Conceived and designed by PITCHAfrica with funding from Guernsey Overseas Aid, the Uaso Nyiro Waterbank buildings represent an innovative new design that addresses not only the schools infrastructural requirements, but also its water needs. It is a major breakthrough in school and institutional design which has ramifications for construction in semi-arid areas throughout Africa.
In addition to 4 full-sized indoor/outdoor classrooms, the Uaso Nyiro ‘Waterbank School’ building also includes protected vegetable gardens for the children, 4 teacher’s rooms, community spaces and workshop, a courtyard theatre and a 150,000 litre water reservoir with integrated water filtration. The workshop spaces can be used for health projects and other local initiatives that strengthen the school and local community. Most importantly all this is provided at the same cost as a standard linear floor classroom block, a major achievement which will ensure that this design is adopted in schools throughout Kenya and elsewhere.
In addition to the direct benefits for the school itself, rainwater harvesting represents a sustainable form of water management, which brings with it considerable health benefits for communities and creates opportunities for sustainable forms of agriculture in semi-arid areas.
The Uaso Nyiro Primary school was awarded the prestigious 'Earths Greenest School' Award by the US Green Building Council in October 2013.