One Day's Wages is proud to announce our 5th grant to Common Ground Project (CGP) – a non-government community based organization (CBO) based in Kitale, Kenya.

The grant – made possible by donations given directly to ODW – is for the amount of $1,629 (US Dollars). This grant will empower CGP and their community to help build a water tank in a primary school that will store over 100,000 liters of water.

While the grant may be perceived as small in the minds of many in the Western world, this grant will make an impact by helping provide clean water for 370 students at this primary school AND over 2500 villagers that live adjacent to the school.

What is the Common Ground Project?

Common Ground Project (CGP) is a registered Kenyan non-governmental community-based organization with its headquarters in Kitale, Kenya. CGP’s mission is to help mitigate poverty, the single largest threat to human well-being and social stability in Kenya. Poverty breeds hunger, disease, illiteracy and environmental degradation. It also sharpens civil conflicts. To this end, CGP strives to reduce poverty while conserving the Earth's natural heritage and biodiversity, and to demonstrate in a concrete, observable way that modern human societies can live sustainably and comfortably in harmony with nature.

CGP founded and operates a primary school (Pathfinder Academy) with grades 1-8, with 370 students, mainly orphans and vulnerable children. Each year students and faculty go out to groups such as AIDS widows groups to teach them bio-intensive growing methods in order to help them become self-reliant and attain food security. As a result of its community service, the school has received awards from the Ministry of Education for four consecutive years for being the best school in reaching out to communities. Experiences gained at Pathfinder Academy have been shared with many others through local media and international forums, which are being replicated in other countries.

The Water Tank Project

CGP’s school is struggling on many fronts to provide good education, and a safe and healthy environment for so many vulnerable children, but one of the greatest needs now is to provide consistent water supply.

In 2009, CGP was able to dig a 100m bore hole to supply water to all 370 students and over 2500 villagers that live adjacent to the school. The borehole uses a solar water pump which only pumps water when there is adequate sunshine.

Building a good storage tank will allow storage of water at the school on rainy days when there is no sun. On those days, the children and villagers have to continue drinking the dirty water from a stream a kilometer away from school.

What is the Partnership?

To solve the problem, CGP is partnering with One Days Wages to help build a water tank that will store over 100,000 liters of water.

The project activities will involve procurement materials (bricks, sand, cement, rebar, and a cutter) and construction. Members of the community will be involved in the construction of the water project by providing labor. CGP will provide the builders with meals at the time of contribution. This water tank will provide many new advantages to improve the health and well being of the students including the:

  • Ability to store water so the students won’t have to worry about collecting water everyday
  • Accessibility to clean water which will reduce absenteeism
  • Availability of hand washing taps with soap/ash on the storage tanks for sanitation

Most importantly, the water tank will provide the ability for students to take water home to their families at the end of the day, ensuring the health and well being of the students and their families even when they are not at school.

Photos: students at Pathfinder Academy, courtesy of Village Volunteers.