Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 359 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 11/21/2022

Project Features

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The current rainwater tanks at Kituluni Primary School are so small that they only provide water to the 359 students for two months out of the year. When they run dry, the students must bring water from home each day to school. That water is often unsafe for drinking and the weight of carrying water tires out many of the young students before the school day starts.

"Our students are required to carry drinking water to school on a daily basis. Carrying water is burdening and tiresome, which has led to poor levels of concentration in class. It has also created a string of water thefts among students after breaks and lunch when thirst persists after playing," Headteacher Somitila Mutunga said.

The school was started by community members in Kituluni Village in 1967 with the aim of bringing education closer to their children. Initial support was provided by both parents and the Mbuvo Catholic Church to construct the first classrooms. The school has since grown through the support of parents and the government.

Kituluni Primary school is found in Kituluni Village, Mbuvo location in Kathonzweni sub-County of Makueni County. The immediate surroundings are quiet and dry, with Mbuvo Secondary School just down the road. The area has minimal tree coverage owing to the dry conditions experienced in the larger region.

Not having enough water has forced the school to sacrifice cleanliness. Levels of hygiene and sanitation are low, with latrines and classes not cleaned regularly. A dirty environment is not conducive for the students' learning. The school also lacks enough water to sustain a lunch program, so students sometimes miss meals because of water unavailability. Hunger and thirst has led to poor concentration in class and may be why the school has such low academic performance. The lack of water has also delayed the construction of a boarding wing to allow students who live a long way from school to stay overnight.

Here’s what we’re going to do about it:


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.

The latrines had below average levels of cleanliness and there were no signs of a regular thorough cleaning with water. In addition, no water was placed outside the facilities for handwashing after visiting the bathroom. Both problems are due to the lack of water at the school.

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 storage to greatly alleviate the dire situation throughout the dry season. As soon as the tank has time to cure, it can begin to collect rainwater for drinking, cooking, and cleaning!

Project Updates

08/20/2019: Kituluni Primary School Project Complete

Kituluni Primary 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.

Now, we just need rain. The coming rainy season will fill the tank with water so the students will have immediate access to water on school grounds.

"This is such an amazing project for our school, everyone is excited and happy to be part of the school community in a time when we have managed to get a reliable water project," said Head Teacher Domitila Mutunga.

Rain Tank

Kituluni Primary School is affiliated with the Ngwatanio ya Utui wa Maluvyu 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.

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.

Gutters on school building

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.

"Our children and school parents will no longer be required to carry water to school which will lead to more concentration in class and strict adherence to the school routine without interruptions," Head Teacher Mutunga said.

Tank cures after cement work is complete

"Cases of absenteeism are also expected to drop in the wake of this project."

New Knowledge

Our hygiene and sanitation trainer called the school headmistress to let her know to mobilize the pupils and get ready for training. We held the event on a school day so that more than 3oo students could attend.

This training was held in the school compound under a tree that gave shade for all the hours spent during this training. There were no distractions at all, and all the pupils were disciplined and needed only minimal supervision.

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 found the soapmaking activity interesting and special because it is very easy to do and it will help in improving the hygiene of the school; they will use the soap for cleaning classes, latrines, offices, and washing utensils too.

Our field officers say that the students in this school will improve very much on their hygiene and sanitation.

“We will change our behaviors to improve on personal hygiene like bathing, cutting nails, washing our uniforms as well as treating drinking water and brushing our teeth to prevent decay," said student Mwende Mutinda.

The teachers will also benefit from the knowledge gained from the training. The teachers took part in the activities and were eager to learn.

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.

"We will use soap to clean our hands and teach our friends and family to do the same to clean the germs off their hands,” said Mwende.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

07/03/2019: Kituluni Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Kituluni Primary School drains students’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to solve this issue by building 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

Rainwater Catchment

Rainwater is collected off strategic areas of a roof, enters a custom guttering system (which filters out debris) and leads to a storage tank. Tanks can vary in sizes and are determined by population and average rainfall patterns. Water can be stored for months, is easily treated in the tank, and is accessible through taps. These projects are implemented at schools with proper roof lines and gutter systems to make them successful.

Giving Update: Kituluni Primary School

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kituluni 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!

"The school normally got water from a nearby community borehole, which often dried up or got spoilt as it was highly relied on by a large population. During such times, we had to carry water to school, which was very tiring. Some of my classmates would miss school because our class was assigned to bring water for cleaning. After games or the lunch break, we used to feel very thirsty, which made us lose concentration in class. There was very little water in school to cater for all the students," said 14-year-old student Georgina.

"Circumstances have changed thanks to the water tank in school. We drink water at any time of the day. The water is very fresh and sweet for drinking. There are hand washing stations strategically placed outside our latrines; we wash our hands every day after visiting the latrines and before our meals. We are happy about the training that we received because most of the knowledge taught has transcended our homes, and now we also wash our hands at home. Due to the availability of water, the school has been able to provide lunch for us daily. Our classrooms and latrines are always clean because we wash them often."


"Thanks to the water project in school, I can arrive early with minimal strains or troubles of where to fetch water. I feel comfortable studying and concentrate on my education because fewer burdens are draining me. I look forward to performing better academically this year."

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 Kituluni 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 Kituluni 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!


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