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Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 377 Served

Project Phase:  Installed

Functionality Status: 

We are happy to have a tank at our school because it will help improve our health and performance will improve. All students will now be clean, healthy and sharp.

Judith Mutisya

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 Community

AIC Mutulani Mixed Secondary School is perched atop the hills of Mutulani, 1,318 meters above sea level. The terrain around the school is hilly and slopes are steep. It is these steep slopes that the students scale on a daily basis on their way to and from school.

There are 350 students enrolled at AIC Mutulani Mixed Secondary, of which 165 are boys and 185 are girls. The school employs 18 teachers and nine supplementary staff.

Students report to school at 7 AM to do private studies until 8:05 AM when regular lessons begin. There are three lessons of 40 minutes each before the first break. There are two more lessons until 11:10 AM when students take a short break for tea, coffee or porridge. There are two more lessons until lunch at 1:10 PM. Students enjoy those 40 minutes for lunch before class starts again and stretches until 4 PM. There is time for games on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, clubs and societies on Wednesdays, and religious worship on Fridays.

School terms in Kenya run for three months back to back with April, August, November and December as holidays during which school is closed. (Editor’s Note: Groups of threes sure do seem popular!)

This project was put forward by Ngao ya Kiome Self-Help Group, which works in the area to increase access to clean water. The majority of these group members have students attending AIC Mutulani.

Water Situation

In between breaks, students have to queue in order to get whatever water is available for drinking. There are two plastic reservoirs on school grounds that have the ability to catch rainwater, but they have small capacities of 1,500 liters and 10,000 liters. Students and staff use up a full tank quickly, so administration has to hire someone to spend the day fetching water. Once fetched, this water is dumped into the reservoirs.

The school bought a motorbike which is used solely for the purpose of fetching water for the entire school community. Though it helps transport water faster, most of the time is wasted waiting in line at the collection points. This in turn delays lunch preparation and affects the school program. The motorbike driver carries at least six 20-liter jerrycans at a time, totaling 120 liters each trip. He makes ten trips to get the school the 1,200 liters of water required by the school each day.

Water is fetched from a hand-dug well when the levels are adequate. When dry, he has to fetch water from scoop holes dug in the riverbed of Ngangani River. After drinking water from the scoop holes, students often remain home as they fight waterborne disease.

Sometimes students have to climb the steep hill to school carrying jerricans of their own drinking water to supplement what the school provides.

Sanitation Situation

There are five usable pit latrines on school grounds for these 350 students and staff. The one for teachers and the two for girls are in fairly good condition, but the ones for the boys are poorly constructed.

There is one hand-washing station with soap, mainly used by teachers.

Principal Peter Maliti told us, “Our current water source is a pipeline called Kweleli Water Project which often breaks down so that the water doesn’t reach our school at all. The staff room, classes and the pit latrines aren’t washed as often as they should so students resort to sprinkling water the classroom floors with water to contain the dust and make the rooms habitable. We have to ration the little water that the motorbike guy fetches because if we don’t, there wont be enough for everyone. To ride 10 kilometers to the water source, we buy liters of petrol at 100 shillings a day so we spend 300 a day on fuel alone. When this source dries up, we all troop and depend on open water sources like Ngangani River which has many stagnant pools. This poses a challenge in terms of diseases to our students and cases of absenteeism due to illnesses rise.”

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Students and staff will be trained for one day. Those in attendance will form a hygiene 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 taps. The hygiene 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 105,000-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; 105,000 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!

Judith Mutunga is a 17-year-old student at the school. “Water scarcity affects our concentration in class and this affects our overall performance in school. We will be happy to have a tank because that will improve our health and performance. All the students will be sharp and clean,” she shared.

Recent Project Updates

07/06/2017: AIC Mutulani Secondary School Project Complete

AIC Mutulani Secondary 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 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 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.

We also just updated the project page with new pictures, so make sure to check them out! The report below shares the latest details of the project.

Project Result: New Knowledge and Hand-Washing Stations

Hygiene and sanitation training was held on school grounds, both inside the classroom and outside for demonstrations. The headteacher saw the importance of training, and thus required all 350 students to attend. There were also two teachers there to both help our staff’s trainer as well as learn for themselves. There was a tangible enthusiasm in the room, and students seemed more than willing to adopt the lessons they learned.

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This classroom is full of 350 students who are ready to learn about hygiene and sanitation!

Safe water sessions talked about water sources, water handling, water storage, and water treatment. The sessions on diarrhea talked about the many causes of diarrhea and how to prevent it. This was particularly important because diarrhea is the main cause of death for children. Hand-washing is the cheapest way to prevent diarrhea and its spread, so we set aside extra time to talk about when and how to wash hands. That’s when we took the students outside to do demonstrations at the new hand-washing stations that we delivered.

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Students watch as the trainer demonstrates all of the steps for proper hand-washing.

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.

Headteacher Peter Maliti said, “I have been very observant of the students’ behavior after the training. They are making use of the hand-washing stations, especially teachers and girls. The boys took to stealing the soap but that stopped after I caught some and punished them. Other than that, I’d like to say that the tank and the training couldn’t have come at a better time!”

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Girls using the hand-washing station outside their latrines.

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

This project was proposed by the Ngao ya Kiome Self-Help Group, since a lot of its members are parents of these students. They saw the water and hygiene challenges their children faced every day at school, and wanted to do their best to alleviate the situation. They worked hard to deliver local materials like sand and water to the construction site.

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Hundreds of water containers were filled and carried to the school to help construct this tank.

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, 192 feet of guttering is installed and channeled into the tank.

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Parents and other self-help group members help plaster the inside of the tank.

Fourth year student Judith Mutisya said, “We are happy to have a tank at our school because it will help improve our health and performance will improve. All students will now be clean, healthy and sharp.”

After the tank was completed, officials from the Inspectorate Department (Quality Control and Assurance) at the Ministry of Education visited the school and approved a five million shilling grant for the school to build more classrooms. To date, the school has already received two million of this grant. The rest of it will be given by the end of next term. According to the headteacher, the officials were very impressed with the school’s tank and hand-washing stations.

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03/16/2017: AIC Mutulani Secondary School Project Underway

We are excited to report that, thanks to your willingness to help, AIC Mutulani Secondary School in Kenya will soon have a new source of safe, clean water. 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.

Check under the tabs above, 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

Project Data

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment
Location:  Makueni, Mutulani
ProjectID: 4800
Install Date:  07/06/2017


Project Sponsor - The Lifeplus Foundation

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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.