Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/24/2024

Project Features

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With more than 900 students, Kalulini Boys' Secondary School struggles to meet the water demands of its students and staff. Water is trucked in from Kibwezi Town which is more than five kilometers away from the school. That supplements the water gathered on the school grounds by small rainwater tanks.

Water provided to boarding students is highly rationed, making their stay in school miserable with each student provided a limited amount of water for washing and showering. It is also very expensive for the school to pay for the water deliveries. It costs $100 per delivery of 16,000 liters of water. For perspective, the school should be using roughly 4,500 liters per day, but it can only afford four deliveries per month.

That is not nearly enough to alleviate the school's water problems. Kalulini Boys' Secondary School is paying too much for water and its students are still suffering from a water shortage.

There are academic impacts, too. The school’s science lab needs an adequate supply of clean water for cleaning lab apparatus and conducting experiments, and it is expensive to provide enough water for the lab. The fourth year agriculture students must also scramble for water to help with their garden projects. This has greatly affected the performance of these subjects in final year examinations as well as discouraging students from lower classes towards specializing in the subject.

"The school has been running out of clean water for drinking. We are forced to drink water from the community borehole which is at times colored and unsafe," said John George, a 16-year-old student.

"Drinking it may bring health complications. The existing water points are not enough to serve the big student population. Sometimes students lack water for basic things like for washing and taking shower because of the congestion and struggle at the water points."


Kalulini Secondary School was started by Kalulini Community in 1978 as a community school to provide a good opportunity for pupils attending Kalulini Primary School. The school was later taken up by the Kenyan government to operate under the Kibwezi District Education Board. Kalulini Secondary has grown to its current status through the support of parents and the Kenyan government.

The school is found in a peaceful rural location. The immediate surroundings are dry with limited vegetation cover, whereas the school compound is well covered with planted trees comprised mainly of exotic breeds. Buildings within the school are decent and of modern standard, while those in the surrounding communities exhibit high levels of poverty and poor living conditions.

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

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 alleviate the water needs of students and staff during the dry season. As soon as the tank has time to cure, it can begin to collect rainwater for drinking, cooking, and cleaning!


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.

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

August, 2019: Kalulini Boys' Secondary School Project Complete

Kalulini Boys' 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

Kalulini Boys' Secondary School is affiliated with the Kumina Wauni 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.

The school community was well prepared for the tank construction. All the local materials required for the construction were prepared on time thus making the actual construction work a smooth exercise leading to timely completion of the project.

Waiting for the cement to cure

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.

Gutters to capture rainwater for the tank

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.

Tank with fresh paint

"We are very happy to be beneficiaries of this amazing water project. Our school has struggled with a limited supply of water," said Principal Josephat Murungi.

"This project will help alleviate the water crisis here by providing clean drinking water. And the tank will boost our water storage capacity to help us hold more water for the many needs throughout the day."

New Knowledge

Our field officer, Veronica Matolo, informed the school leadership about the need for hygiene and sanitation training at the institution. The training was planned and organized through direct communication with the school Principal Murungi. He set a date for the training and reached back to Ms. Matolo to prepare. All of the 960 students at the school attended the training. Some had to leave early to study for their exams, but our teams were pleased with the attendance.

The training venue was outside in the school compound under a big tree that had sufficient shade for us all. The soapmaking was done in the school dining hall. Because of the hot weather, the room was very warm, but we managed to successfully complete the process.

All the students participated and were very eager to learn despite the limited time that we had for the training. 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 identified soapmaking as the most interesting and memorable activity. The participation and the many questions they asked really showed a group that will benefit from this activity.

George Mumo

"The soapmaking has made us start thinking of starting a business since the chemicals are locally available and the soap is multi-purpose. I am sure that many people love it," said George Mumo, a 17-year-old student.

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.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

July, 2019: Kalulini Boys' Secondary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Kalulini Boys' Secondary 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

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: Kalulini Boys' Secondary School

February, 2021

A year ago, your generous donation helped Kalulini Boys’ Secondary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Samuel. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kalulini Boys' 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!

"Life was very challenging here at school before the construction of the water tank. Water would run out very fast, and we would always have to postpone personal cleanliness until boozers brought in the water. At times, the water boozers would delay their delivery, which would disrupt the daily school programs. We would stay for days or weeks during the dry seasons without showering, washing our dormitories or clothes. It was very uncomfortable studying without having showered. The classrooms were also very dirty," said Samuel L, a 16-year-old student.

"Fetching water from the school water tank is very user-friendly for the students because it is within the school compound, and there are no restraints or strains to get to it. Water is readily available for use by the students, which has helped improve the students' general hygiene and sanitation. There's no more overcrowding around the water source as it was before. We bathe daily, wash our clothes regularly, clean our dormitories daily and classrooms. Showering daily has boosted our concentration levels in class. Also, we have managed to adopt the handwashing practices that have helped reduce the spread of diseases and cases where students complain of illnesses."


"The availability of water in school has enabled me to have ample time for studying. I can concentrate better in class because there's no struggle to get water like before. Since the water tank construction in our school, I created a personal study timetable for after classes and during the weekends. This has been made possible through the availability of water for cleaning at any time of the day as there are no pressures of fighting for water like before. The water is enough for all the students. I plan to improve my performance academically."

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 Kalulini Boys' 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 Kalulini Boys' 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.


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