• The water tanks are being constructed by Can Do Kids NGO and will help the schools fight Covid-19 when they reopen in January.
• The American NGO has constructed 42 other water tanks in primary schools and aims at constructing 200.
An American NGO is constructing water tanks in four primary schools in Kiharu constituency at a cost of Sh6 million to help in the fight against Covid-19.
They are Rurii, Kambirwa, Mirichu and Kahuhia primary schools. Each institution will get one tank with a capacity to hold 300,000 litres of water.
Can Do Kids NGO coordinator in the country Karanja Mburu Wamatangi said the tanks will help the schools safely resume learning once they reopen in January next year.
He said the tanks are being constructed in line with the government’s directive to ensure all schools have sufficient water.
The NGO started facilitating community projects in the area 10 years ago.
“We have so far constructed 42 water tanks in various primary schools. The number will now rise to 46 when the four are completed,” Karanja said.
He said apart from improving hygiene in the schools, the water can also be used to grow food crops.
Karanja said the organisation started building water tanks after realising that many schools did not have tap water and pupils had to walk long distances to fetch water from rivers.
This, in turn, ate into their learning time while hygiene levels were low and some pupils even had jiggers.
At Matongu Primary School, the organisation discovered that pupils fetched water in a bush, which put their lives at risk. The NGO built a tank in 90 days.
Karanja said the commodity is needed now more than ever because of Covid-19, which requires people to wash hands as often as possible to limit the risk of infection.
He called onto more well-wishers to help more schools build tanks that will ensure they harvest rainwater.
Karanja said even though the government is working towards ensuring all homes are connected to water, there is a need for people to harvest water in their homes.
“The rainwater goes to the rivers and flows to the Indian Ocean when it can be conserved and used in homes,” he said.
Parents with children in the schools that have benefited from the programme hailed the initiative.
Mirichu primary head teacher George Ndegwa was joyous when the construction of the school’s tank was started.
He said there were numerous complaints by residents that his pupils were destroying their farms as they fetched water from rivers.
“I cannot wait for the tank to be completed so that the children can be saved from the torturous journey to the river,” he said.
Paline Wangeci, a teacher at Maragi primary said a tank constructed by the organisation earlier has helped in prevention of Covid-19.
“We have ensured that pupils wash their hands immediately after entering the school and before getting into their classes,” she said.