One of the communities our Meru site in Kenya serves is Kangeta and the population relies on small-scale agriculture and animal husbandry. Unfortunately, the rainfall amount they receive each year classifies the region as “semi-arid.” This leads to water shortages and travel long distances for families in search of water.
Sponsored children attend to six schools in the area which don’t have access to clean water. These schools have 3439 children and staff, where children are expected to bring water to school for drinking and cleaning.
“Over 3,000 pupils and students in six schools… had to waste about 20% of their valuable learning time to fetch water,” writes Francis, a member of the Meru site staff.
“Furthermore,” he adds, “the schools lacked enough clean and safe water that made it possible for waterborne disease such as cholera and typhoid to spread.” The illnesses keep children home from school, placing them further behind in their studies. Children who struggle with studying have the risk of dropping out and engaging in dangerous behaviours.
Thanks to Chalice donors the Mery site could installed 11 tanks, two 10,000L rainwater harvesting tanks in each of five schools, and one 10,000L water tank in the remaining school.
“Meru site has made tremendous strides in improving the learning conditions of pupils and students in schools,” writes Francis. “Students can use their time to study rather than fetch for water. Similarly, pupils and students can access safe drinking water and schools can use it to also prepare meals and clean classrooms.”
“In addition… schools with kitchen gardens can also use some of the water to irrigate their crops as part of agriculture class projects to enhance learning.”
On the day the tanks arrived at the schools,“all teachers, pupils and students of the lucky school chanted songs of praise and gratitude for the good tidings Chalice had shared with their schools.”