Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 180 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/20/2024

Project Features

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Kasyalani Mixed Day and boarding secondary school is a public school found in Kitui County, Kenya. The school started in 2009 by Kyandali village community members and primary school parents who wanted to offer secondary school education to children of the local area who had initially traveled long distances to access secondary school education. The school has realized its growth through support from parents, the government, and the Kitui county government.

The school is found on a piece of land shared with Kasyalani primary school. The school has five classes, a staff room, an administration block, a kitchen, restrooms, and dormitories. The school's primary water sources are four small tanks that are filled by local water vendors. The water often runs out. The school spends a lot of money on paying bills of water to sustain its population. This is money that would otherwise have been invested in school infrastructure and academic-related activities.

"It has been expensive buying water for this school, and even with that, the water is never enough to cater to the water needs of our students and staff," said Deputy Head Teacher Julius Muithya.

"With a reliable water source, the school would grow fast and allocate more resources to school infrastructure and learning activities, which would, in turn, improve performance."

Also, the school's hygiene and sanitation levels are low due to the need to save water for cooking and drinking. This exposes members of the school community to health risks, especially at the restrooms, which are never cleaned. The lack of a reliable water source has led the school to become unpopular among parents and new students. They are against joining a school without enough water within its premises.

"School latrines and classes are never washed with water, which sometimes makes them dusty. Its such an unfavorable learning area," shared Jane M, a student at the 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 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

August, 2021: Kasyalani Mixed Day Secondary School Rank Tank Complete!

Kasyalani Mixed Day 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. 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.

Boys at their new handwashing station.

One student, Kamkoto M., shared how access to the new waterpoint has already impacted her life. "Due to improved hygiene and sanitation in our class[room]s and washrooms, I will be less exposed to diseases such as diarrhea and COVID-19. I am also able to focus on my studies more because I no longer have to spend a lot of time and effort looking for water. I can now get a safe water source that offers clean water for drinking and cooking."

"It will greatly help in thwarting water scarcity issues, such as [finding] clean water for drinking," said teacher David Syanda. "It will also help me perform my duties better, since I will not spend a lot of time and effort asking my students to fetch or look for water. I can use that time to improve their academic performance. This water point will also open up my students to other projects, such as agricultural projects, which will also enhance their academic performance."

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.

New gutters!

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.

Girls at handwashing station.

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.

Health club members.

After the trainer demonstrated the handwashing technique, a student volunteered to demonstrate as well.

He later asked whether he could be given half of the soap made during the training, because he participated the most and he wanted to go home and show his siblings proper handwashing techniques. Although the other pupils laughed at him, it motivated them to continue practicing proper handwashing at home.

Samuel K., the chairperson of the school's health club, shared the topics that were most helpful to him during the training: "This training will help us improve our hygiene and sanitation. Apart from personal hygiene, this training will also improve food hygiene and clean water consumption. We will also impart knowledge from the training to our siblings while encouraging them to use latrines."

"I have learned how to properly wash my hands, wear masks and maintain social distancing," said Isaac M., a 20-year-old student who attended the training. "This knowledge will help me to keep off the COVID-19 pandemic and other hygiene-related diseases. Being safe from diseases will ensure zero distraction from academic activities."

"Being day scholars, most of us come from destitute families," Samuel K. added. "We can make soap for selling to raise some money that can cater for our personal needs, including school fees."

We asked Isaac what it was like to be at home for most of the last year due to Kenya's national coronavirus-related school closures and what it has been like coming back to school.

"I missed learning with the rest of my colleagues in class," Isaac said. "It is more entertaining to learn together and discuss topics that I may have a problem with. I am extremely elated to be back at school."

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: Kasyalani Mixed Day Secondary School project underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Kasyalani Mixed Day Secondary 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: No More Purchasing Water!

February, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kasyalani Mixed Day 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 Kasyalani Mixed Day Secondary School, the students had to walk long distances to collect water and found their learning environment less than ideal.

"The rampant water scarcity within the school caused a lot of issues. For instance, we had to walk about a kilometer to draw water from one of the community members, an energy-draining and time-consuming affair. Our classrooms were rarely cleaned, making learning uncomfortable," said 18-year-old John M.

But since the tank was implemented, things have changed for students, giving everyone more time and freedom.

"I now spend less time looking for water because the water point is nearby and offers a steady supply of water, even during the dry months. [The] agriculture students can now irrigate their crops at zero cost, unlike before where [water] had to be purchased," said John.

"Hygiene and sanitation have improved, and students are more comfortable during lessons while keeping off diseases such as COVID-19. I spend less time and energy searching for water which allows me to improve my academic performance," John concluded.

John (left) drinking water from the tank with his teacher Titus Musila.

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 Kasyalani Mixed Day 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 Kasyalani Mixed Day 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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