand-Washing Stations

Three hand-washing stations will be delivered at the project’s completion. These are 1,000-liter plastic tanks fitted with four taps. The health club and school management will be responsible for making sure tanks are filled with water and that a cleaning agent such as soap or ash is available.

Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank

We will build a 104,000-liter rainwater catchment tank for this school. This water will benefit the students, teachers, and supplementary staff. Parents will mobilize the materials needed for construction, such as sand and stone. They will also lend some strong arms to help with the actual construction.

The huge capacity of this tank makes the others look tiny in comparison; 104,000 liters should be enough water to carry students through the entire dry season. As soon as the tank has time to cure, it can begin to collect rainwater for drinking, cooking and cleaning!

Project Updates

February, 2018: Kithaasyu Secondary School Project Complete

Kithaasyu Secondary School in Kenya now has a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your support: A new rainwater catchment system has been built. Hand-washing stations were installed, and students and staff have received training in sanitation and hygiene. Just imagine the difference these resources will make in the lives of these students and teachers! 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.

Project Result: New Knowledge

The field manager works with the officers and principal to plan the best time and place for hygiene and sanitation training. This planning is done well in advance to make sure the students and teachers don't miss any class time. A huge group of 204 students and two teachers brought their chairs outside so they'd have room to learn. Participation was excellent!

The trainer led sessions on proper food handling, preparation, and storage. Similar sessions on water were even more important, teaching how to safely fetch, carry, store, and treat water. We also covered topics including:

– Importance of using a pit latrine

– Prevention of diarrhea

– Proper handling of food and water

– Hand-washing

– Flies and other spreaders of germs

– Personal hygiene (washing face and brushing teeth)

Students particularly enjoyed the demonstrations, role plays, and group discussions.

The new hand-washing stations were delivered in time for training.

By the last day of training, a student health club was established to carry out the following objectives:

– Teaching other students about hygiene and sanitation

– Ensuring the latrines and school compound are always clean

– Ensuring that students always wash their hands with clean water and soap after visiting the latrine, and ensuring these hand-washing stations have clean water and cleaning agents at all times

After training, we spoke with Principal Musau about how she thought things went. "The session was very good. It was interesting and the audience was very much involved. A lot of good things were trained on, and we are very thankful. For instance, we have learned about personal hygiene, what it entails, importance of having latrines, and we have learned the right procedure of washing our hands which the majority of us did not know," she shared.

Principal Musau

Project Result: Hand-Washing Stations

Large, multi-tap hand-washing stations have been delivered to the school and placed outside of the latrines. The student health club has already filled these up with water so they can be used.

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

Kyanzasu Secondary School is affiliated with the Mawa Women Self-Help Group, since most of its members’ children attend here. These parents and school administration approached the self-help group committee and requested their help in alleviating the water shortage at the school. A meeting with all of the parents and the headteacher was then held to plan out the project. Parents agreed to collect construction materials like sand, rocks, and water. They also worked hard alongside our artisans.

The table next to these women is actually a giant sieve. They shoveled dirt onto it to make a fine sand.

Construction for this 104,000-liter rainwater catchment tank is much like the construction of a concrete house. First, the ground is leveled for foundation excavation. Alternating layers of impermeable rocks are laid upon mortar up to seven feet high, with internal and external diameters of 25 and 28 feet respectively.

A reinforced concrete column is built right up the center of the tank, which holds up the roof and prevents it from caving in. The walls are then plastered both internally and externally with waterproof cement. After that, several feet of guttering is installed and channeled into the tank.

You can see the beginnings of the dome's central support column with the wire mesh in this picture.

Once the tank has cured (dried) sufficiently, it can begin to collect rainwater. We met students at the tank as soon as construction was completed, and then again when we heard the tank had received a good amount of water. There were smiles all around the group as we witnessed clean water come from the tap for the first time.

16-year-old Carolyn Nyambura said, "I was very happy with the training because I have learned a lot of things that are very new to me. About drinking water safety - we are very lucky as a Kithaasyu Secondary School community because we had faced challenges of access to clean drinking water. Starting next year, most students will be boarding so we are very sure our hygiene will improve because of access to sufficient, clean water. The school management has been spending a lot of money in ensuring that they buy us enough water for the whole school. This problem is now fully solved!"

Principal Musau added, "We appreciate ASDF so much for planning and constructing our school water tank. We will have plenty of water. Students will have access to clean drinking water. Hygiene will be well-maintained through ensuring that classes are always washed - and latrines too."

November, 2017: Kithaasyu Secondary School Project Underway

Kithaasyu Secondary School in Kenya will soon have a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your donation. A rainwater catchment tank is being built, hand-washing stations are being 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.

Thank You for your generosity that is unlocking potential for students in Kenya!

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!


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