Kikumini Boys Secondary School was started in 2008 by the community members. It was later closed down for two years due to insufficient funds to run it. In 2010, the school was revived by the government and opened as a public school.
The school is situated in a peaceful and calm rural area that provides a conducive learning environment. The roads meandering to the school are rocky and very bumpy during the dry season and quite slippery and muddy during the wet seasons. Community homesteads and farms surround the school compound.
To date, the school's growth is attributed to both the parents' support and the government. The Kenyan and local government support the school through textbooks, food relief, and teaching staff. The parents are mostly involved in fundraising to build new classrooms and buildings.
The school currently relies on two 10,000-liter plastic tanks that harvest rainwater. It is located in an arid and semiarid land prone to receiving little to no rainfall. Therefore, the water stored in the tanks is not enough to meet the school's needs throughout 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. The school is forced to purchase water, and this affects us because the students who have not cleared their school fees are often chased out of class," said Boniface M.
The school has to borrow a tank from a neighboring school to attempt to store sufficient water for the students, but their efforts have been futile due to the increasing population of the students.
"The school is in dire need of water. Its development has stagnated for a long due to water scarcity. Currently, the computer lab and dining hall construction have stalled because the school has no more funds," shared Principal Nahashon Kimwaki.
"Most of the school finances are spent on purchasing water for use in the school. It's costly to facilitate the water needs as the school has a very high population of students."
The water the school buys comes from unregulated sources. Often, students complain of stomachaches or suffer from waterborne illnesses due to drinking the water at school. Students miss class time as a result - harming their learning experience.
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 construction. We will complement their materials with a skilled artisan to lead the project and provide 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 will also be taught how to oversee best and maintain their 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 three taps each, allowing nine 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.