Clean Water & Sanitation for Kenyan Primary School

Jan 22, 2013

New Year, New Tank!: KRA Matuiku School Update 5

The new 50,000-litre cement water tank. GHARP/KRA
The new 50,000-litre cement water tank. GHARP/KRA

Dear Kenya Rainwater Association supporters,

First of all, Happy New Year! We at KRA hope you had a great Christmas and a brilliant start to 2013! It has been a few months since our last update on the GlobalGiving/KRA water project at Matuiku Primary School and we have lots of news! On 24 November 2012, the second block of latrines and the cement water tank were officially opened and big celebrations were held at the school! Now with this tank and the donated plastic tank, the school has the capacity to store up to 60,000 litres of water – enough to last for at least a month!

New cement water tank for Matuiku pupils

As a new term begins, the pupils of Matuiku school can officially reduce their water-carrying burden. The KRA 50,000-litre capacity water tank has now been completed and is ready for action. Metal guttering now lines the roof of the school to catch the rainwater and the recent, unexpected rains in Kenya are filling up the tank nicely for the dry months ahead.

As part of the construction phase, a water point with two taps was also built six metres away from the tank. The children can fill up their water bottles and wash their hands there, rather than trekking to the river or carrying water in jerry-cans from home.

The nuts and bolts

For those interested in the technical detail of the tank construction, here are a few words from our Technical Officer, Ronald Kamadi:

“The tank walls were constructed using dressed stones which were then plastered over to a thickness of 20mm with layers of barbed wire and chicken wire. A mortar mix of sand and cement was used for the wall plastering and to provide thick flooring on top of the concrete slab. The dome-shaped tank roof was constructed using timber, concrete and reinforced bars, held up by poles inside. The tank roof and outlet have lockable man-holes to carry out repairs. The guttering system enters the tank via a “foul-flash” self-cleaning system. This system ensures that when it first rains after a dry spell, the dust which builds up during dry periods is first flushed away and diverted from the storage tank to prevent contamination."

“We no longer fear our latrines”

The children at the school are no longer scared to use the latrines! The new KRA latrines have provided reassurance to the children and their parents. The old latrines regularly collapsed due to the soil quality in the area and the weak structures. The head-teacher reported that at least three children had fallen into the pit due to this issue. Lining the pits with masonry prevents this problem and this is just what KRA has done!

Moving forward…

Our Matuiku school project still remains active on GlobalGiving as we raise further funds and co-donors to support the final phase of the project – the construction of the 50,000-litre capacity farm pond and drip irrigation system for vegetables. A further block of latrines is also planned! We want to thank you – our loyal supporters, as well as our partner organisation in this project, H2O for Life.

All the best for the next few months and we will be in touch again with further updates!

Children celebrate the new latrines. GHARP/KRA
Children celebrate the new latrines. GHARP/KRA
Water flows from the taps at Matuiku. GHARP/KRA
Water flows from the taps at Matuiku. GHARP/KRA
Sep 17, 2012

Head Teacher's Letter: KRA Matuiku School Update 4

Matuiku Primary School - September 2012
Matuiku Primary School - September 2012

Dear Supporters,

Greetings from Kenya Rainwater Association!

Since our last update, there have been some positive steps forward in securing further funds for the GlobalGiving-supported KRA Matuiku Primary School water project. This update covers our work underway on the installation of the 50,000-litre water tank and a heartfelt thank you letter for the latrines and plastic tank installation, from the Head Teacher of the school, Mr. John Ndegwa.

New funds secured for 50,000-litre water tank

You might remember in our last update that we had used up all the money donated to the project with the completion of the latrines. Our plans to implement the rest of the project (50,000-litre water tank, 50,000-litre farm pond, and a drip irrigation system ) were on hold as we awaited more funding...

However within weeks of completion of the latrines, we received an unexpected donation from the Global Giving UK site to the tune of £581! The Global Giving Horn of Africa Drought and Famine Relief Fund had selected our project as one of the beneficiaries of a special disbursement of funding! Read more here:

A complete surprise, this donation has been used to help buy materials (cement and steel bars) for the construction of the 50,000-litre tank. On top of that, we have managed to secure funding from one of our long-standing partners, H20 for Life, a US-based charity which matches schools in the US, with schools in developing countries. The pupils raise money for their chosen partner school through school initiatives such as baking sales, walks for water and quizzes. Read more here:

As a result of these two funding successes, we are now well on our way to completing the water tank. Made of ferro-cement and reinforced by a steel framework, the tank will long out-live the standard plastic tanks available in Kenya. In the next update, you will see photos of the construction work underway at the school.

Thank you from the Head Teacher

Three months on from the handover of the latrines to the school, Mr. John Ndegwa, Head Teacher of Matuiku Primary School, sent in a letter thanking us and our donors (yourselves!) for the good work at the school so far. Read his letter below:

The Head Teacher, teachers, Senior Management Committee. and the whole school community, take this opportunity to thank KRA for soliciting funds from the Global Giving challenge to undertake the following projects:

  1. Four units gender segregated latrines for girls and two for teachers
  2. Installation of a 10,000 litre tank

 The following are the impacts felt and realised at the school:

  • Time is nowadays saved for learning as pupils used to waste a lot of time as the latrines were not enough and water had to be fetched from a far away stream. As a result, academic performance has improved, particularly for girls.
  • Hygiene has improved as classrooms can be cleaned easily as we have a good source of water. Also water is used to wash hands after visiting the latrines and before eating.
  • The latrines have brought privacy as the previous ones only had shutters and some girls refused to use them.
  • Truancy has been curbed as some pupils previously preferred to go outside the school (for privacy) to use the toilet or to source water from nearby streams.
  • The pupils nowadays have access to clean water and this has reduced infection through water-borne diseases e.g. typhoid.
  • The face of the school has changed as the facilities are modern.

In conclusion we sincerely thank KRA for the initiative they are undertaking to improve sanitary facilities in semi-arid and arid areas such as Matuiku Primary School, we hope that you will continue supporting the school with more facilities.

Yours, John Ndegwa, Head Teacher, Matuiku Primary School

Other news from KRA

As well has working on the Matuiku project, KRA is involved in a number of large-scale rainwater harvesting projects across Kenya. The European Union/Skillshare four-year project recently came to a successful end, having benefited 1000s of small-scale farmers and families across eight districts. The New Life Mission water and livelihoods project in the pastoralist area of Kajiado is doing well and has another year to run. The United States Aid Agency (USAID) project is into the 2nd year of three and already over 100 farm ponds have been constructed and 80 local artisans have been trained in construction! And finally, KRA has recently won new funding from the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) to implement a large, three-year rainwater harvesting project across three counties in Kenya. The project will officially launch in October.

As ever, thanks for your ongoing support and interest in our work.

Did you know that GlobalGiving has a gift card scheme where you can donate to our project on behalf of a friend or family member for their birthday, Christmas, Mother's Day, Wedding day gift etc... Read more here:

Mr. John Ndegwa, Head Teacher, Matuiku School
Mr. John Ndegwa, Head Teacher, Matuiku School


Jun 4, 2012

Latrines Complete! KRA Matuiku School Update 3

Excavation of latrines at Matuiku. GHARP/KRA
Excavation of latrines at Matuiku. GHARP/KRA

Dear Kenya Rainwater Association Supporters,

Greetings from Kenya and I hope you are all doing well!

This update contains some very exciting news about the GlobalGiving-supported KRA Matuiku Primary School water project. The latrines are now complete and operational! The final handing-over ceremony took place last weekend and the children were very excited! In addition, the base for the rainwater harvesting tank is now complete and the tree-planting and de-worming activities with AAR Health Insurance have been a big success. Read on for more detail and photos...

Latrines up and running!

Construction work on the ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines began in February of this year. There are four latrines for girls and two for the teachers. The boys already had fairly good standard latrines. The latrines have a special vent pipe which prevents build-up of odour and reduces flies and mosquitoes. Built securely with concrete and designed to be very private, they are far better than the typical wooden door latrines with pits that can collapse at any time.

Girls in rural areas often miss school for up to four days per month in Kenya due to unsuitable latrine facilities and lack of privacy (mixed latrines). These new latrines at Matuiku will ensure girls feel comfortable coming to school throughout the year and are able to focus on their school-work.

Tank stand in place

You may remember the kind donation of a 10,000-litre water tank from Tile and Carpet Centre Ltd. last year. Well, KRA have now built a solid concrete support to hold the tank with a tap for easy access to the water. This will ensure children can wash their hands and get water for drinking.

150 trees planted

On 22 March, AAR Health Insurance fulfilled their promise and returned to Matuiku School to conduct the first tree-planting session. 150 trees were planted and the children were taught how to care for them. If all goes well, the next tree-planting session will take place in September! In addition, AAR provided a free de-worming service to 140 of the school children. De-worming at least every six months in Kenya is very important, particularly for young children.

Joyful handover ceremony

The day for the final commissioning and handover of the school latrines and tank stand finally came on Saturday 26 May! The children gathered in the school grounds as the Projects Coordinator for KRA, Dr. Stephen Ngigi, announced that the latrines and stand were officially open. Technical Assistant, Ronald Kamadi, who has tirelessly managed the construction of the latrines, was also there at the event. The Headteacher, Mr. John Ndegwa, was visibly overjoyed, as were the children, particularly the girls!

Next steps for the GlobalGiving project

To date, our GlobalGiving fundraising for Matuiku Primary School has raised $5,181. This is wonderful and has enabled us to fund the construction of the latrines and the tank base. The other activities we had hoped to do, were construction of a larger tank (50,000-litres) and a farm pond (50,000-litres) and drip irrigation system for vegetable growing. These activities will need to wait as we try to raise more funds (total to reach goal is another $12,000). However for now, rest assured that the situation at Matuiku Primary School is vastly improved and we will keep reporting back on how the children are doing.

Did you know that GlobalGiving now have a gift card scheme where you can donate to our project on behalf of a friend or family member for their birthday, Christmas, Mother's Day, Wedding day gift etc... Read more here:

Thanks again for your support and interest - we could not have done it without each one of you!

Construction of latrine walls, Matuiku. GHARP/KRA
Construction of latrine walls, Matuiku. GHARP/KRA
Girls gather at new latrines. GHARP/KRA
Girls gather at new latrines. GHARP/KRA
Difference between old & new latrines. GHARP/KRA
Difference between old & new latrines. GHARP/KRA


Feb 13, 2012

Work starts in Feb: KRA Matuiku School Update 2

Delicious cakes! Source: M.Whyte
Delicious cakes! Source: M.Whyte

Happy New Year everyone!

It was been a few months since our last update about the Kenya Rainwater Association (KRA) water project at Matuiku Primary School! I am sure you have all been wondering how progress is going, so this update will do what it says on the tin - and keep you up-to-date! I will write again in March/April with more news on the construction...

Construction work starts mid-February

The project construction at Matuiku School is planned to commence in mid-February. One of our most experienced KRA technical assistants, Ronald Kamadi, will arrive at the project site in February and start with the construction of the latrines, as sanitation is the area of greatest need. We hope to raise the funds for the remainder of the project activities (tank, drip irrigation, and farm pond) from other donors. Our Global Giving fundraiser has taken us one-third of the way there with our current donations count just over the $5,100 mark!! Any innovative suggestions for how to raise the remaining $12,079 are welcomed.

The community there have worked hard to build a raised wooden platform for the 10,000-litre plastic tank donation they received last year and so water is now being harvested from the rooftop of the school! Great news!

Cakes raise funds in Harrogate!

A dedicated supporter of our GlobalGiving Campaign helped to boost our total funds by $200 with a coffee and cake morning and raffle in Harrogate, Yorkshire (UK) last year. Helen Page gathered her friends around for what started as a low-key meet-up and soon became a cake extravaganza attended by 20 people! Guests and cake-bakers alike munched on mouthwatering delights such as Yorkshire’s finest ‘Bara Brith’ (teabread), Yorkshire Parkin (gingerbread), date slices, sponge cakes, scones, and the famous ‘Granny’s Oatmeal Biscuits.' Thank you to all those involved.

First tree-planting session to take place in March

AAR, the East Africa Health Provider, will follow through on their promise to plant trees at the school and conduct regular de-worming sessions for the children. The first tree-planting phase will take place in March! Watch this space...

Other KRA projects continue

Global Giving is not KRA's only project. Our team of technical staff are spread out over the country working in a range of arid and semi-arid environments implementing projects funded by USAID, European Union/Skillshare, H2O for Life and many other generous donors. These projects are large-scale pilot projects which aim to demonstrate how rainwater harvesting and drip irrigation could be successfully scaled up across Kenya.

Thank you

So all that remains for me to say is thank you again for your support and I hope you are gratified to see your kind donations being turned into action on the ground at Matuiku School.

Ronald Kamadi, KRA Technical Assistant. GHARP/KRA
Ronald Kamadi, KRA Technical Assistant. GHARP/KRA
Matuiku School children playing. GHARP/KRA
Matuiku School children playing. GHARP/KRA


Oct 18, 2011

KRA's Matuiku School Water Project - Update 1

Plastic Tank Arrives at Matuiku School
Plastic Tank Arrives at Matuiku School

Dear Friend and Donor,

So what has happened since your generous donation to the Kenya Rainwater Association (KRA) Matuiku Primary School Water Project?  Firstly KRA would like to thank you sincerely for your contribution — it means so much to us and to the school children. We successfully met our target of $4,000 and in fact raised $4,774!! We now have a permanent spot on the GlobalGiving website and so we can continue to work hard to raise the remaining money to reach the full project cost of $17,210. We have also had two corporate partnerships develop as a result and we have a US-based school charity interested in sending pen-pal letters to the school. We had the chance to meet the children and the teachers recently, read on to find out more...

Worldwide dinner parties raise awareness and funds during August

Kenyan-themed dinner parties took place in Singapore, the UK, France, and Kenya to raise much-needed cash for the project. Dinner party revellers made Kenyan recipes, listened to Kenyan songs, and celebrated the wonder of water, whilst raising money for our cause. Thank you for spreading the word and engaging your friends and family in support of KRA.

School visit and ‘Trees for Health’ 

On the 6th October 2011, KRA and local health provider, AAR, went to visit Matuiku Primary School to meet the children and the teachers. AAR learned about the project during the August Challenge and have pledged to help support us with the tree-planting aspect of the project. They will provide tree-seedlings combined with a bi-annual de-worming programme for the children.

Head Teacher, Mutuiku Primary School, Mr. John Ndegwa said on our visit day: “‘We will commit ourselves to changing things and we will change this school. We have a shortage of water and the river is very far, and dangerous for children to collect from due to a steep slope.”

Tile and Carpet Centre donate tank!

Tile and Carpet Centre Ltd., a Kenyan company, donated a 10,000-litre plastic 'Top Tank' for Matuiku School. The word got out via the August Challenge and they decided to help. The tank will supplement our 50,000-litre cement tank.

So when do we start? 

You might be wondering when our project will start? We plan to begin work in early 2012, once we are fully funded. We are actively seeking partnerships to match the funds, and still continuing to promote individual donations via GlobalGiving. US-based  school water charity, H2O for Life, has decided to partner with our school and the first step is a pen-pal letter exchange with Matuiku School. This then can lead to fundraising activities so we are hopeful! The US children will write about their lives, hobbies, favourite school subjects, and how they get water each day. Matuiku school children will then write back, promoting global awareness-raising of water and development issues.

Another GlobalGiving Match Funds Day!!!!

On Wednesday 19th October 2011, GlobalGiving will launch another match funds day — this time matching all donations to our project, 30%! Now we are permanently on the Global Giving site, we can benefit from this offer. If you know anyone else who might like to donate, please do forward this to them—any donation between 7am UK time and midnight qualifies.

Thank you and best wishes.

Children and their new tank, Matuiku School
Children and their new tank, Matuiku School
Excited children at Matuiku Primary School
Excited children at Matuiku Primary School


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Project Leader

Peris Muchina

Information and Communication Officer
Nairobi, Nairobi Kenya

Where is this project located?

Map of Clean Water & Sanitation for Kenyan Primary School