Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 372 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Oct 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/20/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

There is a rainwater tank and piped water at Muunguu Primary School. But both sources are unreliable. The tank is far too small for the student population - running dry after only a few months. And the piped water is so inconsistent that it is virtually useless. It shuts down entirely during the driest times of the year.

Students and staff must turn to other, unsafe sources of water to make up for the shortage. As a result, rampant cases of waterborne diseases are contracted by the students. The resulting treatment costs are expensive and the students lose valuable time learning.

These open, dirty water sources most often look like this:

Many riverbeds here in Kitui County are sandy for the majority of the year, but if you dig down you'll find some water.

The water shortage contributes to a lower level of sanitation at the school. Handwashing is not an option without water and the latrines are rarely cleaned, if at all, due to the lack of water.

"The existence of water problems in this school has greatly contributed to low levels of hygiene and sanitation. Our students seldom wash their hands," Headteacher Hamina Mwendwa told us.

The day school that was pioneered by the local members in 1979 with a goal to serve and educate the children of Muunguu village. It was first sponsored by Africa Brotherhood Church after which it was taken up by the District Education Board. It currently has no sponsor, so it's supported primarily by the parents and the government-backed Constituency Development Fund.

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 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

September, 2019: Giving Update: Muunguu Primary School

A year ago, your generous donation helped Muunguu 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 Muunguu 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: Muunguu Primary School's Tank Has Water!

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

October, 2018: Muunguu Primary School Construction Complete

A new rainwater catchment system was built! Muunguu 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.

We look forward to emailing you again once the tank has collected water.

New Knowledge

Field Officer Patrick Musyoka worked with the school administration to schedule a time for Instructor Veronica Matolo to hold hygiene and sanitation training for students and staff. Careful consideration is taken so as to not interfere with regular study time.

Training was conducted in an open field outside the classrooms since the school lacks a hall that can host the huge student population. The weather was conducive though it was a bit windy.

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

Students especially enjoyed making liquid soap with Ms. Matolo. They took down the recipe in their notebooks and made 20 liters of their own soap. They are excited to keep up this practice to make enough soap for each semester. This soap can be used to wash facilities, dishes, and most importantly, hands!

They loved the roleplay on diseases transmission, too. We led students who pretended to be a child, parent, and flies. They acted out how flies can carry germs from the latrine to the kitchen, endangering families who don't prepare and store their food and water properly. This activity was full of fun and laughter as students realized that these things truly play out in their everyday lives. Check out the video below!

"This training has really built us, and it will change our lives very much. We will train others on disease prevention through the construction of latrines. The latrine is a vital structure and many people in our area lack it," shared 14-year-old Mutanu Mutua.

"From this knowledge acquired, we will be healthy because we will not be becoming sick often. We will teach our parents on soap making, and this will improve family income. Our parents will be able to raise some money to cater for our basic needs."

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

Muunguu Primary School is affiliated with the Tei wa Nzung'u 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 gathered at the project site

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 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 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.

"We are very happy to have completed construction of this giant water tank. It will boost us so much in our efforts to realize unlimited water access here in school," said Headteacher Hamina Mwendwa.

"The parents showed great commitment and hard work towards the realization of this project. It is a dream come true for Muunguu Primary School to have made it with this project."

September, 2018: Muunguu Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Muunguu 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: Muunguu Primary School

September, 2019

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Muunguu 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!

Students and staff members at Muunguu Primary School are very happy to have had this amazing water project installed a year ago. The tank holds water and has been serving the school community.

The school now has an adequate supply of clean water from the water project for cooking, drinking, and cleaning of school facilities. The students are no longer required to carry water to school since the water facility has been providing water for all school needs.

"School routine has been running smoothly with minimal interruptions as the supply of water is steady and timely, we are expecting improved grades due to the increase in contact hours and time spent on academic activities," said Deputy Head Teacher Petronila Manzi.

A hand washing culture has developed in the school due to the handwashing facilities that were installed and the adequate water supply, explained 14-year-old student Paul Makasa.

"We have been washing hands before meals and after visiting latrines which is helping prevent disease outbreaks at the school," he said.

The school has intensified tree planting activities using the available water resources from the water tank to aid in quick growth through irrigation. The school is planning to start a vegetable garden and grow vegetables for use by students and staff. This will help improve eating habits and the overall health of the students.

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 Muunguu 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 Muunguu 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.