Mbondoni Secondary School is a public day and boarding school with a high number of boarding students. The school lacks a reliable water source to serve the students efficiently. Currently, the school depends on harvesting rainwater off the roof into small plastic tanks, and purchasing water from water boozers at Mwingi town, to meet their drinking, cooking, and cleaning needs.
"We are a young school growing to compete academically with other giants in the region. The lack of adequate water supply has really held us back because buying water for the school population has been very expensive. This has derailed our investment in academic-related activities because a huge budget goes to the purchase of water," said Principal Joseph Wambua.
The available water sources within the school always remain closed to the 365 students who attend here. They are only opened at specific times, and water is only issued to the students by a staff member. The boarding students are provided with only 5 liters each for their daily water needs, including bathing and washing their clothes. This has largely contributed to the existence of poor cleanliness standards at the school, which may expose students' lives to health risks.
"The water I get while in school has been very little to sustain all my daily water needs. It has been a real struggle here in school considering that I am a girl, and cleanliness is always a top priority for me," said student Peris M.
"The school facilities such as latrines and classes are only cleaned once per week because of the low water supply. Sometimes they are uncomfortable to use, but there are no other options."
The school is found on a rural location along the Nairobi Garissa highway. The area is a flat terrain with minimal vegetation cover. The local community parents began the school in 2008, with the initial classrooms and land donated by Mbondoni Primary School. The school has grown through support from the Mwingi West Constituency Development Fund, the government, and the Kitui County government.
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 at school and 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.