Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 89 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Apr 2020

Functionality Status:  Low/No Water or Mechanical Breakdown

Last Checkup: 12/10/2022

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Nyanyaa Secondary School is found in a silent rural location just near Nyanyaa shopping center in the Mwingi region of southeast Kenya. The extensive rural location is characterized by low vegetation cover and is sparsely populated. The few homesteads visible were made of mud and roofed with iron sheets with a few made of bricks and roofed with iron sheets.

The School was started in 2011 as an initiative of local parents with support from Mwingi North Constituency Development Fund The school has no official sponsor and has been operating as a District Education Board School, growing to 98 students through support from the government and parents.

The current water source for the school is a community water point at the Mwania river. It is a water point used by all community members of the public within Kalima Mundu village. The well covered and fitted with a functional hand pump and has been providing water to all members of the public and animals within the village.

On the day of our visit to the school, which was around noon, more than 50 people were queuing to get water at the well. Each person had at least four 20 liter containers and one donkey. This illustrated the issue that the students face on a daily basis. They have to travel off-campus to get water from a well that has long lines because it is used by the community. All of this time spent fetching water could be directed towards learning.

So, the school must spend money to ensure that the students do not lose time fetching water. But that means that financial resources that could benefit the school and the students are spent attaining water.

"The state of water affairs in our school is seriously in need," said Deputy Principal Winfred Sammy.

"We have no constant supply of water within our school which has led to us contracting donkey vendors to supply us with water. It has been expensive and the source of water is not always reliable. Water delays have in the past led to interruptions of school routine and unrest among students."

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 at 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

04/03/2020: Nyanyaa Secondary School Project Complete!

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

Nyanyaa 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.

"We are very happy that our young school was considered and supported in the implementation of this project. It will help alleviate the water crisis here by providing us with enough clean water all year round for students and staff," said Deputy Principal Winfred Sammy.

"Money initially spent on water can now be channeled to other development-related activities such as the construction of a science lab and more classes."

Rain Tank

Nyanyaa Secondary School is affiliated with the Syiluluku Rock Catchment 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

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 area field officer Mr. Mumo contacted the school principal and notified him about the need to have a hygiene and sanitation training for the school community. A date was agreed upon and communicated back to our sanitation and hygiene department. The school head notified and mobilized all teachers and students to attend the training.

The training was held under a tree in the school compound. More than 75 students were able to attend 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.

Overall, the students were active participants. Handwashing with soap was emphasized to ensure that students and teachers did not get sick. Critical moments for handwashing were also discussed, then the procedure was demonstrated.

This activity was found special because students requested one of their teachers to demonstrate handwashing but he did not do it right so they started laughing at him. They also said that now having understood the procedure, they will make it part of their daily practice to prevent diseases.

Mixing soap

"Today's training will bring about a great change in our lives. This is because we will practice what has been taught to us and that way, we will be able to improve on hygiene," said Joseph, a student at the school.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

02/03/2020: Nyanyaa Secondary School

Dirty water is making students in Nyanyaa Secondary 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

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.


2 individual donor(s)