Just A Drop: Simpson Millar in Kenya
In 2015, the Fairpoint Group raised a huge £16,000 for the Just a Drop charity – now, in 2016, we are seeing the money raised being put into action.
The charity, which specialises in water solutions for some of the most deprived communities across Africa, Asia and Latin America, will facilitate the building of a water tank in Makueni County, Kenya – as well as providing ongoing help to the students and staff of the local school to ensure they are trained in good sanitation and hygiene practices.
The Current Situation
Matulani Secondary School currently has a very serious problem concerning the health of its students:
- Many are often ill after drinking locally piped water, meaning they cannot attend school due to stomach aches
- The children have to clean themselves with contaminated water, meaning skin conditions and diseases are common
- Food is prepared using the water, and when there isn't any to cook with, the quality and quantity provided is unpredictable; which can again cause illness, as well as affecting concentration as children go hungry
- More generally, it is difficult to maintain even basic hygiene standards as water is saved for drinking, not cleaning. The children are not able to wash their hands after visiting the toilet meaning germs can quickly spread.
Ultimately, the lack of clean, drinkable water has effects in many areas of the children's lives. Academic performance is not at its peak, and the children do not have a comfortable environment in which to learn. Grades are generally low because of this.
What Is The Just A Drop Project?
The aim of the project is to construct a water tank that will harvest rain water at the school – where the 147 pupils who have had very limited access to drinking water, will benefit from the collected water.
At present, the school depends on water piped from the Mwala Water and Sanitation Company, but this is not a reliable source of drinkable water as it only flows once a term, usually for a week, and the school is then dependent on buying expensive bottled water - money which could be better spent elsewhere, such as on new classroom buildings or for a dorm room.
There is a real urgency to get the project underway so that the pupils have the opportunity to benefit quickly from the reliable, healthy source of water.
Simpson Millar's Support
Peter Watson and one other Simpson Millar staff member will be going to Kenya in October to help in the process, which will see:
Simpson Millar and the wider Fairpoint Group are delighted to be involved in helping to provide a solution to the problem of ensuring all children at Matulani Secondary School have the access to proper drinking water and washing facilities at school.
- The construction of a 104m3 water storage tank with an extensive guttering system to drain water from roofs during the rainy season
- The installation of 3 hand washing stations to promote personal hygiene
- The painting of the tank walls with hygiene positive messages, especially on hand washing