Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 275 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Oct 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/19/2024

Project Features

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Mutulani Secondary School has a student population of 250 students. The school relies on rainwater harvested into 4 10,000-liter tanks which run out very fast as the water is used for drinking, cooking, cleaning, laboratory uses, watering plants, and sanitation for the boarding students. Because the school is based in the arid and semi-arid lands of South Eastern Kenya, which is characterized by intermittent rain patterns, the water storage capacity is not enough to sustain them for the whole academic year.

To make the water last as long as possible, the school allocates a daily maximum of 1 liter of water per day for day students and 10 liters of water per day for boarding students. That is well below the United Nations daily minimum standard which states that day students need 5 liters and boarding students need 20 liters of water.

Once the water in the tanks ends, the school has to purchase water from vendors, known as boozers, and at times the water is not clean at all. It is very expensive for the school to purchase water every day. At times, the boozer companies delay the delivery of the water which severely disrupts the school program.

"Delayed water delivery has resulted in delayed school programs such as lessons starting late after lunch and ending very late in the evening because the food is not prepared on time," said Mercy, a student at the school.

"A lot of time is wasted. Understanding what is taught in class at times is not easy, especially when we have stomach upsets because of the drinking water."

The funds spent purchasing water could be channeled to other projects at the school. Academic performances are affected because the students are often disrupted either by inadequate water, which delays the flow of their lessons, or by drinking the dirty water supplied to the school, which leads to sicknesses and absenteeism.

The boarders need water for personal hygiene which has proved to be difficult for both the school and the students because the rationing has been too intense.

"Hygiene and sanitation are not well maintained. As a result of the water shortage, the classrooms, offices, and latrines are not cleaned daily but we try our best to administer cleanliness," said Deputy Principal Damaris Mwende.

Mutulani Secondary School is situated in a rural, remote area of Makueni County and is a co-ed day & boarding secondary school. The area is surrounded by community farms and thick bushes, making the environment lush and green.

The school was established in 1988 by the community members and the parents of the neighboring primary school as they needed a school to enroll their students in after primary education. It began as a day school only, but in 2012 it was upgraded to matriculate both day and boarding students. It has grown over time through the support of both the parents and the government.

"Development in the school has greatly been hindered because most of our finances go to buying water. With an adequate water supply, we believe that the school will grow and its academic performance will improve," said Mwende.

Rain Tank

We will build a 104,000-liter rain tank for this school, making the others look tiny in comparison. Because of how rarely it rains in Southeastern Kenya, this tank's large volume is designed to store as much water as possible during the seasonal rains, making more water available through the dry months. This water will benefit the students, teachers, and supplementary staff.

Parents will mobilize the materials needed for construction, including sand, stones, and water. They will also lend their strength and time to help with the construction. We will complement their materials with a skilled artisan to lead the project in addition to providing the tools, lumber, metal, cement, and gutter system.

As soon as the tank has time to cure, it can begin collecting rainwater for the school's use.


We will train students and staff on sanitation, hygiene, and other topics for 1 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 rain tank and handwashing stations.

Handwashing Stations

3 handwashing stations will be installed upon the project’s completion and before training. These are 1,000-liter plastic tanks fitted with 4 taps each. The student health club and school management will be responsible for making sure the tanks are filled with water and that a cleaning agent such as soap or ash is always available.

Project Updates

February, 2021: Mutulani Secondary School training complete!

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

Mutulani School in Kenya has access to a new source of safe, clean water thanks to the completion of their rain tank, which can collect 104,000 liters of water. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we could not hold the hygiene and sanitation training for the school when the project construction was complete. With the return of students to school, we had the training recently.

Handwashing demonstration at the new handwashing stations provided to the school.

Three new handwashing stations were delivered in time for training to be used for handwashing demonstrations. Each of these has three taps so that nine students can wash their hands at the same time.

New Knowledge

Our field officer in charge of the Kola region Mr.Mukeka visited the school and planned the training together with the school principal whereby the training date and time were scheduled. The school principal would later mobilize the pupils and the teachers for the training.

The training venue was at the school's basketball playground, which also acts as the assembly ground. The school has a challenge of space, and this made observing the protocol on social distancing a challenge, said our teams.

We went over topics including student health club activities, disease transmission, preventing disease spread, personal hygiene; handwashing; water hygiene; food hygiene; latrine hygiene, and soapmaking.

The most memorable topic was handwashing. The participants were taken through all the critical aspects of effective handwashing, which include how to wash hands properly, when to wash hands, and what to use when washing hands. The students were taken through a step-by-step demonstration on how to wash hands using soap and flowing water. They then, in turns, practiced washing hands, following the procedure that they learned. One of the teachers (Mr. Cheruiyot) participated in the handwashing exercise and even competed with some of his students to wash hands properly. This made the session enjoyable and, therefore, memorable.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

November, 2020: Mutulani Secondary School construction complete!

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

Mutulani Secondary School in Kenya now has access to a new source of safe, clean water thanks to the completion of their rain tank, which can collect 104,000 liters of water. We installed handwashing stations and we train students and staff on improved sanitation and hygiene practices as soon as the school year begins in early 2021. These components work together to unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

We will send you another update with information on the training as soon as we can.

Rain Tank

A meeting with all of the parents and the headteacher 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 tank's center, 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 can be identified through our ongoing monitoring visits.

(Photo taken before physical distancing)

Handwashing Stations

Three new handwashing stations were delivered in time for training to be used for handwashing demonstrations. Each of these has three taps so that nine students can wash their hands at the same time.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

September, 2020: Mutulani Secondary School project underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Mutulani 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!

A Year Later: Clean Latrines, Timely Meals, and Better Concentration

October, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Mutulani 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!

“Before the construction of the water tank here in school, we were served with very little water for our personal uses such as bathing, washing our uniforms, and performing our duties of cleaning the classrooms, latrines, and dormitories. We encountered very many challenges to acquire clean drinking and at times the water bowsers would really delay in delivering the water to school. As a result, our school programs were often delayed. Our lunch was served late and at times, as the boarding students, we had to walk to the river to fetch water, which was very exhausting and time-consuming. We also were not used to washing our hands because the school did not have enough water.
“Getting water now is very easy. We are served with enough water for our personal uses such as drinking, cleaning of the school facilities and for our agricultural projects. There is no more time-wasting by getting out of class to walk to the water sources in search of water because it is readily available at the school water tank. The handwashing points are always filled with water, so the students can wash their hands with clean water and prevent themselves from contracting any diseases. Additionally, all our meals are prepared on time.
Personally, I have managed to concentrate a bit more on my studies than I used to before. Hygiene and sanitation practices (personally and generally) have really improved in the past year since we are being served with ample water for use. Now, we learn in clean classrooms and our latrines are also washed on a daily basis enabling the environment to be conducive for learning.”

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 Mutulani 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 Mutulani 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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