Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 360 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/03/2024

Project Features

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Kamuwongo Primary school is found a short distance from the Kamuwongo community center in Kitui County of Southeast Kenya. The area is peaceful and rural with significant vegetation cover from indigenous trees.

Each day, the 360 students who attend the school must bring their own water. The school struggles with cases of student absenteeism due to the burden caused by carrying heavy containers of water each day and the illnesses caused by the students drinking water from unknown and often unsafe sources.

"I am sometimes required to pass by the river to fetch water on my way to school, regardless of the possibility of arriving late. It has not been easy to carry water to school on a daily basis as it is burdening and tiresome," said Paul, a student at the school.

The school feeding program has occasionally been halted due to a lack of water for cooking.

"We are an old school that has remained stunted because of a lack of adequate clean water supply to sustain a boarding facility. Even us as teachers, we carry our own drinking water in school which tells you the gravity of the matter and the need for a clean water project here," explained Deputy Head Teacher Mrs. Muvea.

Kamuwongo Primary school was started in 1959 by the local community and taken up by the district education board to operate as a government school. It is one of the oldest schools in the region. The school has grown through the support of parents, the government, and the Mwingi North Constituency Development Fund, yet they still do not have enough clean water for their daily needs.

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

May, 2021: Kamuwongo Primary School update from the field

The water tank at Kamuwongo Primary School was completed in 2020 when schools were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When the students returned to class, they returned to a school with a reliable source of water. Our team recently visited the school as a part of our quarterly monitoring program.

Here are a few pictures from the visit:

September, 2020: Kamuwongo Primary School construction complete!

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

Kamuwongo Primary 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 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 happy that our dreams are coming true," said Mrs. Mueva, the Deputy Headteacher of the school.

"The project is now completed, and we are looking forward to a water-secure school. The availability of water in school means I will no longer be required to buy or carry drinking water while in school."

Construction of the rain take was finished after Kenyan schools were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When schools reopen at the start of 2021, we will return to share an update on the rain tank and share some pictures of it in use!

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.

Construction materials.

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.

"I will no longer be required to carry water to school daily as it has been the norm before this project. The availability of clean water in school will mean access to adequate water amounts for drinking every time thirst strikes while in school," said Kimanzi M, a student at the school

"I will be more settled in school, and I look forward to improved grades."

Handwashing Stations

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

Trainer demonstrates how to use the new handwashing station.

New Knowledge

The school was informed about the planned training by the field officer in charge of the area, Mr. Austin Mumo. Mr. Mumo contacted the school headteacher and told him about the training and agreed on a date. The school headteacher then informed and mobilized the pupils and the teachers for the training.

The venue of the training was at the school assembly ground. The assembly point was the only place within the school that had enough space for all the participants. The weather was sunny, but the venue had various tree shades that provided shelter. The environment was conducive to learning.

The attendance was as expected. All the pupils and teachers present at school that day attended the hygiene and sanitation training. Only a few pupils were absent on the day of the training who missed the activity.


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 pupils were taken through a demonstration of how diarrhea diseases are transmitted. We used posters with different drawings showing different hygiene behaviors to illustrate how people can come into contact with human feces. In an open discussion, some of the pupils opened up about practicing open defecation when at home, especially during grazing time, firewood collection, and while going to fetch water.

Child health club

"Yes, the training was educative. The training will help us reduce diarrhea-related diseases in our school. We will be neat always and maintain high standards of hygiene," shared Kimanzi.

"The soap will help us in hand washing before meals and after visiting latrines and in cleaning our latrines & school facilities."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

July, 2020: Kamuwongo Primary School project underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Kamuwongo Primary 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: Less Sickness, More Time!

September, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kamuwongo Primary 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!

"We used to get water from home, and we'd fetch after school. This used to consume a lot of my homework time. Water is now available for drinking, handwashing, and the waterborne diseases have [been] reduced. We are planning to start an agriculture project in our class."

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 Kamuwongo Primary 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 Kamuwongo Primary 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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