Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 318 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/14/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Kyamulinge Primary School relies on its 318 students to carry water from home each day. The students are expected to come every morning carrying a jerrycan of water. Often, pupils report to school tired because they come carrying books and lunches along with their water from home. Once the water in the school tanks depletes, the students are then sent to fetch water at Kambu well, which is two kilometers away from the school.

As a result of inadequate water supply, the school had to scrap the feeding program. That is why students are now expected to carry their food from home, too, adding to the weight of their daily walk. Due to intense poverty levels in the area, some students do not bring their food from home and may stay hungry the entire day, affecting their academic performance. Parents complain that their children are always tired in the morning as they are expected to bring water to school.

"It is very strenuous for us to carry the jerrycans of water daily. We arrive at school always tired and exhausted. We walk for very far distances when going to fetch water every morning and then we are to come to school to learn, yet we arrive very tired," said Jeniffer, a student at the school.

The sources in which the students collect their water are often open, meaning many students often report to school with dirty water. Students complain of illnesses such as stomachaches, typhoid, dysentery, and other waterborne illnesses resulting from drinking the contaminated water from these open sources. Consequently, cases of absenteeism due to sicknesses are frequent.

"Due to sicknesses, the learners may fail to meet their academic expectations as they are unable to concentrate in class," said Headteacher Martin Mulei.

Cleanliness, hygiene, and sanitation practices are not well maintained due to inadequate water supply. The area is arid, and they have to struggle to get clean water. The school's growth and development, especially the school's infrastructure, is significantly stagnated as they have inadequate water supply to propel the construction of future structures.

The school is located in Makueni County of Kenya. It is found atop a hill in Kyamulinge village. The school was established in 1962 by the Catholic church after one community member donated their land to develop a school. It has grown over time through the parents' and the government's assistance through the Ministry of Education.

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 at school and 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 three 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

January, 2022: Kyamulinge Primary School Rain Tank Complete!

Kyamulinge 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. 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.

Happy for a new rain tank!

Jeniffer K., 13, shared, "We will have enough water for sustaining proper hygiene and sanitation in the school. We will also have enough water for [the] preparation of food in the school. Now, we will also wash our hands after visiting the latrines and also observe the COVID-19 protocols of handwashing and keeping the school clean."

Jeniffer K.

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.

There was plenty of help from community members for the project to be a success.

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.

Laying the foundation.

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.

Headteacher Mr. Mulei with students at the new rain tank.

Martin Mulei, Headteacher, 54, said, "The water tank will be very beneficial to us. We will have adequate clean water within the school. Through this, we will be able to control the risks of our students contracting waterborne diseases. Students will have more time to learn. They will not have to go from class to fetch water, [so] more time will be concentrated on their studies. We also hope that the students will now be able to improve in their academic performances."

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 participants were taken through the topic of COVID-19 which covered areas like how COVID-19 is spread, signs and symptoms of the disease, and how to prevent the spread of the disease among others. During the demonstration on how to wear a mask properly, two students were randomly selected to demonstrate to the rest of the students how to properly wear a mask. The two students who did so well were rewarded with four extra packets of biscuits (cookies).

Carol D.

Carol D., 12, a member of the Child Health Club shared her experience of the training. "The training was very helpful. I am now more knowledgeable of how to avoid the spread of diseases and protect myself from contracting COVID-19. I also loved the soap-making training because it will help me to stay clean and maintain high personal hygiene. I also shared the soap-making process with my mother. I hope we can start making soap at home and also sell [it] to get money."

Students learn soapmaking during the training.

We asked Carol 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.

She said, "I felt very bad because I was not able to learn while I was at home. I had to search for other people to teach me because I love learning although I really missed going to school. I missed coming to school to learn. I missed my teachers and my colleagues. I love learning Kiswahili and I missed learning it with my classmates."

She continued to tell us how she felt now that she was back to school. "I feel very good because studies are progressing well. It is cheaper learning in school because the school fees are regulated. Learning at home was expensive because the tutors overpriced their services which at times strained my parents financially."

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!

December, 2021: Kyamulinge Primary School Rain Tank Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Kyamulinge 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: "I am really happy about this project."

January, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kyamulinge 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!

Last year, students had to waste their lunch and recess time trekking 30 minutes away to a local river for water.

“Before, sincerely, life was hard," explained 40-year-old teacher Victor Mutisya. "We expected little or no rainfall. This pushed us to look for water from [the] River Manyanzala, which is one kilometer away. The pupils would rush to the river during their free time. Due to long queues at the river, most of the time, the activity would delay school programs as [the students] would wait for a long time before coming back.”

“Initially, we experienced a lot of challenges pertaining [to] water," said 13-year-old student Christine M. "Drinking water was not always available. Also, food couldn’t be cooked well. Our hygiene was very poor, from our utensils to the classes. We used to carry water with us every single morning. Myself, I used to trek for 30 minutes carrying water to the school: a very tiresome activity indeed.”

But since we installed a high-capacity rain tank at the school to capture the rain whenever it comes, life at Kyamulinge has improved drastically.

“Now, getting water from this water tank is very easy and convenient," Christine said. "Anyone can get water anytime they feel like [it]. I am really happy about this project. I no longer have to carry water with me every morning. This has really reduced the stress and burden of coming to school with a jerrycan each day.’’

“To us, [this] is a great change," said Mr. Mutisya. "Pupils don’t run here and there in search of water. We are currently saving on time [once] used for fetching water. We are now able to cover our syllabus on time and prepare our pupils early for exams. We are not worried anymore about sickness as we are satisfied that they are getting safe water.”

Now, members of the school community have the mental and physical energy to improve things for themselves and the school.

“In the past year, as a member of [the] environmental club, we managed to plant 50 trees and [are] still hoping to plant more," Christine said. "I have managed to keep myself clean and my environment clean, too. Currently, we have plenty of time to play and do assignments whenever we have them from our teachers."

“In the past years, we really wanted to have at least [one] handwashing point at the school, but due to lack of water, we couldn’t," said Mr. Mutisya. "Now, we have been able to have several handwashing stations.’’

Kids fill their water bottles at the 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 Kyamulinge 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 Kyamulinge 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.


Project Sponsor - Legacy Plumbing, Inc.
The Hartford employee match
4 individual donor(s)