A student and principal from a school in rural Kenya share how much their lives have changed thanks to their water tank, built with support from Excellent and Jersey Overseas Aid.

Student (and aspiring doctor) Milcah Nduku is aged 17 and in form four at Kamulalani Mixed Secondary School in Makueni county, Kenya. After four years at Kamulalani, struggling alongside her peers with water scarcity, it was only in 2015 that she has felt a difference in the school, explaining here what were the biggest challenges:

"Honestly, we never use to wash our hands after visiting the toilets despite knowing the effects of not washing them", she says. "We never use to wash our plates after eating with them, and for the next meal we used the same plate to serve, this was hygienically wrong. Water was our major problem in the school before because every time the principal would send for a boozer of water to deliver to our school. Sometimes the delivery of the boozer would be delayed that meant no water at the school."

"As the construction was easy and cheap, and because of the availability of water from the tank, I was able to construct a classroom last year that has enabled me to enroll more students in my school this year... Running the school has become easier than before.”

Robert Maanya, Kamulalani school principal.

She adds: "For the agriculture students who grow crops as part of their practicals for their final exam, they could not grow crops because of lack of water, and they ended up failing the subject. Washing our classrooms and toilets was not done regularly and when we did it, we were just using little water to sprinkle, in order to avoid wasting the little water available."

However, things have changed since the build of their school water tank: "Water is available and I have not seen a boozer in the school since this tank had water. We can wash our hands, classrooms and our toilets well. I feel so good now that I have clean water for drinking; we never trusted the source of water we were drinking."

Robert Maanya, the school principal, accounts the benefits he has seen since the construction of the water tank: "Without the tank, I would be struggling on where to get water because the available sources as we speak have no water. That means if I were to buy water now, the price would be doubled because of its shortage. Also, as the construction was easy and cheap, and because of the availability of water from the tank, I was able to construct a classroom last year that has enabled me to enroll more students in my school this year. I am currently in progress of constructing two more classes to accommodate more students from within the village and even outside. Running the school has become easier than before.”

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