Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 461 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/21/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Kaani Lions Secondary School is an all girls' school located in Kaani Community of Machakos Community, Kenya. It is a peaceful rural area that's relatively flat, covered with beautiful homes. This is because Kaani used to be a big producer of coffee, but the crop was abandoned as the selling price plummeted. Now, a lot of people commute to Nairobi on a daily basis.

The school itself was started in 1989 by the Machakos District Education Board. It currently has no sponsor but has grown to its large size through the support of parents. There are 461 students, many of which board overnight. They attend math, physics, agriculture, history, language, and many other types of classes in the school's 13 classrooms.

Students wake up at 4:30am and study until 6 o'clock breakfast. Studies resume until morning assembly, after which there are classes until lunch. Afternoon classes go until games at 4pm, and then there are evening studies and dinner.

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 the construction of a rainwater catchment tank.

Water Situation

The school is connected to a pipeline that often breaks down. When no water comes out of the tap, school administration has to order boozers to bring water in from outside. These boozers are large trucks that transport water from Machakos Town. The school has to pay quite a bit for these boozers, but also has to cover the cost of the water used from the pipeline.

The school has several plastic tanks that they store this water in. One larger 12,000-liter tank is a permanent structure made of concrete. This concrete tank is connected to the pipeline.

Principal Marysella James said, "My students do not do personal washing regularly due to water scarcity, as rationing has greatly impacted water-intensive activities in the school. The levels of hygiene in this school are low due to insufficient supply. Cleaning is irregular, and it is very expensive to buy water. Sometimes boozers are very expensive and we resort to using oxen carts..."

Sanitation Situation

As Principal James said above, sanitation and hygiene have really been sacrificed so the girls have enough water for drinking. There are 26 latrines for the 461 girls, none of which are kept clean enough for comfort. There's not enough water, so they're only swept on a daily basis.

There are no handwashing stations nor would there be the water to use them. But there aren't other sanitation tools like dish racks, either.

What we can do:


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 at 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.

Handwashing Stations

Three handwashing 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.

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 and staff 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!

This project is a part of our shared program with Africa Sand Dam Foundation. Our team is pleased to provide the reports for this project (edited for clarity) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates

September, 2019: Giving Update: Kaani Lions Secondary School

A year ago, your generous donation helped Kaani Lions Secondary School in Kenya access clean water.

There’s an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water at Kaani Lions Secondary School. Month after month, their giving supports ongoing sustainability programs that help this school maintain access to safe, reliable water. Read more…

June, 2018: Kaani Lions Secondary School Project Complete

A new rainwater catchment system was built! Kaani Lions Secondary School in Kenya now has a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your support. Handwashing stations were installed, and students and staff have received training in sanitation and hygiene.

New Knowledge

Trainers held a Children's Hygiene and Sanitation Training at Kaani Lions Secondary School earlier this year. Training was held outside because every student and staff member was in attendance. Veronica Matolo trained these girls on topics specific to them, and since it's an all-girls' school they felt comfortable openly discussing whatever they needed to.

These girls learned a ton of new information, but particularly enjoyed topics on food preparation, water treatment, diarrhea prevention, and soap-making. The girls learned each step of making soap so thoroughly that they could teach their parents once they returned home. Some teachers learned alongside the students, so now school administration plans to always make enough soap to keep at the handwashing stations and clean the school facilities.

"This training will be of great importance to us as students of Kaani Secondary School. We will not be getting sick as it has been the case, especially with stomach problems because we now know that germs cause diseases due to contaminated food and water," 16-year-old Irene Wavinya said.

Handwashing Stations

Two large handwashing stations were delivered to the school in time for training.

"We will improve our habits of handwashing because ASDF has brought us handwashing stations that we promise to keep filled with water and make use of. We have been taught how to make soap, too," added Irene.

"We will be washing our hands with soap now that we know the importance of the practice. We will also make money from the soap by selling the soap during parents' day and visiting days. We will also train our parents to make soap when we go home because this can help raise money to pay school fees."

Rainwater Catchment Tank

Kaani Lions Secondary School is affiliated with the Masola Kaani 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.

Parents used small mallets to break stones into the right size for the tank wall.

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.

The artisans using cement to fortify the stone wall.

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.

The new guttering installed along one of the classroom buildings.

Once the tank has cured (dried) sufficiently, it can begin to collect rainwater. We met students at the tank to celebrate the first moments of water flowing from the tap.

March, 2018: Kaani Lions Secondary School Project Underway

Kaani Lions 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.

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!

Giving Update: Kaani Lions Secondary School

September, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Kaani Lions Secondary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Florence Kyalo. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kaani Lions 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!

Students at Kaani Lions Secondary School have benefited greatly from the school water tank that was constructed in their school. The school has gained a facelift marked by an increased population of students from 530 to 658. Performance has also improved due to higher concentration levels by the students and the availability of clean drinking water. There's sufficient supply of water in the school which lasts longer throughout a term.

"There is plenty of water in the school since the construction of this water tank. We have clean drinking water which is served over lunch hour unlike before when there was insufficient drinking water for the students," said school president Winfred Nthenya.

"Students concentrate better in class which has resulted in improved performances."

Hygiene and sanitation have also improved as a result of the handwashing facilities that were installed in the school. There are fewer cases of diseases being reported.

"Handwashing has become a habit among us due to the availability and proximity of the handwashing facilities to our latrines," said Florence Kyalo, a 17-year-old student at the school.

In addition, the school purchased a distillation facility to ensure the students drink clean, treated and fresh water throughout the day. Funds which were initially allocated on purchasing water are channeled to other developmental projects such as the expansion of dormitories in the school.

"The water we drink is clean. We can concentrate better in the afternoon classes because we are provided with drinking water after lunch," said Florence.

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 Kaani Lions 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 Kaani Lions 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 - Pineapple Fund