Kisayani school water tank, 4 years on…
We revisit a school that has been transformed by a water tank, built with the support of Excellent and Guernsey Overseas Aid and Development Commission...
Upon a visit to Kisayani Primary School water tank, we were able to hear first-hand from three young students about the successes they have realized from the project. In a clearly arid region just outside of Kibwezi town, Ndunge Mwololo aged 13 narrates; “There were a lot of problems with water. I used to collect water from the river as early as when I started school”. It was only when she turned up to school without water was she told to go and fetch 2 litres from the river for drinking and cooking.
Kelvin Waema, 13 also in the same class adds; “There was a lot of disturbance in class preventing access to good education and creating an uncertain future.” He continues, “What I hated most in the school those days without the tank was our toilets. We barely washed them and so they were always dirty. I didn’t like going there. I love cleanliness because our teachers taught us that cleanliness is second to God but without sufficient water one cannot maintain it.”
Kelvin really feels comfortable at school now that water is available for use for cleaning and sanitation, in turn creating a positive learning environment. To him the water tank means “There is no problem with water”, with the tank holding it and protecting it for everyone to use. He concludes; “I like a clean environment that is comfortable for me to study and that’s what this tank brought in my life. We wash our toilets and our hands after visiting toilet regularly and I am now comfortable going there” says Kelvin.
With little rainfall this season the water tank did not fill and has not been able to last throughout the dry season, but the children still have enough for drinking during school hours.
With her smiley face, student Matha Peter begins to tell us that her favourite subject is Mathematics because she loves calculating. Then she explains how days used to be without a water tank at her school; “I transferred to this school from Nairobi, I was very young and I don’t like remembering how life was so tough. I would hit the road very early at 6am with a two litre jerry can of water to school. Lucky for me, my home is only 200m from school. Upon reaching school, I would accompany my friends to the nearby river to fetch water for use at the school.
The water from river was not clean but it was used for cooking our food (and even drinking). Our teachers would sometimes send us away from classrooms to go to the river to fetch Water. I didn’t like it at all because it wasted my time to study. Without water at the school it would also mean staying hungry the whole day until we go back to our homes because without water, food could not be cooked.”
But now with a tank in their school, life has changed for the better; “For the four years that we have had water in our school, life has been sweet and fun because we no longer carry water to school. Neither do we go to the river to fetch” says Matha.
Our teachers would sometimes send us away from classrooms to go to the river to fetch water. I didn’t like it at all because it wasted my time to study. Without water at the school it would also mean staying hungry the whole day until we go back to our homes because without water, food could not be cooked.
Matha Peter, 13 year old student.