Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 113 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Oct 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/28/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Kyamatula Secondary School operates in large part thanks to the contributions of its 111 students' parents. These hardworking parents came together in 2012 to reopen the school four years after it was shut down due to insufficient funds. Their support over the past 7 years has helped grow Kyamatula Secondary School. They pooled their resources to buy a 10,000-liter plastic water tank a few years ago, but it is only big enough to hold water for three months out of the year.

The rest of the year, the parents pay a fee to have water delivered from the nearest river via donkey's back.

"Water is a big challenge in this region. Here in school, lack of water is a big deal," said student Eric Mwenda.

"Sometimes after lunch, you find students scrambling for water to drink because it is minimal and it can only be enough for a few students."

Getting enough water is costly for parents and the school, and the water they find isn't even clean. Many parents struggle to help pay for the school's water needs, a fee that is in addition to the per-student cost of the school lunch program. There have also been cases of students missing school due to issues of stomachaches and diarrhea, which are often diagnosed as waterborne diseases caused by drinking dirty water.

The water situation at Kyamatula Secondary School places a financial stress on the parents and a physical stress on the students.

"It is hard because at times we have no water at home and coming to school is our solace yet we feel more pressure here," said 18-year-old student Judith Syombua.

"After finishing our meals, we lack water for drinking. This makes life hard because we cannot concentrate in class. Imagine studying when you are thirsty. All you think of is water. There is nothing you can grasp in class. This has affected our studies greatly."

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 10,000-liter plastic tank look tiny in comparison; 104,000 liters should be enough water to carry students and staff through the dry season if managed properly. As soon as the tank has time to cure, it can begin to collect rainwater for drinking, cooking, and cleaning!

Hygiene and Sanitation

The latrines are rarely washed due to the insufficient supply of water because the current water in the 10,000-liter tank is reserved for much more important uses such as drinking and cooking. There is no water kept near the latrines. Students rarely wash their hands after visiting the toilets due to lack of functional hand washing facilities.

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 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.

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.

Project Updates

October, 2019: Kyamatula Secondary School Project Complete!

Kyamatula Secondary School in Kenya now has access to a new source of safe, clean water thanks to the completion of their rain tank, which has the ability to collect 104,000 liters of water. We installed handwashing stations and we trained students and staff on improved sanitation and hygiene practices. All of these components work together to unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

Rain Tank

"We are delighted with the implementation of this project and the benefits that we will attain from this project," said 18-year-old student Stallon Mambo.

"Hygiene and sanitation in the school will improve as well as our performance."

Kyamatula Secondary School is affiliated with the Katulye Mwiyendea Self-Help Group, since most of its members’ children attend here. These parents and the 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 Head Teacher was then held to plan out the project. Parents agreed to collect construction materials like sand, rocks, and water. We would complement their materials by delivering the expertise, tools, lumber, metal, cement, and gutter system.

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 rain 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 7 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. The roofing is made of iron sheets and timber. There are vents to allow rainwater into the tank from the gutters.

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.

Handwashing Stations

The new handwashing stations were delivered in time for training so that they could be used for handwashing demonstrations. Each of these has 3 taps so that 6 students can wash their hands at the same time.

New Knowledge

The facilitator of the hygiene and sanitation training, Veronica Matolo notified the area field officer, Fidelis Ndunge on the planned training and informed her to notify the school administration. The training was held at the school compound under a tree which provided sufficient shade for all the students. The venue was conducive enough for the training and all students were comfortable throughout the gathering.

Nearly 100 students were in attendance to learn about improved hygiene and sanitation practices. We went over topics including student health club activities; disease transmission; preventing the spread of disease; personal hygiene; handwashing; water hygiene; food hygiene; latrine hygiene; and soapmaking.

The students' level of participation was impressive as they were active throughout the meeting. They were very inquisitive and lively which made the training easy and enjoyable for both the students and the trainer. Their anticipation and eagerness to learn made most of the demonstrative processes simple and comprehensible. All students were equally interested as they took turns to participate and engage in the activities.

Handwashing demonstration

"The training has changed my perspective towards life, hygiene, and sanitation. We have learned a lot which can help in improving personal hygiene, compound hygiene, and reduce the chances of contracting diseases due to poor hygiene behaviors," said Stallon.

Stallon really enjoyed learning how to make soap. The main purpose of the project is to promote and improve hygiene and sanitation in schools. The soapmaking training also equips pupils with new skills, which are aimed at helping them in life after school. Liquid soap can be used to perform different purposes at schools, such as handwashing and washing dishes, among others.


Both the students and the teachers engaged in this activity. It was a new technique for most of them and they enjoyed it because it would help them in generating income after school. The students were mesmerized by the scientific combination of the chemicals to produce the soap.

According to the facilitator's observation, the students seemed to grasp and adopt very fast what they learned. After a short walk within the school compound to investigate the school's hygiene status, the students highlighted their strong and weak points and vowed to improve their hygiene standards.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

September, 2019: Kyamatula Secondary School project underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Kyamatula Secondary 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 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: Kyamatula Secondary School

February, 2021

A year ago, your generous donation helped Kyamatula Secondary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Lilian Mwongeli. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kyamatula Secondary 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!

"Water has always been a challenge here in school. Drinking water, water for cleaning the classrooms and latrines, and water for washing utensils have always been an issue. The school would contract one parent to deliver water to the school. Often, this water was not clean, and it reeked of donkey urine. The water was delivered late, affecting the entire school program, such as delayed meals. Students would always complain of stomach upsets after drinking this water," explained 18-year-old student Lilian Mwongeli.

"Getting water from this water point has improved school life very much. The challenges that were previously encountered in pursuit of clean drinking water have reduced greatly. Our meals are prepared and served on time. We drink water after having our meals, after games, and whenever someone feels thirsty, which is an improvement compared to our lives before. Nowadays, our latrines and classes are washed frequently using water and soap. We also wash our hands after visiting the latrines, and the students really enjoy this habit."

Lilian Mwongeli

"Through the availability of water in school, we have managed to engage in agriculture projects and practicals because the tanks that we used initially have been set aside for projects. This has been very beneficial to us as students as we can fit other competitive schools' standards. Additionally, the school environment is more conducive for learning. Improving my performance is easier than before."

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 Kyamatula Secondary 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 Kyamatula Secondary 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 - Tiny Pebbles Foundation
Carmel High School Class of 2021
Mitch Brownlie, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Stop the Walk
UW-Madison EMBA class of 2020
South Aiken Presbyterian Church VBS Campaign for Water
Sean's Campaign for Water
12 individual donor(s)