Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/05/2024

Project Features

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Students waste a lot of valuable time that is meant for their studies looking for water. Some students avoid this responsibility and stay away from school altogether. Waterborne diseases such as typhoid and amoeba are common, and parents cannot afford to take their children for treatment.

Mukunyuku RC Primary School started in 1985 when two parents donated parcels of their land to be used for building the school. In 1988, the Ministry of Education took over management. The school started as a nursery school and eventually grew into a full school. It is sponsored by a church located about six kilometers away. It currently has a total enrollment of 765.

The school currently has 10 classrooms where they teach English, Kiswahili, sciences, social studies, and religious studies. The playing field is very rocky, but the children still use it. They have a mud-walled kitchen. Here, the school cook prepares lunch for grades seven and eight so that they can stay longer to prepare for the high school entrance exam. Students' parents bring donations of maize and beans for their children's lunch.

Students arrive around 6:30am with a water container and their textbooks. The water is used for cooking and cleaning later in the day.

If students need more water, they go to a hand-dug well shared between the school and surrounding households.

"Our well does not give us sufficient water to drink. We use the water pupils bring," said Headteacher Kennedy Wesonga.

If there's water, it is pulled out through a hatch using a bucket and rope system, which is dangerous for students as they lean over the opening. The students try to draw drinking water from this open well sooner than later because it becomes muddier with continuous use.

What we can do:

Rainwater Catchment Tank

A 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank is the best intervention for Mukunyuku RC Primary School. Pupils will be able to concentrate on their studies and avoid conflicts with community members over the well water. The children will no longer have to carry containers of water to school every morning since they will have enough on school grounds.

VIP Latrines

"It is difficult to access the latrines... because they are near full and smell so bad," said Connex Akinyi.

"I also fear it may collapse while I am using it."

Two triple-door latrines will be constructed with local materials that the school will help gather. Three doors will serve the girls while the other three serve the boys. And with a new source of water on school grounds, students and staff will have enough to keep these new latrines clean.


Two handwashing stations will be delivered to the school, and the club will fill them with water on a daily basis and make sure there is always a cleaning agent such as soap or ash.


Training will be held for two days. The facilitator will use PHAST (participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation), ABCD (asset-based community development), CTC (child to child), lectures, group discussions, and handouts to teach health topics and ways to promote good practices within the school. The CTC method will prepare students to lead other students into healthy habits, as well as kickstart a CTC club for the school. This CTC club will oversee the new facilities, such as handwashing stations, and make sure they are kept clean and in working condition. They will also be ambassadors for hygiene and sanitation among their peers at school and families at home.

Project Updates

October, 2019: Giving Update: Mukunyuku RC Primary School

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

December, 2018: Mukunyuku RC Primary School Project Complete

There is a new rainwater catchment system at Mukunyuku RC Primary School! Students have a source of safe, clean water thanks to your support. Handwashing stations were installed so that students can clean up after using their new latrines, and students and staff have received training in sanitation and hygiene.

New Knowledge

We planned hygiene and sanitation training with the headteacher. We asked him to select five students with strong leadership qualities from each class. The entire school had wanted to be trained, but they understood when we explained the value of these students forming a health club and training their peers.

The pupils were all very active throughout the training. They were eager to learn more about health and sanitation and how to become trainers of the rest of the pupils.

The students and their teachers needed knowledge on how to improve standards of hygiene and ensure that the sanitation facilities given to them are well-maintained for years to come. Some of the topics we covered included water pollution and treatment methods, handwashing, dental hygiene, operations and maintenance of the facilities, group dynamics, and leadership and governance.

These leadership activities segued into establishment of a student health club and the election of its leaders. This club will share the message of good hygiene and health that they learned during training.

The pupils were most excited to learn about tank maintenance. They learned how to check the guttering to ensure water flows inside the tank, to check water levels, and how the treatment of the water will be done.

Students learning about how the tank works and how to best care for it.

"The training has been very interesting, especially on how to clean the water tank and check the water level," said 14-year-old Jonathan Otembo.

Jonathan Otembo with Trainer Jacky

Handwashing Stations

Pupils can now enjoy washing their hands with soap thanks to the two handwashing stations that were delivered to their school. These new handwashing opportunities will help reduce cases of hygiene-related illness. The training on hygiene has motivated these students to share what they’ve learned with their peers at school and families at home.

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit latrines. These were all given to the female students since they had the greatest need. All of these new latrines have cement floors that are easy to use and clean. And with a rainwater catchment tank, there should be enough water to keep them clean all the time.

Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction for this 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank was successful!

The only major challenge during construction was the rocky ground in the area. This made it difficult for the artisan to dig a catchment area, drainage system, and soak pit. Two of their tools were broken by the hard surface and we appreciated their persistence until they broke through the hard ground.

"The construction of the rain harvesting tank has really given me mileage in the community every headteacher now wants the same project to be implemented in their schools!" exclaimed Headteacher Kennedy Wesonga.

The Process:

Our staff and the school administration started by looking around the school to determine the best location for their new rainwater catchment tank. This needed to be the best site with good, clean roofing to catch the rainwater. Then, we cleared the site: excavating the soil within the required measurements to make level ground for the tank foundation. The foundation was cast by laying stones on level ground and then reinforcing it using steel, concrete and waterproof cement.

Both the drawing pipe as well as the washout pipe were affixed as the foundation was lain. The wall was built with ferro-cement techniques through six layers. The inner wall was plastered while rough casting was done on the outer part.

The catchment area was dug, plastered, and a staircase installed so students can easily get water from the tap.

Dome construction could begin after the superstructure had been given enough time to settle. The manhole cover was fitted, inlet pipes were connected to the roof gutters, inlet screens, ventilation pipes (breathers) and overflow pipes were all done to standard.

Once finished, the tank was given three weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Mukunyuku RC Primary School, though we will continue to offer them great support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.

December, 2018: Mukunyuku RC Primary School Project Underway

Dirty water from is making students at Mukunyuku RC Primary School sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this school through the narrative 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: Mukunyuku RC Primary School

October, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Mukunyuku RC Primary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for John Bosco Obonyo. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Mukunyuku RC 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!

Since the implementation of the WaSH projects at Mukunyuku RC Primary School last year, there have been many positive changes in the school, reported our team from a recent visit.

First, the school is clean and the students are able to access water easily from the tank, unlike before when they depended on the shallow well that was dangerous to the young students. The school's LifeStraw filters have water in them daily since they are refilled each morning. Students are allowed to use the water in the tank during the school day, after which the tap is locked. The pupils here are very happy with their tank and experiencing improved levels of personal hygiene, they told us.

Enrollment at Mukunyuku RC Primary School has increased, and the student retention rate has been high. School administrators say this is thanks to parents' trust in the water tank's clean water to provide for their children and enable better health and education.

The Head Teacher Mr. Kennedy Wesonga says that the parents are happy with him and the way their school is running thanks to these projects, and if he calls them for any meeting the response is 100% because they have seen the good work that has been done. This was especially demonstrated by the construction of 3 additional VIP latrines, spearheaded by the parents.

Head Teacher Mr. Kennedy Wesonga and the school board chair enjoying water from the rain tank

The collaboration between the school board and the school administration is good. We found the board chair at the school during our visit and he really appreciated the project and the positive impact it has had on the school community.

This school has not lacked water the entire year, thanks to the region's rainy season followed by the smart rationing of the Head Teacher Mr. Kennedy Wesonga, who controls the use of the rainwater when the rains recede. During the wet season, he has been allowing the school to use the water in the tank for all needs, but when the rains reduce he restricts the water in the tank for cooking and drinking purposes only. Cleaning and washing needs are then fulfilled by the water from the shallow well.

"[The] performance rate has improved; before implementation, the school was ranked second [to] last in the sub-county, but now they are moving towards the top," said Head Teacher Mr. Kennedy Wesonga. There have been so many good changes, Mr. Wesonga continued to explain.

"The perception of the general community about the school is positive. The school has become a center of reference to other schools who do not have [a water] project. [The] value of the school has increased, in that all the community desires their children to be enrolled in this school...The [student health] club members are being used to train other children on sanitation and hygiene. This has caused the project to improve in school. The unskilled laborers that assisted our artisan during the construction of [the] VIP latrines have constructed another VIP latrine [with] 3 doors for the boys with [a] lining. To promote hygiene, the school has placed a handwashing station with soap at the eating area which is used by students and the early childhood class."

John Bosco Obonyo is a 13-year-old student at Mukunyuku RC Primary School who took a moment to reflect with us on how these WaSH projects have impacted his experience as a learner over the last year.

"Initially, accessing water from the hand-dug well was dangerous and crowded. But since [the] tank is in school, we are enjoying fetching water. The water is clean and tasty. The water is treated and therefore safe to drink."

John Bosco Obonyo at the rain tank's tap with another student

After our two interviews with Mr. Wesonga and John, we could see the excitement of the teachers, board chair, and students in this school about their water point. The school has really embraced the project and every time we visit them for monitoring purposes, we are filled with happiness because there is water in the tank and handwashing stations and the latrines are clean from their daily washing.

At one point there was even a problem with the drainage area of the tank, but the school used its own resources and constructed a new drainage system with a pipe to allow water to flow away from the tap area while covered by the soil. You can hardly notice that such a pipe is even there.

Emmah Wekesa with student John and Head Teacher Mr. Wesonga

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 Mukunyuku RC 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 Mukunyuku RC 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.


Project Underwriter - The Mengel Family
4 individual donor(s)