Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 365 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/21/2024

Project Features

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Mbondoni Secondary School is a public day and boarding school with a high number of boarding students. The school lacks a reliable water source to serve the students efficiently. Currently, the school depends on harvesting rainwater off the roof into small plastic tanks, and purchasing water from water boozers at Mwingi town, to meet their drinking, cooking, and cleaning needs.

"We are a young school growing to compete academically with other giants in the region. The lack of adequate water supply has really held us back because buying water for the school population has been very expensive. This has derailed our investment in academic-related activities because a huge budget goes to the purchase of water," said Principal Joseph Wambua.

The available water sources within the school always remain closed to the 365 students who attend here. They are only opened at specific times, and water is only issued to the students by a staff member. The boarding students are provided with only 5 liters each for their daily water needs, including bathing and washing their clothes. This has largely contributed to the existence of poor cleanliness standards at the school, which may expose students' lives to health risks.

"The water I get while in school has been very little to sustain all my daily water needs. It has been a real struggle here in school considering that I am a girl, and cleanliness is always a top priority for me," said student Peris M.

"The school facilities such as latrines and classes are only cleaned once per week because of the low water supply. Sometimes they are uncomfortable to use, but there are no other options."

The school is found on a rural location along the Nairobi Garissa highway. The area is a flat terrain with minimal vegetation cover. The local community parents began the school in 2008, with the initial classrooms and land donated by Mbondoni Primary School. The school has grown through support from the Mwingi West Constituency Development Fund, the government, and the Kitui County government.

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 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

January, 2022: Mbondoni Secondary School Project and Training Complete!

Mbondoni 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.

The completed rain tank.

Faith M., a 19-year-old student, said, "I will now have a clean source of water within a short distance that will ensure I am not exposed to water-related infections. This will ensure I am always present for my studies and not absent because of water-related illnesses."

Faith M.

She continued, "I will also have a more comfortable learning experience because the 104,000-liter tank will hold enough water for drinking, cleaning school facilities, and cooking. The tank will also improve health and hygiene within the school which was not possible before [because] of the water scarcity."

Stephen Kasumbu, a 32-year-old teacher at the school, shared, "More students will be admitted to this school because we now have a sustainable source of water which ensures a conducive learning environment. Students will no longer be required to come to school with jerrycans of water which will ease their learning and ascertain a better learning environment."

Teacher Stephen Kasumbu.

He also commented how the new reliable water source would ease the burden of water collection on students' parents and improve students' chances for completing their education. "The parents will also no longer be required to bring water to [the] school, and instead they will use that water at home for farming or household hygiene. This means that parents will get more farm produce that they could sell and pay the school fees; hence less students will be sent home for fees [not being paid], and I will be able to improve their academic performance."

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

Students learn how to make soap.

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.

Student Peter M. said, "The most important part [learned during the training] was making soap and washing our hands. I learned that when I wash my hands with soap I prevent the spread of COVID-19 and reduce its transmission from one person to the other. Also, cleaning my hands ensures I am free from other diseases because washing hands with soap kill germs."

He continued, "This information will ensure I am always free from harmful diseases which could lead to sickness and finally school absenteeism. This will improve my academic performance and place me in better tertiary institutions [universities]."

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

"A lot of time was wasted staying at home because studies had to be halted. I could not also fully concentrate on my studies because of distractions at home. I had to repeat the same class when we got back yet I could be finishing my secondary studies by now."

We also asked Peter what it has been like coming back to school. "Although school is open, I am not happy because I had to repeat Form Three again. I would now be in Form Four and almost concluding my secondary education. There is also a lot of pressure to complete the syllabus because of the lost time during the COVID-19 break. The classwork is being hurried for us to complete the syllabus within the government's provided timelines."

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!

November, 2021: Mbondoni Secondary School Rain Tank Construction Complete!

Mbondoni Secondary School in Kenya now has access to a new source of safe, clean water thanks to their rain tank, which can collect 104,000 liters of water. The tank is still being cured and needs a coat of beautiful blue and white paint. We'll send you pictures of the freshly painted tank as soon as we get them!

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.


Thank you for making all of this possible!

August, 2021: Mbondoni Secondary School Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Mbondoni 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: “This water point enables easy access to clean water."

March, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Mbondoni 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!

The water situation at Mbondoni Secondary School was almost unbearable for students before we implemented a rainwater catchment system last year.

“The immense water scarcity caused a lot of issues, thanks to the hot and dry climate. For instance, meals could sometimes delay, and conducting personal hygiene was difficult because there was no water in the school. Our classrooms and dormitories were rarely cleaned, making learning uncomfortable. Getting clean water to drink was also difficult because sometimes the water boozer would find no water to deliver, especially during peak drought periods," said 15-year-old Jackline K.

But now that students have access to water when needed, things look different for them.

“This water point enables easy access to clean water. I take less than five minutes to draw water from it, which saves time and allows me to easily quench my thirst," said Jackline.

Not only do students have water to drink - they also have water to meet their hygiene needs.

"We also manage to clean our classrooms, latrines, and dormitory regularly. Proper hygiene and sanitation within the school as well as clean and easily accessible water, has led to a conducive learning environment," said Jackline.

Students also have more time to do other things like eat, play, and study, which helps bring hope for a brighter future.

"Our meals are now prepared within schedule, enabling us to easily resume our classes comfortably. I get more time to play with my friends and study, leading to improved academic performance," Jackline concluded.

Jackline drinking water.

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 Mbondoni 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 Mbondoni 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.