Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 165 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2024

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/09/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

AIC Ithambwango Secondary School doesn't have enough water storage for its 153 students and 12 staff members. Even if the school's two small rain tanks fill up entirely with rain, they empty out just as quickly due to all the school's water needs.

Therefore, most of the time, the school has no water source at all, and must purchase water from unreliable water vendors, who often run late or miss deliveries entirely.

Principal Sammy Muchiri (pictured below) knows all the money going toward water would do so much for the school itself...if only the school had its own water source.

"Water gives me a migraine, especially when I think about my students who are working very hard to see a better future, but water becomes a challenge," Mr. Muchiri said. "We are forced to change our programs because of water scarcity. It is also very costly to keep on purchasing water. [The] money [we] spend on the water is enough to cater to other developments in the school."

It's also discouraging for the school to have to spend so much when the deliveries aren't regular, and the water is of poor quality and needs to be treated before being used for anything other than cleaning.

"The water vendors are very expensive and not always reliable," said our field officer, Jefferson. "They delay a lot to bring water to the school. One may place a water order and then later discover that the vendors are far away delivering water to a different school. Therefore, you are forced to hold on until they come back to attend your school. Other vendors tend to lie about their availability not to lose the opportunity of supplying water."

The unreliability of the water supply means that the school sometimes needs to close unexpectedly. Other times, the school's lunch program is delayed until the end of the day or closed down for long stretches of time, leaving both students and staff hungry and agitated.

"The water shortage in my school makes me hate school life seriously," said 18-year-old student Jemmimah K. "Sometimes, we get late lunch, which delays our normal routine of school programs. Like in June 2022, we failed to take lunch because there was no water in the school."

With its own water source, the school will be much better able to cater to its students' needs. Students will have a more reliable schedule and, hopefully, full bellies for their afternoon classes. Access to water will help the learners concentrate and fulfill their dreams.

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

February, 2024: AIC Ithambwangao Secondary School Rainwater Catchment Project Complete!

AIC Ithambwangao 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.

"Walking back home to collect school fees for water expenses from my parents was humiliating because my fellow colleagues would continue with their studies. I am happy that we will have enough water in school, and I will not have to go home to fetch [from] my parent. Learning in a dusty classroom [and] later using a latrine with an uncomfortable smell was very discomforting. When the semi-arid heat was [at] its peak, the odor would reach our classes, making it difficult to concentrate." said 17-year-old John M.

"I am glad we have enough to perform regular hygiene and sanitation. I will also be spending most of my time in school and not [be] forced to abscond classes due to a water-related infection. I will spend most of my time in school and improve my studies," continued John.


"I will also be drinking clean water whenever I feel thirsty, which does not expose me to infections like typhoid," John concluded.

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.

It took considerable time to collect the necessary building materials.

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 for a long time.

Plastering the outside of the tank.

We built a reinforced concrete column up to the tank's center, which holds 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.

The completed tank.

Handwashing Stations

Students using their new 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.

During the disease transmission session, students worked to identify the possible fecal-oral disease transmission routes. During this activity, a student was spotted dancing. The activity stopped for a while, and other students started laughing at him. When asked why he was dancing, he said that the topic of discussion was so interesting.

Learning about disease transmission and healthy hygiene practices.

A favorite session for participants was learning how to make soap and latrine disinfectant, where they were introduced to the procedures and the necessary materials.

The soapmaking session.

"The skills on making soap and latrine disinfectant will help us to generate money. This [will help] through [us] transferring that knowledge to our guardians," said 17-year-old Joseph.


"This training will be very useful in our lives because we will employ the gained skills and knowledge. We will maintain good personal hygiene, thus preventing ourselves from diseases, for we have learned that dirt causes diseases. Having enough time in school will enable us [to] study more!" Joseph concluded.


This project required a substantial collaboration between our staff, our in-country teams, and the 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 Kenya, Uganda, and Sierra Leone, we're working toward complete coverage. That means 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!

December, 2023: AIC Ithambwangao Secondary School Rainwater Catchment Project Underway!

The lack of adequate water at AIC Ithambwangao Secondary School costs students time, energy, and health every single day. Clean water scarcity contributes to community instability and diminishes individuals’ personal progress.

But thanks to your recent generosity, things will soon improve here. We are now working to install a reliable water point and improve hygiene standards. We look forward to sharing inspiring news in the near future!

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!


Data Abstract Solutions, Inc.
Candella Group
Amanda's Campaign for Water
38 individual donor(s)