AIC Kaketi Secondary School has a large population of students whose needs are greater than the school's current water supply can meet. The school has 2 water storage tanks that harvest rainwater for use during the academic year, but they are not nearly big enough to support the 177 students who attend.
The rain patterns of the school's region are not dependable, and the water harvested in the first rainy season is not sufficient for all 3 terms. Once the water supply ends, the school has to contract water boozers to deliver water to the school. This has proven to be very inconvenient and strenuous for the school's operation due to the high cost incurred.
"The water crisis has really stunted the growth rate of this school as well as affected the academic performance of the students. The water harvested from the rains can only last the school the first month of the first term. Afterward, we have to purchase the water by paying vendors to deliver it to school," said Deputy Head Teacher Richard Manthi.
"It's very hectic and strenuous because the school routine is always disrupted. We try our best but the situation gets the best of us because the school population is increasing rapidly and the needs are becoming more than the water supply."
Poverty levels of this community are relatively high and some parents are unable to raise the funds to clear school fees, making it hard for the school to meet its water needs. It has led to delayed and disrupted school programs because the water vendors often delay their deliveries without assured payment. At times, this means the school's food is prepared late or is not prepared well. Time and resources are spent addressing the water problem when they could be spent on the students' learning. The strains in the school have led to some students dropping out.
"The water in the school is never enough for all the students. We usually have to scramble for drinking water because only a little is usually set aside for the students to drink," said James, a student at the school.
"The water that is delivered to the school is usually very minimal and dirty. In addition, it is always delivered late which consumes a lot of time for learning. Duties are not performed well and often students are complaining of stomachaches and diarrhea, and this leads to absenteeism. Concentration in class is always affected by water scarcity in school."
Kaketi Secondary School was started in 2010 as an initiative of the community members in collaboration with the Africa Inland Church (AIC). The school is a full day school situated in a rural, peaceful, and very calm environment hence eliciting a conducive environment for learning. The school was taken up by the government in 2013 and officially became a public 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 3 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.