Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 168 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Oct 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/06/2024

Project Features

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The 168 students and staff at Ngunni Hill Secondary School face water scarcity and its challenges daily. Their current water sources are a borehole well shared with the community and rainwater tanks with a 20,000-liter capacity. When the tanks are empty, children walk to the well but often, especially in the dry season, there is no water to collect because it has run dry from overuse and a low water table.

Sadly, even the water they do manage to collect from the borehole is salty and unfit for drinking. The students have complained of stomach upsets and water-related illnesses such as typhoid and amoebas, leading to absenteeism and ultimately poor academic performance.

When the water from the community well runs out, administrators must purchase water from vendors. The administration has spent up to KSh 100,000 ($850USD) a term to ensure students and staff have access to water, but this is not an expense they can afford to maintain.

Wycliffe M., an 18-year-old student, commented, "Getting water to drink after meals is difficult due to [the] insufficient water supply. During the hot and dry months, it gets very hot and I become very thirsty. I often strain to understand the lessons offered in the afternoon."

As shared by Wycliffe, even this additional water is not sufficient to meet the school's demands for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. During the dry periods, any water collected is rationed and students have to drink a limited amount of water as a result. Meals are often delayed, which impairs the students' concentration level in class and the time spent in search of water negatively impacts the learning process.

Pamela Kiloo, 58, Head Teacher, said, "The school's academic performance is impaired because of the delayed meals and lack of water to drink, due to the acute water shortage. The little available water has to be used sparingly and this leads to poor levels of hygiene and sanitation. The available water is also contaminated, which contributes to water-related infections culminating in school absenteeism. Some subjects, such as Agriculture, have a dismal performance as there is no water to support the crop plantation needed for the projects."

The school's intended farm to provide nutrition for the students and the campus's landscaping also suffers without water. The trees have wilted, succumbing to drought, leaving no shade.

The proposed 104,000-liter rain tank will greatly expand the capacity of storing clean water for drinking and cooking during the rainy season to sustain the school during the long dry months. The water expenses will reduce, and there should be adequate water to grow trees and crops for the school's farm.

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

October, 2022: Nguuni Hill Secondary School Rain Tank Complete!

Nguuni Hill 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.

Excited students!

"This project will help eradicate various water-related infections such as typhoid, amoeba, and dysentery. Adequate water will also allow us to plant more trees within the school, thus improving the environment. My students will also be able to conduct proper personal and general hygiene and sanitation. This will enable more comfort during learning, thus improving the students' academic performance," said 33-year-old teacher Patrick Mutemi.

Teacher Patrick Mutemi.

Seventeen-year-old Esther K. said, "This water point will offer clean water, which prevents exposure to infections [that cause illness] like stomachaches, typhoid, and amoeba. I will be able to attend school every day. Our school will also improve in terms of hygiene and sanitation, enabling a comfortable learning environment [for us]. I will also get enough water for [my] agriculture project; thus, my grades will soar higher, putting me in better career opportunities in [the] future."


Esther continued: "In the past, the water was acquired from a borehole that was also shared with the rest of the community. Besides being inadequate, it was also salty and not appropriate for drinking or cooking. It was also contaminated because it was not treated. The installed project has ensured we have fresh, clean water for drinking, thus [we] will no longer be sick from drinking the previous water and be able to study more in class."

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.

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.

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.

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 soap making.

We held the training for 165 students and teachers. The participants found the discussion about disease transmission routes interesting and informative. We specifically discussed cholera, and it was encouraging to hear the students name the ways cholera can be prevented. They mentioned using toilets or pit latrines, boiling drinking water, cooking food long enough to the correct temperature, keeping areas clean to avoid flies, covering food and drinking water, and washing your hands regularly, especially after using the bathroom or before eating.

The students' favorite training session explained the soap-making process. They found the process interesting and were intrigued by the idea of taking their newfound knowledge and turning it into a money-making venture. By making and selling soap, they determined they could use the profits to pay for their everyday needs.

"[The training] will help us improve access to safe, sustainable drinking water and sanitation facilities and improve hygiene practices. Since waterborne diseases are diseases of public health concern, we will be in a position to block the transmission channels of the diseases. We will aim at improving the hygiene standards in the community/society through [the] making of liquid soap and the latrine disinfectant," said 17-year-old Jackline N.

Jackline by the new school rain tank.


This project required a substantial collaboration between our staff, our in-country teams, 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 their local field officers to assist them.

Also, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program. We walk with each community, problem-solving together when they face challenges with functionality, seasonality, or water quality. Together, all these components help us strive for 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!

August, 2022: Nguuni Hill Secondary School Rain Catchment Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Nguuni Hill 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: More Time to Study and Play with Friends!

November, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Nguuni Hill 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!

Esther K., 16, recalled what life was like at Nguuni Hill Secondary School before her school's rain tank was installed last year.

"Life was very difficult without water in the school, and I found it hard to focus in class due to distractions such as thirst. I had to wake up early to fetch water from the water kiosk outside the school premises, especially during the long drought period. I would also resume classes with an empty stomach because meals would delay owing to the immense water scarcity. Also, it was frustrating to use the latrines because they had an unpleasant odor. We could only wash them once weekly," said Esther.

Collecting water is much less burdensome for Esther and the other students at Nguuni Hill Secondary School now.

"This tank has brought a lot of reprieve because we now have enough water within the school. I can easily drink water whenever I need to, and our meals are now prepared within the scheduled time. We are also cleaning our classrooms, dormitory, and latrines more regularly, which has created a conducive environment for learning. I also get more time to play with my friends and study because I no longer spend a lot of time drawing water," continued Esther.

Having ready access to water from the rain tank has made a difference for Esther, allowing her to pay attention in school and still have time to enjoy life with her friends.

"Hygiene and sanitation have improved, and I am more comfortable during lessons while keeping off diseases, such as typhoid and amoeba, because we are drinking clean water. I am very happy that my grades have improved; thus, I will be able to secure a position in a better tertiary institution," concluded Esther.

Esther (left) drinking water from the rain tank with a classmate.

Right now, there are others 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.

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 Nguuni Hill 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 Nguuni Hill 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.


Project Sponsor - TGB Caring with Crypto