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          Building Climate Smart Schools in Laikipia

          Ereri Primary School launch on 14th April 2016.

          Eligah Mutanda, Zeitz Foundation.

             More than 320 students and teachers from Ereri Primary School in Segera location are set to benefit from newly constructed rain water harvesting school. The buildings constructed by the Zeitz Foundationwill be launched on the 14th April 2016 at 11a.m. in a ceremony attended by national and local leaders as well as hundreds of community members and parents. The newly completed Ereri School is the sixth such building done by the Segera-based Foundation. 

             The building sits on top of a 100,000 litres reservoir and has five classrooms, two teacher offices and the courtyard is easily transformed into a theatre performance space allowing multiple and complimentary uses. The first waterbank school was built and opened in 2012 at Uaso Nyiro Primary School by Zeitz Foundation with funding from Guernsey Overseas Aid Commission. The concept comprises a unique, low-cost, rain harvesting building and termed ‘Water banks’ because of the building’s capacity to harvest and store high volumes of water at low cost, providing a year round supply.

             The first waterbank constructed at Uaso Nyiro Primary school harvests 360,000 litres annually. In 2013 it won the US Green Building Council’s “Greenest School on Earth Award 2013 and was listed on Sustainia 100. The second and much more ambitious project was the Laikipia Unity Football Academy at Endana Secondary School. The centerpiece is rain harvesting 5-a-side football and volleyball stadium with seating for 1500. The structure also houses the administration rooms, classrooms and an environmental education center and has an annual rain harvesting and storage capacity of more than 1.5 million liters under the playing surface. The buildings offers an innovative approach to addressing one of Africa’s most pressing problems, provision of clean drinking water; whilst providing urgently needed sport facilities. The annual harvesting capability of the school is in excess of 2 million liters of water in a semi-arid region that receives 550mm rainfall per annum.

             In the communities where the effects of climate change are manifesting themselves through prolonged drought and erratic, heavier than normal rainfall waterbanking in public buildings and community spaces is an important model for demonstrating how communities can become more resilient as water sources dwindle. The latest building also adds to the ongoing Climate change mitigation and adaptation project being carried out by Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Zeitz Foundation, the County government of Laikipia and NEPcon of Denmark with funding from Nordic Climate Facility. The project addresses adaptation through conservation agriculture and rainwater water harvesting. Six out of ten demonstration and training site are already operational in Kinamba, Endana, Gatero, Matanya, Nanyuki and Salama.

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