Rusinga Island Parish, St. Joseph’s Girls’ Secondary School Water Project – Kenya

This project is made possible through the partnership of Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association.

Kakrigu, Rusinga Island, Kenya

Community Description
The area is high on the Likongo Hill in Kakrigu, on Rusinga Island. It consists of the St. Joseph’s Girls Secondary School, the Rusinga Parish Catholic Church, housing and offices for the Priests and Sisters.  The school, at capacity, comprises 85 students, faculty and staff of 15, and church staff of 10. This community supports the girls’ school and local parish.  These girls are from very poor surroundings, and would not be in school if it were not for this school. To get to the main road, which is dirt, the walk is about a mile. From there, the nearest town is Mbita, and that is several miles away. The walk to Lake Victoria is about a mile and a half.

Problem Addressed
The water for the entire community comes from a deep borehole on the hill above all of the structures in this small community. The pump in the well supplies a central tank that then distributes the water through a series of 2-inch pipes. At present, the borehole is not supplying any water. There has been water in the well even in the driest of weather in the past.  A well expert, from Nairobi, has been on site and indicates that the pump is working but the fault may be in the pipe and connections.

Project Description
This project is to restore water to the community.  180 feet of old pipe will be removed and replaced with lower-cost and more easily handled PVC pipe, and piping to the school will be repaired.

Rusinga Island Parish, St. Joseph’s Girls’ Secondary School will provide sourcing and coordination. Dakal Enterprises from Nairobi has provided the project plan and budget.

The length of the project is a matter of days with the benefit of the whole community having access to clean water. The contractor will come to the site, remove the steel pipe and pump from the well, and connect the pump to the new PVC pipe installed in the well.

Project Impact
This project will benefit 110 adults and secondary girl students.

Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Dave Rowson

Monitoring and Maintenance
The project will use a not-to exceed-contract and will be run in proper project management form. The well is under the access and control of the Parish Sisters, and they will be responsible for the upkeep and monitoring.

This is a high-impact, quick-turnaround project that will impact, immediately, over a hundred young girls, faculty and support staff.

This project is directly related to ensuring that the St. Joseph’s Girls have the maximum opportunity to learn. St. Joseph’s Girls Secondary School provides a rigorous academic schedule from Form 1 to Form 4.

Presently, when there is no rainwater in the tanks, the girls have to trudge to Lake Victoria and carry 20 liters or more water back to their dorms for drinking and washing. There are several problems with this situation.

1) Walking nearly 4 miles with such a load is tiring and will affect study time and effort.
2) Lake Victoria is not clean.  Among pollution and fecal runoff, it has schistosomiasis, typhus and other diseases associated with it. Water guard is used, when available, but that is a cost not easily met by most girls.

Having the access to clean water is not only an academic benefit, but is a very important health benefit. So much more should and could be accomplished during the time allocated to hiking to the lake and hauling heavy loads of water back to the school.  The health of the community is a real concern here.

This is the second project Water Charity has undertaken with David & Rebecca Rowson as RPCVs in the parish of Rusinga Island.  To read about the first, which involved a series of small water projects, CLICK HERE.

As PCVs serving together, Dave & Rebecca completed 3 projects with Water Charity in Kenya in this region:

St. Joseph’s Girls School Water Project – Kenya
Waware Mixed Day Secondary School Rainwater Harvesting Project – Kenya
Sargy Education Center Rainwater Catchment Project – Kenya

Bravo!  Congratulations to both David and Rebecca for all the great work they have done in Kenya.

This project is part of the Water Charity and National Peace Corps Association East Africa Water and Sanitation Program.  If you would like to see additional projects of this type, please go to that page and Donate.

This project is being funded through the generosity of an anonymous donor.

This project has been finished.  To read about the conclusion, CLICK HERE.