Malioni Primary school is found in Kitwa Mikeu village in Southeast Kenya. The school is located in a rural, peaceful locality, sitting in a relatively large piece of land shared with Malioni secondary school. The compound has ten classrooms, a staff room, a school kitchen, a playground, and restrooms for the school community.
Malioni primary school was started by the local community in 1979 to help in the provision of education to the children at the locality who had been covering long distances in search of primary education. The school was then taken up by the Mwingi District Education Board to operate as a government school and has grown over the years through support from parents, the government, and Mwingi Central Constituency Development Fund.
On a typical school day, a student is expected to arrive at school at 6:45 AM, carrying a jerry can of water to supply for the kitchen. Classes begin at 8:30 AM and the day ends at 5:00 PM. The school relies heavily upon the students to provide water for drinking, cooking and cleaning. The small tank on the grounds is not nearly big enough to supply water throughout the school year. And since this is a semi-arid region of Kenya, water is not readily available. So, the school must rely on students and pay for boozers to fill up their tanks on occasion.
"It is such a burden that takes a lot of time instead of rushing to the school directly to pursue personal studies and improve my grades," said student Beatrice N.
The water collected each day comes from various sources and is pooled together - exposing the students to waterborne diseases living in contaminated water. Students at the school have experienced water-related complications in the past, with many students suffering from stomach problems, diarrhea & typhoid over the years. All these conditions are associated with the use of water from unsafe sources without any form of treatment.
This is a burden to young children in pursuit of academic excellence. It has led to low concentration in class and a lot of time being wasted searching for water. The school feeding program has been halted several times due to a total lack of water for cooking. Students end up enduring long days of hunger in school due to a lack of water only.
"Our school has been posting poor exam results over the years. This can be attributed to the continuous use of students in fetching water with some instances requiring children to be sent to the river and draw water for their cooking," said Head Teacher David Kiange.
"This wastes a lot of time meant for classwork, support in implementing a water project would change the narrative for a better 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 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 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.