Kitandi Primary School is in a remote, rural village with sparse vegetation and dusty hills. It takes two hours each way, so we need to plan well!
The school started in 1986, with a church sponsoring the construction of its first classrooms. They've steadily grown since then, boasting nine classrooms, a staffroom, latrines, kitchen, and a field for recess.
Students start arriving at 6:30am each morning to clean their classrooms. Regular classes begin after morning study hall, interrupted by short only a few short breaks and lunch. They must stay for games until they're dismissed at 4pm.
Everyone, not only the school, relies on a well in Kitandi Village. Community members, church members, and students are seen coming and going throughout the day. Farmers even bring their cattle to the well to get them water.
This well is solar-powered and is contingent on there being enough sunshine. The school also shared that there are times during the driest month that no water comes out, even with constant pumping.
School administration told us that the huge population relying on this one well forces students to the back of the line - and so much time is wasted that could have been spent in class.
The school had received two small plastic tanks to help them collect rainwater, but they're no longer working.
"As the school community, we are making tireless efforts to make the safest place for learners in terms of hygiene, sanitation, and unlimited access to clean drinking water," Headteacher Rhoda Kimuyu said.
"With a shared, inconvenient, salty water source, these dreams have not been realized and we are looking for a convenient fresh water source."
Faced with a constant water shortage, the school has had to sacrifice the cleanliness of their facilities. Latrines are filthy and smelly, and some male students have discovered that if you take off your shirt before you use the latrine, you'll be able to avoid carrying out that bad smell with you.
There are no handwashing stations for these students to clean up at after using the latrines or before eating lunch.
Here's what we're going to do about it:
Students and staff will be trained on hygiene and sanitation. Those in attendance will form a school health club that will promote good hygiene and sanitation practices both at school and at home. They will learn all the steps of proper handwashing, how to treat water, and how to keep their environment clean. The school will also be taught how to best oversee and maintain their new rainwater catchment tank and handwashing stations.
Three handwashing stations will be delivered at the project’s completion. These are 1,000-liter plastic tanks fitted with four taps. The health club and school management will be responsible for making sure tanks are filled with water and that a cleaning agent such as soap or ash is available.
Rainwater Catchment Tank
We will build a 104,000-liter rainwater catchment tank for this school. Its clean water will benefit the students, teachers, and supplementary staff. Parents will mobilize the materials needed for construction, such as sand and stone and also lend some strong arms to help with the actual construction.
As soon as the tank has time to cure, it can begin to collect rainwater for drinking, cooking, and cleaning! 104,000 liters of water will keep students and staff in class and focusing on learning.