Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 260 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/20/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Ikaasu Secondary School was started in 2003 to serve the children of Ikaasu Village, Makueni County of Kenya. It has both day students and boarders. Being a fairly young school, it has been struggling to rise above hardships and compete with other schools in the country. Among its major challenges has been water scarcity due to the arid land and weather in the area. This has forced them to only allow female boarders at this time.

The school enjoys a close relationship with Ngwatanio ya utui wa Maluvyu Self-Help Group, which has been working with ASDF since 2016. A majority of members have students at the school, and thus are aware of the dire water situation. It is for this reason that they proposed constructing a water tank at the school to help alleviate the suffering that their children go through.


The school has three 5,000-liter plastic tanks guttered to catch rainwater. They also have a 10,000-liter plastic tank that is not operational. The school buys water from community members, who shuttle 20-liter jerrycans on their donkeys’ backs. They fetch water from holes dug in the Ikaasu River. Each jerrycan is sold to the school for 15 shillings.

The school is also connected to a piped water system from the Matinga Community water project, which is not reliable. For example, at the time of writing this, the pipeline had been broken for a month. During the dry season, water brought via donkeys just isn't enough. The school must also order trucks that supply water at 5,000 shillings for 5,000 liters. Day scholars are sometimes required to carry water from their homes to help fill these plastic tanks. When full, water from the available tanks only lasts the school for 11 days.

19-year-old Mule Musau said, "As a day scholar, I am sometimes required to report to school with water in a five-liter jerrycan. It has not been easy in such times, as it comes with tiredness and burden on top of my normal school bag. The water is not safe for drinking and poses health risks to the school fraternity."

To avoid running out of water, the school has set a daily ration of five liters per student.

Rainwater caught in the tanks is safe for drinking, but becomes contaminated as the water delivered by locals is dirty. After drinking, students suffer from waterborne diseases like amoeba, typhoid, bilharzia, and ringworm.


Sanitation standards at the school have been greatly compromised by the water shortage, which exposes students to even more health risks. Boarding students are only provided with five liters of water per day for all of their needs, including bathing!

There are 10 pit latrines that are in good structural condition, but are not cleaned regularly. There are four bathing rooms for the boarders, and one hand-washing station. However, there is no soap available at the station.

Trash is thrown in a designated area, but the school needs to dig a pit to prevent it from blowing back around and littering campus.

Caroline Mbula told us, "Boarding students get only five liters of water a day. It is not easy maintaining body and clothes cleanliness with such a meager amount of water. Our agriculture projects have greatly suffered the water menace as there is no enough water for irrigation - this has served to discourage students from taking the subject."

Here's what we're going to do about it:


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.

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.

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 be 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!

This project is a part of our shared program with Africa Sand Dam Foundation. Our team is pleased to provide the reports for this project (formatted and edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates

November, 2018: A Year Later: Ikaasu Secondary School

A year ago, your generous donation helped us construct a rainwater catchment tank for Ikaasu 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...

March, 2018: Ikaasu Secondary School Project Complete

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

Project Result: New Knowledge

The field manager works with the officers and principal to plan the best time and place for hygiene and sanitation training. This planning is done well in advance to make sure the students and teachers don’t miss any class time. A huge group of 241 students and some of their teachers brought their chairs outside so they’d have room to learn. Participation was excellent!

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

20-year-old student Bonface Munyao said, "The training was good; we have never had any speaker come to talk to us about hygiene in our school in the past. We are happy today we had such an opportunity. The training will help us a lot, especially on prevention of diseases."

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

Ikaasu Secondary School is affiliated with the Maluvyu 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.

Being a masonry tank, the construction process is much like that of a concrete house. A level foundation must be excavated, constructed, and later reinforced with a concrete slab. Then layers of impermeable rocks are placed upon mortar interchangeably to a height of seven feet, with an internal and an external diameter of 25 feet and 28 feet respectively.

There's a reinforced concrete column built right up the center of the tank that holds the dome up. The walls are then plastered both internally and externally with waterproof cement.

192 feet of guttering is set up and channeled into the tank. The tank's roof is made of iron sheets and timber, with the small openings that allow gutters to funnel in rainwater.

One side of the gutter system

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. Students gathered around to try their first cups of its clean water. Bonface said, "We had a big problem of water in our school, but this tank has solved the problem. The tank will provide water for drinking, cooking, bathing and washing our clothes - especially for the girls who are boarders. We will plant trees to first mark the construction of the tank, but to also provide shade and beautify our school."

January, 2018: Ikaasu Secondary School Project Underway

Ikaasu 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: Ikaasu Secondary School

November, 2018

“The challenge of water is now a past story, since the new water project is providing us with enough clean water for drinking and running the school routine smoothly.” – Boniface Mutinda, 17

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Ikaasu 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 Ikaasu 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 now enjoys an adequate clean water supply from the water tank for drinking, cooking, and cleaning of school amenities. Over the last one year, the school has been saving money which was initially spent to purchase water. Now, the money is being used to support the neediest students.

Levels of hygiene and sanitation are improving with the availability of enough clean water and the availability of handwashing facilities.

We spoke with Principal Michael Kyengo and one of his students, Boniface Mutinda about additional changes they have witnessed since the project.

"The water project has been providing the school community with clean drinking water," said Principal Kyengo.

"This has been a major boost towards a reduction of the water bill as the school initially bought water from various sources. The school community has witnessed improved levels of hygiene and sanitation, and this is attributed to the availability of clean water and the existence of a handwashing culture. Again, more students are now attracted to the school which has led to an increased student population and the boarding students."

From left to right: Boniface Mutinda, Titus Mbithi, and Principal Michael Kyengo

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 Ikaasu Secondary School is changing many lives.

"The challenge of water is now a past story, since the new water project is providing us with enough clean water for drinking and running the school routine smoothly," Boniface said.

"The availability of clean water from a trusted source has led to improved health with cases of stomach problems reported among students getting few. Students enjoy the now clean amenities such as classes and latrines which have provided 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 Ikaasu 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 Ikaasu 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.


18 individual donor(s)