Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/19/2024

Project Features

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The existing water tanks at Kiundwani Secondary School are not sufficient for the more than 500 students who attend. Some of the school water tanks are faulty and cannot entirely be depended on by the school.

The rainwater harvested in the water tanks usually runs out after two and a half weeks because they are too small. Water is delivered to school via truck, but this lasts even less time and is too expensive to keep on purchasing. Furthermore, the water acquired by the school from the water trucks is dangerous since the water source is not certain.

The school has a challenge in establishing standard educational facilities since most of their funds are channeled to sourcing water. Although the school has managed to retain a clean, conducive environment for learning, it still remains a problem for them to acquire water because some parents do not pay school fees on time, so the school's funds deplete and they are left with no alternative but to get the water on debt.

Due to the insufficient water, the students have no handwashing culture. This exposes them to high risks of contracting diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, and amoeba.

"At times there are cases of stomachache and diarrhea because we rarely wash our hands after visiting the toilets," said Dominica Mwania, a student at the school.

Nicholas Munyo is a boarding student at the school. He told us that he goes a week without bathing at multiple points during the year and does not wash his clothes often due to the lack of water at the school.

"We try to emphasize cleanliness, but it is not easy to implement due to the lack of water," he said.

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 be enough water to carry students and staff through the entire 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

December, 2019: Kiundwani Secondary School Project Complete!

Kiundwani 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 new handwashing stations for students 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

"The water tank project has relieved the school of many strains it silently suffered from. The project has enhanced the establishment of a conducive environment for the students which boosts their academic performance," said Principal John Kitema.

"Through the installation of the tank in the school, fewer funds will be channeled to purchasing water and this allows for more development within the school. The contraction of waterborne diseases will be minimal because the water from the tank can be treated and the water source is also trusted. Handwashing habits will be adopted in the school thanks to the handwashing facilities installed."

Kiundwani Secondary School is affiliated with the Mbukilye Ngukilye 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 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 Child Hygiene and Sanitation Training was planned for by the sanitation and hygiene officer Judith Kanini, who contacted the area field officer, Benson Kituku, to notify the school principal about the training. The training was conducted in the school compound at the assembly grounds. The point of convergence was conducive for the training as there were sufficient trees to provide enough shade for all of the students. The weather was friendly for the training as it was lukewarm; relatively cold in the morning and fairly sunny in the afternoon.

The attendance was brilliant as we were graced with 570 students (320 girls and 250 boys), 8 teachers, and the principal. The students were excited about the water tank project in their school and this contributed to their interest in the training. The collaboration of the field officer and the school administration greatly contributed to the attendance of the students as well.

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 were eager to learn and they all expressed their interest in the topics discussed. Both girls and boys were active as they asked questions, volunteered for the participatory activities, and were attentive throughout the training. The conduct of the training was seamless because the students were conversant with most topics of discussion. This demonstrated that they easily understood what was being taught and showed promising signs of them effectively adopting the trained skills.

The topic of fecal-oral transmission was very participatory which involved many demonstrative activities. The topic was memorable because the students understood that it is very important to maintain proper hygiene in all aspects of their daily activities by blocking the transmission processes. Washing hands during critical moments, water treatment, environmental protection from pollutants and contaminants, and food hygiene were among the practices that the students vowed to adopt. In addition, the students gagged about their frequent visits to the dispensary after learning how easily they could be preventing many of their diseases through handwashing.

Handwashing demonstration

"The training we received will change our habits and we will improve our hygiene and sanitation. We have been ignorant for a long time because we assumed most of the habits we practiced would not cause any diseases," said Hellen, a student at the school.

"The soapmaking training will help us establish side businesses after completing school. In addition, we can also teach our parents at home what we have learned because the knowledge is applicable both in school and at home."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

October, 2019: Kiundwani Secondary School project underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Kiundwani 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: Kiundwani Secondary School

February, 2021

A year ago, your generous donation helped Kiundwani Secondary 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 Kiundwani Secondary School.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kiundwani 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!

(The following interview was conducted by phone, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)

"We experienced many disease outbreaks in school due to drinking dirty water. The school was not clean as we had insufficient water to conduct proper cleanliness within the compound. The water supply was not sufficient for use," explained 17-year-old Hellen M.

"The tank has helped us as we have an abundant supply of water. It holds a lot of water. We have been washing our hands at all times and also engaging in proper hygiene and sanitation within the school."

"Due to availability of water, we have managed to engage in environmental conservation projects. I have more time to study as I do not have to worry about lack of sufficient water."

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 Kiundwani 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 Kiundwani 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 Sponsor - Lifeplus Foundation