In October 2013, work began on a project to improve access to clean safe water in two schools – Kithyululu Secondary School and Kwa Mbotoe Primary School – in Kibwezi District, Makueni County of Eastern Province, Kenya. 424 school children aged between 6-18 years now have access to clean safe water; 134 students for Kithyululu Secondary School and 290 pupils for Kwa Mbotoe Primary School.
A rainwater harvesting system was built at each school. Guttering was placed along the existing classroom roofs to collect rainwater and store in 104m³ storage tanks.
The overall goal of this project was to increase access to clean drinking water in turn this has already increased school attendance as the schools’ children no longer have to collect water in order to attend class. In the long term this project will also help to improve the sanitation standards within the schools.
Just a Drop aims to ensure the local community is involved with a project from the outset. It is essential the community commits to participate fully in the project to encourage ownership of the facilities. This means commitment at all stages, from agreeing the concept of the project through to the appraisal stage.
Wendano wa Kithyululu (Kithyululu Secondary School) and Nzengu Ngomani (Kwa Mbotoe Primary School) Self Help Groups requested support to provide water in the two schools and sought authority from the school management committees.
Though the tanks are constructed within the school compounds they are owned by the Self Help Groups which are made up of parents of children who attend the schools. With funds donated from World Travel Market, Just a Drop was able to support local implementing partner Africa Sand Dam Foundation (ASDF) to mobilise the communities surrounding these two schools.
Discussions were held with the Self Help Groups and local communities regarding the project goal and objectives, the roles and responsibilities of the beneficiaries. ASDF’s technical staff with advice from Just a Drop were then able to locate the most appropriate sites for the 104m³ water storage tanks and construction was able to begin.
The entire community surrounding each school were encouraged to provide local materials including sand, ballast and rubble stones and water. The communities also provided unpaid labour during the actual construction of the water tanks, this involved all the parents at the schools.
The tanks themselves require minimal, and importantly, affordable maintenance to ensure the success of this project continues.
Maintenance will include: monitoring of the guttering system to ensure its effectiveness in draining harvested water into the storage tanks and repairing when necessary; replacing of the lockable water taps in case they are broken; and washing of the tanks before the onset of rains.
The school management committee together with the Self Help Groups will be responsible for the maintenance of the water tanks through contributions made by the school’s Parents’ Teachers Association (PTA). The head teacher of each school will appoint a member of staff to regulate water usage.
In January 2014, four members of the World Travel Market team accompanied Just a Drop’s Nicola Baskerville and project engineer and Trustee, Colonel Mike Reynolds on a trip to visit the two schools and their completed projects. Here is a sample of just two of the hundreds of thank you letters they received on their return.
The project will not only have an immediate impact on the schools but also a lasting one that meets future demands. Kwa Mbotoe Primary School, as a result of this project, plans to increase to a boarding school now that there is water available. It is hoped this will boost the performance of the school as the children will have more time to study.
Thank you to everyone involved in World Travel Market for making this project possible.
Project Sponsor: World Travel Market
Date of Project: January 2014
Beneficiaries: approx 424