Kalisasi Secondary School was started by the local community in 2011 to address the lack of a secondary school in the area. Local stakeholders organized a funds drive that raised money for the construction of the school's first classrooms. The school operates under the Mwingi Central District Education Board and has realized its growth through support from parents, government, and the Kitui County government.
Today, some 239 students attend Kalisasi Secondary. The school is found in a peaceful, rural setting in Kiseveni Village. The school rests on a relatively large piece of land with significant tree coverage, hosting all of the classrooms, the administration block, staff room, kitchen, a school shamba (farm), and playground. Most of the school buildings are modern.
What the school does not have, however, is a sustainable water source. The administration purchases water from boozers who fill the small plastic tanks that are on the school grounds. The money spent on that water is a significant financial drain on the school. This is money that would have been allocated to academic-related affairs aimed at improving excellence within the school. The school has witnessed a slow growth pace due to the high cost of buying water, which means low enrollment fees. Consequently, construction activities at the school become even more expensive.
"Buying water has been expensive for a young school like ours," said Principal Munyao.
"It is not easy for the school to grow with a large budget ending up in the water. Again, we are unable to start a boarding wing because of a lack of a reliable water source. A boarding wing gives students more time to concentrate on studies that lead to improved grades."
Students do not get enough drinking water while in school because the tanks have to be rationed to save money. This makes student life at the school difficult, with many students opting to transfer. It also leads to a less hygienic school environment.
"Our school lacks water. The available water is brought by lorries, and it is always reserved for cooking and drinking," said teenage pupil Beatrice.
"The classes and latrines are rarely cleaned with water, which makes the environment generally uncomfortable for learning to take place smoothly as the latrines have a bad smell all the time."
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 additional 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 building. 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 one 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 is instructed on how to oversee and maintain its new rain tank and handwashing stations.
A total of 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, allowing 9 students to wash their hands at once. 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.