Health, studies, playtime: the wide benefits of clean water in a Kenyan school

Sensemaking / Health, studies, playtime: the wide benefits of clean water in a Kenyan school

A head teacher and children describe their experience of a project to bring safe water to schools in Bungoma, Kenya.

By Rhiannon Szmigielski / 30 Oct 2015

A community-scale water purifier that meets the World Health Organization and US Environmental Protection Agency’s rigorous standards is being installed in schools in Bungoma County, Kenya, in a partnership project between Jaguar Land Rover, ClimateCare and technology provider Vestergaard.

‘LifeStraw® Community’ is a high-volume purifier with built-in storage. It uses a hollow fibre membrane to remove any particles larger than 0.02 microns from water, including virtually all bacteria, protozoa and viruses – making it safe to drink.   

It is being installed in 375 schools, benefitting over 300,000 pupils and is part of Jaguar Land Rover’s Global CSR programme that aims to create new opportunities for 12 million people by 2020.

Here, a teacher and children at two of the first schools on the list, reflect on the difference it could make to their lives.  

Dalmas Kipnusu, Headteacher, Cheptais Reachout 

Photo credit: Jaguar Land Rover 

“Previous to having LifeStraw Community we didn’t treat our water and we had a lot of children with infections. The local medical centre was testing everyone positive for Typhoid and parents were keeping their children off school for a month as they didn’t trust the water at school. 

I will encourage parents to collect water from the LifeStraw Community when they drop their children at school in the morning so they can have clean water at school and at home. All our pupils have cups and I will encourage them to drink the water at breaks. I will ensure that we look after the LifeStraw Community and that we maintain it correctly.

The LifeStraw Community will help this school very much. 

Shallet Nyongesa, class 6, Visionary Academy
Photo credit: Jaguar Land Rover 
“My name is Shallet. I am 11 years old and in class 6. In the week I live in the boarding houses at school and at the weekend I live at home with my parents, my grandparents and my two siblings. Both of my siblings go to a different school. 
When I wake up I wash my face, have some breakfast, put my uniform on then walk to school. After school, I fetch water, wash my uniform, have something to eat then do my studies then go to bed.
My best subjects at school are Science and Kiswahili. When I am older I want to be a doctor to help people. I like to visit my friends on Sunday and play hide and seek with them.
I have been drinking dirty water and have suffered from Typhoid in the past. I had to go to hospital and have injections. I missed school for 1 week and 2 days. I really missed playing with my friends.
Access to safe water at school means I will not get ill and miss school or playing with my friends.” 
Faith Wafula, class 3, Visionary Academy 
Photo credit: Jaguar Land Rover
My name is Faith Wafula. I am 8 years old and in class 3. There are 3 boys and 4 girls in my family and I am number 6. 
It takes me 30 minutes to walk to school. At home I help the family by collecting water from the river, sweeping up and cleaning the cooking utensils.
My favourite subjects are English and Science and in the future I would like to be a nurse and take care of the sick.
Jaguar Land Rover and ClimateCare are Forum for the Future partners.

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