Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 222 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/20/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Community Profile

Our first impression of the water sources at Kyandoa Primary School is that they are inadequate. The school currently possesses two 10,000-liter plastic tanks and one 5,000-liter plastic tank.

With a population of 209 students in the school, the water is insufficient.

The current water tanks used for harvesting rainwater can last the school for two to three months. The school can purchase water, but that drains their finances and deters them from investing in other needs.

That means the water responsibility falls on the students. Once the water in the storage facilities runs out, the students are expected to carry water to school. This has negative impact on their wellbeing as well as their education. The students arrive at school very exhausted. As a result, their performance deteriorates. The lunch program cannot be implemented because there is not enough water for cooking.

"Water scarcity in school is a very big challenge for us," 15-year-old student Alex Kitonga said. "When there is no water in school, we are told to carry water which is very hectic. By the time we get to school in the morning, we are usually very tired. Some of us come from very far and at times we lack water to carry to school."

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!

Sanitation Situation

The latrines at the school are rarely washed due to the insufficient supply of water. When there's no water, they often use ash to dispense the odor - a temporary fix that does not clean the toilets.

"Once we get a sufficient supply of water, we will improve the sanitation of our school by installing handwashing stations, washing our latrines on regular basis and also cleaning our classes in order to reduce the amount of dust on the surfaces," said Headteacher John Mwinzi.

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.


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.

About the School

Kyandoa Primary School was established in 1989 by the joint effort of community members and the New Apostolic Church. With time, the government through the District Education Board began funding the school. This contributed largely to the growth of the school. The parents have also helped the growth of the school by contributing to the construction of its structures.

The school is located in a rural area. The environment of the school is conducive for learning as it is calm and peaceful. The school is built on a very large piece of land. Most of the buildings are older, made from old iron sheets and weak brick walls.

Project Updates

March, 2020: Kyandoa Primary School Project Complete!

Kyandoa 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 3 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 the beginning of a transformation for our school. Having water available all year from this project will bring tremendous change to our pupils and parents," said Mwaniki Mwinzi, the school's Head Teacher.

"Everyone is happy because water access has been the main challenge in our school. It is now sorted and we look forward to improved grades and hygiene within the school."

Rain Tank

Kyandoa Primary School is affiliated with the Mukuni 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 stations has 3 taps so that 9 students can wash their hands at the same time.

New Knowledge

Field Officer Patrick Musyoka was the main contact during this training. Since the school water tank was under construction at the time of training, he visited the school and informed the head teacher about the training and agreed on the set date.

All of the pupils and teachers were invited to the training. On the day of the training, attendance was as expected with more than 115 students ready to participate when our team arrived. This is because the respective class teachers ensured that their students were available to attend the event.

The training was held in the school compound under a tree that provided enough shade for several hours until the end of the session. There were interruptions caused by the strong wind that was blowing that day but thankfully it never hindered the general progress of 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 handwashing activity was said to be interesting and memorable because the pupils saw it as an easy one and it will help them prevent the spread of diseases. They said that most of them had never valued handwashing, but after this training where they learning about the critical times of handwashing and how they get diseases from germs, they decided to change. They also said that they used to dry their hands with their clothes and this made their hands catch more germs, thus exposing them to diseases. They said that they will be letting them air dry in the future.

"It has been a good training that will help us change our lives because incidences of diseases will be minimized through hygiene improvement," said Mumo, a student at the school.

"We will train our parents because we have learned that through soapmaking, one may make a living and meet all basic needs."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

January, 2020: Kyandoa Primary School project underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Kyandoa Primary School drains time, energy, and health from people here. 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!


The Blake Belknap Family
The Core Four
The Cross AU's Campaign for Water
28 individual donor(s)