Happy New Year 2014!
We hope that you all had a great start to the New Year! It’s been four years since KRA started partnering with GlobalGiving to raise funds for a clean water and sanitation project in Matuiku Primary School, Ndaragwa division. Looking back, we can undoubtedly say that we have come a long and successful way in making Matuiku Primary school not just a better place but a dream come true for the children. In Kenya, clean water and sanitation are essential yet very scarce assets in most rural schools. Lack of water and proper sanitation facilities can be very detrimental to the performance of a child considering that a child in a rural school is expected to compete against a child in an urban school. Creating a competitive edge between the two becomes very difficult owing to the many challenges facing the rural child but regardless of these challenges rural schools have always strived to perform better than urban schools. Retracing the history of Matuiku primary school before the project is indicative of the dire situation that the children have to endure every day in a bid to secure an education and become somebody in future. While interacting with the children at the school their passion to study hard and give back to their community is a clearly set goal because of the experience that they have had in their school. Through the years, we can confidently say that your contributions have made it possible for us to demonstrate that it is possible to make things better and that learning at Matuiku Primary school can be more fun and bearable! This goes to show that you have done a commendable job not only in transforming the livelihood of these little ones but also in instilling hope and motivating the children to become great people in society so that those that come behind them can enjoy an even better Matuiku.
How we do it…
Imagine a situation where a child has to survive on one meal a day if any; without a drop of water and even if you get some it’s fetched directly from a river-unclean and unsafe! Well, this is a common scenario in most rural schools. For this reason KRA with the help of its partners-like you took the initiative to try and address this problem and help improve the situation in these schools. Most rural schools have feeding programes supported by the government or well-wishers but sometimes the food is not adequate to sustain the children through the whole term. KRA therefore introduced the farm pond technology in schools to enable them establish small kitchen gardens within the school to supplement the feeding programme.
What is a farmpond?
A farm pond is ground catchment system that is constructed on an open surface to help trap surface runoff. The system consists of a catchment area, diversion channel, silt trap and a storage reservoir that has been fitted with and ultra violet resistant dam liner. Once the water goes through inlet it goes into a silt trap to filter out the dirt and particles before it enters into the pond. Due to its huge capacity the system has been found to be best suitable for small scale micro-irrigation farming.
We will get there…
At Matuiku, we have managed to successfully complete the WASH component through funding received from GlobalGiving well-wishers and other development partners-Water for Life. Currently we are in the process of consolidating funds received from GlobalGiving last year and those trickling in this year to see whether we can get a match funding partner in order to construct a 72,000-litre farmpond for the school. In schools where KRA has introduced this intervention children have been found to have improved nutrition levels because they are able to supplement their diet(boiled beans and maize) with a variety of vegetables such as; spinach, kale, onions, tomatoes etc.
We have come a long way…
Retracing our footsteps since the project began, we cannot fail to acknowledge and appreciate you-our GlobalGiving partners for your constant support towards Matuiku clean water and sanitation project. We look forward to achieving even more this year and who knows? Maybe the next time you receive an update, we will be inviting you to come and celebrate the new face of Matuiku Primary School
On 25th July 2013, KRA team accompanied by GlobalGiving Field Representative- Farley Sawyer made a trip to Matuiku School to find out how they were fairing. When we arrived at Matuiku primary School we knew this was going to be no ordinary visit. The children came rushing out curious to see who had visited them and the beautiful smiles on the children’s faces was a clear sign of their excitement. We were first received by the teachers led by the Head teacher who expressed his gratitude for the great support that the school has received through GlobalGiving. He went on to say that every time they see KRA visiting, they are happy because they know that they have brought them good tidings and of course this is all thanks to your kind donations!
The Head teacher informed us that since the project was introduced to the school the children have been working very hard because they now have more time to study and do their revision. He asked us to say hello to the pupils in standard eight and encourage them as they prepare for their final examinations which are set to begin next week. Farley being the guest speaker of the day urged the children to work hard in order to achieve the best in life. In her words," You can become anything you want to become in life if you work hard and study hard." She also enquired from the children whether they were enjoying the water and the new toilets and from their enthusiastic response there is no doubt that the project is the best thing that ever happened to the school. They promised to achieve the best grades to reciprocate your generosity!
Aside from Matuiku Primary School Farley also visited a neighbouring school called Nyonjoro Primary School just to get a feel of KRA activities. The best thing about this school is that before our intervention it was one of the worst performing schools in the area. Parents had started transferring their children to other schools due to its poor performance, lack of water and proper sanitation facilities but since KRA made an entrance to the school Nyonjoro moved from a poor performing school in 2010 to best improved school in 2011 and eventually best performing school in 2012. Enrollement has also gone up and the school now has 276 pupils. The Head teacher of the school showed us the many trophies that the school has been awarded owing to the improved performance. The school has sanitation facilities for boys, girls and teachers; a 72m3 farm pond for vegetable production and a 50m3 water tank that provides water for hand washing, cooking and drinking.
Matuiku Can Make it Too..
Stories like that of Nyonjoro Primary School is a clear reflection of the impact that projects like this can have on the children and an entire community. Here at KRA we believe that through your support Matuiku primary School is also capable of scaling the heights and making us all proud just as Nyonjoro has done. The teachers and pupils are determined to follow the good example that has been set by their neighbouring school. The Head teacher said, "If Nyonjoro made it, Matuiku can make it too!"
KRA is Grateful!
Even as we endeavour to fulfil our mandate as an organization, we are very grateful for all your support that has enabled us to provide clean and safe water for the children and proper sanitation facilities. We are also grateful to the GlobalGiving team for raising this platform and for taking time to visit some of our projects here in Kenya.
We look forward to your continued support and collaboration in this noble course!
We hope that this update finds you well!
A few months have gone by since our last update on Matuiku Primary School Water and Sanitation project and as always we have good news for you! The past few months have been quite exciting and eventful for the children of Matuiku Primary school. One of the donor organizations Water for Life which co-funded part of the project in partnership with Global Giving recently paid a visit to the school. The team was led by Patty Hall; President of Water for Life and accompanied by KRAs Programmes Coordinator and Programmes Officer. The aim of the visit was to find out how the project was fairing since its establishment.
Commonly dubbed- H20 for Life is a non-profit organization designed to create partnerships between schools in the United States and schools in developing countries. Their goal is to partner an individual school in the United States with a school in a developing country that lacks water, sanitation and hygiene education (WASH). Through service learning projects, U.S. schools raise funds to finance WASH projects in developing countries which are implemented with the help of experienced non-governmental organizations (NGOs). For this particular project two U.S schools namely Maple Grove JHS and Tiffany Creek Elementary contributed towards the project.
The 50,000 litre water tank donated by GlobalGiving and H2O for Life is not only ensuring enough provision of clean water for drinking and cooking but has also translated to more study time for the children! The children no longer have to spend hours going to the river to fetch water like they used to do. As stated by Patty Hall in her speech to the children “You can become anyone you want to become in life by working hard, setting high goals and taking education seriously in order to achieve the best." Patty Hall also donated two balls to the school. Her message to the children, "work hard and play hard."
Once again the Head teacher expressed his utmost gratitude to Water for Life and Global Giving for giving Matuiku Primary school a new face by providing them with the best sanitation facilities. In the past the girls were very uncomfortable due to lack of privacy attributed to the old wooden latrines which had spaces between them. Even as the school endeavours to achieve more indeed much has been achieved through your generous donations and the future for the children of Matuiku School is bright as the sky remains the limit. As usual KRA and the entire Matuiku Primary School community acknowledges your support and would like to sincerely thank you for your kindness. You've not only made life at Matuiku Primary School better but have also motivated the children to work hard in their studies-their sole purpose is to give back to their community in future!
Dear Friends and Supporters,
Greetings from Kenya Rainwater Association! It’s been a few months since our last update on the GlobalGiving- supported KRA Matuiku Primary School water project. In this update, we are happy to report that the projects have been a great success to the school and the children are especially grateful for your generous donations. Together with this update is a letter from the children and the entire Matuiku community expressing their heartfelt gratitude to you all!
Every drop counts..
The year started on a high note for the children of Matuiku Primary School. Not only did they have new water tank-thanks to your generous donations, the heavy rains that have been pounding most parts of the country have been nothing less than a blessing to the school! The 50,000litre tank that you donated to the school is now filled to the brim, with more than enough water for cleaning, preparing school meals, and hand washing. To the children, the fact that the school has water flowing from the taps seems like a dream. “In the past, the rainy seasons would come and pass without much notice but now we cannot help but celebrate because we know that not a single drop will go to waste- thanks to the water tank that was given to us “- Rosemary Nyambura, pupil at Matuiku Primary School
Our heartfelt gratitude..
I hope you are fine. We the pupils of Matuiku Primary School would like to thank you so much for all your support in helping us solve the problem of water shortage in our school. Through your generous donation we were able to construct a water tank that can hold 50,000L of water. This has made it possible for us to have access to clean and safe water all season round. We are so grateful for your act of kindness and we hope that you will continue supporting us so that we can make our school a better place!
Parents and teachers
The parents and the teachers also expressed a lot of enthusiasm and commitment towards the success of the project stating that the benefits of the projects have been felt around the community and that more benefits are expected with the new phase of project that intends to establish a farm pond and a vegetable garden for the school.
Approaching the final phase…
As we move towards the final phase of the project which entails establishment of a school vegetable garden and a farm pond to provide water for drip irrigation on the farm, our Matuiku water project still remains active on the GlobalGiving site as we continue to source more funds towards the completion of the project package. By the end of the project the school will have a 50,000litre water tank, a farm pond, a school garden and a VIP latrine block. We therefore request you- our loyal donors and supporters to continue giving towards the project so that we can leave Matuiku School a better place than we found it!
Other updates from KRA!
Besides the Matuiku water project, KRA continues to be on the frontline in ensuring that communities have access to clean and safe water for drinking through promoting rainwater harvesting and management projects across Kenya. This year, we have a project that is being funded by the African Development Bank that is targeting three counties in Kenya and is expected to benefit a minimum of 3000- 5000 people per county. The implementation process is set to begin in June. The New Life Mission water and livelihoods project in Kajiado County is also in its final year. The United States Aid Agency (USAID) is also doing well with 125 out of the targeted 190 farmers’ groups benefitting from the project. As usual, we will continue to keep you posted on the progress of our projects throughout the year!
As an organisation, we are always grateful for your continued support and collaboration in helping us achieve our objectives. We thank you all-our supporters and partner organization Water for Life for making a difference -You are changing lives!
Dear Kenya Rainwater Association supporters,
First of all, Happy New Year! We at KRA hope you had a great Christmas and a brilliant start to 2013! It has been a few months since our last update on the GlobalGiving/KRA water project at Matuiku Primary School and we have lots of news! On 24 November 2012, the second block of latrines and the cement water tank were officially opened and big celebrations were held at the school! Now with this tank and the donated plastic tank, the school has the capacity to store up to 60,000 litres of water – enough to last for at least a month!
As a new term begins, the pupils of Matuiku school can officially reduce their water-carrying burden. The KRA 50,000-litre capacity water tank has now been completed and is ready for action. Metal guttering now lines the roof of the school to catch the rainwater and the recent, unexpected rains in Kenya are filling up the tank nicely for the dry months ahead.
As part of the construction phase, a water point with two taps was also built six metres away from the tank. The children can fill up their water bottles and wash their hands there, rather than trekking to the river or carrying water in jerry-cans from home.
For those interested in the technical detail of the tank construction, here are a few words from our Technical Officer, Ronald Kamadi:
“The tank walls were constructed using dressed stones which were then plastered over to a thickness of 20mm with layers of barbed wire and chicken wire. A mortar mix of sand and cement was used for the wall plastering and to provide thick flooring on top of the concrete slab. The dome-shaped tank roof was constructed using timber, concrete and reinforced bars, held up by poles inside. The tank roof and outlet have lockable man-holes to carry out repairs. The guttering system enters the tank via a “foul-flash” self-cleaning system. This system ensures that when it first rains after a dry spell, the dust which builds up during dry periods is first flushed away and diverted from the storage tank to prevent contamination."
The children at the school are no longer scared to use the latrines! The new KRA latrines have provided reassurance to the children and their parents. The old latrines regularly collapsed due to the soil quality in the area and the weak structures. The head-teacher reported that at least three children had fallen into the pit due to this issue. Lining the pits with masonry prevents this problem and this is just what KRA has done!
Our Matuiku school project still remains active on GlobalGiving as we raise further funds and co-donors to support the final phase of the project – the construction of the 50,000-litre capacity farm pond and drip irrigation system for vegetables. A further block of latrines is also planned! We want to thank you – our loyal supporters, as well as our partner organisation in this project, H2O for Life.
All the best for the next few months and we will be in touch again with further updates!
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Information and Communication Officer