Water for Kids
With dry seasons in Kenya lasting 8 months
a year water can be a big problem.
At Kirantos Sunshine Primary School in
Olorien, Kenya, the nearest water source is
a dirty pond 2km away.
The pond is shared by animals.
Since watching the humanitarian crisis unfold in Africa in early 2017, the International Team had been desperately wanting to help African communities. In 2019, our wish came true after meeting BeyondWater’s Sharon and Peter Crean. BeyondWater is an Australian/New Zealand registered charity domiciled in East Africa. The charity was established by the Crean's in 2007. Their vision is “to alleviate poverty through the provision of safe, clean drinking water and sanitation facilities to communities across East Africa”. Sharon is also a member of Rotary Club of Nairobi-Lavington. More details about their charity can be found on their website: http://www.beyondwater.global/.
The Need
From 10 kids under a tree in 2016, Daniel Nabaala Kiranto's Sunshine Primary School in Olorien, Kenya, has grown to 200 staff and students in just 4 years. Masai children walk up to 5 kilometres every day to attend the school.
In Olorien, the dry season lasts for 8 months of the year, making water a scarce resource. The school’s existing 5L tank only lasts them 2 months. Once they run out, the school cook or hired staff have to fetch water from the nearest source - a dirty pond 2kms away. The pond is shared by animals.
Water is used to cook meals, clean the classrooms and provide drinking and hand washing water for the students and staff. With shortages, students often bring their own water from dirty sources near their homes. (Our partners confused this for tea the first time they met).
These young children are the most vulnerable to diseases which result from dirty water and poor sanitation such as cholera and dysentery. Sick children also mean time away from school, taking parents away from their daily work and earnings to care for them and pay their medical expenses.
The Project
One of the first things our project partners told us about Olorien was that: “When it rains, it pours”. With a new guttering system and sufficient storage capacity, water harvested from the rainy season could be stored for use throughout the dry season. No digging bore water wells using up finite resources below; this solution would capture the unlimited supply of what nature provides from above.
Thus, our project consisted of the following:
  1. Building a (PVC) guttering system along both sides of the largest building of the school
  2. Connecting the guttering to two new 10,000L tanks each providing 4 months water supply
  3. Construction of a protection cage around the taps to prevent theft or damage
  4. Delivering a hygiene education morning for the students, staff and parents to celebrate the installation and demonstrate the importance of hand washing.
Local labour was employed to do the build with BeyondWater, and the total cost of the project for our club came to $5,000. After successfully applying for a District Grant for half of the project total, we were to raise the other half.
Project Financials
For this project, our main fundraiser was a Chinese Banquet Luncheon at which the Crean’s were our guest speakers. The luncheon turned out to be a great success. Almost 80 attendees took part including Trent Zimmerman MP Member for North Sydney, and many individuals and local businesses supported our cause by donating raffle and auction items. Together with our jam and produce sales at the Crows Nest Markets, we managed to raise all the funds we needed for the project. Astonishingly, just 4 days later, the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Despite this, the project still achieved its $5,000 financial objective through a combination of fundraising, a $2,500 district grant, and the generosity of donors.
Project Wrap Up
With coronavirus impacting all international flights, the Sharon and Peter have not been able to return to the school to oversee and finalise the implementation and deliver the hygiene education morning for the students, staff and parents. Therefore, the construction was carried out solely by local builders. However, the Crean's sent a lovely video message (see link below) to our members outlining the improvements they will make to bring the rainwater catchment system up to their usual standards when they return.

Seeing clear water gushing from the taps of those tanks in their message was very moving for us, and we look forward to the day when schools are allowed to re-open their doors and we see (videos of) the kids enjoying that fresh, clean water.
Video Update Message from BeyondWater 20/4/2020:
Tanks arrive after a 2-hour long bumpy ride
Guttering installed along both sides of largest building
       Rainwater catchment system
Fundraiser: Chinese Banquet Luncheon @ King Dynasty Chatswood
This project was managed by Samantha Lee and Jiji Lee. If you'd like to know more, please contact Samantha Lee or feel free to contact Our Club.