Gisire Academy is located in Ntimaru Migori Town, Migori District, Kenya, and has 150 boys and 80 girls. It is sponsored by the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Gisire Academy had no water available on site. Pupils had to bring their own water for drinking and the school was forced to buy water for cooking and washing, at a cost of Ksh 20 per 20 litres. Too much time was spent fetching water, and the cost and scarcity of water had an impact on hygiene levels. Rates of illness and absenteeism in the school were high as a result.
How was this addressed?
In 2013, the Seventh Day Adventist Church nominated head teacher David Chacha to attend a workshop on faith-based education for sustainable development. Organised by the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) and the Kenya Organisation for Environmental Education (KOEE), the eight-day workshop looked at how to mainstream faith values into education for sustainable development.
On his return, David Chacha consulted the school's management committee, eco-club, teachers, non-teaching staff and faith sponsors. They decided to mitigate the water problem by installing an 8,000-litre tank to harvest rainwater. This would greatly improve the school's position during the rainy season although water scarcity would return during the dry season.
ARC approved a grant to buy the tank and the church helped to transport it to the school, along with sand, water and concrete. The church and community provided labour and children helped by fetching water for the construction.
Picture credits: Kenya Organisation for Environmental Education (KOEE)