Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 291 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/20/2024

Project Features

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Students at Kyaani Primary School do not have a reliable source of water. The closest place to get water is a well in the community, but this well already has hundreds of people relying on it. When students go to fetch water there, they are pushed to the back of the line with the reasoning that it's not the school's water well, it’s the community's. Students return to class after this strenuous task too exhausted to do well in their studies.

The school administration thought their problems were solved when a solar pump and piping were installed to pull water from the community well to a plastic tank on school grounds. They hoped that the water pumped to the tank would prevent their children from leaving school in search of it. But to their disappointment, the solar system constantly fails; there are many times that the panels do not receive enough light or the community is overusing the well.

As a result, the students must turn to alternative sources of water. They must carry containers of water from home to make up for the shortage, and go back out during the day. That water is of unknown origin and is often collected from open or unsafe sources. A rainwater tank on the school grounds will prevent the more than 275 students at the school from wasting time fetching water from the community well and other sources. It will provide a safe source for drinking water at the school, boosting student health and keep them in the classroom.

"Our state of hygiene is average. We are trying our level best to create a conducive environment for our students, one that will not disrupt their studies at any cost," Headteacher Matheka said.

"If we had enough water storage facilities, we could go very far, and we would really develop this place."

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

October, 2019: Giving Update: Kyaani Primary School

A year ago, your generous donation helped Kyaani 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…

February, 2019: Kyaani Primary School Project Complete

A new rainwater catchment system was built! Kyaani Primary School in Kenya now has the ability to collect 104,000 liters of water - thanks to your generous 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

Hygiene and sanitation training was planned by the area field officer who contacted the principal a few weeks prior to make plans. The participants were then informed by their principal about the training.

At the beginning of the training the attendance was not as expected because the class eight pupils were sitting for examinations. However, in due time they joined us for training. In total 265 students and eight teachers were trained.

On the training day the weather was somewhat harsh; it was unbearably sunny. We sat under tree shade as it would be favorable for the students to learn. Later during the day, it got sunnier and we had to relocate to find more tree cover to continue.

The students were very active throughout the whole training. They answered and asked a lot of questions and there was a lot of laughter during the demonstrations. A skit was performed by the students as a learning tool, which made the training lively.

The topics of discussion was divided into three levels: Problem Identification, Problem Analysis and Planning for Solutions. The following topics were discussed:
- Using latrines
- Compound cleanliness
- Toothbrushing
- Use of handkerchief
- Handwashing at all times
- Keeping nails short
- Personal hygiene
- Food and water hygiene
- Transmission routes
- Blocking the routes
- How to make soap

The steps of handwashing were highlighted clearly and the students were allowed to demonstrate. We washed hands at the new handwashing facility after our soap-making activity. The steps highlighted were:
-Wet your hands with clean water
-Apply soap
-Lather your hands by rubbing them together with soap
-Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds
-Rinse your hands well under clean running water
-Dry your hands with a clean towel or air dry your hands.

In addition, the students were enlightened on the crucial moments of handwashing.

"This training will change our lives in that we will be careful with all hygiene matters starting with the construction of latrines. We will sensitize our neighbors who don’t have latrines (because there are several of them) so that we can prevent diseases that are orally transmitted through water and food contamination. We will ensure to improve on personal hygiene by bathing, cutting our nails short, brushing our teeth to prevent decay and handwashing among other practices," said 13-year-old Spencer.


"Now that we are informed, we will advise our parents on water treatment which will enable us to prevent the diseases associated with the water that we use."

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

Kyaani Primary School is affiliated with the Kyutuni Youth 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.

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 about the water tank project that was constructed in our school. There will be no struggles of waking up early to go and fetch water or carrying bottles of water to school. Studying will progress smoothly and we are planning to work hard in class. Our concentration levels will increase and we intend to improve our academic performances," said Spencer.

"We really appreciate the tank project in our school as we will be drinking clean water."

January, 2019: Kyaani Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Kyaani 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: Kyaani Primary School

October, 2019

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kyaani 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!

Kyaani Primary School is marveling at the water supply attained through their rain tank over the past year. The students are very excited because there is plenty of clean water for drinking and they are no longer expected to carry jerry cans of water to school every morning.

"We are excited about the water tank in the school. We get clean drinking water in school and we don't get tired of carrying water to school every day like we used to," shared Caroline Wambua, an 11-year-old student at the school.

"These days, I always arrive at school early and when I get home I have time to do my homework. The water is fresh and sweet and we no longer get ringworms. I concentrate more in class and I love coming to school."

The school environment is cleaner and more organized.

General cleanliness in the school has improved because the classrooms and offices are washed frequently and latrines are being sprinkled with ash which reduces the odor. Students' hygiene and sanitation have improved as a result of the handwashing facilities strategically positioned near the boys', girls', and teachers' latrines. Cleanliness, hygiene, and sanitation have improved because the students have easy access to water within the school compound.

"The water storage tank has played a very significant role in providing a conducive environment for learning," said Deputy Head Teacher Sarah Kimithi.

"Provision of clean drinking water has improved the health of the students, reducing the cases of stomachaches, diarrhea, and typhoid. The water has been available throughout the year and we are very privileged to have the water tank in the school."

The entire school community is very excited and jovial about the presence of the water tank in the school, reported our teams after this most recent visit.

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 Kyaani 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 Kyaani 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.


2 individual donor(s)