by Job Mainye | BORESHA Project
Mandera Township Primary School is located along the Somali-Kenya boarder with a population of 937 pupils. The school has been experiencing water shortage and also lack of enough water storage facilities. The institution is located far from the main source river Dawa, a perennial river. Children survive on water boozers, this is an expensive service and mostly not enough water is provided.
Few trees are planted in the school compound to create cool learning ambiance. Adjacent to the main classroom block is a school farm with few trees for an orchard and a planned vegetable farm. At the center closer to the administration block is a single mini underground open water tank, a group of children are drawing water with an open plastic container shared amongst them.
This school is among the 30 schools supported by BORESHA project through CARE to harvest rain-water and build capacity on environmental management. According to Kaltuma Abdulaiman, the school head teacher the few trees planted are not enough to provide shade from the scorching sun. “We need to plant more trees because Mandera is a hot and place, the strong winds can blow off roofs, trees act as windbreakers,” she said.
According to Kaltuma access to water and the school feeding program are key services to retain children in school. Having enough water storage tanks can help sustain the school through the month, it’s hygienic and safe for drinking and cooking. “We have poor families around the school who depend on this water sometime especially during dry season; the school feeding program can’t run without constant supply of clean and safe water.
Though BORESHA, CARE provided water storage tank to help the school store enough water. This will enable them plant more trees, fruits and vegetables to provide food for learners to improve nutritive value of the food provided in the school feeding program. Trees are also used for education purposes and provide shade where children play when the sun is extremely hot. “Trees provide shade, they make school environment cool and pleasant,” the Head teacher added.
With the new water tank in place, the school plans to plant different types of drought tolerant trees like the neem tree in front and behind the classrooms. “We intend to plant fruits and vegetable to provide food for learners, and sell the surplus for income, “stated the Head teacher.
Hygiene and sanitation
Proper water storage in the tank provides safe drinking water for the learners unlike the open water tank where children damp all types of containers, can spread deadly diseases. It also acts as a safe hand washing facility for children. “They need to wash their hands before eating food. The water tank was a big need for the school. We thank BORESHA for this timely support, we still need more water tanks to support neighboring community that frequently come to the school to get water,” she added.
The government is currently constructing a steel water tank to serve communities around the school. Kaltuma hopes that the tank once completed will benefit the school with additional source of water and households neighboring the school will depend less on the school for their daily water requirements.
- Publication date
- 3 March 2020
- Region and Country
- Horn of Africa
- Strengthening resilience of communities