People, planet and purpose: Mombasa school creates and installs a clean water supply for its students
Driving innovation in areas that matter the most – people, planet, and purpose – the Aga Khan Schools in Mombasa have designed and installed a reverse osmosis plant that is able to supply unlimited clean drinking water to their entire school community.
Kenya has a population of over 50 million, of which 32% rely on unimproved water sources, such as ponds, shallow wells and rivers. Access to clean water has been a constant issue, particularly in the coastal region of Mombasa. With temperatures averaging between 30-35°C - and soaring even higher in the summer season - the ground water can become highly polluted, making it unsafe for consumption. As a result of this, students had to bring their own drinking water to school every day or purchase bottled water from the canteen.
The implementation of the reverse osmosis plant will not only generate clean water, but it will also help to reduce carbon emissions and pollution from the manufacturing and usage of plastic bottles. Leading by example and in a bid to eliminate pollution, the school canteen will no longer sell plastic bottled water. Speaking about the move and the wider impact of their innovation, Tony Eysele, former CEO of AKES, Kenya, commented: “It links to our sustainability drive - a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and secondly we are moving our schools to an almost 100% plastic free environment.”
The school’s creative innovation will now ensure that the precious commodity of clean water is constantly supplied to their students. Hydration is vital for the maintenance of their energy levels, physical endurance, concentration and focus, especially when the temperatures are exceedingly high as well. Mary Stella Chitechi, Head of School at the Aga Khan High School, Mombasa, remarked: “The entire school community is proud of the fact that we now have our own safe drinking water and are glad to be part of this historic event. The availability of safe drinking water will go a long way in ensuring improved health and safety of our students.”
Through research, innovation and teamwork, the Mombasa Schools have found a sustainable solution that will have an incredible impact on the wellbeing of their students, whilst playing an active role in preserving the planet.
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- The Aga Khan School in Mombasa has designed and installed a reverse osmosis plant that is able to supply unlimited clean drinking water to their entire school community.
- In addition to generating clean water, the reverse osmosis plant will also help to reduce carbon emissions and pollution from the manufacturing and usage of plastic bottles.
- Staff and students are encouraged to be socially and environmentally conscious citizens that make positive changes in their schools and wider communities, and participate in activities such as tree planting.