Water Projects

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About Kitui

About this Site

The average per capita income in Kitui is less than €2 per day

Makayauni School Building Project

"One room at a time"

Raised to Date (December 2011):  €44,500

Makayauni School- A Story of Change

Report by Shadrack M Musyoka, Monitoring & Evaluation officer, Diocese of Kitui 


Speaking during the parent’s meeting at the school on 22nd September 2010, the School Committee Chairman captured the mood among the parents thus,

“One would be forgiven for thinking the earth has moved; this is Makayauni like never before. From now on there is no turning back”.

The transformation according to many of the speakers was not only physical, but also social.

In an interview with the school head, he noted with joy the harmony among parents that has evolved from this process. For the more than 5 years he has worked here, the last one year has been the most dramatic.

The parents have tirelessly worked in preparation of the local materials

The teacher noted the change in attitudes of the parents and had this to say, “The one thing that I would say Friends of Kitui (FoK) has achieved in Makayauni is not so much the construction of beautiful buildings, but the awakening of the community to realise the potential they have of transforming things when they work together. For this and the buildings I say thank you FOK; thank you Catholic Diocese of Kitui and thank you the indefatigable parents of Makayauni Primary School. May God bless you all.”

The entire school fraternity is looking to the future with optimism. The parents and the staff are united in a mission to transform not only the physical landscape of their habitat but also the attitudes.  With determination, the entire school fraternity vowed to maintain the newly found cohesion and use it gainfully to transform their lives and those of their children


(Left) Parents attend the Baraza on September 22nd to discuss the future priorities for the school.

(Right) Patrick Kiusya, Deputy Development Co-Ordinator, Diocese of Kitui, exchanges documents with the Head Teacher.

In a "Baraza" (community meeting) held on September 22nd, the School Committee set out their priorities for further improvements.


1. More water tanks, or possibly a borehole

2. A further classroom for the pre-school or nursery chass children, who are at the present time learning in a mud structure. Enrolment is 55 boys and 33 girls aged from 5 to 7 years

3. Desks for the students and office furniture for staff

4. Toilets- registration of the school with the Ministry of Education is held up due to lack of toilets

(At present, there are 130 boys for each available toilet/latrine- the recommended ratio is 30:1. Similrly we have 120 girl students for each available toilet)

5. Library for students



Fundraising for the new Makayauni School is led by the Dalkey Group under the direction of Terry Dunne, with assistance from Bernard and Maureen Challen in Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex.

For up-to-date photos of the building progress, see HERE

Good News from Shoreham-By-Sea, Sussex. 

Following a wonderful family celebration for Mo’s Mum’s (Joan Carter) 90th birthday we boosted the Makayauni school fund by over £200 pounds. In less than a year since we launched our fundraising we have collected £3084 for the school building fund and £100 for a water project. We have also raised £20 for soap that we have sold in  Shoreham.

We have enjoyed several social gatherings including the initial Barbecue, followed by a coffee morning to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary.

In March we had a Lenten lunch which was not as austere as it sounds!

St Peter’s parish Justice and Peace group donated the funds from two Fairtrade breakfasts and Liz Shepley organised a progressive dinner in the parish and donated half the proceeds to the Makayauni school fund.

A Christmas donation in lieu of presents from the family and a donation in memory of a wonderful neighbour who died last year have helped us to achieve such a grand total. 

Ideally, we would like to fund a classroom from Sussex, requiring £3500, or near to £4000 equipped. 

Any donation, however small, will make a difference- please help. Thank you all!

Donations have been made to the Trocaire-Friends of Kitui account via the Belfast office, so that income tax can be reclaimed on behalf of UK taxpayers ("Gift Aid").  


Joan Carter celebrates her 90th Birthday

Maureen and Bernard Challen

A message from Maureen and Bernard :


"After Pat came back from Kenya a year or so ago, we talked about the work that had been carried out and the scope of needs there. Together we watched the video of the water tank inspection at the school in Makauni. This highlighted the lack of facilities at the school. (The video is available on the site below)  

Our understanding of the Kitui initiative began with Pat’s engineering background in providing a water supply. Later the need for education and the provision of school places was seen as an important element in the local community life.  The enthusiasm of the people in Makauni encouraged us to get involved. 

Since we are both involved with education, and this year we celebrate 40 years’ of marriage, we thought a way to start fund-raising would be to have an anniversary party and to collect donations for the school project.

Ideally, we would like to fund a classroom from Sussex, requiring £3500, or near to £4000 equipped. The local community provides bricks and some labour, but  money is needed for some materials and a contractor is needed – as is described elsewhere on the site here. 

The Dalkey fundraising group working on behalf of the community of Makayauni has already raised nearly 50% of the costs for this building project, which aims to complete eight classrooms and a staff room by August 2010. Under the guidance of Friends of Kitui, the Dalkey and Shoreham groups will work towards the common purpose of constructing a new school for the children and families of Makayauni.  Much of the Dalkey-raised funding has come through the efforts of students who have volunteered their time towards this great cause. Many thanks to all who helped our fundraising "Bag Pack" on November 9th 2009, which raised €3,300. Another group worked on a bag-pack in January 2010 and raised a further €3,500.

Special thanks to the Transition Year students at Loreto Dalkey who have us such tremendous support!

Makayauni School Programme

Our target is to complete the construction of an 8 classroom school by December 2010 which will be handed over to the community and run as a non fee-paying public school.

The community of Makayauni has now delivered on its promise of providing bricks, sand and hardcore to get this project under way. On February 5th we viewed the 20,000 bricks and many tons of materials gathered on the school site. The people told us of the impact of the famine on their lives, and we undertook to provide supplementary food for the children for one month to relieve the pressure on the parents.

The existing school at Makayauni

About Makayauni School Building Project

Makayauni Primary School in the east of Zombe, in the Kitui District of Kenya, has 230 students in 8 classes. The school has two “buildings”, each with four classrooms. The building which they describe as “semi permanent” is constructed from poor quality bricks made locally. All rooms have dirt floors, in fact consisting of several inches of fine dust. Only one room, perhaps 4m X 3m, has a door, and serves as staff room, office and store.


The video (click above) shows the reality of Makayauni School. Please take 4 minutes to view it.

The second “temporary” building also has four classrooms, and as shown in the pictures on the left, it is constructed from rough timber plastered with mud. The corrugated iron roof leaks in the rainy season, and acts like a radiator for the sun’s heat in the dry season. The school lacks even the most basic requirement– a decent blackboard. A single latrine (toilet) serves the entire school.
Despite this, the students are hard working, disciplined and cheerful. When we visited to school, they put on a wonderful performance of singing and dancing to thank the people of Dalkey for supporting the construction of a water tank, which was completed May 2008.

With your help, we hope to build a new 8-classroom school in the coming year. The total cost is €40,000. Hopefully we will be able to raise enough funds for additional staffroom, and store.

As dusk approaches, and after welcoming visitors in song and dance, the children return the meagre furniture to the mud-walled classrooms.

Left: Bricks made by the community have been collected in readiness for construction

Right: The community has also gathered tons of sand and hardcore as their contribution to the project.

The Children of Makayauni are looking to us for help.