The Sekenani Primary School, situated at the gate to the world renowned Maasai Mara game park in Kenya, started life as a kindergarten in 1989 and provides education to 650 boys and girls from the Sekenani township.
The school has achieved exceptional results in National exams and sends many of its pupils to National, Provincial and District secondary schools.
Many of the pupils live several kilometres away from the school site and have to make the daily trek to school on foot over terrain roamed by several dangerous animals including many lions.
Like the majority of schools in Africa, the facilities provided for the children does not match the enthusiasm and dedication shown by the staff. This was brought to the attention of Virgin Atlantic and the Sarova Hotel Group, who have supported the school since 1997. They decided that the situation needed to be rectified and a programme was set up to build dormitories and supply water to the children that live and attend the school.
Virgin Atlantic along with their Flying Club members donated $100,000 to build the dormitories and together with Water for All, a non-profit organisation specialising in water supply in Africa, provide water to the school.
A borehole was drilled to a depth of 70 metres and a 1200 watt tracking Mono Solar pump installed. The pump lifts 24,000 litres of water per day from the borehole to an overhead tank located alongside the dormitories, a distance of 750 metres from the borehole. This water is then piped to the showers, toilets and drinking fountains.
Jill Rademacher, President and CEO of Water for All said, “The solar powered pump is the perfect solution to the school’s water needs while not relying on expensive fuel. Each year 443 million school days are lost in Africa due to water related illnesses. This education crisis cannot be ignored. We cannot thank Mono Pumps enough, for their professional attitude shown in designing, supplying and installing the solar pump”.
Sir Richard Branson, President of Virgin Atlantic officially opened the new buildings and the pump installation and thanked all volunteers and donors for their efforts in changing the lives of so many young Kenyans.