Standard High School, Masaka, Uganda

It was a long day. Monsoon like conditions made for unsafe and very difficult travels. But we are RainCatcher’s and catch this rain we will.

The last of the new schools, Standard High School in Masaka, Uganda was ahead. This would be an unfortunate visit because the children were on their winter break, enjoying their families for the holiday in December.

As we arrived we saw the rainwater-harvesting tank that a few people at a 4th of July party in Malibu got together and contributed to so these high school students could stay in school and get clean water, not having to leave school to collect water.


According to Melinda Kramer, Executive Director of Women’s Earth Alliance, “In some parts of Africa, women and children spend eight hours a day collecting water.”

A special thank you goes out to:

Suzanne, Gabby and Max Donovan,
Rand Lennon,
Amy Hendrix,
Simon Kinberg,
and Karene Smith

for donating their dollars to help get clean water to children in Uganda.


In six months, for the projects first check up, we will be able to see the children drinking the water and sharing the love.

Peace to you this holiday season!

Uganda, December 2013: A Recap

RainCatcher just returned from another wonderful journey to Uganda. We reunited with a lot of our friends and colleagues, and met with amazing new people as well, who are focused on helping us get clean water to as many as possible in the region.

Our Uganda Country Direction, Dennis Ssebuggwawo, helped us assess seven new locations in the area, including several schools, a hospital and an orphanage.

This trip, we were lucky enough to have Tyson join us again and help spread some joy to the kids. Tyson also started a personal campaign to help raise money by doing pushups throughout his 10 days in Uganda. His 10,000 pushups in 10 days campaign was a huge hit with the kids.

Screen shot 2013-12-17 at 7.36.55 AM

Tyson captured a sweet video with some of the kids at a local school and you can watch it right HERE.

We visited Masaka with Crestants to review the eight new schools they completed for the Phase II construction. We knew this would be a slow day with the rain making the terrain muddy and it was the only day we would have with kids because they get out for winter break on December 1, but these 4 locations stayed in school just for us.

On Dec. 6, we started on our way to Mbarara.  On the way we saw people getting dirty water in a pit by the side of the road. We stopped and did a full one-hour filter presentation and gave out filters to some of the families that did not have access to clean water.

Overall, out trip back was productive and positive. We are diligently working on bringing clean water to many more locations throughout the region and are constantly improving upon the current rain-harvesting locations that are already working out there.

With every trip to Uganda, we learn a little more and come back with more motivation and inspiration as ever before. This next year is going to be an exciting one and we hope you’ll join us in making some clean water dreams come true for thousands of children and families.

The poisoned water hole

In June 2012, RainCatcher had the opportunity to provide clean water to a community of 7,000 people near Mbarara, Uganda who had undergone a frightening experience…

Itendero Senior Secondary School

Sign leading up to the Itendero Senior Secondary School where the children drank from the poisoned water hole


The elders that told us the story of the landowner that poisoned the communities water source and the children that suffered

Five years prior to RainCatcher’s visit, there was an incident involving children fetching water from a local watering hole. It was located on a private plot of land where the children would cross a field to collect water for themselves and their families. The closest alternative for these children was an inconsistent source, and when available the water could be contaminated. Otherwise the children had to make a three-kilometer trip to a well that was sometimes shared with animals, and then carry large containers of water back to their village.


Measuring up the school for a rainwater harvesting tank. The field behind the school is where the poisoned water hole is located.


Where the poisoned water hole is in the back fields

The landowner was unhappy with what was going on. She did not want children running across her field, so she put up a barbed wire fence around the watering hole. This did not stop the children from coming; they easily slipped under the barbed wire and continued to collect water for their families, avoiding the trek to other unpredictable water sources. One night the landowner turned to desperate measures and poisoned her own watering hole. She would rather not be able to use the water herself than have these children trespass on her land. The next day, eleven children went to collect water as usual, and drank some from the poisoned source. Upon returning to their village, they suddenly became very ill. Thankfully the school headmaster saw the children and, deducing what had happened, acted quickly enough that there were no deaths resulting from the poisoned water. Having narrowly escaped tragedy, the people of this village recognized that they needed a source of clean water, especially for the sake of their children.


The poisoned water hole


The poisoned water hole

With their new RainCatcher rainwater-harvesting system, the 320 children attending Itendero Senior Secondary School have a sustainable source of clean, safe drinking water in their own village. They no longer have to take risks traveling or trespassing to access a potentially hazardous water source. Instead, they can collect water from the system built onto their school building, knowing that it will cause no harm to them or their families. They are free to attend school as they should, instead of missing class to fetch water or recover from water-related illnesses.


The newly installed rainwater harvesting system at the Itendero School

RainCatcher has been able to provide clean water to Itendero School, and many others like it, using the ancient technique of rainwater harvesting coupled with advanced filtration. This method has the lowest cost per person when compared to other types of water projects, and is more sustainable. Just one inch of rainfall on a 1,000 square-foot roof provides 625 gallons of safe drinking water. Mbarara, Uganda receives 34.3 inches of rain and 166 days of rainfall each year, making it the perfect environment for rainwater harvesting. RainCatcher regularly travels throughout Uganda and Kenya, searching for places like Mbarara to receive rainwater-harvesting systems. Thanks to our generous donors and supporters, we are able to give water, life, and love to the people in Africa who need it. As we continue to grow, we hope to greatly diminish the number of people in the world without access to clean water. Please join us in our mission.

Written by Danielle John

Water is Life

Here is a dramatic video of a young boy in Kenya. RainCatcher helps thousands of children every year in Kenya get clean water they need to survive. We have always been fond of the “Water is Life” phrase because it is so true, we see it all the time.

“Recently, we had an outbreak of cholera, so we had a lot of fears that if it strikes hard it could claim most of our community members, children included,” says John Overi Samwa, head teacher at Nyamone Primary School, where water from the lake must be used for more than 700 children when the rainwater in the school’s single barrel is used up. The cholera bacterium is transmitted by contaminated water and food.

“Some people die before they get to the hospital,” says Isaac Ogongya, chairman of the area’s community water committee. “Not all people take proper precautions with water. Some people boil it, some don’t boil. They just drink.”

In rural areas like these, there are few sources of clean water – about half of the population uses contaminated water for drinking and cooking. It’s common to see people filling their water cans or plastic bottles out of ditches or potholes in the road.

You can help RainCatcher bring clean water to the children of Kenya. Please consider donating today or sharing this page on Facebook or Twitter. Together we can make a difference.

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