Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Program: Kenyan Rainwater Harvesting

Impact: 372 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2015

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 (ASDF). Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).

Background Information

Malaa Primary School is found in Inguluni village, Yandue Sub-location, Yandue location, Tulimani Division, Mbooni West District of Makueni County. The School was established in 1983.

The school has a total population of 361 pupils (183 boys and 178 girls), 9 teachers (4 males and 5 females) and 2 sub-ordinate staff (a male and a female).

It is closely related with Kithuani Self Help Group which ASDF and The Water Project started supporting in 2014.The SHG comprises of 24 members (17 males and 7 females) who are from 24 households (average household membership in the area is 6 members per household). So far the group has constructed one sand dam with a shallow well.

Water Situation in the School

The school is situated in the semi-arid and arid lands of Makueni County which is characterized by bi-annual rains in November/December (short rains) and March/May (long rains) resulting in long dry spell throughout the year.

On average the school requires 200 liters of water per day, which is used for cooking and drinking.

It is the role of every pupil of Malaa Primary School to carry water every morning to school. Every pupil carries 5-10 liter jerry cans of water. During break time the pupils are sent again to the nearby streams to fetch water.

The current water source for the school is the Kwa Ikombi stream, which is less than 1 kilometer from the school. It takes the pupils 20 minutes to walk to and from collecting water from the stream. At this stream the pupils have to wait for more than 1 hour as this source is shared by the whole village of Inguluni.

The other source is Kwa Philip stream which is less than 1 kilometer as well and it takes the pupils 20 minutes to walk to and from the stream. The pupils have to queue here as well as they wait for their turn to fetch water. Community members meet here as well to fetch water.

The school also has a roof catchment that harvests rain water into two water storage tanks (8,000 and 10,000 liters plastic tanks). These tanks never fill up since the guttering system is poorly fitted and are too small to adequately serve the population of the school when full.  The water from these structures lasts for less than two weeks. Additionally the surrounding streams dry up during the dry season.

The current project will improve  the schools ability to store rainwater as a larger tank will be added and the gutter systems improved.

Sanitation in the School

Latrines in the school consist of 5 doors for boys, 7 doors for girls, and 2 doors for teachers.

The school has only one hand washing facility which is used by the teachers only.

Water-Related Challenges in the School

The water related challenges outlined below are experienced in the school and especially in the driest months of the year.

- High cases of water borne diseases due to the dirty water that the pupils drink from the stream results in a high rate of absenteeism in the school.

- Wastage of time as pupils rush to the stream to fetch water thus not attending lessons.

- Poor hygiene in the school since the water they carry is not enough to maintain proper hygiene.

- Poor performances of most of the students as lessons are disrupted when the pupils are sent to the stream to collect water.

Project Results: 

Rainwater Harvesting Tank

You the donor, TWP, and ASDF supported the school in constructing a 190,000 liter water tank as requested by the Kithuani self-help group. All of the group members are either parents or other relatives who have children attending Malaa Primary School. With the help of the school management committee, the group mobilized parents to collect the required materials such as stone and sand.

Construction of the tank began in early November and lasted until December 12, 2015. Since construction took place during farmers' planting season, the group found it difficult to mobilize the necessary labor for such a large tank. The self-help group eventually found parents willing to help the construction team.

The main challenge during the construction process was the rainy season. Rain flooded the areas sand would normally be collected from, so workers were forced to search elsewhere. Thanks to their ambition, they were able to find other communities willing to help harvest sand.

Hand-Washing Station

The hand-washing stations were delivered on site by December 18, 2015. They will be used to promote hand-washing and teach about the important times to do so. The partner intends these facilities to exemplify what children and families should install and use in their own homes.

A health and sanitation club will be started when students return to school in January. Training sessions will also be held to educate both students and staff.

The Water Project and Malaa Primary School Thank You for unlocking potential!

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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!

"We now have access to clean water all year round."

Nduku Muthoka

Meet Nduku

June, 2016

“I no longer carry water to school since we already have a water tank. We now have access to clean water all year round so our lessons aren’t interrupted. We can plant trees and flowers in our school compound. Water borne diseases have gone down, too!”

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Malaa 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!

Nduku Muthoka is a bubbly young 12-year-old who attends Malaa Primary School in Makueni County, Kenya. Her school received a rainwater catchment system and handwashing stations in at the request of the Kithuani Self Help Group SHG in December 2015. The school is a public mixed day primary school with 361 pupils, 9 teachers and 2 subordinate staff.

On a cool, cloudy day, it was exciting to hear in her own words how having clean water has changed her life.

Nduku Muthoka (1)“I no longer carry water to school since we already have a water tank. Before the tank was constructed, we used carry water to school daily. Failure to do so resulted in severe punishment by our teachers. We only depended on a spring and that was always congested all the time because it was shared by the whole village around here. Sometimes, we would be ejected from class to go fetch water. This interrupted our studies and led to poor performance by most of us. One time, my friend Mutheu Mwikali had stomach aches from drinking dirty water and she failed to attend school for several days.”

Nduku father’s name is Alex Muthoka and he works as a a chauffeur in Nairobi. Her mother’s name is Felisters Mutinda and she stays at home. “I have two brothers and two sisters and I love them all equally” says Nduku. "My mum stays at home with my young siblings (I am the oldest) but since there is no school in our village, I live with my grandmother less than 10 minutes away from school.”

We love hearing about Nduku daily activities include her chores and tasks around the house. “I always wake up at 5am. I sweep the compound, prepare breakfast, take a shower, eat breakfast, brush my teeth, comb my hair and run to school. After school, I go collect firewood then cook and study. I help fetch water over the weekends from a borehole near my grandmother’s home. I carry a 10-liter jerry can on my back. My uncles fetch water over the weekdays. I go to bed around 10pm.”

Ndukus FavoritesLike other kids her age, Nduku has big dreams for the future. “When I graduate from primary school, I’d like to join Pangani Girl’s Secondary School in Nairobi. I would love to be an architect when I grow up because I have been inspired by one of our neighbours, a successful architect. Given an opportunity, I would like to live in Algeria because of the conducive climate there.”

And now that Nduku and her classmates have clean water at school, those dreams are a real possibility. “Our lessons are never interrupted. We now have access to clean water all year round. We can plant trees and flowers in our school compound.” And, the health of the students has been positively affected as well. “Water borne diseases have gone down. We now wash hands after visiting the toilets.”

Nduku’s grades have even improved! “I used to score an average of 330/500 marks in my last year’s exam and now I have improved to 350/500 marks. This is because I have freedom to read without interruptions.”

Nduku Muthoka in class (2)

Nduku says her friends are just as happy to have clean water at school, too. No one liked having to carry water to school or being asked to leave to go fetch water before the rainwater catchment tank was constructed.

She also learned a lot from the sanitation training and even shares those practices with her classmates and family, like washing your hands after visiting the toilet. “We don’t have a health club in our school but we have elected school cabinet ministers. I am one of them, along with my health counterpart Sabina Mwende.”

Nduku and all her classmates at Malaa Primary School are so grateful for the rainwater catchment system and handwashing stations and our incredible donors and fundraisers who made it possible. We’re so grateful to share Nduku’s story and bring you into the heart of our work: real people. Your gifts fund local solutions to local problems and unlocks opportunity along the way.

Nduku Muthoka with fellow cabinet ministers (1)

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 Malaa 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 Malaa 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.


Pilgrim Congregational UCC
Jack & Sophia Preston's Fundraising Page
2 individual donor(s)