Kamuwongo Primary school is found a short distance from the Kamuwongo community center in Kitui County of Southeast Kenya. The area is peaceful and rural with significant vegetation cover from indigenous trees.
Each day, the 360 students who attend the school must bring their own water. The school struggles with cases of student absenteeism due to the burden caused by carrying heavy containers of water each day and the illnesses caused by the students drinking water from unknown and often unsafe sources.
"I am sometimes required to pass by the river to fetch water on my way to school, regardless of the possibility of arriving late. It has not been easy to carry water to school on a daily basis as it is burdening and tiresome," said Paul, a student at the school.
The school feeding program has occasionally been halted due to a lack of water for cooking.
"We are an old school that has remained stunted because of a lack of adequate clean water supply to sustain a boarding facility. Even us as teachers, we carry our own drinking water in school which tells you the gravity of the matter and the need for a clean water project here," explained Deputy Head Teacher Mrs. Muvea.
Kamuwongo Primary school was started in 1959 by the local community and taken up by the district education board to operate as a government school. It is one of the oldest schools in the region. The school has grown through the support of parents, the government, and the Mwingi North Constituency Development Fund, yet they still do not have enough clean water for their daily needs.
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.