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An opportunity


In 2023, The Thurston County Rotary Water Projects Committee awarded Friendly Water for the World $10,000 to build out five 25,000-liter Rainwater Catchment Tanks (RCT) in Western Kenya. A Rotarian contributed another $1,000 to cover the complete $11,000 cost of the emplacements.

Kambiri, the local community, chose three locations- two secondary schools would each receive two RCT, and the Kambiri Health Clinic, whose Maternity Program had been shuttered due to a lack of water, would receive

Challenges associated with Water Security
  • Weather patterns have changed- rain now comes in deluge not showers causing flooding, much of the water runs off rather than being absorbed into the ground.
  • Bore-hole Wells frequently fail without regular expert care, when they do function, they can be contaminated by untreated waste or risk bringing up Fluoride and Arsenic as they are drilled deeper into receding water tables.
  • Students, mostly girls, miss significant amounts of class time while sourcing water for their school’s needs. Missing class leads to girls dropping out, keeping women out of college and losing out on opportunities.
  • Resilience is premised upon resource availability- resource scarcity leads to stress, family breakdown, and flight (refugees & IDP).
  • Untrained workers.
  • Unorganized communities.

Areas of Focus


Bulovi Secondary School – 252 students, 7 teachers, 3 staff; No permanent water source.

Kambiri Community Health Center – 2000+ patients, 6 staff; Piped water, seasonal (dry for last 6 months).

Magale Secondary School – 460 students, 20 teachers, 12 staff; Borehole Well (seasonal).

Building Water Security

Friendly Water’s proprietary RCT design is the result of years of community consultation, in situ testing, engineering, and the desire to protect the natural environment.

The villagers wanted water storage that is:

  • Large- 25,000 liter capacity
  • Durable- with 9” walls, these RCT outperform plastic & ferrocement
  • Creating good paying jobs- skilled workers and general labor are all local
  • Affordable- 12¢ per liter, will last for at least 40 years
  • Environmentally friendly- made from locally pressed ISSB, no “burned bricks”
  • A training program- anyone who works with us leaves with increased knowledge and skills

Why Interlocking Stabilized Soil Blocks

  • Creates local jobs
  • Introduces, at scale, a highly adaptable and easy to produce building product made from locally sourced materials.
  • Replaces the environmentally devastating “burned brick”.
  • Promotes affordable quality housing and other construction.
Success Stories

My Name is Celestine Khasoa, a mother of six children -three boys and three girls. They are school going age. I was brought up in a culture where men were required to literally provide for their family, so I was dependent on my husband for our upkeep. But with the economic strain that we are experiencing in our country, my husband was unable to meet all our needs and I had to look for an alternative and that’s how I got the stacking work at Kambiri community Group. Surprisingly, what I thought could not do for many years turned out to be the most exciting venture in my life. I enjoyed the work, and it eased the economic burden on our family.

I am Hilda Shivanda the head girl at Bulovi Secondary School, Bulovi Secondary is a village school, and most people see us as village girls who don’t deserve good and better things, but Friendly Water and Kambiri Community bet against that odd and constructed two Rainwater Catchment Tanks for us, we can now open a tap and get water just like other people do. The two tanks will enable us have more time to be in class and concentrate on our education. It will also help us from having frequent chest problem associated with carrying heavy jerrycans of water on our heads. Thank you, the Thurston Rotary Clubs through Friendly Water and Kambiri Community Development Group, for having us in your hearts.

My name is Jefferson Mutibo the In-Charge at Kambiri Health Centre, this is my second year being in this facility.
When I first reported here, I discovered there was a great challenge of water in the institution and to worsen the matter that very year there was a great drought that hit the entire country. The maternity wing was greatly affected, and we used a lot of money to purchase water. At one point I wrote a letter to the Chief Officer Health notifying them of the closure of the maternity wing.
Today history has been written that no more challenges of water and our mothers will be served well in the maternity wing.
Many thanks to the Rotary Clubs of Thurston through Friendly water and Kambiri Community Development group.

Why Friendly Water?


Friendly Water for the World offers programs that address all seven of Rotary’s Areas of Focus.
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