Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 214 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/08/2024

Project Features

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Kikumini Boys Secondary School was started in 2008 by the community members. It was later closed down for two years due to insufficient funds to run it. In 2010, the school was revived by the government and opened as a public school.

The school is situated in a peaceful and calm rural area that provides a conducive learning environment. The roads meandering to the school are rocky and very bumpy during the dry season and quite slippery and muddy during the wet seasons. Community homesteads and farms surround the school compound.

To date, the school's growth is attributed to both the parents' support and the government. The Kenyan and local government support the school through textbooks, food relief, and teaching staff. The parents are mostly involved in fundraising to build new classrooms and buildings.

The school currently relies on two 10,000-liter plastic tanks that harvest rainwater. It is located in an arid and semiarid land prone to receiving little to no rainfall. Therefore, the water stored in the tanks is not enough to meet the school's needs throughout the year.

"The water in the tanks run out very fast, and by the time the second month of the term clocks in, there is no water in the tank. The school is forced to purchase water, and this affects us because the students who have not cleared their school fees are often chased out of class," said Boniface M.

The school has to borrow a tank from a neighboring school to attempt to store sufficient water for the students, but their efforts have been futile due to the increasing population of the students.

"The school is in dire need of water. Its development has stagnated for a long due to water scarcity. Currently, the computer lab and dining hall construction have stalled because the school has no more funds," shared Principal Nahashon Kimwaki.

"Most of the school finances are spent on purchasing water for use in the school. It's costly to facilitate the water needs as the school has a very high population of students."

The water the school buys comes from unregulated sources. Often, students complain of stomachaches or suffer from waterborne illnesses due to drinking the water at school. Students miss class time as a result - harming their learning experience.

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 construction. We will complement their materials with a skilled artisan to lead the project and provide 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 will also be taught how to oversee best 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 three taps each, allowing nine 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

July, 2021: Kikumini Boys Secondary School Project Complete

Kikumini Boys Secondary School in Kenya now has access to a new source of safe, clean water thanks to the completion of their rain tank, which collects 104,000 liters of water. In addition, 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 ensure we have an adequate water supply in the school. Owing to the fact that we are boarding students and we need a lot of water, we believe that the tank will provide enough water for drinking, washing our uniforms, classrooms, and the dormitories," said student Patrick K.

"I plan to plant trees within the compound to ensure the environment is conducive for learning. I will also join the environment club because now we have enough water supply in the school."

Rain Tank Construction Process

First, we held a meeting with all parents and the school Head Teacher to plan the project. The 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 the large student population and how rarely it rains in Southeastern Kenya. The more water the tank can store during the seasonal rains; the more water will be available through the dry months for the students.

Construction for this large rain tank is much like the construction of a concrete house. First, we leveled the ground for the foundation. Next, we laid alternating layers of impermeable rocks and mortar up to 7 feet high, with internal and external diameters of 25 and 28 feet, respectively.

We built a reinforced concrete column up the tank’s center, which holds up the roof and prevents it from caving in. We then plastered the walls both internally and externally with waterproof cement. After that, we installed several feet of guttering and channeled them into the tank. Finally, we installed the roofing, 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 together we will identify gaps through our ongoing monitoring visits.

"The water will be helpful for cooking, drinking, the establishment of proper hygiene and sanitation, and personal hygiene for the students. The school will not incur the expenses for purchasing water as it did. We anticipate more growth for the school," said Sarah Kioko, the school's cook.

Handwashing Stations

We delivered three new handwashing stations in time for training to be used for handwashing demonstrations. Each of these new stations has three taps so that nine students can wash their hands simultaneously.

New Knowledge

The hygiene and sanitation training was held behind the education block. This venue had adequate space, which enabled the students to observe COVID-19 protocols, such as physical distancing. The weather was also favorable to conduct training as it was very calm.

The attendance was good and was as expected. Some 202 boys were present, while 11 boys were absent due to sicknesses. All the teachers were present.

We trained on a variety of health, hygiene, and sanitation topics. These included student health club activities, disease transmission and prevention, personal hygiene, handwashing, water hygiene, food hygiene, latrine hygiene, and soap making.

The session on COVID-19 was unique because it was the first time the students had received training on COVID-19 since the Kenyan government reopened schools. We took the participants through the following topics on COVID-19:

1. Basic signs and symptoms of Coronavirus
2. How the disease can be transmitted
3. Prevention and control of the disease
4. Hand hygiene: effective hand washing
5. How to wear a mask: do's and don'ts when wearing a mask

We took the participants through the most common signs and symptoms of the disease. This was followed by an open discussion on how the disease can be transmitted; through contact or touching surfaces contaminated with the virus and touching your face (eyes, nose, and mouth). The trainers later took the students by discussing how they can prevent themselves from being infected with the disease, especially within the school.

Soapmaking activity

The participants agreed to the following practices to prevent the spread of the disease:

• Proper handwashing at critical times and to wash hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and running water
• Avoid handshakes/personal contacts
• Improve the standards of hygiene and sanitation at homesteads/school
• Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
• Keep away from people with a Coronavirus infection
• Keep a distance of at least 6 feet from other people
• Cover mouth and nose with a face cover when around others (masks)
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces/objects, especially at home/school.
• Eat fruits with a lot of vitamin C to boost their immune system/white blood cells

The students were also discouraged from sharing personal items, which seemed to be a typical behavior among them.

Handwashing lesson

"The training was valuable as I learned how to manage good personal and general hygiene and sanitation to ensure my health is good at all times. The knowledge of handwashing and soap making has been very key in helping me keep clean, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic," said student Patrick K.

"We learned the best procedures for handwashing. We started washing hands with soap and clean water. The school also put up posters to ensure everyone is notified on how to protect themselves against COVID-19."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

June, 2021: Kikumini Boys Secondary School underway!

Dirty and unreliable water is making students in Kikumini Boys Secondary School sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this school through the narrative and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation, and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with news of success!

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: "Life has greatly changed."

August, 2022

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kikumini Boys 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!

Before we installed a rain tank at Kikumuni Boys Secondary School, both students and teachers experienced hardships due to water scarcity, from water-related illnesses to unclean environments.

“Initially, we experienced a lot of challenges pertaining [to] water," said 18-year-old student, Willy N.

"Drinking water was not always available. Also food couldn’t be cooked well. Our hygiene was very poor, from our utensils to the classes. Many students often visited the hospital due to stomach upsets stirred up by taking (drinking) unclean water."

But now that the school finally has adequate water for all its needs, the school is improving every day.

"Now, life has greatly changed as we have clean and adequate water for drinking, cooking, and maintaining our hygiene," Willy continued. "We spend little time getting water from the water tank, unlike the bygone days [when] we used to wait for bowsers to deliver water for us."

Without having to rely on outside sources for their water, students are able to focus their attention within school grounds.

“As a member of [our school's] environmental club, we managed to plant more trees in our compound, which are shading the school and beautifying it, too. I can now concentrate more on my studies since I have no worries of where I will get clean water from. We also learn in [a] clean environment as we clean our classes using water from our 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 Kikumini Boys 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 Kikumini Boys 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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