This project is a part of our shared program with Africa Sand Dam Foundation. Our team is pleased to share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).
Mituvu Secondary School is located in Mituvu village, Mbimbini location, Makueni county. The school is associated with Nthangu East Self Help Group, who requested this project through ASDF. The school has 84 students (25 boys and 59 girls), 5 teachers (r male and 1 female) and 3 support staff (2 male and 1 female).
The school requires 3000 liters of water each day for drinking, food preparation and sanitation. They currently have two rainwater harvesting tanks in the school compound, but they are only 10000 liters and 5000 liters. Those tanks full will only supply water for 1 week.
Other than rain, the school has 3 options for gathering water:
1. The river Kaiti: This river is 10km from the school and is not a protected water source. This means it is open to contamination from surface run-off, animals, and human activities.
2. Mituvu Earth Dam: An earth dam is a sort of reservoir built by blocking the flow of rainwater with a dam made of soil. The water that collects there can be used by residents, but is still open to contamination. Mituvu earth dam is an hour walk from the school.
3. Purchased Water: The school has the option to have water delivered either by trucks or donkeys. This option is expensive as it costs 2000-2500 shillings per day to supply enough water.
All of these options cause challenges for the school. The cost of delivery is prohibitive, but the other two options require much of the students’ time and do not provide safe water. This school is in dire need of a better, safer option.
Mituvu Secondary School has 8 latrines (3 for girls, 3 for boys, and 2 for staff). While this is well within the ratios recommended by the World Health Organization of 1 latrine for every 25 girls and 1 for every 30 boys, the difficulty once again arises from a lack of water. Because of their limited supply, no water can be used for hand washing after using the latrine or before eating. No hand washing stations are installed. Clearly this is not a safe sanitary situation.
All of these factors combined lead to the following challenges faced by the school:
1. Significant time wasted gathering water that is not necessarily safe to consume.
2. Lost time and absence due to exposure to contaminated water lead to poor academic performance by the students.
3. High costs to the school to provide water are passed on to the parents, increasing tuition and straining families already struggling with poverty.
4. Delays in food preparations lead to poor class attendance
5. Poor hygiene effects both students and teachers.
An average of eight workers were involved in each day of tank construction, which began on June 2nd. The construction process includes a lot of steps, such as: Excavating, compacting hardcore, laying the slab, building the wall, gabling and beaming, plastering, roofing, skirting, and fitting the gutter. All of this took almost a month, ending on June 30th.
Before this tank was constructed, the school was facing a water deficit every day. The two rainwater tanks the school already had were only enough to supply water over the course of one week. After emptied, students would have to wait until the next rainfall to benefit. The sources students would resort to were either too contaminated or too expensive! With this third tank, we know that Mituvu Secondary School will reap a greater, more sustainable harvest when it rains.
Thank You for making clean water a reality at Mituvu Secondary School!