Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 151 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 Secondary School was started in 2011 to serve the children of Kyanzasu Village, Machakos, Kenya.

It is a mixed day school with a total enrollment of 138 students made up of 69 of each gender. They are taught by 10 teachers and assisted by three support staff.

The school is located in a poverty-stricken area, where school fees are a challenge for parents.

Water Situation

The school has two 10,000-liter plastic tanks which are guttered to tap rainwater. These tanks were donations from community well-wishers.

Because the school uses hundreds of liters a day for drinking, cooking, and cleaning, these plastic tanks only last a couple of weeks before running dry.

The school must buy water from local vendors who take an ox-driven cart to the sand dam system built by Masola Kaani Self-Help Group, about one kilometer away from the school. Once delivered, water is poured into the two plastic tanks. A lack of income at the school has culminated in a water crisis; there aren't funds to buy enough water. Agriculture projects have performed poorly due to lack of enough water to sustain irrigation, and all tree-planting projects have stalled.

17-year-old Daniel Muthini hails from the local community. "Studying in this school comes with big challenges, all which are water-related. We have been, on many occasions, sent to fetch water at the local dam in 10-liter jerrycans. It has been tiresome and consumes our precious class time," he shared.

Sanitation Situation

There are nine pit latrines for students and staff. There is one hand-washing station, but rarely enough water to fill it.

There is a designated place for throwing trash, but no pit to prevent the wind from blowing it back around campus.

Faith Mutuku, who is in her final year at Kynzasu Secondary, told us that "the state of hygiene and sanitation has been poor, which classes and toilets not attended to regularly. This has presented an unfavorable learning environment for us. Again, the water provided for drinking isn't even safe, and presents risks to student health."

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 Secondary School

A year ago, your generous donation helped us construct a rainwater catchment tank for Kyanzasu Secondary 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 Secondary School Project Complete

Kyanzasu 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 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 worked with the headteacher to arrange the best time and place for hygiene and sanitation training. The entire student body and all teachers met outside under the shade of a tree, bringing their chairs and desks out of the classrooms.

Using illustrations to teach about how germs are spread.

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

19-year-old Emmanuel Muindi Kitonyi shared, "It was a very nice training. I feel enlightened now. I have learned how I can keep my compound clean and how to improve on personal hygiene. I have also learned that I can train others on hygiene and help them improve."

Emmanuel Muindi Kitonyi is a student at Kyanzasu Secondary.

Lonzi Emmanuel teaches biology and came to us to say, "The training was good and an educative one. Personally as a biology teacher, I feel that the students have benefited and will continue benefiting. They will have a life as far as health is concerned. We have been lagging behind but now we promise to improve on that."

Teacher Lonzi Emmanuel

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

Kyanzasu Secondary 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.

These stones are broken down to the right size for the tank's wall.

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.

Look at all that water-harvesting potential!

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. The school administration has promised to oversee levels in the tank and ensure that there is enough water for every student. This is great news for a school that previously suffered from a severe water shortage: With good leadership, clean water will be available in the tank for a long time before needing rain again - clean water will outlast the dry season.

November, 2017: Kyanzasu Secondary School Project Underway

Kyanzasu Secondary 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 Secondary School

November, 2018

“This project has really improved my stay in the school as it has ended the water challenges experienced before.” – Mercy Kyalo, 15

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kyanzasu 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!

A year ago, your generous donation helped us construct a rainwater catchment tank for Kyanzasu Secondary 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 school community has not been buying water over the last year thanks to this rainwater catchment tank. Money that was initially spent on water purchases is now being saved and used for a new staff room.

Students and staff have plenty of water for drinking, cleaning, and cooking school lunch. The school has even used extra water from the tank to plant more trees and flowers around the school compound, too.

We talked to Principal Mbaluto and one of his students, Mercy Kyalo, about additional changes they have observed over the last year with water.

"We are no longer sending students out to fetch water for use in school like it used to happen before this project," said Principal Mbaluto.

"Availability of enough water has enabled us to start tree planting and flower gardens in our compound through watering. Students and teachers have embraced the handwashing culture before meals and after visiting latrines"

Mercy Kyalo at one of the handwashing stations

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 Secondary School is changing many lives.

From left to right: Mercy Kyalo, Titus Mbithi, and Principal Mbaluto.

"This project has really improved my stay in the school as it has ended the water challenges experienced before," said Mercy Kyalo.

"We are now getting enough water for drinking, cooking and cleaning school facilities. Availability of handwashing facilities and enough clean water has created a strong handwashing culture among students, which is improving the levels of hygiene and sanitation in school."

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 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 Kyanzasu 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.


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