In the recent 2011 UN Human Development Report, Kenya was still classed in the ‘low human development’ category and ranked at 143 out of 187 worldwide countries. While the quality of schooling has improved in Kenya, literacy rates remain poor in rural areas as many children are prevented from attending school because of a lack of access to clean water for their families.
In the subsistence farming communities of the Kibwezi district, two out of three people typically have no access to an adequate water supply. The rains have become increasingly unpredictable and droughts are becoming more frequent. In the Kibwezi district, villagers had to either drink dirty water from a stream or walk for up to 36km to buy expensive drinking water.
To improve health and attendance rates, Just a Drop installed one 100,000 litre tank in each school to collect rainwater run-off. The rainy season occurs twice a year, which will provide enough to water to replenish the tank. This project has given 1,311 children between three schools a supply of clean water for drinking, cooking and hygiene; enrolment has already increased, and the children’s health has improved. A school water tank has an expected lifespan of 25 years and requires very little maintenance, providing the pupils and teachers with a sustainable and long-lasting supply of clean drinking water.
Each of the three projects was undertaken as a community, in a self-help group (SHG). Kisayani, a SHG member, has expressed her happiness about the community’s successful teamwork and the unity it brings; she said, “There is no old lady here who can’t lift a heavy stone… There are great benefits when working together because heavy tasks are shared. I want to thank you for showing us the way because before they begun working with us, we felt like we were just existing but we now feel energised, appreciated and are more jovial because we know that we are known abroad… We will work even harder so that the word about our work spreads even further”.
Thank you to First Choice, Thomson and Just a Drop’s local implementing partner, Excellent Development, for making this project possible.
Date of Project: November 2011