• Sanitation
Completed On:
Feb 2023
Start Date:
Jan 2023

Make Clean Water Available to the Maasai Community in Moduli District

A Karimu Social Fund Project


The Maasai are a Nilotic ethnic group inhabiting northern, central, and southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. They are among the best-known local populations internationally due to their residence near the many game parks of the African Rift Valley and their distinctive customs and dress. The Maasai speak the Maa language. Except for some elders living in rural areas, most Maasai people also speak the official languages of Kenya and Tanzania, Swahili and English.


The Maasai tribe is known for its proud identity and long-preserved culture. As one of the oldest tribes in the world, the Maasai have a rich culture and language. The tribe in Monduli in Arusha lives a nomadic life. The women walk nearly 9 hours daily to fetch water, and the children often sacrifice due to the social stigma around education in their community and a necessity for survival. Instead of schooling, many Maasai children will tend to cattle while their mothers collect water. This community's lack of clean, accessible water is a huge bottleneck.

Overall, the project intends to mitigate or solve the lack of accessible and clean water for everyone in the Monduli District, benefitting 50,000+ Maasai. The project has worked closely with the Masaai community conducting in-depth surveys and a picture-based community workshop with 15 Maasai tribe members and high school students from US. Together we are piloting 1-2 prototypes with the community and measuring rainfall. We plan to build 15-20 units with integrated treatment infrastructure for ten villages with at least one tank per village over the next 2-3 years.
Workshop participants
Community members get water at
the first water harvesting unit
The first water harvesting unit of 100,000 liters was built in July 2022 and serves 1500-4500 Masaai. Its most significant impact is improving the health of the local settlers, providing better sanitation and reducing the risk of waterborne illnesses. Based on community feedback, the current water harvesting unit saved an average of over 8 hours of walking per day, mainly giving adults and children time to devote to educational or economic opportunities. Teachers in the area reported that school enrollment and attendance doubled since the tank was operational. In addition, farmers can irrigate their crops and increase crop production.


The local Massai leader manages water harvesting, unit care, and distribution.  The water distribution approach ensures equitable water distribution across the community. Nominal fees, as agreed to by the community($0.20 per 30 litres) are charged for the water to support ongoing unit operations and maintenance. There is a clear need to have separate sources for animals and humans, so we can conserve clean water for humans. The current unit is only for humans and animals and is not used for agriculture.


We plan to complete three more 40,000-liter units by February 2023 for drinking and agricultural use.


We are, in parallel, running a prototype for smaller communities (Bomas housing 10-30 people) that want a local harvesting unit in their homes, which we are subsidizing by 50%. We can bring cheaper solutions to the Bomas [smaller communities] that will help reduce the overall cost per Boma.  These units would support the broader Masaai community of another 30,000 people.


A group of five amazingly dedicated high school students from Sacred Heart Preparatory, Atherton, CA and Durham Academy, Raleigh, CA, are running this project. The mission of the group of school students is to help identify, develop, and support the sustainable deployment of clean water solutions. They work closely with Maji Wells and Vijana Foundation. The first phase is focused on the 30K+ Maasai tribe community living in the Monduli district in Tanzania. Karimu has taken these students under our wing and is providing advice, connecting the group with additional resources and expertise, and supporting their fundraising and financial transactions through our platform. However, they are driving all the fundraising and project management.


Impact assessment of July 2022 project which can be extrapolated to the Feb 2023 projects.


The data below shows the positive impact on education, social well being, and economic well being. This data was collected and synthesized by high school students by conducting 40+ interviews with the Maasai community. 



Summary Impacts

  1. Double the number of children going to school as children don't need to fetch water

  2. Doubled the attendance with fewer sick days due to reduction in children falling ill 

  3. On average reduced need to walk from 9 hours per day to 2 hours/way

  4. 7 hours per day available for social, economic, and family needs


Completed 2023 Projects


Project 1: 40K Water Harvesting Unit: Supporting over 2000+ Maasai community. 



Project 2: Water Filtering Unit



Project 3: Water Harvesting Based Irrigation Unit





  • Improve health

    • Fewer waterborne illnesses 

    • Cleaner water provides better sanitation

  • Increase educational opportunities

    • 2X increase in enrollment and attendance in classrooms.

  • Increase economic opportunities

    • Reduced over 8 hours of walking every day for women and children, resulting in the time available for economic opportunities



  • Karimu cost: $26,500

  • Community cost and/or contribution: Unit maintenance