Cedar Primary School, near Gilgil, Kenya, serves several hundred pupils within a ten-mile radius. Its current classrooms are badly built and at the point of collapsing, and the school has no other facilities to speak of. Because of its physical state it struggles to attract high-calibre teachers and so its students' grades are very poor. Many subjects cannot be taught well because the school lacks appropriate facilities, and the students' health is suffering from poor sanitation.
The lack of nearby water, poor roads and shortage of suitable building stone in the area means that building new classrooms has been very difficult. We considered putting up less durable buildings made of alternative materials, but rejected this option since it would not help long-term sustainable development in the area.
The parents were particularly excited to become involved with the development here and readily agreed to supply all water necessary. This is a really considerable sacrifice, since each family is allocated a small amount of water each day, for which they pay. Instead we have now built five new classrooms with unusually large windows, so as to minimize the cost of transporting stone; this has had the beneficial side-effect of making the classrooms extremely well-lit.
We aim to entirely rebuild Cedar Primary School to a high standard over the next five years. The immediate priority is the construction of a large rainwater harvesting tank. We are then planning to construct four new classrooms within a year, including one for use as a staffroom, and new toilets. Others of the existing classrooms, which are less than five years old, are so poorly constructed that they are potentially dangerous; these will be knocked down and replaced further down the line.
|Four classrooms||mid 2011||£20,000|
|Upgrade entrance block||mid 2011||£10,000|
|Rainwater collection tank||late 2011||£8,000|
|Toilets & staff accommodation||early 2012||£5,000|