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600 Kisumu schools receive safe water tanks

More than 600 schools in Kisumu County have benefited from free quality tanks and water treatment services, courtesy of Impact Water Organization.

The NGO distributed 2,952 units of 100 litres water tanks to the primary and secondary schools in all 8 sub-counties in Lakeside County in a bid to improve hygiene.

The noble initiative targeting both public and private learning institutions across the county seeks to address the problem of water-borne diseases through the provision of clean and safe drinking water to ensure students concentrate on their studies.

Lucy Owiti, an official from Impact Water, pointed out that many of the school-going children miss learning programs due to constant illness occasioned by a lack of safe drinking water.

Speaking during the water tank distribution exercise in Kisumu East, Owiti stated that the organization conducts tests on the institutions that benefit from the donation to ascertain if they deserve the facilities.

“The safe drinking water solutions that we offer comprise water purification methods like Aqua Tabs, Ultraflo, and the inlet systems,” she explained.

She added that some schools had qualified for the Aqua Tabs, which involve putting a single chlorine tablet in a 100 litres tank recommended for schools without piped water.

“When a school qualifies to benefit from the Aqua Tabs program, it means that they don’t have tapped water but mostly use the river, well, or rainwater, in which the flow system cannot be connected to the gutter,” she said.

For institutions with piped water connections sourced from either water companies, rivers, or rainwater, the organization installs the inlet system.

She added that some schools had piped water connections from the water services companies, qualifying them for the inlet system, whereby the system is installed on the meter to treat the in-flowing water.

She reveals that the number of safe water tanks depends on the school’s population, with a tank estimated to cover 100 students. Some schools got eight, six, five, and three water tanks, depending on the number of learners.

In schools, Owiti reveals that they always create awareness among the students and teachers about safe drinking water and hand washing measures.

Defending the organization’s move to invest in the smaller capacity tanks, Owiti stressed on the need to promote the water quality and hygiene in the tanks.

“The 100-litre tanks are easy to clean compared to 1,000-litre tanks, and then you replace fresh water and put tablets in after three days on a weekly basis. The bigger ones are cumbersome to wash,’’ she explained.

Immaculate Atieno, a pupil from Mbeme Primary School, expressed her joy because she can now get safe water to drink in school and prevent her body from dehydration.

Emmanuel Otieno, Kibos Secondary School Principal, lauded the initiative as timely and said it has helped a great deal in offering safe drinking water solutions to the students and improving the number of hand washing points.

The organization has so far managed to reach over 32,000 schools in Kenya since its inception in 2013.

By Robert Ojwang’ and Rolex Omondi

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