Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 157 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/04/2024

Project Features

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Ngaa Secondary School has no reliable, safe source of water. The rainwater tank on the school grounds is far too small to provide reliable water to the 157 students at the school. Therefore, the students have to rely on alternate, unsafe water sources to meet their daily needs. It also places the school at risk of closure by the government because it is legally required to provide water and adequate sanitation facilities to the students.

Water is collected using donkeys by parents from various sources as a way of paying fees for their children studying at the school. Most of the parents fetch that water from nearby open river scoop holes that look like this:

Scoop holes are found on seasonal riverbeds that are prone to running dry during the dry seasons. The whole community depends on the sources and also share them with animals, which makes them overstrained and overcrowded.

This water is not appropriate for human use, but the school community has no alternative.

"Our school is young and we are really struggling to survive in the prevailing water situation in our area of operation," Principal Samuel Wambua said.

"Our levels of hygiene and sanitation are below average as we lack convenient clean water supply for the school community."

The school was started by the Ngaa Community through support from the Mbooni Constituency Development Fund, which funded construction of the first three classrooms in 2009. It operates under the umbrella of Africa Inland Church, but has grown significantly through the support of parents and the Kenyan Government.

The school is located on a small piece of land that is shared with Ngaa Primary School.

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!

Project Updates

October, 2019: Giving Update: Ngaa Secondary School

A year ago, your generous donation helped Ngaa 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 the 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 Flowing at Ngaa Secondary School!

We are extremely excited to share that the rainwater tank at Ngaa Secondary 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!

December, 2018: Ngaa Secondary School Project Complete

A new rainwater catchment system was built! Ngaa Secondary School in Kenya now has the potential to collect 104,000 liters of 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.

We look forward to reaching out again once the tank has collected water.

New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was organized by Rhoda Mwangu, the field officer in charge of this area. The planning was conducted a few weeks prior to the event; as the field officer communicated with the school's principal, the principal made sure that all students and staff could attend. 160 students were trained; 81 boys and 79 girls.

The weather was favorable and the students were excited about the training. They were jubilant about their water tank, which filled the atmosphere with optimism. Since there wasn't an indoor location that could host 160 students, we all pulled chairs outside under the trees.

Topics included but were not limited to:

- How to make soap
- Cleaning your environment
- How germs spread
- Food preparation and storage
- Water treatment
- Handwashing

The most memorable topic was how to mix soap.

Due to the different perspectives and assumptions on the difficulty of soap making, the students were captivated by this activity. They were able to easily follow our recipe to make their first 20 liters of soap. The student health club is excited to continue making soap that can be used for handwashing and other cleaning tasks.

This student health club will oversee cleaning chores, take care of the handwashing stations, and hold activities that promote good hygiene at school.

The student health club and their advisors pose behind one of the new handwashing stations.

The handwashing activity was the second most-enjoyed topic.

The students were not aware of efficient and effective ways of handwashing. They were used to just running water on their hands without soap or scrubbing. Critical moments for handwashing were discussed including: before eating, after visiting latrines, before cooking, before serving food, and after playing in the fields.

"This training will bring a positive change in our lives because we will now live a healthy life through hygiene improvement, especially on personal hygiene, thus establishing a disease-free community. We will educate our neighbors who do not have latrines on the importance of having them as it reduces the chances of contracting diseases. We will take care of our latrines by keeping them clean always," shared form two student Emma Samuel.

"The advice given on water treatment will also be extended to our homes so that we can protect our families."

Emma Samuel

We think that there will be a positive impact not only at the school but also throughout the entire community. Students actively participated, asking questions regarding each topic. They portrayed a zeal to learn and execute change in their homes and community at large.

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

Ngaa Secondary School is affiliated with the Kikaka Vision 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. On the other hand, we delivered the expertise, tools, lumber, metal, cement, and gutter system. The parents also worked hard alongside our artisans.

This tank is a 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.

Construction for this 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 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.

"The tank has come as a blessing to our school," said Principal Samuel Wambua.

"We are beyond delighted about this project because our woes in the quest for water have ended. The challenges we used to encounter will reduce, and we will drink safer water. We have also been taught on the effective ways of water treatment which will come in handy. There will be less cases of absenteeism due to sicknesses and less funds will be channeled on purchasing water."

November, 2018: Ngaa Secondary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Ngaa Secondary 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 this 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: Ngaa Secondary School

October, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Ngaa Secondary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Magdalene Mutune. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Ngaa 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!

The Ngaa Secondary School community has experienced great changes since the water tank was constructed in their school.

"As a school, we have witnessed vast improvements in all aspects," said Deputy Principal Robert Thyaka.

"The tank filled up as soon as it was completed because we received good rains last year and the water has never depleted. This year we have admitted more students in our Form 1 class as compared to the other years."

The school environment has improved because the students water the trees and perform their duties on time, such as cleaning the classrooms and sweeping the compound. It is cleaner, better organized, and very beautiful due to the trees planted around.

On the day of our visit, we found the school janitor washing the school offices which clearly shows the availability of water in the school. The water attained from the water tank is fresh and clean for drinking for the students.

"We really love and appreciate the presence of the water tank in our school. We used to encounter many challenges of attaining clean water for drinking," said Magdalene Mutune, a 15-year-old student at the school.

Magdalene Mutune

Hygiene and sanitation have improved as a result of the availability of water in the school. Some students were washing hands at the handwashing facilities during our visit and this showed that the culture has been adopted effectively.

"[The] clean water supply and the handwashing culture have enhanced the eradication of waterborne diseases among the students. The students are normally served with clean and treated water during their breaks," said Mr. Thyaka.

"We are very happy about the project because the school program has been flowing seamlessly."

The school operations and routines are running smoothly as compared to the previous years when the school had to continuously worry about water. Cases of diseases and student absenteeism has reduced because they are being served with fresh and clean drinking water.

"I concentrate better in class because I have nothing to worry about. The water tank has affected my education and performance positively. There are fewer complaints of stomachaches and diarrhea because we are served with clean water," Magdalene said.

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 Ngaa 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 Ngaa 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 - In Memory of Giovanna Stark
Facebook Donations
The Goldsmith Family Foundation
13 individual donor(s)