The 214 students at Kimuuni Secondary School rely on 2 10,000-liter plastic tanks that harvest rainwater to meet their daily needs. Since the school is located in a semi-arid region of Kenya, it is prone to receiving little to no rainfall for months at a time - leaving the tanks dry for most of the year.
"The water in the tanks run out very fast and by the time the second month of the term clocks in, there is no water in the tank," said Boniface, a student at the school.
The school is situated in a peaceful and calm rural area that provides a conducive learning environment. It is surrounded by community homesteads and farms. The environment within the school grounds is well maintained as they have planted several trees and grass within the compound.
The school was started in 2008 by the community members. It was later closed due to insufficient funds to run it. In 2010, it was revived thanks to the government registering it as a public school. To date, the school's growth is attributed to the support of both the parents and the government.
The school has had to borrow a tank from a neighboring school in an attempt to store sufficient water for the students, but their efforts have been futile due to the increasing population of the school. It also pays water vendors to deliver water when necessary, but money spent on these deliveries prevents the school from investing in its infrastructure and other programs as much as it would like.
"The school is in dire need of water," said Principal Nahashon Kimwaki.
"Its development has stagnated for a long time due to water scarcity. Currently, the computer lab and dining hall construction have stalled because the school has no more funds since most of the finances are channeled to purchasing water for use in the school."
We will build a 104,000-liter rain tank for this school, making the others look tiny in comparison. Because of how rarely it rains in Southeastern Kenya, this tank's large volume is designed to store as much water as possible during the seasonal rains, making more water available through the dry months. This water will benefit the students, teachers, and supplementary staff.
Parents will mobilize the materials needed for construction, including sand, stones, and water. They will also lend their strength and time to help with the construction. We will complement their materials with a skilled artisan to lead the project in addition to providing the tools, lumber, metal, cement, and gutter system.
As soon as the tank has time to cure, it can begin collecting rainwater for the school's use.
We will train students and staff on sanitation, hygiene, and other topics for 1 day. 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 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 rain tank and handwashing stations.
3 handwashing stations will be installed upon the project’s completion and before training. These are 1,000-liter plastic tanks fitted with 4 taps each. The student health club and school management will be responsible for making sure the tanks are filled with water and that a cleaning agent such as soap or ash is always available.