Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 171 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 11/20/2023

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Kamathiitu Secondary School, a boarding school, experiences various water scarcity issues that negatively affect the school's 157 students and 14 staff. Students are thirsty, and classrooms and latrines' hygiene and sanitation are lacking because they are rarely cleaned due to water rationing.

During the week, the students' parents collect water from the Kasee River, which is almost two kilometers away, and bring it to the school on donkeys. They get the water from scoopholes in the river, which are surrounded by footpaths for people and animals. Excrement is scattered about, and dust blows contaminants into the water.

Although water is necessary, this water comes with a high cost. It exposes students to water-related infections such as typhoid, amoebas, stomachache, and dysentery, all of which lead to absenteeism.

There are two small rainwater tanks (with a total capacity of 20,000 liters) on the school campus, but they don't hold enough water to sustain the school through the entire dry season.

Deputy Head Teacher Peter Musembi (in the above picture), 42, commented, "My students spend time to [go] fetch water from the river, which reduces their learning time and ultimately [their] academic performance. The available water is also inadequate and cannot meet the needs of the students, which leads to learning discomfort and poor concentration in class. Issues such as absenteeism due to sickness from water-related infections also dismally affect students' academic performance."

On Sundays, students must walk to the river themselves to collect and bring back enough water for their bathing and laundry needs throughout the week. But their Sunday evening study time suffers because they are too exhausted to concentrate by the time they return.

"Walking to the river on Sunday to fetch water is tedious and consumes a lot of time that I would rather spend on studies. The water we fetch is also not enough to conduct personal hygiene and general hygiene and sanitation of the school. I have also contracted stomach upsets in the past after consuming water from the current sources," said Esther M., 15 (pictured below).

Another cost to the school, and ultimately the students' education, is the price of transporting the water by donkey. Administrators spend up to KES 60,000 ($530 USD) per term, yet it is still not enough to fully satisfy the entire school population. They could better use the money spent on collecting water to provide further educational opportunities for students.

The proposed rainwater tank solution will collect enough clean water during the rainy season to sustain it through the dry season, improve the school's hygiene and sanitation, and reduce its current water expenses. Having the additional funds available will allow the school to invest in more productive projects.

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 supplementary 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 in addition to providing 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 1 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 best 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 3 taps each, allowing 9 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

June, 2022: Kamathiitu Secondary School Rain Tank Complete!

Kamathiitu Secondary School in Kenya now has access to a new safe, clean water source thanks to the completion of their 104,000-liter rain tank! In addition, we installed handwashing stations and trained students and staff on improved sanitation and hygiene practices. Together, these components will unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

Students celebrating.

"The school administration incurred a lot of water expenses in the past and the set up of this water point will mean those resources will be spent on improving the student's performance," said twenty-six-year-old teacher Peter Ngui. "My students will also be no longer exposed to water-related infections because they will have access to clean water thus reduce absenteeism and improved concentration during studies."

The completed tank.

Student Maurice M., 19, said, "Exposure to water-related infections like typhoid, amoeba, and dysentery will now be a thing of the past because this water point offers clean water for use. I will also no longer go to class thirsty or hungry because I can easily fetch water to drink and meals will be prepared on time."

Rain Tank Construction Process

First, we held a meeting with all parents and the school headteacher to plan the project. The parents agreed to collect construction materials like sand, rocks, and water. We complemented their materials by delivering the expertise, tools, lumber, metal, cement, and gutter system.

This tank is a whopping 104,000 liters because of 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.

The foundation.

Construction for this large rain tank is much like constructing a concrete house. First, we leveled the ground for foundation excavation. Next, we laid alternating layers of impermeable rocks and mortar up to seven feet high for the tank's outer walls. With such sturdy construction (the walls have internal and external diameters of 25 and 28 feet, respectively!), the tank will stand a long time.

Finishing the roof and wall plaster.

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 inside and out with waterproof cement. After that, we installed guttering and channeled it 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.

Completed tank before paint.

Handwashing Stations

We delivered three new handwashing stations in time for training. 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.

Handwashing session.

Students and their teachers were taught proper handwashing procedures, emphasizing the importance of using running water and soap.

The soapmaking session started as students approached their lunch hour so understandably most of them wanted to leave to eat. The trainer informed them of the importance of stirring the soap without stopping to achieve the proper quality. Students decided to leave in turns for lunch so they could be a part of the process.  After the session students promised to share the knowledge with their family members at home.

"This training will be important and very useful in our lives because we will employ the skills and knowledge gained. We will maintain good personal hygiene thus staying away from diseases for we have learned that dirt causes diseases," said student Joseph M., 19.



This project required a substantial collaboration between our staff, our partners, and the community members themselves. 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. We have an ongoing commitment to walk with each community, cooperatively problem-solving when they face challenges of any kind: with functionality, seasonality, or water quality issues. With all these components together, we strive to ensure enduring access to reliable, clean, and safe water for this community.

With your contribution, one more piece has been added to a large puzzle of water projects. In our target areas, we’re working toward complete coverage of reliable, maintained water sources within a 30-minute round trip for each community, household, school, and health center. With this in mind, search through our upcoming projects to see which community you can help next!

Thank you for making all of this possible!

May, 2022: Kamathiitu Secondary School Rain Catchment Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Kamathiitu 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: "I Am More Confident in Class!"

July, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kamathiitu 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!

James M., 16, recalled what life was like at Kamathiitu Secondary School before his school's rainwater catchment system was implemented last year.

"We experienced a lot of water issues in the past because there was little water in the school. For instance, we had to fetch water every evening from Katse River, located about 4km (2.4 miles) from our school, which was tiresome and time-consuming. The water was not enough to conduct personal or environmental hygiene, which negatively affected our self-esteem and comfort in class. Although our parents could bring water during the day, they would often delay, which consequently led to delays in meal preparation. The water was also unclean, and most of us would complain of stomach upsets, typhoid, or amoeba," James shared.

But life is much better for James and the other students at Kamathiitu Secondary School now.

"This rainwater tank has been a great reprieve for all [of] us. We now get clean water to drink, and meals are prepared on time. This has improved my comfort during learning, and I get more time to study because I am not forced to fetch water at the distant Katse River. We now mop our classrooms twice weekly, which was difficult in the past. We are also able to irrigate the trees in our school with ease because there is sufficient water from the implemented tank," said James.

Having ready access to water from the rainwater tank has made a difference for James, allowing him to focus on academics and envision a better life.

"This water point has enabled me [to] acquire better academic grades because I study in a conducive and clean environment. I no longer skip classes due to water-related infections. My hygiene has also improved, and I am more confident in class because there is enough clean water," He concluded.

Thank you for helping James access clean water and giving him the confidence to pursue his goals.

Right now, there are others just like him in neighboring communities that desperately need safe water access. Your support will immediately go to work to provide a clean water project - and we can't wait to introduce you to the next person you'll help.

James M. next to the school rain 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 Kamathiitu 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 Kamathiitu 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.


TGB Caring with Crypto
2 individual donor(s)