Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 135 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Apr 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/04/2024

Project Features

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Matungu SDA Special School began in 2013 and was registered in 2014. It was started by the Headteacher Mr. Ali Mbwana, who saw that children with disabilities were being neglected. He started with just 25 pupils. The school received individual donations for construction of temporary classrooms with iron sheet roofs, mud walls, and dirt floors. The National Council of Persons with Disabilities constructed a workshop for the school. The population of the school has grown and enrolled a total of 124 students in 2018.

Parents are supposed to pay USD30 per term for attendees, but many are not able to manage over one dollar, which makes it more difficult for the school to provide for their students. A few well-wishers donated plastic tanks to help store water. There is a hand-dug well with a bicycle pump on it. A majority of students cannot draw water from this well, but what's worse is that it dries up for part of each year. And during these months there's no rainwater to refill the plastic tanks, so the school must find water elsewhere.

"The nature of these pupils require a lot of water and the current one is not sufficient," said Mr. Ali Mbwana.

Since students struggle to find the water they need, parents from the community are paid per water container delivered to the school. However, the water delivered to school is from unknown sources that are clearly contaminated. After drinking this water, students suffer from waterborne diseases. "If we can have safe drinking water we will avoid medical expenses incurred in treating typhoid," said Mr. Opwora, the deputy headteacher.

It is at this school that many young people are prepared to make a living on their own. With enough water, they'll be able to focus on weaving, carpentry, agriculture, or beauty vocations.

What we can do:


Training on good hygiene habits 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.

Handwashing Stations

This CTC club will oversee the new facilities, such as handwashing stations, and make sure they are kept clean and in working condition. The 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.

VIP Latrines

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 should have enough to keep these new latrines clean.

Rainwater Catchment Tank

A 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank will help alleviate the water crisis at this school. The school will also help gather the needed materials such as sand, rocks, and water for mixing cement. Once finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff.

We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve.

3/8/19 - Following more visits to the school, there was deemed no need for wheelchair access at the tank or latrines. Construction will proceed without a ramp.

Project Updates

May, 2019: Matungu SDA Special School Project Complete

There is a new rainwater catchment system at Matungu SDA Special 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.

Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction of this new rainwater catchment tank was a big success!

This project was successful because of the teamwork of the artisans and the school. The headteacher, teachers, and pupils were so excited about the project that they were always present to support the artisans and make sure that everything they needed was on site. They were there to bring water for the artisan, carry bricks, stones, and anything else.

"The new water point will improve the academic and sanitation standards of our school. The students require intense sanitation and hygiene so as to maintain their health. Initially, this was a big challenge!" said Headteacher Mbwana.

The headteacher organized for a celebration ceremony and made sure that all teachers, parents, and students were invited. It was a very successful day with children singing and dancing. Before the project had begun, parents didn't understand the type of tank to be made for the school; they have never heard of it or seen it anywhere. So after the completion of the project, they were blown away and so appreciative of the new water point. They all came to celebrate with the school.

Before the project, the school population was 124 but now after the construction work, it has increased to 129 students.

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.

Mixing 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 is dug, plastered, and a staircase installed so students can easily get water from the tap. A metal cover with a lock is placed over the catchment area to avoid water wastage.

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 Matungu SDA Special School, though we will continue to offer them great support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.

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, two for the boys and four for the girls. 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.

New Knowledge

We arranged for hygiene and sanitation training strongly relying on the headteacher's judgment about who to invite. They worked with the other teachers to select students who would be able to grasp the topics and demonstrate leadership among their peers. We conducted the training inside the headteacher's office to avoid interruptions and from the other pupils. The 13 students in attendance formed a child to child (CTC) health club that will share what they learned with their peers and families at home.

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, and group dynamics along with leadership and governance for the newly formed CTC health club.

Students particularly enjoyed the hands-on demonstrations that got them moving. Every single participant wanted to demonstrate the handwashing process to the others. They also liked leaving the office to learn about how to care for the new tank and new latrines. These students vowed to tell the teachers about any circumstances when their peers mistreat the tank or latrines, and you can really see that they are taking ownership of their new facilities.

"I'm pleased with the training today because every day we talk to students about their health. Now you have come and talked to them on the same, which is a confirmation. I believe with the help of their teachers, they will take it more seriously because it has also come from a different person. After the completion of the project, sanitation and hygiene standards in the school will improve enormously," said Mrs. Mumia the sanitation teacher.

Thank You for making all of this possible!

February, 2019: Matungu SDA Special School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Matungu SDA Special 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 news of success!

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: Matungu SDA Special School

February, 2021

A year ago, your generous donation helped Matungu SDA Special School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Grace. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Matungu SDA Special 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!

"Before the project, we used to go to the neighbor's well for water."

"We were many and, sometimes, some of the other students would start a commotion and we would get sent away."

"Now, fetching water is easier. We get to fetch water whenever we like and we don't have to get chased. We are now even cleaner - the teachers have told us so."

"We bathe daily and food is ready on time. It has helped us get cleaner and keep from being very sickly."

Students getting water from the rain tank before the pandemic.

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 Matungu SDA Special 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 Matungu SDA Special 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.


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