Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 159 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2023

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/17/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Winzyeii Secondary School currently has three rainwater tanks with a capacity of 21,000 liters. However, the tanks can only hold water for three weeks before they run dry and the 159 staff and students end up without water again.

This consistent water scarcity forces the school to purchase water acquired from scoop holes or unprotected wells delivered by donkeys or oxen-drawn carts until the rain tanks can be refilled. The water delivery is expensive. The school spends up to KSE60,000 ($531USD) per term on water, which is a cost the school is not able to cover long-term, and would be better used supporting the students' education.

Paul Kavivya, the school's principal (in the photo above), commented, "I have to set apart water purchase funds because it is not provided by the government. Requesting these funds from the parents is hectic because the parents depend on farming as their source of income, which is affected by the long droughts. I also have to ration the water to sustain the school population longer. This has dismally affected hygiene and sanitation within the premises. Some of my students become absent due to infections contracted from the untreated water and this negatively affects the school's academic performance."

During the dry season, the water vendors generally do not deliver water until late in the afternoon. The lack of water for cooking forces students to take their lunch at 4 pm and attend their afternoon classes on empty stomachs, reducing their concentration.

But even with the delivered water, there is still not enough to go around, so it must be rationed. This leaves students thirsty and the hygiene and sanitation of the school lacking since the classrooms and latrines are rarely cleaned. To make matters worse, the purchased water they are able to drink is contaminated, salty, and smells foul. Drinking it puts students at risk of contracting typhoid, dysentery, and amoebas.

"Since water is used sparingly, our classrooms have accumulated dust, which affects my concentration while studying in class as it leads to respiratory infections. We also have little water to drink and sometimes I am unable to concentrate in class because of the pinching thirst. Learning subjects such as agriculture is also difficult because we have little water to take care of the crops," said Priscilla K., a student (in the photo above).

The proposed rain tank project will hold enough clean water (104,000-liters - nearly 5 times the current capacity) to sustain the school through the dry season. The school will no longer have to purchase water and can use the spare funds to improve the school's learning opportunities and infrastructure. And with adequate water, the student's concentration and the overall hygiene and sanitation of the school should improve.

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

January, 2023: Winzyeii Secondary School Rain Tank Complete!

Winzyeii 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.

"We will have enough water within the school and will no longer have to scramble for the meager water in the school tanks during class breaks," said 16-year-old student Peter M. "My personal hygiene will also improve because water will be adequate, thanks to the large capacity rainwater tank."

"In the past, meals would sometimes [be late] because of the acute water scarcity," Peter continued. "This would force me to resume my lessons when thirsty and hungry, thus [I was] unable to focus during lessons. This tank will ensure I have a clean source of drinking water within the school and meals will always be prepared on time."

Teachers were also excited about the new water point.

"The school has experienced various water scarcity issues that will come [to] an end, thanks to the tank," said 26-year-old teacher David Musyoka. "The agriculture projects will thrive because there is enough water to irrigate crops and trees. We will have a clean source of water within the school which will not expose students to infections like typhoid."

"The water will enable us to plant more trees within the school to cover the bare ground and offer cool shade for learning or interacting," Mr. Musyoka continued. "Hygiene and sanitation will also improve because students have enough water for cleaning the school buildings, including [the] latrines. They will be able to learn in a conducive environment, which could boost their academic performance."

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.

Materials ready for construction.

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.

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.

Students practicing handwashing.

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 students found the subject of water quality most interesting. Our trainer, Christine, shared the results of our baseline water quality test with them (the sources they had been drinking from prior to the tank's construction). The students were surprised to learn the water was contaminated, and were very interested in learning how to treat water before drinking it.

Everyone also enjoyed learning how to make soap. One of the students said his mother sells soap at the local market, and he was excited to compare the new method he had learned with her method of making it to see whether they were similar.

"The training session was very educative, and we are thankful for the opportunity to learn," said chairperson of the new health club, 17-year-old Stephen M. "I have learned how to maintain hygiene [and] sanitation, and this will help me prevent infections. I have also learned how to make liquid soap, and this knowledge will ensure we have good soap all the time. We will not spend money buying ready-made soap from the markets. Our soap has gone a mile ahead. We are going to use the soap to wash our hands and classes and the disinfectant to wash our latrines."



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!

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: Time for Learning!

April, 2024

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Winzyeii 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!

Thirty-five-year-old teacher Emily Mwende recalled what life was like at the Winzyeii Secondary School before the school's rain tank was implemented last year.

"Although we had tanks in the school, they could not hold enough water to sustain us during the entire drought period. We had to purchase water, which was very expensive and drained the school's meager funds. The purchased water was also unclean, and most of our learners could complain of stomach pains. We could barely clean the latrines and classrooms because water had to be used sparingly, and [this] led to poor hygiene within the school," said Emily.

Collecting water is now quicker and more convenient for Emily and the students at Winzyeii Secondary School.

"The implementation of this tank within the school has been a great relief from the previous water shortage. We no longer pay for water because the implemented tank can hold enough water for the entire drought period. We are able to have our meals on time, and we have clean water to drink. I am glad that I am able to teach in a clean environment because we have enough water to conduct regular hygiene practices. Our learners are no longer prone to water-related infections like stomach upsets; thus, they are always present for their lessons," Emily continued.

Having ready access to water from the rain tank has made a difference for Emily and her students, allowing them to use their time to focus on learning instead of trying to find and collect water.

"We are now able to purchase more learning material for our students because water expenses have greatly reduced. This has attracted more learners to our school, and our academic performance has also improved because there is enough water in the school. The health of our students has also improved because they are drinking clean water and meals are prepared on time," concluded Emily.

Plenty of clean 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 Winzyeii 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 Winzyeii 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