Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 108 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2023

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/20/2024

Project Features

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It's difficult to keep the 97 students of Kwa Mutisya Primary School enrolled, even in such a rural and remote area as Kyuso. Students are constantly leaving because of the school's ongoing water crisis. They can hardly be blamed for not wanting to attend, given their primary method of obtaining water during the dry season.

When the school's small rain tank runs dry during about half of the year, students trudge through 10 kilometers (6.27 miles) of scorching sun and swirling dust to reach the nearest dry riverbed, where they must scoop up water from deep holes dug into the ground.

"Water scarcity is very intense in this school," said Head Teacher Johanna Toto, one of 11 teachers. "We are struggling to make the school conducive enough for the students to learn here. Inadequate water in the school affects infrastructural development. I have to wait 'til the rainy season to continue with the projects. When it comes to the discipline of the learners, it becomes very hard to control."

"Water scarcity in school greatly affects our day-to-day activities in learning and our efforts to excel academically," said student Kyalo M., 17. "After classes, we have to walk up to 10 kilometers in order to fetch water for drinking. The water we fetch is dirty and we have to drink it as it is because we have no other alternatives."

The water the students do end up getting makes them sick. The most common complaints are typhoid and amoeba.

“Universal access to safe drinking water is a fundamental need and human right. Securing access for all would go a long way in reducing illness and death, especially among children.” - UNICEF

If students can find water, not only must they face the consequences of drinking contaminated water, but hauling it back to their school is exhausting. Each full jerrican weighs approximately 40 pounds.

Sometimes, when the students reach the riverbed, no water is left. So they must trek another 10 kilometers to the next river or return without anything. "Sometimes, when the river is dry, we do not carry water to school, and we are usually punished," Kyalo explained.

With an adequate water source on school property, students will have much more time and energy to commit to their studies, not to mention better health.

What We Can Do:

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

March, 2023: Kwa Mutisya Primary School Rain Tank Completed!

Kwa Mutisya Primary School in Kenya now has access to a new safe, clean water source thanks to their 104,000-liter rain tank completion! 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.

Benson standing near the new tank.

"I will no longer be carrying water to school any more which was very exhausting," said 11-year-old Benson K.

"We will have enough clean water to drink, clean our hands as well as washing classes. We can also irrigate trees in our school, offering more shade."

"We experienced a lot of problems in the school because water was scarce. For instance, we did not have clean water for cooking or drinking. The pupils had to carry water from home, or we would mobilize parents to avail water to school after fetching it from the distant Kaghui river," said 59-year-old teacher Sospeter Musyoki.

Teacher Sospeter Musyoki.

He continued, "I am now happy that our pupils will have a clean source of drinking water within the school, meaning they will be more comfortable in class. Meals will also be prepared on time because water will be easily drawn in minutes from the tank."

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. The tank will stand long with such sturdy construction (the walls have 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 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.

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.

"The training was very valuable to me. I have learned how to wash my hands properly. I have also learned that I can prevent diseases through simple hand washing with soap," said 12-year-old Daniel M.

"I have also learned how to make soap and a latrine disinfectant. I will train my family on the practices I learned today."



This project required a substantial collaboration between our in-country teams and community members. 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!

January, 2023: Kwa Mutisya Primary School Rain Tank Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Kwa Mutisya 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 do not get sick anymore."

March, 2024

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kwa Mutisya 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!

Faith, 10, recalled what life was like at Kwa Mutisya Primary School before her school's water tank was installed last year.

"We used to carry water from home, which was very tiresome. We could not wash our hands because we did not have enough water. We also had to drink the contaminated water, which made us develop stomach pains," said Faith.

Collecting water is now much easier and less time-consuming for Faith and the other Kwa Mutisya Primary School students.

"We are very grateful that water is now available here, and I can drink it anytime. My health has improved because we are no longer drinking unclean water. I do not get sick anymore. The best thing about living with clean water is drinking it and washing my hands," Faith said.

Having ready access to water from the rain tank has made a difference for Faith, allowing her time and energy to focus on creating a brighter future.

"My grades have improved because I come to school early, and I am able to attend classes every day. I use that time to read, drink water, and even play with my friends. I want to be a teacher when I grow up so that I can teach young pupils," said Faith.

Faith is not alone, as the whole school benefits from their water access.

Students water the school garden.

Field Officer Alex Koech shared advancements the school has been able to make since having water available. "The school has managed to set up a gate and latrines by using the water from this water point. They have also planted kales near the water tank and are using the water to clean the latrines and classrooms. The school has also managed to plant trees within the school compound because they have enough water for irrigation."

With water, the future is bright for the students and staff of Kwa Mutisya Primary School!

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 Kwa Mutisya 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 Kwa Mutisya 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.


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