Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 239 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Apr 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/19/2024

Project Features

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Kalisasi Secondary School was started by the local community in 2011 to address the lack of a secondary school in the area. Local stakeholders organized a funds drive that raised money for the construction of the school's first classrooms. The school operates under the Mwingi Central District Education Board and has realized its growth through support from parents, government, and the Kitui County government.

Today, some 239 students attend Kalisasi Secondary. The school is found in a peaceful, rural setting in Kiseveni Village. The school rests on a relatively large piece of land with significant tree coverage, hosting all of the classrooms, the administration block, staff room, kitchen, a school shamba (farm), and playground. Most of the school buildings are modern.

What the school does not have, however, is a sustainable water source. The administration purchases water from boozers who fill the small plastic tanks that are on the school grounds. The money spent on that water is a significant financial drain on the school. This is money that would have been allocated to academic-related affairs aimed at improving excellence within the school. The school has witnessed a slow growth pace due to the high cost of buying water, which means low enrollment fees. Consequently, construction activities at the school become even more expensive.

"Buying water has been expensive for a young school like ours," said Principal Munyao.

"It is not easy for the school to grow with a large budget ending up in the water. Again, we are unable to start a boarding wing because of a lack of a reliable water source. A boarding wing gives students more time to concentrate on studies that lead to improved grades."

Students do not get enough drinking water while in school because the tanks have to be rationed to save money. This makes student life at the school difficult, with many students opting to transfer. It also leads to a less hygienic school environment.

"Our school lacks water. The available water is brought by lorries, and it is always reserved for cooking and drinking," said teenage pupil Beatrice.

"The classes and latrines are rarely cleaned with water, which makes the environment generally uncomfortable for learning to take place smoothly as the latrines have a bad smell all the time."

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 additional 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 building. 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 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 is instructed on how to oversee and maintain its new rain tank and handwashing stations.

Handwashing Stations

A total of 3 handwashing stations will be installed upon the project's completion and before training. These are 1,000-liter plastic tanks fitted with 3 taps each, allowing 9 students to wash their hands at once. 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

April, 2021: Kalisasi Secondary School Project Complete!

Kalisasi 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 trained students and staff on improved sanitation and hygiene practices. These components work together to unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

"I am very happy now we have enough water in school. The tank holds a lot of water, and we are no longer restricted when accessing water for drinking and other activities in school like before. I will have more time to concentrate in class because I will no longer be troubled by thirst," said student Beatrice K.

"I look forward to improving my grades and passing my exams because school life is now better than before owing to the increased water availability which is being provided without any rationing."

Rain Tank

A meeting with all of the parents and the headteacher 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 because of a large student population and 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.

Mixing cement.

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.

Building tank walls.

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 are installed and channeled into the tank. The roofing is made of iron sheets and timber with 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.

"As a school, we are very happy to have been beneficiaries of this water point. We shall no longer be buying water, which will help us cut the cost of running the school because a lot of money went into water purchases," shared Principal Munyao.

"We are planning to start a girls' boarding facility because lack of enough water has always been the biggest factor holding us back. This will help our school grow while also providing more learning time to the boarding students."

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.

Students use the new handwashing stations.

New Knowledge

Our Field Officer working in the region, Benedetta Makau, liaised with the school leadership and set up a hygiene and sanitation training date. All students and staff were informed and required to attend the training.

Handwashing demonstration.

The training was held within the school compound under some planted trees. It was a conducive environment for learning, and all students were well settled for the training. The weather was also favorable to the activity.

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 students were excited during the soapmaking exercise. They participated well and followed every step keenly. The soapmaking materials were introduced and the procedure written down. Stirring of the soap was done step by step, with many of the students taking part voluntarily. This activity was identified to be memorable because students said that it is an activity that will help in improving hygiene. The soap will be used to clean the classes, dormitory, latrines, offices, kitchen and used for handwashing.

Mixing soap

"This hygiene promotion training is an important one since it is going to change our lives in different ways as far as hygiene and sanitation are concerned," said Beatrice.

"A good number of students here are day-scholars, and I’m very sure that this training will help some of us generate money which can be used to sort our fees or even for shopping.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

February, 2021: Kalisasi Secondary School project underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Kalisasi 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: Enough Water for Irrigation!

April, 2022

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kalisasi 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!

Fifteen-year-old Hosea K., a student at Kalisasi Secondary School, shared the challenges he and his classmates faced without sufficient water before we installed a large rain tank at their school last year.

"We previously experienced a lot of water shortage, which hindered us from cleaning our classrooms and latrines. The latrines emitted foul smells. Accessing water to drink was also difficult since the little tanks ran out, especially during the dry seasons."

The lack of water at the school also impacted the students' learning ability.

Hosea continued, "Agriculture students had a difficult time learning because they couldn't tend to their crops adequately."

But since installing the tank last year, things have been different. "The water tank has helped me a lot. I can now get enough water to irrigate crops that are necessary to excel in the agriculture subject. We plan to plant more trees for environmental conservation since we now have adequate water from the tank," said Hosea.

He continued, "Unlike before, when I used to spend a lot of time looking for water to drink or clean, water is now readily available. This will help me concentrate on my studies and improve my grades."

With ready access to sufficient water, the students at Kalisasi can use their time more efficiently and hopefully build a brighter future.

Hosea and his teacher collecting water from the tank.

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 Kalisasi 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 Kalisasi 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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