Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 213 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/20/2024

Project Features

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Kitooni Primary School is located five kilometers to the west of Masii Town. It is a calm and peaceful rural area. An aura of fresh air welcomes you upon arrival, emanating from the cluster of trees planted in the school. Most of the classes are made of bricks and also have good roofs.

The school was started by the Seventh Day Adventist Church in 1964, which then handed it over to the government for legalization. This school is still sponsored by the church and has grown through the support of the parents and the government.

The students are taught six subjects which are mandatory; English, Math, Kiswahili, Science, Christian Religious Studies and Social Studies. Recently, the school introduced Music, Arts & Crafts and Environmental Education. The extracurricular activities that are available in the school are volleyball, football, athletics, netball, and handball.

Students and staff rely on a pair of rainwater tanks for their water supply. They are too small to hold enough water for the school population, so they run out in a matter of months. The school then turns to water vendors (local people who fetch water from different sources, sometimes dirty), paying 100 shillings ($1) for every 50 gallons of water.

That water is stored in large plastic tanks, but waterborne diseases are rampant due to improper storage. The financial burden of buying water is amplified by the health burden of consuming the dirty water - which leads to money spent on treatment and student time out of class.

The water shortage contributes to the fact that there are no handwashing stations near the latrines.

"The sanitation challenges are not insurmountable, but need a boost in terms of increased access to clean and sufficient water to make conditions more bearable," noted Titus Mbithi, report writer.

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 at 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: Kitooni Primary School

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

January, 2019: Kitooni Primary School Project Complete

A new rainwater catchment system was built! Kitooni Primary 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.

New Knowledge

The field officer worked with school leadership to plan a children's hygiene and sanitation training at Kitooni Primary. Each and every student and teacher was invited to attend, so on training day we had 201 participants total.

Of course there wasn't a classroom that could fit all of us, so we met outside under the shade of trees.

Trainer Veronica Matolo

Topics included but were not limited to:

– How to make soap
– Cleaning your environment
– How germs spread
– Food preparation and storage
– Water treatment
– Handwashing
– Running a student health club

Student health club members

Handwashing is the best way to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. A handwashing station with clean water and soap was used to demonstrate how to wash hands. Critical moments to wash hands were also discussed during the exercise such as after visiting latrines, before eating, after playing etc.

Students were very excited to learn about handwashing because there were cookie prizes for whoever could remember and demonstrate all of the key steps.

The most memorable topic was how to mix soap.

We provided 60 liters of the soap-making ingredients while the school provided water, a big container, and stirring equipment. During the demonstration, 20 liters of liquid soap was made by the student health club members.

The remaining materials were left with the assignment for the health club to make more soap on their own following the recipe that they learned. The whole process is very involved and requires a lot of patience, but the students did very well and even the teachers were interested (we found that teachers from other schools tended to tune this session out).

"The training was very good. We will be healthier pupils and will not suffer from diseases that are caused by dirt!" said 13-year-old Mutisya.

"We will wash our hands before meals and after visiting the latrines all the time with soap. We are very happy and thankful for having received such important knowledge."


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

Kitooni Primary School is affiliated with the Mwanyani 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.

The Process:

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 large 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.

Choose hand washing! Choose health!

"We are very happy to have implemented this project in our school," said Headteacher Gregory Wambua.

"It is a high impact project which will go a long way in helping the school community at Kitooni Primary School towards ending the water struggles and making our lives better through availing of clean water from a trusted source."

November, 2018: Kitooni Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Kitooni 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 Upate: Kitooni Primary School

October, 2019

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kitooni 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!

Kitooni Primary School students have been enjoying the abundance of clean water supply throughout the year. Students have not had to carry containers filled with drinking water to school ever since the project was completed.

"The water project has been very beneficial to us students because we no longer carry water to school every day. It was a very strenuous exercise which would often lead us to get punishments for arriving late to school and sometimes students would carry very dirty water," said 13-year-old student Dennis Musyoki.

"I love coming to school because life is easier now and the environment is conducive for learning."

The compound is very well organized and clean because there is a sufficient supply of water. It is very beautiful and serene. Students have learned to keep their environment clean and they wash their classrooms and latrines. They are enjoying the availability of water in school and the comfort for learning that has been generated by the water tank.

They are very happy and excited about water.

"In the past year, with the presence of the tank in our school, we have experienced unfathomable peace and progress. The water tank has had water since its completion and the students have really been enjoying the supply," said Senior Teacher Mary Itumo.

"Even us, as teachers we are excited about the facilities that were installed outside our latrines. Latrines are cleaned frequently. We are very happy about this project."

On the day of our visit, we found students fetching water from the tank to fill the handwashing facilities while others were fetching drinking water and they seemed very happy about the tank in their school.

Clean hands!

All these actions portrayed their responsibility towards the project and their appreciation. Students have adopted a handwashing culture which is instrumental in reducing the risks of contracting diseases related to water. Latrines are washed frequently due to the availability of water in the school.

"The presence of the water tank has taught us the importance of water and now we are more responsible than we were. Diseases such as typhoid and diarrhea have reduced because we wash our hands after visiting the toilet and we drink clean water," said Dennis.

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 Kitooni 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 Kitooni 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.