Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 375 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2021

Functionality Status:  Low/No Water or Mechanical Breakdown

Last Checkup: 03/18/2024

Project Features

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Kalatine Primary School was started by the Kalatine community in 1980 to serve as a learning center for children of the locality who had been traveling long distances to access education. The school is found on a small piece of land shared with Kalatine Girls' High School. The compound has classrooms, a staff room, student dormitories, and latrines. The school has invested in tree planting and as a result, the school enjoys significant tree coverage.

The school has no source of water for its 375 students.

The school relies on students carrying water to school from their homes every day. The boarding students are required to walk to a river source each evening and get water to sustain their activities in school. This contributes to a huge wastage of time which could otherwise be utilized in academic-related affairs.

"As a boarding student in this school, I have never had enough water to conduct my personal cleaning activities," said pupil Elijah.

"We are always required to walk to the river and fetch water for our use. It is such a tedious exercise and a majority of us come back tired, leading to poor concentration in class"

The lack of water significantly impacts the school. Because there is no reliable source it often runs out. The school feeding program has been halted on several occasions due to the lack of water to sustain the activity. Students like Elijah suffer from having to get water each day and the school is unable to provide the necessary investments in the students to improve their learning experience.

"Our school lacks a reliable water source which makes life difficult for teachers and students. The school has experienced a slow growth rate despite the students' good performance as many potential parents are concerned by the lack of a reliable water source in school," explained Head Teacher Faith Muthengi.

Rain Tank

We will build a 104,000-liter rain tank for this school. 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

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: Kalatine Primary School construction complete!

Kalatine 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.

"My stay in school will now be more fun and enjoyable. I will get enough water for all my needs while in school, unlike before where there has been a lot of rationing and sometimes being required to walk to the river for water fetching," said student Elijah Nzambi.

"I am looking forward to more concentration in my studies because the school routine will now be smoother than ever. The existence of a clean water supply will also enable us to practice regular hand washing in school, especially during this Covid 19 pandemic while also ensuring improved standards of hygiene and sanitation in school."

Our teams were unable to finish the tank before the end of the school term. After school resumes in May, they will return to paint the tank. We will send another update to share pictures of the painted tank with some of the students using it!

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.

Mixing cement

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.

Foundation work.

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.

Artisans working on the 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 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.

Complete tank

"We are happy to have been beneficiaries of this water tank project. Having this tank will make our stay in school more comfortable by ensuring the smooth running of the school routine and maintenance of high standards of hygiene and sanitation. Our boarding students will now have enough water for all their daily needs and maintain cleanliness in school. This will lead to the school attracting more students because of the existence of a reliable, clean water source," said Headteacher Faith Muthengi.

Handwashing Stations

Demonstration at the new handwashing station.

Our team 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.

New Knowledge

The area field officer Patrick Musyoka informed the school headteacher of the training and its purpose. The hygiene and sanitation training is normally done with pupils after completion of the tank so that awareness of hygiene issues is addressed to help transform behaviors. When Patrick informed the school headteacher of the training date, she mobilized the pupils and teachers to be prepared for the training.


The attendance was as expected since it was on a normal school day and all the pupils were present, and they all attended the training. Some 415 students were present.

The training was held within the school compound under trees because the population was too high to physically distance indoors. The venue had enough space and good shade that accommodated all attending members and was conducive for good learning.

Members of the student health club.

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 also held a COVID-19 sensitization during the training. During this time, the team discussed how COVID is spread, what can be done to prevent its spread, and what to do if someone contracts the virus. While discussing, pupils were asked to mention all the diseases they thought were transmitted through the air, and one pupil in nursery school confidently raised his hand to answer and said HIV/AIDS. All the other pupils from the upper classes laughed at him loudly. But it provided an opportunity to discuss how HIV/AIDS is transmitted. Pupils said that they will always remember all that we discussed.

Soapmaking activity.

"This training will be of great importance to us. As pupils, we feel that it will be of very great importance to us since we will have sufficient time at home to educate our siblings, friends, and neighbor's so that they can transform their behaviors to help in disease prevention," see student Mumbua M.

"For instance, when Covid-19 was first reported in the country in 2020, people were very serious with handwashing, but when the infection rates went down, we relaxed practicing handwashing which has also exposed us to contracting other fecal-oral diseases. We will also improve on other hygiene practices like, for instance, the use of latrines, food hygiene, drinking clean water, and compound hygiene in our school."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

March, 2021: Kalatine Primary School project underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Kalatine 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 Videos

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: Improved Concentration in Class!

May, 2022

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kalatine 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!

Eleven-year-old Patricia M., a student at Kalatine Primary School, shared what it was like for her and her classmates before a rain tank was installed at their school last year. “We had to go [to] the river to fetch water from the scoop holes, which left us exhausted and unable to fully concentrate on [our] studies. The water we brought using our jerry cans to school was also insufficient; thus, most of us were left thirsty throughout the day. We also had to carry food from home because the school could not feed us due to the water scarcity.”

But since the rain tank was installed, things have been different, and focusing at school has become easier for Patricia and her fellow students. “I no longer have to carry water from the river because of this water tank’s large capacity, which gives me more energy to concentrate in class."

She continued, "I can now study in a clean environment which makes learning comfortable thanks to the water tank. My academic performance has also improved because I spend more time and energy learning [in] class. The water point is nearby and offers enough water for the entire school population.”

Hopefully, with more time and energy to dedicate to their studies, Patricia and her friends will have a brighter future.

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 Kalatine 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 Kalatine 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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