New classrooms progress
The new classrooms and toilets were constructed using a locally-made SIPS product (Structural Insulated Panels). This is basically a sandwich with a cement-based skin and a rigid polystyrene centre - a bit like a wafer ice cream with holes through the creamy part.
Steel reinforcing rods are inserted into the holes and the centres then filled with concrete.
This makes a very strong, well-insulated structure that takes about one third the time to build compared with a conventional structure
Dam and Reservoir Project at Kiserian Farm - (July 2019)
Work on the dam and reservoir started in June 2019. By the end of June, some of the reservoir excavation had begun and the base of the dam constructed. The dam itself, which is made of concrete and stone, is scheduled for completion mid July after which the remaining work to excavate 10,000 cubic metres of soil will continue.
Following that, the tower and water storage tank will be constructed on the higher ground and linked with the reservoir with pipes fed by solar-powered pumps. Work is expected to be completed by the end of August 2019.
SASOL staff surveyed the river bed in March 2019
Ballast brought to site June 2019
Exciting times for local children!
Marking out the dam base location
Excavation began in June 2019. A tower will be constructed on the higher ground in the distance so that irrigation can be done using gravity. The dam will be completed by mid-July. The whole project is expected to be completed later in the summer.
The currently dry 'riverine' carries vast amounts of water in the rainy seasons but none at other times
In 2018 the farm was given a name. '
'Ahadi ya Mungu'
The Promise of God
'Ahadi ya Mungu'
Beans and maize will be the principle crops initially
The Tree of Promise
The day the tractor arrived on the farm at Embolei near Kiserian
04 August 2018
The uniform 'factory' at Karinde
Uniforms and Toothbrushes
Thanks to some very generous donations from Shiloh Baptist Church in Guernsey, we were able to pay for new uniforms for some of the poorest children at the Academy.
We were also able to give a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste to every one of the 300 children in the school.
The uniform 'factory' at Karinde, near Nairobi
Every child received a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste
Other notable events
2016 and 2017
Water at Kibera Academy
The water supply to Kibera Academy has always been a problem. A few years ago, a pipe bringing water from the nearest reservoir was provided, but the water was very polluted. By 2016 some of that pipe had been stolen and inevitably, the supply dried up.The only way to get water after that was to carry it from the polluted reservoir on the edge of the slum.
In 2016 School Farms Africa commissioned a survey to see if underground water could be available on the Academy site and eventually drilled to 220 metres where a plentiful supply of clean water was found - enough to fill a 10,000 litre tank daily. The water was subsequently tested and found to contain above the World Health Organisation recommended levels of dissolved fluorides. A reverse osmosis plant was then installed and generously paid for by Forest Methodist Church in Guernsey, to remove the excess salts.
Today, all children and their families have a plentiful supply of good clean water. All they have to do is bring their containers to school each day.
New Kitchen and Food Store
As the bore hole was being drilled, workmen were constructing a new kitchen with
stainless steel fittings and piped fresh water together with a dry and secure food
store above. The borehole and kitchen were formally handed over to the Academy
in September 2016.
The borehole, kitchen and food store were constructed thanks to the generous
support of the Guernsey Overseas Aid and Development Commission which
gave a grant of £40,000 to do this work.
Farmland at Kiserian
After months of searching, we decided to purchase 11 acres of land about 25 miles from Nairobi so that we could plant crops to help feed the children of the Academy. The land is in a tiny rural community known as Embolei, just a few miles from the small town of Kiserian. Embolei is only accessed by a challenging track about 5 miles from the nearest tarmac. In the rainy season that becomes very tricky, but a 4x4 vehicle can normally get through. Currently we have to borrow a suitable vehicle but hope eventually to purchase our own.
By September 2017 the farm purchase was complete and a 2 km perimeter fence constructed around it. Thorn Apple trees (Kayaba or Kei Apple locally) were planted along its perimeter to make it a living fence. A home for our Caretaker, Joseph, was constructed, as was a pit latrine (complete with a basic shower for a time when water becomes available) and a secure barn for the new tractor. Joseph's home is a few miles away, so to enable him to see his family each week we purchased a new motorbike which has made life much easier for him and his family. It is hoped than one day his family will be able to join him on the farm.
Water on the farm
In the summer of 2016, School Farms Africa, together with its partner organisation, School Farms Kenya, set about looking for water on the land. Several nearby 'Shambas' (small farms) had successfully drilled for water, so we were confident we would be successful too. Regrettably, after two deep boreholes had been dug, we found no water. After another hydro-geological survey was carried out, we believe we may have found a better site, but it means purchasing a small extra piece of land a few hundred metres away.
As a result of some serious fund-raising by Forest Methodist Church in Guernsey during 2017, we have been able to purchase a brand new Massey Ferguson 240 tractor. We look forward to ploughing and getting our first crops of beans and maize. These tractors have not been available in the west since the 1980's but they are still sold in developing nations such as Kenya and are 'no-frills', reliable, tried and tested workhorses.
15 January 2018
Joshua, Board Chairman
School Farms Kenya
receives the tractor keys.
Classrooms, Toilets and a Clinic/Counselling Room
Provisional permission has been granted by the Nairobi Authorities, (subject to Proof of Title) and funds raised to extend the Kibera Academy infrastructure during 2018. Thanks to a generous grant of £40,000 from the Guernsey Overseas Aid and Development Commission, these new facilities will transform the lives of 300 children and staff at Kibera Academy
After 18 months of trying to resolve our water shortage problems, we hope to start constructing a new dam and reservoir using a seasonal river bed that runs through the farm. The dam will be about 2 metres high, behind which will be a 'pan' reservoir - effectively a circular lake. The water passing along the river bed during the rainy seasons can be appear suddenly and become a raging torrent in minutes, enough to wash a large vehicle away. The circular nature of the lake calms the rush and does far less damage to the otherwise vulnerable banks.
The work has been entrusted to a Kenyan NGO, Sahelian Solutions Foundation and we look forward to seeing this project progress.
We have only been able to go ahead with this work thanks to a generous grant of £40k form the States of Guernsey Overseas Aid and development Commission to whom we offer our grateful thanks.
The school borehole
and water tower
This is the moment we reached the aquifer at 220 metres