Well done! Water tank built at Kenyan school thanks to Tourism students
30 November 2016 - Carrie Braithwaite
A new water tank has been built at a secondary school in Kenya, thanks to fundraising by Tourism students and staff at Leeds Beckett University.
As part of a long-term partnership with international water aid charity, Just a Drop, the BA (Hons) International Tourism Management students and staff raised more than £2,000 towards the building of the new well at Molemuni Secondary School.
Dr Simon Woodward, Head of Tourism at Leeds Beckett, explained: “Working with Just a Drop, we wanted to raise awareness of water use in other countries, especially tourist destinations, where there is a conflict between the host community and the tourism industry: a heavy user of water. In some places, tourist resorts are favoured above the host communities. With every fundraising event, it was an opportunity for us to remind our students of the relevance of the charity.”
Fundraising activities included: a sponsored bike ride and sponsored runs, bake sales, an abseil from the top of the 10-storey high Portland Building at the University’s City Campus, and a ‘jerry can challenge’, where students replicated how far children in Kenya have to carry containers to get clean water.
Dr Woodward added: “The whole course team is very proud of the work our students put into supporting the charity and we are confident that partnerships like this between universities and charities help enhance the students’ understanding of contemporary issues in tourism.”
Brendan Hanlon, Head of Fundraising and Communications at Just a Drop, commented: “The students at Molemuni Secondary School now have regular access to clean and safe water all year, something which wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts and support of the students’ and staff efforts. We visited the school recently and have already seen a change, there is much less illness in the school, there is a happy atmosphere and the school is also building a new dormitory which will increase the numbers of children able to receive a good education. So, thank you to everyone.”
The Molemuni Secondary School water tank works by harvesting rain water running from the school roof via pipes and guttering, providing clean water all year round. The local community collected materials for the build and volunteered their labour to construct the tank. The finished tank serves 226 pupils aged between 12 and 18, 100 of which are boarders.
The tank will increase access to clean drinking water for pupils, improving health as well as increasing school attendance; as the children no longer have the burden of collecting water before going to school. The tank has been painted and inscribed with hygiene promotion messages and a health club has been established to improve wellbeing at the school even further.
Just a Drop was founded in 1998 by Fiona Jeffrey OBE, former Director of World Travel Market. The aim of the charity is to reduce child mortality by delivering accessible, clean, safe water to communities in developing countries. To date, they have reached an estimated 1.3 million people in 31 countries.