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Ndauni School in Mwingi, in Kenya's Kitui County, has 320 students. The school does not spend any money on water. No one can afford it.
Rachel John, a parent of a student at the school, says they would encourage their children to go to school carrying some water for drinking. As for hygiene, that would wait until the children came home.
"It was dangerous to go through your day without washing your hands but there was nothing we could do about it," Rachel says. "We have only one river here and it is always crowded with people and animals. It’s not easy to get water, especially for school-going students."
When it rained, the school had enough water for everyone to drink. But Rachel says the harvested water wouldn’t last a month even when used sparingly.
Everyone at Ndauni School was thankful when Lifewater Canada donors provided a rainwater catchment and storage system that includes a 10,000-litre tank and handwashing station. The school can now harvest enough water to last until the next rainy season when the tank is replenished. Students can drink from the tank and wash their hands whenever they need to.
“A tank is very expensive -- so expensive that we as a school have never looked at the prices because we knew that whatever the price, there is no way we could afford it," Rachel says. "I am inspired to continue hoping because if the donors have taught me anything, it is that I don’t have to afford it to have it. I only have to hope for it. My heart is full.”
Some of Ndauni School's students stand beside their new water storage tank.