Kikuswi Secondary School is going broke paying for water that makes its 103 students sick.
For most of the year, the administration at Kikuswi Secondary School has to pay someone to fetch water to meet its daily needs for drinking, cooking, washing, and more. At a cost of $1,200 a month, paying for the water deliveries is a great burden on the school. Worse yet, the water is collected from a river two kilometers away that is open and unsafe for consumption.
Students are at risk of waterborne illnesses that sap their energy and force some to miss class.
"The parent in charge of bringing water to school face a lot of difficulty because the river is very far and once it dries up he has to dig scoop holes to get access to clean water," explained Noel Kikuvi, a 17-year-old student.
"At times, we lack water during lunch time which can really get uncomfortable, especially in the afternoon classes."
The lack of water also hampers the hygiene and sanitation at the school. Latrines and classrooms are rarely cleaned due to the need to ration the daily water supply. Students often do not wash their hands after going to the bathroom - increasing their risk of contracting an illness.
Kikuswi Secondary School is a day school that was established in 2006 as a community school sponsored by the District Education Board. The school has since grown through the community and Constituency Development Funds. It will continue to grow in the coming years, which will result in even greater need for a reliable source of water.
Here’s what we’re going to do about it:
Students and staff will be trained for one day. Those in attendance will form a school health club that will promote good hygiene and sanitation practices both at school and home. They will learn all of the steps to 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. This water will benefit the students, teachers, and supplementary staff. Parents will mobilize the materials needed for construction, such as sand and stone. They will also lend some strong arms to help with the actual construction.
The huge capacity of this tank makes the others look tiny in comparison; 104,000 liters should be enough water to carry students and staff through the entire dry season if managed properly. As soon as the tank has time to cure, it can begin to collect rainwater for drinking, cooking, and cleaning!