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Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 411 Served

Project Phase:  Installed

Functionality Status:  Functional

Community Profile & Stories

This project is a part of our shared program with Africa Sand Dam Foundation. Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).

Welcome to the School

Maiani Primary School is one the oldest schools in the community. It has a big population of 411, and thus requires a large amount of water for daily use. Each day, the school needs at least 4500 liters in order to fully take care of cooking, cleaning, and drinking. However, the school is only able to get 2000 liters each day.

Maiani Primary was selected for a project because of a recommendation from the Nzengu Ngomani A Self-Help Group which is already working with ASDF. The group members send their children to this primary school, and so the needs of the school and its students also affect this group of farmers. The desire to solve water insecurity goes beyond the household level to the community level!

Water Situation

The main source of water for Maiani Primary is the 2000 liters collected by the student body. Since students come from many different places, it is impossible to pinpoint a primary water source. Each student is expected to bring at least 5 liters of water. Failure to do so results in a student being sent back home to fetch that water, or else they will not be allowed to attend class. Many students feel this is a form of punishment, and thus stay away from school to avoid being sent back home in the first place.

The school uses the collected water for cleaning and cooking purposes. The school also has a 10,000-liter water tank which they use to catch rainwater. Unfortunately, even if this tank is full, it is not sufficient to meet the school’s needs.

Sanitation Situation

Maiani Primary School has 18 pit latrines, but they are all old and almost full. There is a terrible odor, and the boys’ doors are falling apart. The boys have no privacy when they wish to use the latrine!

No hand-washing stations were observed during our initial visit. The school has several compost pits in central areas, and burns the garbage to keep the pits from overflowing. Without proper sanitation facilities, students suffer both physically and academically. Teacher Jonathan Mbithu says that the female students “struggle with confidence and esteem issues… due to lack of adequate water and clean sanitation rooms.”

The only emphasis on sanitation and hygiene is made in the classroom, with little practical activity. The children only understand the basics of brushing your teeth every morning or washing your body daily, but it is just knowledge. There has been a disconnect between knowing and doing.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

The facilitator will hold training for one day at the school compound. This will involve students and some of their teachers. CHAST (Children’s Hygiene and Sanitation Training) will be used to teach personal hygiene and how to handle the new rainwater catchment tank. There will be a huge emphasis on how and when to wash hands.

Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank

The tank is projected to have a volume of 105,000 liters. The community has already begun collecting the local materials used for construction, such as stone and sand.

Plans: Hand-Washing Stations

Four hand-washing stations will be delivered before training, so that they can be used for demonstration and practice. Each is a 2500-liter plastic tank fitted with a tap. The school management will ensure that there is always water in the tank and that the taps are working.

Recent Project Updates

12/20/2017: A Year Later: Maiani Primary School

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater catchment tank and latrines for the Maiani Primary School in Western Kenya. Because of these gifts and the contributions of our monthly donors, our partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from our partners Titus Mbithi and Joe Kioko with you.

The Water Project : asdf_maiani-primary-school_yar_-elizabeth-mumo-titus-7

10/24/2016: Maiani Primary School Project Complete

We are very excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, the students and staff of Maiani Primary School in Kenya have a new source of safe, clean water: A new rainwater catchment system has been built. Hand-washing stations have been installed, and students and staff have received training in sanitation and hygiene. Just imagine the difference these resources will make in the lives of these people!

You made it happen, now help keep the water flowing! Join our team of monthly donors and help us maintain this rainwater catchment tank and many other projects.

The report below from our partner gives the latest details of the project. We also just updated the project page with new pictures. Make sure to click on the “See Photos & Video” tab to check them out!

Project Result: New Knowledge and Hand-Washing Stations

Hygiene and sanitation training was held at the school. We were in constant contact with the school head teacher to plan for successful training sessions. They helped us reschedule normal class hours around the four hours we’d need to teach students.

A total of 49 students from classes four through eight were trained. We used illustrations, demonstrations, open discussions and role-plays to teach about the following:

– How to properly handle food

– Using the latrine and keeping it clean

– Treating water

– Preventing diarrhea

– Washing hands (the when and the how are both very important!)

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The hand-washing stations were delivered before training so that they could be used in the hand-washing demonstrations. Students had plenty of opportunities to practice with the trainers. Also, the students in the health club were taught how to take care of the stations, making sure that they are filled with water and that a cleaning agent like soap or ash is available.

We used this opportunity to strengthen the student health club on campus. These students will promote healthy practices and teach their peers about what they learned. The club will hold activities to help popularize using latrines and washing hands. 11-year-old Mulwa Kieti told us, “I like being a member of the health club. The club has helped me to know how to wash hands.” Now that Mulwa knows how to wash hands, he’ll be able to teach others!

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Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction for the 105,000-liter tank began on April 9th.

This was done in three phases:

1. Mobilization of resources: Parents helped transport local materials needed to build the tank, such as sand, stones, ballast, and water. This was all done in the two months prior to the artisans’ arrival.

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2. Actual construction: This began in early May and lasted for 21 days. Parents rotated in to help our artisans with the hard work.

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3. Curing: The tank was left to cure for another 21 days. Once dry, our painter did his work!

Construction was often delayed because of long rains that stretched through April and May. This delayed parents who preferred to take advantage of the rain and work on their farms. Once we spoke with school administration, they found new groups who could undertake the construction project.

Clean water won’t only quench thirst, it will do so much more. Teacher Jonathan Mbuthu pointed out that “The new water source will boost our hygiene and sanitation project in the school, hence boost performance of the school. We are grateful for the support of ASDF and its partners to implement such a project which will change the life of many students.”

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08/19/2016: Maiani Primary School Project Underway

We are excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, Maiani Primary School in Kenya will soon have a new source of safe, clean water. A rainwater catchment tank is being constructed, hand-washing stations provided, and the school is being trained on proper sanitation and hygiene practices. Imagine the impact this will have on these students! Thank you for noticing the need here, and we’ll keep you posted as the work continues.

Check out the tabs above to learn more, and Thank You for your generosity that is unlocking potential for students in Kenya!

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Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment
Location:  Makueni, Mukaa
ProjectID: 4502
Install Date:  10/24/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 12/21/2017

Visit History:
12/19/2016 — Functional
06/04/2017 — Functional
09/06/2017 — Functional
12/21/2017 — Functional

A Year Later: Maiani Primary School

December, 2017

While coming to school last year before the tank, we’d carry water from home. We no longer do that because the tank has enough water for drinking, cleaning, and planting the trees.

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater harvesting tank and latrines for the Maiani Primary School in Western Kenya. Because of these gifts and the contributions of our monthly donors, our partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from our partners Titus Mbithi and Joe Kioko with you.

Students attending Maiani Primary School are no longer required to carry water from home every morning. The tank built last year provides enough clean drinking water for both themselves and their teachers.

The school has begun a tree nursery because there’s even enough water to meet the needs of saplings.

We met Headteacher Elizabeth Muli at the tank to talk about how it’s impacted her and her students’ lives over the past year. She said “I can be sure my pupils and teachers have enough clean drinking water.” She continued to say that there’s even enough for parents to use when they hold their meetings there.

We met some happy students during our second quarter monitoring visit in June.

14-year-old Mumo Musyoki came to get a cup of clean water while we were at the tank. He echoed his headteacher’s comments, saying that “while coming to school last year before the tank, we’d carry water from home. We no longer do that because the tank has enough water for drinking, cleaning, and planting the trees.”

Headteacher Muli is happy with how her students and staff no longer have to worry where their water is going to come from. Since they have such a large tank, though, she asked whether or not there was a way to add even more gutters to the system so the tank would fill faster. This is something we can continue to discuss with her and the students’ parents; whether or not there is enough clean roofing to feed another gutter.

Field Officer Titus Mbithi gives a thumbs up; this tank has been greatly benefiting Maiani Primary School.

Headteacher Muli, Mumo, and their peers are so grateful for the positive impact this clean water has had on their daily lives.

The Water Project and our partners are committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by monthly donors, allows us to visit communities up to 4 times a year. Read more about our program and how you can help.

What Life is like before Clean Water

October, 2016

We will be very happy once the tank is completed as we will have access to clean water at the school.

Driving on the hilly slopes of Kilome Sub County in Makueni County Kenya, one sees beautiful lush green fields on both sides of the road. An effect of the ongoing rains (April-May) turned El Niño here in Kenya. From the road, you cannot imagine inhabitants of such green fields dotted with homes, churches and schools are struggling with access to clean drinking water. One of the many schools here is Maiani Primary school, a mixed public day school with a total population of 398 pupils, 11 teachers and 2 non-teaching staff.  It is here where we meet 14-year-old Mwende Mwololo, a pupil for the last 7 years. All this time, she has been carrying 3 liters of water to school every day besides her heavy bag laden with books.

When Africa Sand Dam Foundation and The Water Project first heard about the plight of the pupils from members of Nzengu Ngomano Self-help group, a decision was made to construct a concrete 105,000 liter roof catchment tank at the school.

We then set out to hear first-hand what the water situation in the school is like. The road is bumpy, muddy and slippery and the weather this morning is cold and it’s drizzling.

Here’s the story as told by Mwende:

Our current water source at school is a small plastic tank we use because there are rains. When the water is finished, I carry a 3 litre jerry can of water to school every day. We fetch water from River Usi Unene. We carry water to school for sprinkling on our classroom floor to minimize dust. It is also used for cooking food that we are given by the government. We have been negatively impacted by using dirty water by contracting diseases such as stomach aches, diarrhea and typhoid. My friend Joy Mwende (who is 14 years old) contracted diarrhea and vomiting from gulping unclean water while we were swimming in the river. Luckily, she later recovered.

Mwende Mwololo (3)

We will be very happy once the tank is completed as we will have access to clean water at the school. Having clean water school means our food and teacher’s food will be cooked using clean water. As for me, I will now be drinking clean water that will not make me sick. At home, my elder brothers are responsible for fetching water. We fetch water from the river Usi unene but use it for washing utensils, clothes and for bathing.

Once the school water tank project is complete, we will be healthy from drinking clean water and our classes will be clean. We are grateful to those who sponsored the water tank being constructed because diseases will go down. In school, we have learned health education and are taught how to avoid diseases.

On going tank project (1)My fathers’ name is Mr. Francis Mwololo a shopkeeper in Nairobi and my Mums’ name is Mrs Agnes Mwololo. She is a housewife. I have 4 brothers and one sister. My favourite sibling is my eldest brother. His name is Stephen Wambua, currently a student at the University of Nairobi studying Medicine. I like him because he encourages me to work hard.

I take about 30 Minutes to walk home from school. My mum cares for my siblings when I am at school while hired farm helps tend to our farm and take care of our cattle.

When I wake up in the morning, I pray, wash my face, take breakfast and go to school. After school, I   assist my mother in cooking, washing utensils and washing the house. I help in fetching water at home only during the dry season and during the holidays. I go to the Compassion International project every Saturday to read and study about spiritual issues.

Given an opportunity, I would like to live and study in America because there’s a lot of education there. Am inspired by other Kenyans who have lived and studied in America”.

Mwende with colleagues and parents (3)


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Country Details


Population: 39.8 Million
Lacking clean water: 43%
Below poverty line: 50%

Partner Profile

Africa Sand Dam Foundation (ASDF) supports self-help groups to harvest and conserve water through construction of sand dams & shallow wells, rock catchments and school roof catchments.