The RainCatcher and Beachbody schools projects were initiated here in March. Through Beachbody’s generous donations, the efforts of the volunteers, and by tapping into an existing network, many schools are now equipped with rain-harvesting systems consisting of gutters and collection tanks. The next step was to bring the filters and demonstrate how they work.
Throughout this area, people collect their drinking and cooking water daily from boreholes, streams, rivers and other contaminated sources. By installing equipment to catch rain, this project is designed to provide reliable water to the anchors of the communities – the schools.
RainCatcher returned to the Kogelo area of Western Kenya to check on the progress of the tank-and-gutter installations and to meet with leaders to demonstrate the point-of-use filtering process and distribute filters.
Some of the tanks were near empty, as it hadn’t rained much recently. For one demonstration, the students had to go collect water from a borehole down the way. That water was dirty, making it the perfect sample for a training, but the hearts of the team sank, thinking that the students weren’t fully benefiting from the work that had recently been completed.
Besides the water being clean and safe, the aim is for it to be convenient, readily available. Women and children spend a great deal of time collecting water daily and the hope is that by reducing that collection during the day, the students will have more time for class and for fun.
But, while RainCatcher’s Fred Mango took the team around to different schools to meet the students and teach them about safe water, clouds gathered, it got very dark, the skies opened up, and torrents of rain came down.
With the roads muddy, the treks on the back roads slippery, and one visit cancelled, there was only one sentiment among the team traveling in the trucks: A desire that it keep raining and fill those tanks!
And, much to the RainCatcher team’s delight, rain it did. That day, that night, and the next day.