Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 223 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/21/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

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

Kyanzasu Primary School was started in 1961 to serve the children of Kyanzasu Village, Machakos, Kenya.

The school enjoys a close relationship with the Masola Kaani Self-Help Group, which has also been building sand dams and hand-dug wells with ASDF. Most members have children attending this school, and understand the water situation and needs at the learning facility. It is for this reason that they are committed to constructing a water tank for their children.

Water Situation

The school depends entirely on catching water in four plastic tanks: three are 10,000 liters and one is 2,300 liters. When water from the tanks is depleted, pupils are required to carry five liters of water to school in the morning. Most of these students get that water from River Ikue and the Kyanzasu earth dam.

With a daily use of more than 300 liters of water for drinking, mopping classrooms, cleaning offices, and watering trees, the school is always at a deficit. Pupils spend a lot of their time in pursuit of water. This greatly affects their academic performance as the time spent at rivers and other water sources should have been spent in class. Water carried by pupils is never treated, despite it being from untrusted sources.

14-year-old Josephat Mutinda said, "Carrying water to school has not been easy; it has been burdening owing to the average three to four kilometers traveled to school. This has led to cases of lateness, and pupils' tiredness in class. Again, the water carried by pupils is not secure for drinking - it has been a big gamble with our health."

After drinking this water, students suffer from bilharzia, ringworm, and typhoid.

Sanitation Situation

During the driest times of the year, Kyanzasu earth dam and Ikue River fully dry up, exposing the school to even more water challenges. These force students and staff to sacrifice the use of water for cleaning.

14-year-old Faith Mutua said, "Toilets and classes in this school are rarely washed. This has led to low levels of hygiene and sanitation in school, creating an unfavorable learning environment."

There are seven total latrines between boys, girls, and staff. The student latrines are usable, but beginning to fall apart and might need to be replaced soon.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Students and staff will be trained for one day. Those in attendance will form a school health club that will promote good hygiene and sanitation practices both at school and home. They will learn all of the steps to proper hand-washing, 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 rainwater catchment tank and hand-washing stations.

Plans: Hand-Washing Stations

Three hand-washing stations will be delivered at the project’s completion. These are 1,000-liter plastic tanks fitted with four taps. The health club and school management will be responsible for making sure tanks are filled with water and that a cleaning agent such as soap or ash is available.

Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank

We will build a 104,000-liter rainwater catchment tank for this school. This water will benefit the students, teachers, and supplementary staff. Parents will mobilize the materials needed for construction, such as sand and stone. They will also lend some strong arms to help with the actual construction.

The huge capacity of this tank makes the others look tiny in comparison; 104,000 liters should collect enough water to carry students through the entire dry season. As soon as the tank has time to cure, it can begin to collect rainwater for drinking, cooking and cleaning!

Project Updates

November, 2018: A Year Later: Kyanzasu Primary School

A year ago, your generous donation helped us construct a rainwater catchment tank for Kyanzasu Primary School in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories. Read more...

February, 2018: Kyanzasu Primary School Project Complete

Kyanzasu Primary School in Kenya now has a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your support: A new rainwater catchment system has been built. Hand-washing stations were 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 students and teachers! 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.

Project Result: New Knowledge

We immediately started working with the headteacher who planned the best time and place for hygiene and sanitation training. All students and teachers met us outside under the shade of a tree.

The trainer led sessions on proper food handling, preparation, and storage. Similar sessions on water were even more important, teaching how to safely fetch, carry, store, and treat water. We also covered topics including:

– Importance of using a pit latrine

– Prevention of diarrhea

– Proper handling of food and water

– Hand-washing

– Flies and other spreaders of germs

– Personal hygiene (washing face and brushing teeth)

Students particularly enjoyed the demonstrations, role plays, and group discussions.

By the last day of training, a student health club was established to carry out the following objectives:

– Teaching other students about hygiene and sanitation

– Ensuring the latrines and school compound are always clean

– Ensuring that students always wash their hands with clean water and soap after visiting the latrine, and ensuring these hand-washing stations have clean water and cleaning agents at all times

15-year-old Joseph Mwania said that "the training was good. We have benefited as pupils. We will wash our hands often, and our hygiene will improve and thus diseases will decrease in our school."

Project Result: Hand-Washing Stations

Large, multi-tap hand-washing stations have been delivered to the school and placed outside of the latrines. The student health club has already filled these up with water so they can be used.

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

Kwa Kaleli Primary School is affiliated with the Masola Kaani Self-Help Group, since most of its members’ children attend here. These parents and school administration approached the self-help group committee and requested their help in alleviating the water shortage at the school. A meeting with all of the parents and the headteacher was then held to plan out the project. Parents agreed to collect construction materials like sand, rocks, and water. They also worked hard alongside our artisans.

Construction for this 104,000-liter rainwater catchment tank is much like the construction of a concrete house. First, the ground is leveled for foundation excavation. Alternating layers of impermeable rocks are laid upon mortar up to seven feet high, with internal and external diameters of 25 and 28 feet respectively.

A reinforced concrete column is built right up the center of the tank, which holds up the roof and prevents it from caving in. The walls are then plastered both internally and externally with waterproof cement. After that, several feet of guttering is installed and channeled into the tank.

Once the tank has cured (dried) sufficiently, it can begin to collect rainwater. We met students at the tank as soon as construction was completed, and then again when we heard the tank had received a good amount of water. Teacher Agnes Mutinda said, "We had a water problem, but this tank is big and it will serve both the school and the community. It is a joy in this community. It has brought light to our area and proved that people can help one another in many ways. We will plant flowers to beatify the area and start an agriculture project to train our pupils."

November, 2017: Kyanzasu Primary School Project Underway

Kyanzasu Primary School in Kenya will soon have a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your donation. A rainwater catchment tank is being built, hand-washing stations are being 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.

Thank You for your generosity that is unlocking potential for students in Kenya!

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: Kyanzasu Primary School

November, 2018

“We are now getting enough clean drinking water in school from the water tank. The water is sweet and enjoyable.” – Nzisa Kioko, 13

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kyanzasu 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!

A year ago, your generous donation helped us construct a rainwater catchment tank for Kyanzasu Primary School in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – and we’re excited to share this one from Titus Mbithi with you.

The students of Kyanzasu Primary School have not been required to carry water to the school in 3 or 5-liter containers like they used to. This is because the water tank has provided the school community with enough clean water to run their daily affairs smoothly.

Learning activities have been going well since there are no distractions caused by water scarcity. Over the last year, cases of pupils being taken to the hospital with serious stomach pains have significantly decreased, thanks to the availability of clean water at school.

We spoke to Deputy Headteacher Daniel Mutinda and his student, Nzisa Kioko, about any other changes they have witnessed over the past year with water.

On the left, Nzisa Kioko; on the right, Deputy Headteacher Daniel Mutinda

"We are witnessing an improvement in the health situation of our pupils. Since the implementation of this water project, there have been few cases of stomach problems reported by pupils compared to past years," confirmed Teacher Mutinda.

There are "minimal interruptions, which is improving the academic performance of the school children. Textbook maintenance is better since the pupils have clean hands which leave the books clean. They can last for longer periods."

Construction of the rainwater catchment tank is only one step along the journey toward sustainable access to clean water. The Water Project is committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by donors like you, allows us to maintain our relationships with communities by visiting up to 4 times each year to ensure that the water points are safe and reliable.

This is just one of the many ways that we monitor projects and communicate with you. Additionally, you can always check the functionality status and our project map to see how all of our water points are performing, based on our consistent monitoring data.

One project is just a drop in the bucket towards ending the global water crisis, but the ripple effects of this project are truly astounding. This tank at Kyanzasu Primary is changing many lives.

"We are now getting enough clean drinking water in school from the water tank. The water is sweet and enjoyable," Miss Kioko said.

Miss Nzisa Kioko

"The training on hygiene and sanitation has created a strong handwashing culture as we now wash our hands before meals and after visiting the latrines. The classes and latrines are now being cleaned on a daily basis because water is available in plenty. This is improving the levels of hygiene and sanitation in school and creating a conducive learning environment."

This is only possible because of the web of support and trust built between The Water Project, our local teams, the community, and you. We are excited to stay in touch with this community and support their journey with safe water.

Read more about The Water Promise and how you can help.

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 Kyanzasu 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 Kyanzasu 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.


Project Sponsor - The Matthew Martin Family
1 individual donor(s)