Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 173 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/03/2024

Project Features

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On a normal school day, a student at Mung'alu Primary School is expected to arrive by 6:45 am carrying a container of water. The water they bring is then used to help clean the school in the morning, to cook with for lunch, and to provide something for the students to drink during the day.

The 173 students at the school must bring water each day because there is no reliable source of water here. The children, some as young as 5 years old, are burdened by the physical weight of carrying containers of water to school each day. For some, it is simply easier to bring nothing and not have water until going home at 5:00 pm. The school feeding program has been stalled in the past and the students have had to endure long days without meals due to a total lack of water for cooking.

"Life in school has not been easy. Carrying water to school has been discouraging and a burden to me as it affects my journey in the morning. I pass by the nearest water point to get water and it has several times caused me to arrive at school late, leading to punishment by the teacher on duty," explained Maluki, a student at the school.

Some students miss school entirely to avoid having to carry water, said Head Teacher Winfred Mututa. And then there is the fact that the water the students bring is often unsafe for drinking.

"Some of the water we get here is dangerous for human consumption. Some of the containers come with colored water while others are smelly, both of which expose the school population to many health concerns," she said.

The school was started by the Mung'alu community in 1987 to create an educational institution in their village to meet the educational needs of their children who had been traveling for long distances to access an education. The school has been operating under the sponsorship of the Africa Inland Church while developing through support from the government, parents, and the Mwingi West Constituency Development Fund.

The time and money spent dealing with the water crisis at this school are holding its students back.

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

June, 2021: Mung'alu Primary School project complete

The students at Mung'alu Primary School are back to class with a brand new rainwater harvesting tank to ensure that they have safe, reliable water every day. Our teams returned to train the students on the tank and their new handwashing stations. Here are a few pictures from our visit:

May, 2021: Mung'alu Primary School Construction Complete!

Mung'alu 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. These components work together to unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

Our team completed the project shortly before the end of term, but we could not finish painting the tank to share pictures of the students using it before they went home. The good news is students are about to restart school. We will share pictures of the tank and the students using the water that is already collecting inside. We did, however, get to speak with students and teachers upon the project's completion and before term break.

"This water point will be a game-changer in our school. The life of teachers and learners will now be better and smooth because the tank will resolve the challenge of water," said Head Teacher Winfred Mututa.

"This water project will provide us with unlimited water resources, which will be available to the school all year round. As a school, we plan to start a school garden and grow vegetables that will supplement the children's meals in school."

Rain Tank

We held a meeting with all of the parents and the headteacher 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 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.

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 we can identify gaps through our ongoing monitoring visits.

"The project will completely change my life. I will no longer be required to carry water to school daily, which has been a burden and a tedious activity every morning. I will now be able to arrive at school on time and more energetic to concentrate more in class," said student Maluki N.

"The availability of water in school will increase the time spent on personal studies in the morning because I will no longer have to pass through a water source. I look forward to spending much time wisely, which will help me improve my personal grades and the school scores."

Handwashing Stations

We delivered three new handwashing stations 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.

Handwashing demonstration at the new stations.

New Knowledge

Bernadette Makau, the field officer in charge of projects in this region, informed the school head teacher about the desired training. The teacher likewise informed the rest of the school that hygiene and sanitation training is normally done once a tank is constructed and that it was scheduled for a date as agreed upon with our team.

Having the training at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we chose to do the training outside in the school compound under a tree. The venue was conducive and had enough shade throughout the training.

Students at the training

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. We focused on COVID-19 prevention, transmission, and symptoms while also covering several other topics.

One notable topic was handwashing. We did a handwashing demonstration for the students to show how to follow the right procedure for clean hands. After the demonstration, a student was called to demonstrate the steps to the other students. Students were impressed by the activity because they said it was a procedure that none knew previously.

"This training is a good one for everyone. We have learned a lot from it, and if we put it into practice, our lives will change positively. We will improve on the handwashing procedure, which we have not been doing rightly. We will also prevent ourselves from diseases by eating clean food, drinking clean water that is treated since we have learned different water treatment methods, wearing masks, and observing all other recommendations from the government throughout to prevent ourselves from COVID-19," said student Mercy.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

March, 2021: Mung'alu Primary School project underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Mung'alu Primary School drains student's time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Please 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: Academic Performance Soaring Higher!

September, 2022

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Mung'alu 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 had to carry water from home using jerrycans, which were open to contamination since they accumulated dust during the day. Carrying water was also a tedious task since most of us reside several kilometers away from the school. This left us exhausted and unable to fully concentrate on [our] studies," said 13-year-old Mercy M.

But life has been different for Mercy and her classmates since the tank was installed at their school last year.

“I no longer have to carry water from home, which offers me more energy and time to focus on learning because the implemented project is nearby and offers enough water. I can also drink clean water whenever I am thirsty, which does not expose me to infections such as typhoid, dysentery, or amoeba. I can also wash my hands to protect myself against diseases because there is enough water in the school from the implemented project," said Mercy.

"My personal hygiene and sanitation have improved because there is enough water within the school. Learning in a clean environment has also enabled my academic performance to soar higher," Mercy concluded.

Mercy (right) has a drink with her friend at the rain 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 Mung'alu 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 Mung'alu 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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