Our visit to Ndiru School, founded in 1906, sheds light on the grim reality of water scarcity. With a student population of 850 and only 15 teachers, the school has faced significant challenges, particularly in accessing clean water. The Headteacher shared that the lack of water for hygiene, cooking, and drinking has greatly affected the students’ performance and well-being.

This situation at Ndiru School is a stark reflection of the challenges faced by thousands of schools across sub-Saharan Africa. Every week, 300-400 Ndiru piupils are tasked with fetching about 6000 litres of contaminated, unsafe water, a process that consumes around 1800 precious hours of learning time. Depending on their age, each child bears the burden of carrying from 3 to 20 kg of water. This daunting task not only consumes valuable learning time but also disproportionately affects the girl child, leading to increased school dropouts, especially during their menstrual periods due to inadequate water supply.