Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 174 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/24/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Mukuku Secondary School is situated in the Nduluku sub-location within Makueni County, Kenya.

The school is found in arid and semi-arid lands which are prone to receive little to no rainfall due to climate change. It relies on 1 10,000-liter rain tank to harvest rainwater for use during the academic year - not nearly big enough to support the 160 students that go here.

The water harvested is never sufficient for all the school needs such as cooking, drinking, laboratory uses, and cleaning. It barely lasts for the first week of a school term.

"Water in school is never enough because we have very few tanks. During the dry season, we get water from the earth dam which is far from school," said Shene, a student at the school.

"Time that could be used for learning is spent looking for water. The water served for drinking is usually dirty and at times is seen to have particles or worms. Often, students complain of stomachaches and diarrhea after drinking the water."

The water fetched from the earth dam is also not clean for direct consumption because it is an open water source which is exposed to various pathogens. It is also used by livestock, posing risks of contracting waterborne diseases such as typhoid or skin infections to the students.

To help deal with the problem of water access, the school purchases water from vendors. The school has to spend a lot of money to purchase water which is very expensive since the payment of school fees by the parents is not done consistently. A delayed water supply disrupts the school programs which in turn wastes a lot of time which was to be used for studying.

"The school had plans to expand its infrastructure and begin a boarding facility for the students who have to walk for long distances to get to school, but most of its funds are channeled to purchasing water," shared Deputy Principal Miriam Nduku Maasia.

"The students' performance has been seen to deteriorate due to the strains of having to walk to fetch water for use in the school. With the presence of a constant water supply, the school will be conducive for the students to learn."

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

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

June, 2021: Mukuku Mixed Secondary School Project Complete!

Mukuku Mixed 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.

"Having the water tank will enable us to have clean water for drinking. We will build infrastructures that will enable us to have a conducive learning environment for our students, such as laboratories, classrooms, and dormitories. Finances that the school used in buying water in the past will be channeled to other development projects," said teacher Samuel Manthi.

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.

Mixing the 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.

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.

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.

New Knowledge

The Child Hygiene and Sanitation Training was organized by the area field officer Rhoda Mwangu, who contacted the school Principal and informed him about the training. The students and teachers were notified about the scheduled training and were urged to attend.

The venue of the training was at the school assembly grounds. It was a conducive environment for the training session as it was spacious enough to accommodate all the students and observe all the COVID-19 protocols, including physical distancing. We discussed topics including student health club activities, disease transmission, preventing disease spread, personal hygiene, handwashing; water hygiene, food hygiene, latrine hygiene, and soapmaking.

Soapmaking was identified as the most memorable topic by all the students. During this topic, our trainers did an introduction to the soap chemicals. The trainer gave the instructions for stirring the soap and the complete procedure. After the discussion, the students got to actually make soap. The students showed a lot of interest during this activity.

Mixing soap

"The information learned from this training has been instrumental in providing useful information about the spread of diseases and better prevention mechanisms through the practice of better hygienic behaviors. I have also learned about soap making, and I intend to use this knowledge in preparing soap at home for improving our hygiene and sanitation standards," said student Fridah N.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

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 Classrooms and Dishes!

June, 2022

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Mukuku Mixed 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!

"Initially, we experienced a lot of challenges pertaining [to] water. Drinking water was not always available. Also, food couldn't be cooked well [and] our hygiene was very poor," said 16-year-old Cynthia M., describing life before our rain tank installation last year.

She continued, "We could [only] get water from the dam, which was not very safe. Agriculture students would have it rough, as they had to trek all the way to the dam in order to get water for their farms. This was time-consuming as well as a tiresome activity."

But things are different for Mukuku's students this year.

"Now life has become better. Learning has been improved as students do not waste time fetching water from the dam," explained Cynthia.

Students are now committing their restored time and energy to learn, which is worth celebrating!

"We are able to clean our environment, wash our classes, and our dishes too. Agriculture students enjoy their lessons even more as they know at the end of the day they will not need to walk so long to get water for their crops."

"As the school prefect (senior supervising student), I will make sure that more [students] plant trees. So far, we have had some, and [they] are currently doing well," said Cynthia.

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 Mukuku Mixed 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 Mukuku Mixed 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.


Project Sponsor - StossWater