Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 292 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/19/2024

Project Features

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Ndaluni Primary School is located in a peaceful rural setting. The area is grey with dry tree branches swaying in the breeze. The buildings are ancient, some with newly cemented floors while others are left barren and decommissioned with their old, crumbling roofs wasting away.

The school was started in 1966 by the Mwigwani District Education Board and now has 282 students enrolled. They also employ eight teachers and two support staff.

Students are expected to arrive at 6:45am each morning to sit through an hour's study hall. Normal lessons go from 8:30am to 3:10pm, followed by sports, another study hall, and dismissal at 5pm.

Unsafe Water

A cement tank was built for the school's opening in 1966, but it has been rendered useless with its aged, crumbling roof and walls. Since then, the school acquired two plastic tanks to collect rainwater.

The 10,000-liter plastic tank no longer works because of a tear. So now, the 5,000-liter tank is all that students have. This water is strictly rationed throughout the day to meet drinking and cooking needs.

The rains in this region are seasonal. There are more dry seasons than wet seasons, therefore making it hard to access water after their tank runs dry. The school must then resort to purchasing water from local vendors (oftentimes students' parents), which is costly for them. And even then, these vendors are getting their water from open, dirty sources. Students often suffer from stomachaches and diarrhea. If they made it to the clinic, they'd most likely find out they're suffering from typhoid.

"We lack facilities to maintain high standards of cleanliness in the school. Inadequate water supply has also increased the rate at which our students fall sick, due to their drinking untreated water," Headteacher Kituto told us.


There are six pit latrines for students, but they're rarely washed due to lack of water. Ash is thrown down the pit to cover up the smell. There's not even enough water around to wash hands after using the latrine.

Here's what we're going to do about it:


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 handwashing, 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 handwashing 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

October, 2019: Giving Update: Ndaluni Primary School

A year ago, your generous donation helped Ndaluni Primary School in Kenya access clean water.

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

January, 2019: Water Flowing at Ndaluni Primary School

We are extremely excited to share that the rainwater tank at Ndaluni Primary School has water. Students are using the water for drinking, cleaning, and activities like handwashing. Please enjoy the new pictures added to the project page, and celebrate with these students!

September, 2018: Ndaluni Primary School Construction Complete

A new rainwater catchment system was built! Ndaluni Primary 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. All of these components work together to unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

New Knowledge

Field Officer Benedetta Makau worked with training officers and the school administration to plan the most convenient time for a hygiene and sanitation training. This always happens at least two weeks before the proposed dates so as to give the school administration adequate time to prepare both students and teachers. Careful consideration is taken so as to not interfere with the school's previously planned academic schedule.

Attendance was good as expected, with the entire student body gathered from nursery school to grade eight. The chosen venue was outside on the school playground since that was the only option for a group of over 150 people. The weather was a bit chillier than usual, but that kept everyone more alert.

These are the topics we taught about:

1. Germ-free food
2. Going to the latrine
3. Safe water
4. Disease transmission routes
5. Blocking the transmission routes
6. Personal hygiene
7. Handwashing
8. Soap-making

Mixing soap

"The future is in your hands" is a saying used to explain how handwashing is such an important part of good health. Diarrhea diseases pass through our hands to the mouth, and therefore, handwashing is crucial to preventing illness.

A handwashing demonstration was done to show the pupils how to wash their hands with clean water and soap. In an open discussion, the students were taken through the critical moments to wash hands. Among others, the most critical moments include before handling food and after visiting the latrine.

After learning the right procedure, the pupils competed on who could demonstrate it correctly to the rest. This made the topic more interesting and memorable with all the pupils willing to participate as the winners of the contest would get extra biscuits.

"The hygiene and sanitation standards at our school will improve after applying concepts learned from this training," shared 14-year-old Serah Ngungu.

Serah Ngungu

"Our latrines and classes will always be clean because the tank will avail adequate water for the school. We will also be washing hands with clean water and soap."

Handwashing Stations

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

Rainwater Catchment Tank

Ndaluni Primary School is affiliated with the Twone Mbee Wasya wa Mavalani 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.

This tank is whopping 104,000 liters not because of a large student population, but because of how rarely it rains in Southeastern Kenya. The more water we can store during the seasonal rains, the more water available through the dry months.

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.

We had a hard time finding the timber necessary, to the point that construction was halted for two weeks. The Kenyan government imposed a ban on logging in all public forests, thus creating a timber shortage in the market. We were eventually able to get imported timber and continued the construction of the tank.

The Process:

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 to 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.

Once the tank has cured (dried) sufficiently, it can begin to collect rainwater. We look forward to sharing another update after the first rains here.

The school leadership is now primarily responsible for the management and maintenance of this project. They are armed with the technical skills to ensure that the water tank remains functional. Where gaps exist, they will be identified through our ongoing monitoring visits, and corrective measures will be taken to address the same.

"I am very happy today because earlier this year a World Health Organization team was conducting a survey and visited the school and asked if there were enough clean water and handwashing stations and I answered ‘No,’ but today if they decide to come back I am happy I will give a positive answer," shared Headteacher Christopher Kituto.

"We are thankful for the support and I will ensure the school maintains high standards of hygiene through water availability."

June, 2018: Ndaluni Primary School Project Underway

Dirty water delivered to Ndaluni Primary School is making students and teachers sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point here and much more.

Get to know this school through the narrative and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!

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: Ndaluni Primary School

September, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Ndaluni Primary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Kyalo Kalunda. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Ndaluni Primary 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!

The students at Ndaluni Primary School enjoy unlimited access to clean water from their water project. The school environment looks great thanks to the consistent supply of water over the past year. Both students and staff are happy about the water facility and remain optimistic that it will continue to meet their needs.

"We are no longer required to carry water to school on a daily basis since there is [a] constant supply of clean drinking water from the water facility implemented within the school compound," said 13-year-old student Kyalo Kalunda.

Cases of water-related diseases among students have significantly reduced as the school community now uses water from a clean and trusted source within the compound.

"Absenteeism by students caused by cases of water-related illnesses has reduced as students are now using water from a trusted source which is aiding good health among our students, thus leading to more time being spent in school," said Senior Teacher Prisca Nzambu.

Levels of cleanliness and hygiene within the school have improved as school facilities are well cleaned and students have embraced handwashing before meals and after visiting latrines.

"Hygiene standards and general cleanliness have improved in the last year as classes and latrines are well cleaned, with students also making good use of the available handwashing facilities," said Mrs. Nzambu.

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 Ndaluni Primary 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 Ndaluni Primary 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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