Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 225 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2023

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/24/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

The 204 students and 21 staff of Muthwani Secondary School face the challenge of collecting sufficient water each day. This is primarily students' burden, causing them to make multiple trips a day to a local dam.

When electricity is available, the school pumps water from the dam to a storage tank on their campus. Still, the staff reported that they sometimes go months without any water being pumped to the school, because the area is remote and electricity service is unreliable. Even when electricity is functioning, the cost of electricity for the school is prohibitive.

More often, students are responsible for walking to the dam, collecting water in containers, and hauling it back to fill the school's water tank. But the dam water is contaminated, which becomes apparent when the tank runs low, and all that is left is mud residue.

"I feel betrayed by the water situation making me not enjoy life in the school," said 18-year-old student Brian M. "I am a day scholar, and I have also to fetch water before attending school. I once failed to come to school. I got up very late, and I could not make up [enough time] for [collecting] water and [get to] school at the required time. So instead, I opted for water rather than attending school.

"The current water situation affects me personally because I lack enough time to relax and even play. From class, it's directly to the dam for water, then back to school when it's time for other duties," concluded Brian.

The lack of water not only affects students, but also the school's administration and staff. "The current water situation is a headache to me. When there is a shortage of electricity, I get perturbed, as now we have to go to the hard and most expensive route of both purchasing water and for students fetching from the dam," said 49-year-old Deputy Principal Mwikali Muema.

"The health of the students is a major concern to me as the school deputy. I get worried over time when issues start arising in relation to the condition of water in terms of health problems emanating from drinking the same water."

Principal Muema herself has had stomachaches in the past month, which lasted for two weeks until she visited a hospital to get medical attention. She said, "I got sick from taking in (drinking) water from the earth dam in the past month, which affected me in running the school and other roles assigned to me."

With a rain tank on their school campus, the students of Muthwani can conserve their time and energy for learning, and the administration can focus on helping students succeed.

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: Muthwani Secondary School Rain Tank Complete!

Muthwani 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.

When we asked 17-year-old Nimrod M., a student at Muthwani, what he foresees in the future, he said, "Achieve our goals in maintaining hygiene and sanitation. Have a good learning environment. In agriculture, we shall have water for our projects [and] planting trees. We shall have enough time to play."

Nimrod M.

"We plan to plant trees, have vegetable plots, [and] food for the school," said 49-year-old teacher Mwikali Muema.

Mwikali Muema.

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.

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.

The trainer for the event was Judith Kanini, and there were an astonishing 218 teachers and students from the school in attendance.

The students identified the soapmaking activity as the most memorable topic since they have seen liquid soap but did not know how to make it. The students especially showed a lot of interest, and the knowledge they acquired will be useful in the future.

"The training was good and informative. The knowledge I have received will be of great help going into the future. We were taught how to make soap. Indeed it is very easy and important to our school. Currently, we have handwashing stations installed in our school, which is geared towards handwashing activity," said Christabel M.



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!

October, 2022: Muthwani Secondary School Rainwater Catchment Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Muthwani 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!

Redempta says: "Living with Clean Water in School is Fantastic!"

April, 2024

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Muthwani 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!

In January 2023, you helped implement a rain tank at Muthwani Secondary School! One year of clean, accessible water has impacted the lives of the students and staff. When we visited recently, one of the students in particular had lots to share!

Before the Rain Tank's Installation

Fifteen-year-old Redempta shared what life was like before the rain tank was constructed. "I used to get very thirsty while in school. My study time was ever limited as I had to be requested to fetch water every day during games or lunchtime. Fetching water from an earth dam was always challenging. As I trudged along the rocky path, the weight of the buckets dug into my hands, and the sun beat down relentlessly, making me sweat profusely. The journey felt never-ending, especially with the anticipation of the heavy load I [had to] carry back to school."

The previous water source Redempta relied upon before the rain tank.

Since the Rain Tank Installation

Collecting water is now enjoyable for Redempta and the other students and staff at Muthwani Secondary School.

"Fetching water in the water tank in school has its charm. I find it quite refreshing, both physically and mentally. The rhythmic sound of water flowing from the tap is oddly soothing, almost like a natural melody," continued Redempta.

Redempta collecting water.

When asked what the best thing about living with clean water was, she shared, "Living with clean water in school is fantastic. The best thing about it is how it positively impacts our health and well-being. We don't have to worry about getting sick from contaminated water, so we can focus on our studies without any distractions. Also, readily available clean water makes staying hydrated easy, which is essential for staying alert and focused in class."

Redempta's Future is Looking Bright!

Having ready access to water from the rain tank has made a difference for Redempta. It allows her to focus more on living her life rather than just surviving. She can fully participate in class and extracurriculars while still enjoying time with her friends.

"I've been doing quite well since the water tank was installed in our school. The availability of clean water has made a significant difference in our learning environment. With access to clean water, I've been able to focus better during classes, stay hydrated throughout the day, and even participate more actively in extracurricular activities," she continued.

But that's not all! Redempta has time to dream now, and that dream is to become one of the most influential people in anyone's life: "I dream [of] being a teacher," she eagerly shared.

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 Muthwani 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 Muthwani 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.


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