Kapkondor Primary School’s water tank
Healthy Schools Programme and water tank
The Brighter Communities Worldwide Healthy Schools programme takes its lead from the WHO Healthy Environments for Children Alliance (HECA) and aims to create a healthy environment for children at school.
The following ‘real-life’ account relates to the Healthy Schools Programme which Brighter Communities Worldwide supports. The objective of this programme is to ensure that children have a safe, clean, healthy environment in which to be at school and the skills to manage it.
The programme has two key elements; a learning element with a focus on hygiene and sanitation and a construction element where pit latrines (toilets) and wash rooms are provided and access to clean water is improved upon.
The Healthy Schools Programme is a joint partnership between Brighter Communities Worldwide, school management, staff and students, the local Ministry of Education and the local Ministry of Public Health.
Harambee volunteer Pauline Tynan spent two days at Kapkondor School in Londiani and this is her story…
Kapkondor Primary School, Londiani
Harambee volunteer Pauline Tynan, spent two days at Kapkondor Primary School where in 2012, Brighter Communities Worldwide had built a water tank. On the first day of Paulines’ visit one of the teachers, Samson Chepkwony, was very keen to tell Pauline about the difference that the water tank had made not only to the school but also to the children who attended and their extended families.
Kapkondor School opened in 1978 and has 500 pupils. The availability of safe, clean water is a vital source within the community as there is not a clean river in the vicinity. The nearest spring often has very long queues of people waiting to get water. However, because this spring is not maintained it cannot be relied upon as safe drinking water.
Samson described the school to Pauline and detailed the poor conditions prior to the installation of the water tank. Before the water tank was installed, the school had an 8,000 litre plastic water tank which only serviced the cooking area and the teachers washing facilities. There was insufficient water to provide washing facilities for the children who used the latrines on the compound.
The children also had to bring Jerry cans of water with them every day in order to clean the classrooms. As a result, many of the children suffered water borne diseases and suffered from illness.
Safe, clean water
The new water tank is built with ferro-cement and has a capacity of 32,000 litres – four times as much as before the water tank was installed. It is filled with rainwater which has been gathered from the gutters on one of the school’s four buildings. The water in this tank is both clean and safe for drinking. Since its installation there is now ample availability of water to meet all the drinking, cooking and washing requirements of the school.
Rather than bringing water to the school (as previously required), the children now take home jerry cans of safe, clean water each evening which is used as clean drinking water for their families.
Samson advised “We have reduced the number of children who had been suffering from illness because of the lack of clean water in the school and in their homes. The teachers also enjoy using the clean water. A friend in need is a friend indeed and Brighter Communities Worldwide you are our true friends.”
During Pauline’s time at the school, she worked with the HECA club which is made up of students from the school. Along with fellow volunteer Maura, FOLK staff member Chelat and Public Health Officer Wilbourn, they worked through a programme with the children that included information, games and activities. These focused on providing a better understanding of hygiene and sanitation, what improvements the children can make to their own school and how they can share this knowledge with the rest of the school, their families and wider community to improve standards of health overall.
If you’re interested to know more about the Healthy Schools Programme run by Brighter Communities Worldwide please click here.
If you would like to make a donation please click here.