Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 346 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Apr 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/08/2024

Project Features

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There is a complete lack of clean water to sustain the 347 students and staff at Murwana Primary School.

Water brought to school by students is from untrusted sources and not safe for human consumption. Students are required to carry water to school on a daily basis, and this has been burdensome with the long distances involved and has left students feeling tired during school.

They either bring water from home or collect it along the way, but the water most often comes from open scoop holes from the nearest riverbed. This water is muddy and open to contamination. This exposes the students to waterborne diseases - thus increasing the likelihood they fall ill and miss class.

"Asking students to carry water is also not good because they should only be coming to school to learn and concentrate in class," said Headteacher Isaac Kariuki.

In addition, the water source is depended upon by the whole of Murwana Village so it is always crowded with residents. That forces people to wake up early and get water if they want to avoid waiting in line.

The school latrines and classes are rarely cleaned owing to the water situation at the school.

"There is not enough water to maintain good standards of hygiene and sanitation. It exposes the school population to unforeseen dangers," said Mr. Kariuki.

This creates an unfavorable learning environment for young children in pursuit of their dreams.

About the School

Murwana Primary School was started by the Murwana Community in 1969, which initiated the construction of the first classrooms through a public funds drive. The school was later taken up by the government and has been operating under the AIC Church. With no formal sponsors, the school has grown through the support of parents and the government.

The school is found in a peaceful, rural village. Dry conditions experienced in the area have hugely contributed to the low vegetation cover within the locality. Most of the buildings in the surrounding area are made of mud and grass.

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

April, 2020: Murwana Primary School Project Complete!

Please note, all photos in this report were taken before social distancing recommendations went into effect.

Murwana 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.

"This is a game-changer to our school. The students, staff, and parents are all happy to have realized this important water project," said Isaac Kariuki, Head Teacher of the school.

"Once it is filled with water, our water problems will be a thing of the past and our pupils will no longer be required to carry water to school which has been a burden to them. We return our thanks to the donors full of happiness."

Rain Tank

Murwana Primary is affiliated with the Kyandani 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

3 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 9 students can wash their hands at the same time.

New Knowledge

The training was held on school grounds. The area field officer Mr. Patrick Musyoka organized the training. He visited the school ahead of time and informed the school head teacher, who then mobilized the pupils and staff members for the training.

The attendance of the training was as expected with more than 300 people there. All students and members of staff were present making it a full house affair. The good attendance was motivated by timely communication and goodwill from the school leadership.

The training condition was conducive to learning. It was done inside a classroom that accommodated all of the attending students and staff, and it was quiet enough with no external distractions.

Handwashing lesson

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.

“This training will help us to directly link personal hygiene and good health. The role plays that where involved prompted us to discuss and genuinely understand the key issues related to personal cleanliness and hygiene," said Julius, a student at the school.


"Hygiene and sanitation education has also motivated and encouraged us to be always eager to do good at any given time.”

Soapmaking was identified as the most memorable topic by all of the students. During this topic, an introduction to the soap chemicals was done before sharing the instructions for stirring the soap. Then the procedure was given and finally the actual soapmaking commenced. Students showed a lot of interest during this activity.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

February, 2020: Murwana Primary School

Dirty water is making students in Murwana Primary School sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this community through the narrative 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!


Project Sponsor - The Patyrak Family
Steven & Carisa Jones Family Fund Community Foundation
Stillwell Family Fund
Fishing Creek Baptist Church
Sacred Heart Leather
ahmad kolailat
Partner Engineering and Science
Petoskey Michigan, Senior English 2020
Atlas Artworks
Charities Aid Foundation
Ally Financial Inc.
Go Empathy, LLC
CyberGrants, LLC
Feminaire's Campaign for Water
41 individual donor(s)