A visit to a school in a remote area of south-eastern Kenya reveals how a rainwater harvesting tank represents a solution to a number of issues that might otherwise harm students' ability to succeed at school.

Mbuvo Secondary School is a mixed day and boarding secondary school found in the Mbuvo area in Makueni county. The area is widely known for its arid and semi-arid conditions, receiving little rainfall throughout the year and lacking a steady supply of clean water.

The school community has been no different, suffering from perennial water challenges over the years.

In 2018 the Africa Sand Dam Foundation (ASDF), in collaboration with Excellent and with funding from the States of Guernsey Overseas Aid & Development Commission, was able to support the school through the construction of a rain water harvesting tank.

A visit to the school sought to establish some of the benefits realised in the last year since the project’s completion.

Benard Muthuku has been the school principal for the last six years. He shares his experiences at the learning facility:

Benard Muthuku - Principal of Mbuvo Secondary School

“We are no longer buying water for use here in school, like was always the case for many years. The school currently saves an average of 20,000 shillings per week which was initially spent on water. The money is now being channelled into academic related activities such as equipping the library and science laboratory.”

Benard Muthuku, Principal of Mbuvo Secondary School. 

Mr Muthuku adds that availability of a convenient water supply at the school from the tank has led to increased stakeholder confidence, which has contributed to increased enrolment at the school as parents trust the school’s ability to provide an environment for their children which is more conducive to learning.

Vincent Ivake, 16, is a form three student who has been part of the school before and after the construction of the water tank. He speaks up on life at school:

Vincent Ivake - Student of Mbuvo Secondary School

“Many students suffered stomach problems in the past because water was from sources which could not be trusted for drinking. This led to discomfort in class and poor concentration levels. Since the construction of this tank, it has always held clean water for us with stomach problems significantly going down.”

Vincent Ivake, Student of Mbuvo Secondary School.

The school community is happy for having enough water and remains thankful to ASDF, Excellent, and the Guernsey Overseas Aid & Development Commission for their support in making the project a success.

Could you donate today and supply more communities with the tools, hardware, support and guidance they need to transform their own lives with lifelong access to clean water?

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