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.
The two-storey building consists of:
two new classrooms;
a large ground-floor space for recreation, assemblies and meetings;
offices for the head teacher and School Farms Kenya staffs;
a space for counselling that may also be used as a clinic and ...
new flushing toilets! Incredibly we discovered a main sewer that ran past the school into which we have been granted access. We believe we are the only establishment to have a mains connection in the whole of the slum. The main sewer connects two areas of Nairobi and was not intended for the slum dwellers. For a small connection fee we were given permission by the local authorities.
The Guernsey Team were fortunate enough to visit and officially open the new classrooms
Drone footage taken on the day of the opening of the new classrooms
Dam and Reservoir Project at Kiserian Farm
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.
(the concrete dam and gabions to filter silt)
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.
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 Completed Dam
A Drone's-Eye view of
the newly-constructed 'pan' reservoir and dam.
Watch the video here!
The spillway (overflow) was damaged during a downpour as it had not been quite completed and was vulnerable. Work was quickly underway to repair and reinforce the spillway. Further bank reinforcements may be necessary over time to prevent further erosion.
before repairs partial repairs the restored resevoir
Smalls For All
Thanks to the amazing generosity of a Scottish Charity, Smalls for All we have been able to provide our 150 girls with new pants! Most of our children struggle with basic clothing and underwear is normally a luxury. This is particularly important to our adolescent girls who may miss out several school days every month. In the next few weeks we will also start a programme of supplying sanitary protection to these girls and we look forward to seeing improved attendance thereafter.
In October, we were able to take 500 pairs so every girl received a pack of three pairs. Smalls for All relies upon the generosity of individuals who purchase new underwear from suppliers and then donate to that Charity.
We anticipate taking a further 1000 pairs next spring and hope this time that we do not get questioned by Border Agency staff at Nairobi Airport! 'Sir. Can you explain why you have 500 pairs of girls pants in your suitcase...?' Yes. That really did happen!
Please do consider supporting Smalls for All. That Charity has transformed the lives of thousands of poor children, particularly in African slums.