This project is a part of our shared program with Africa Sand Dam Foundation. Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).
Welcome to the School
Kyanzasu Secondary School was started in 2011 to serve the children of Kyanzasu Village, Machakos, Kenya.
It is a mixed day school with a total enrollment of 138 students made up of 69 of each gender. They are taught by 10 teachers and assisted by three support staff.
The school is located in a poverty-stricken area, where school fees are a challenge for parents.
The school has two 10,000-liter plastic tanks which are guttered to tap rainwater. These tanks were donations from community well-wishers.
Because the school uses hundreds of liters a day for drinking, cooking, and cleaning, these plastic tanks only last a couple of weeks before running dry.
The school must buy water from local vendors who take an ox-driven cart to the sand dam system built by Masola Kaani Self-Help Group, about one kilometer away from the school. Once delivered, water is poured into the two plastic tanks. A lack of income at the school has culminated in a water crisis; there aren't funds to buy enough water. Agriculture projects have performed poorly due to lack of enough water to sustain irrigation, and all tree-planting projects have stalled.
17-year-old Daniel Muthini hails from the local community. "Studying in this school comes with big challenges, all which are water-related. We have been, on many occasions, sent to fetch water at the local dam in 10-liter jerrycans. It has been tiresome and consumes our precious class time," he shared.
There are nine pit latrines for students and staff. There is one hand-washing station, but rarely enough water to fill it.
There is a designated place for throwing trash, but no pit to prevent the wind from blowing it back around campus.
Faith Mutuku, who is in her final year at Kynzasu Secondary, told us that "the state of hygiene and sanitation has been poor, which classes and toilets not attended to regularly. This has presented an unfavorable learning environment for us. Again, the water provided for drinking isn't even safe, and presents risks to student health."
Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training
Students and staff will be trained for one day. Those in attendance will form a school health club that will promote good hygiene and sanitation practices both at school and home. They will learn all of the steps to proper hand-washing, 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 rainwater catchment tank and hand-washing stations.
Plans: Hand-Washing Stations
Three hand-washing stations will be delivered at the project’s completion. These are 1,000-liter plastic tanks fitted with four taps. The health club and school management will be responsible for making sure tanks are filled with water and that a cleaning agent such as soap or ash is available.
Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank
We will build a 104,000-liter rainwater catchment tank for this school. This water will benefit the students, teachers, and supplementary staff. Parents will mobilize the materials needed for construction, such as sand and stone. They will also lend some strong arms to help with the actual construction.
The huge capacity of this tank makes the others look tiny in comparison; 104,000 liters should collect enough water to carry students through the entire dry season. As soon as the tank has time to cure, it can begin to collect rainwater for drinking, cooking and cleaning!