Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 529 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/18/2024

Project Features

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Malioni Primary school is found in Kitwa Mikeu village in Southeast Kenya. The school is located in a rural, peaceful locality, sitting in a relatively large piece of land shared with Malioni secondary school. The compound has ten classrooms, a staff room, a school kitchen, a playground, and restrooms for the school community.

Malioni primary school was started by the local community in 1979 to help in the provision of education to the children at the locality who had been covering long distances in search of primary education. The school was then taken up by the Mwingi District Education Board to operate as a government school and has grown over the years through support from parents, the government, and Mwingi Central Constituency Development Fund.

On a typical school day, a student is expected to arrive at school at 6:45 AM, carrying a jerry can of water to supply for the kitchen. Classes begin at 8:30 AM and the day ends at 5:00 PM. The school relies heavily upon the students to provide water for drinking, cooking and cleaning. The small tank on the grounds is not nearly big enough to supply water throughout the school year. And since this is a semi-arid region of Kenya, water is not readily available. So, the school must rely on students and pay for boozers to fill up their tanks on occasion.

"It is such a burden that takes a lot of time instead of rushing to the school directly to pursue personal studies and improve my grades," said student Beatrice N.

The water collected each day comes from various sources and is pooled together - exposing the students to waterborne diseases living in contaminated water. Students at the school have experienced water-related complications in the past, with many students suffering from stomach problems, diarrhea & typhoid over the years. All these conditions are associated with the use of water from unsafe sources without any form of treatment.

This is a burden to young children in pursuit of academic excellence. It has led to low concentration in class and a lot of time being wasted searching for water. The school feeding program has been halted several times due to a total lack of water for cooking. Students end up enduring long days of hunger in school due to a lack of water only.

"Our school has been posting poor exam results over the years. This can be attributed to the continuous use of students in fetching water with some instances requiring children to be sent to the river and draw water for their cooking," said Head Teacher David Kiange.

"This wastes a lot of time meant for classwork, support in implementing a water project would change the narrative for a better school."

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 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

August, 2021: Malioni Primary School Rain Tank Complete!

Malioni 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. 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.

Beatrice N., a 14-year-old student at the school, shared her joy about the new source of clean water. "I am happy that we will now have clean water in school from the new tank. I will no longer be required to carry water to school. Enough water also means regular hand washing and improved hygiene standards in school through improved cleanliness of classes and latrines. Life in school will be good and healthy."

The school's Head Teacher, Mrs. Kilonzi, is thankful for the new tank. "We are happy to be beneficiaries of this amazing water project. As members of the teaching staff, we will now have more contact hours with the pupils in class and co-curricular activities without routine interruptions."

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 a large student population and how rarely it rains in Southeastern Kenya. Therefore, 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 foundation excavation.

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 right up to 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.

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

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 soapmaking.

The training was held on a mild, sunny day under a nearby mango tree, where most of the school's meetings are held.

One of the training participants, Mumo K. (14 years old), shared what he thought of the training: "All the knowledge and skills gained from the training will be utilized to help us improve hygiene and sanitation, not only at a personal level and here in school, but also at home. Personal hygiene is also something very important, as we learned that long nails can harbor germs."

Mumo noted the things the students plan to do differently in the future after attending the training. "We will make handwashing a routine, and use latrines. We will also ensure that we take clean water that has been treated to prevent water-borne diseases."

We asked Mumo what it was like to be at home for most of the last year due to Kenya's national coronavirus-related school closures.

"It was such a sad moment that has really disrupted my academic life," Mumo said. "I had hoped to complete my studies later this year, but it has been pushed up to next year due to the school calendar interruptions. I missed the good moments in class, interacting with school classmates, the games, and the sharing of meals in school."

The Future

When asked about the school's plans for the future, Mrs. Kilonzi said, "We are planning to start a school garden using the available water resources where we will grow vegetables for boosting the students' eating habits. We will also embark on a tree-planting initiative for beautification of our school and creation of more shade within the compound."

Beatrice has similar positive hopes for the future now that the school has a reliable source of clean water. "Initially, a lot of time was spent in the pursuit of water and school routine interruptions, I will utilize the free time created by engaging in more intensive academic activities so as to improve on my performances in school and score good grades."

When an issue arises concerning the rain tank, the students and teachers are equipped with the necessary skills to rectify the problem and ensure the water point works appropriately. However, if the issue is beyond their capabilities, they can contact our field officers to assist them. Also, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our ongoing monitoring and maintenance program.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

July, 2021: Malioni Primary School project underway

A severe clean water shortage in Malioni 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 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: Time to Play with Friends!

August, 2022

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Malioni 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!

Before a rain tank was installed at Malioni Primary School last year, the students and staff suffered without sufficient water.

“I had to endure thirst during the day, as there would be negligible or no water in the school," said Celistis M., a 15-year-old student.

Celistis continued describing what life was like: "Our latrines emitted foul smells, and classrooms were dingy because they were rarely cleaned owing to the rampant water scarcity. We also had to carry water from home to school that was fetched from contaminated sources, such as scoop holes, and carried using unclean jerrycans. This exercise was arduous and exposed us to water-related infections.”

But now, things are different for her and her classmates.

“Unlike before, when I used to spend a lot of time looking for water to drink or clean, water is now readily and easily available. We also have clean water to drink. This will help me concentrate on my studies and improve my grades. I also get more time to play with my friends," said Celistis.

With clean water readily available, hygiene and sanitation at the school have also improved, and students have less risk of getting ill from water-related illnesses.

"Hygiene and sanitation have improved within the school due to water availability. I am less exposed to infections such as typhoid, dysentery, or cholera. I can also practice proper hygiene and sanitation, including hand washing. [And] our latrines and classrooms are now cleaned regularly, which improves comfort during learning," concluded Celistis.

Celistis having a drink with a classmate.

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 Malioni 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 Malioni 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.


2 individual donor(s)