Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 318 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/20/2024

Project Features

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Katuluni Primary School was started by the District Education Board, with its growth solely supported by parents. It now has eight classrooms, latrines, a staff room, and kitchen. Enrollment is 307, of which 157 are boys.

Students are expected to arrive by 7am to tackle their daily cleaning chores. Morning lessons start at 8:30am and go until 3:10pm. They need to stay after for a sport, and are normally released by 5pm.

Most students' parents are part of the Ndinesi Uu Self-Help Group, which works to address water and food scarcity in the area. They've witnessed how this has negatively impacted their children's learning at school, and have proposed a water solution.


A concrete tank that could catch at least 20,000 liters of rainwater was built in the 1980s, but it has since been decommissioned.

Unfortunately, the quality of work could not withstand the test of time. Most of the time, these concrete tanks turn into storage for schools that lower their items through the dome hatch.

A plastic tank was donated soon after. This has the ability to collect up to 10,000 liters of rainwater. This water must be closely monitored by school administration to ensure there's enough drinking water. There's never enough water to accomplish anything else.

Sometimes, support staff and parents are asked to transport jerrycans of water to school. These women most often use donkeys to carry jerrycans of water from scoop holes dug in sandy riverbeds, like the one below.

Students carry water from here to school every morning, and sometimes parents have to gather extra to deliver throughout the day.


Deputy Headteacher Phillip Matiti told us that it's poor sanitation that's putting students at the greatest risk. Since there isn't enough water for cleaning, students are suffering from a horrendously dirty environment. He said that children often miss school because of diarrhea issues, and he is sure that this is because there isn't water for handwashing. The latrines are never washed either.

"Our state of hygiene and sanitation is presently below average, because of the water problems in our area. In the case we get water, we will change things for the better," he said.

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: Katuluni Primary School

A year ago, your generous donation helped Katuluni 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 Katuluni Primary School. Month after month, their giving supports ongoing sustainability programs that help this school maintain access to safe, reliable water. Read more…

February, 2019: Water at Katuluni Primary School

We are extremely excited to share that the rainwater tank at Katuluni 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: Katuluni Primary School Construction Complete

A new rainwater catchment system was built! Katuluni 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

The area field officer Mr. Musyoka visited the school and informed them on the need to have a children's hygiene and sanitation training after the construction of a water tank. The headteacher agreed to the request and set up a date for the activity, informing all the pupils and teachers that they should attend.

Attendance met Instructor Christine Lucas' expectations, with all of the pupils and teachers present. The venue had to be outside because it was the only place with enough space for the entire student population. The weather was sunny, so we were grateful for the shade of trees.

Participation was great. Posters with different drawings were used for various topics to ensure pupils could easily grasp hygiene and sanitation. After every topic, there was a question and answer session that helped students feel even more involved in their learning.

We taught:

- Personal hygiene

- Food and water hygiene, along with water treatment

- Latrine hygiene

- How germs spread and how to build barriers

- Handwashing

- How to make soap


"The future is in your hands" is a saying used to explain how important handwashing is for good health. Diarrhea diseases pass through our hands to the mouth, and therefore, handwashing is the most effective barrier to spreading germs.

The handwashing demonstration was done in two groups, and the pupils loved participating and having a chance to practice with the Instructor Lucas' input.

"The training was very interesting. It will help us prevent diseases like diarrhea and stomachache. Through water availability from the tank, we will be clean through handwashing and maintaining high standards of personal hygiene. We have also learned how to make soap and I am happy for the knowledge acquired from the whole exercise," 12-year-old student Tene Munywoki shared.

Tene Munywoki

Handwashing Stations

Two large handwashing stations were delivered to the school in time for training. Each of these has three taps so that six students can wash their hands at the same time.

Rainwater Catchment Tank

Katuluni Primary School is affiliated with the Ndineesi Uu 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.

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.

One length of the extensive guttering system that leads to the tank.

Once the tank has dried sufficiently, it begins to collect rainwater, and we look forward to sharing another update once that happens. School leadership is armed with the technical skills to ensure that the water tank remains functional, and gaps that exist can be identified through our ongoing monitoring visits.

"Having water in school has always been the dream of every pupil. The thought of never carrying water to school and being able to access clean drinking water from the tank will be inspiring to perform better in class and bring academic excellence to Katuluni," said Tene.

"The handwashing stations coupled with the training received will help us lead a decent school life with high levels of hygiene and sanitation leading to healthy pupils. We are thankful to the donors of this project - may God bless them."

June, 2018: Katuluni Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Katuluni Primary School drains students’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know your school through the introduction 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: Katuluni Primary School

September, 2019

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Katuluni 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!

A lot has changed over the past year at Katuluni Primary School. Access to water is a concern of the past for students and staff. Now the students can concentrate more on their studies and the staff can undertake projects such as the new effort to plant more trees on the school grounds.

Students are no longer required to carry water to school since the water tank provides enough clean water for all school water needs.

"This has reduced tiredness in school while increasing concentration levels in class," said 13-year-old student Tene Munywoki.

The level of cleanliness within the school has improved as classes and latrines are regularly cleaned using water from the rain tank. Students told us that food is always served on time without any interruptions since water is always available. This contributes to the improved overall health of the students.

"Water-related diseases among students have reduced since they are now using water from a trusted source," said teacher Justus Kimanzi.

"Hygiene and sanitation levels have improved as the school has enough water to clean facilities and also [for] the practice of handwashing before meals and after visiting latrines."

As a result, cases of student absenteeism have significantly reduced as stomach complaints from students have gone down leading to more steady school attendance.

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 Katuluni 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 Katuluni 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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