Attending a school that lacks a reliable water source presents many challenges for students. Speaking to members of the Kasunguni Secondary School community in southeast Kenya, we find out the ways a school water tank has helped them to address these challenges.

Kasunguni Secondary School, found in the Watema location of Makueni County, is a mixed day and boarding school which accommodates a total of 368 students.

In the past, the school has encountered many challenges with water scarcity that have affected its day-to-day operation. The lack of a reliable water source on site restricted the school’s ability to develop its infrastructure and had a harmful effect on academic performance, due to the knock-on effects this had on attendance and the general health of pupils.

With the support of the Africa Sand Dam Foundation and Excellent Development, the school recently completed the construction of their 104,000-litre school water tank. The completion of the project has been a source of hope for the school community, who now foresee an end to the challenge of water scarcity that has hindered their progress for so long.

Mr. Stephen Mutuku Munguti, 53, who is the Deputy Principal of the school, shared with his views on how the presence of the school water tank has changed the circumstances they face:

"In years past, the school has experienced great challenges in accessing water for drinking, cooking, and administering proper hygiene and sanitation practices for our students. With the presence of this 104,000-litre water tank, we hope that these struggles will be a bygone for us."

Mr Musinya went on to outline his expectations for the future now that the water tank is in use:

"We anticipate a smoother flow for the school’s programme and better academic performances from our students. With time, we plan on further improving the school’s infrastructure in a bid to provide a more conducive learning environment. Owing to the fact that the school will not have to incur the costs of purchasing water, plans are underway to build a boys’ dormitory which will facilitate the admission of more students, both locally and from other parts of the country."

Virginia Mwilu, an 18-year-old student at the school, shared her expectations regarding the impact of the new water tank. She predicts that their school life is bound to improve as there will now be an accessible supply of fresh and clean drinking water for all.

"Through this tank, we hope to have clean water both for drinking and for the implementation of proper hygiene and sanitation practices. We will be able to sustain a frequent hand washing culture as we anticipate having plenty of water available from the tank to do so. I expect that we, the boarding students, will also benefit from more water for matters of personal hygiene, such as bathing and washing our uniforms" Virginia shared.

Virginia Mwilu - student at Kasunguni Secondary School"Formerly, we would be sent out of class to fetch water for use in the school. Now we will have more time to focus on our studies as there will be a consistent water supply within the school."

Virginia Mwilu, student at Kasunguni Secondary School, southeast Kenya.

Musyoki Mutua, who is 16-years-old, is another student of Kasunguni Secondary School and was particularly impressed at the size of the tank, knowing that this would be reflected in the water supply it could provide. He had the following views about the water tank and the general prospects for the school following its completion.

Musyoki Mutua - student at Kasunguni Secondary School"Availability of water within the school will enable us to have sufficient time to concentrate on our studies. I anticipate a conducive learning environment which will enable us to excel in our academic performance."

Musyoki Mutua, student at Kasunguni Secondary School, southeast Kenya.

The entire school community expressed their gratitude towards donors for supporting the project that enabled the construction of their water tank.

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