PITCHAfrica just completed construction on a rainwater-harvesting soccer and volleyball stadium at a school in Kenya that can store more than 1.5 million liters of fresh water! The 1,500-seat stadium is named PITCHKenya, and it's joined by four unique, low-cost, rain-harvesting buildings termed ‘Waterbanks’ because of their capacity to collect and store high volumes of water, providing a year-round supply.
In 2013, PITCHAfrica’s Waterbank School in Kenya was named the “Greenest School on Earth.” Now another of their projects has just officially opened at the Endana Secondary School in Laikipia, Kenya. The annual harvesting capability of the Waterbank secondary school campus is in excess of two million liters of water – remarkable in a semi-arid region. The Waterbank buildings provide clean drinking water to the students and irrigation to the conservation agriculture plots that criss-cross the campus.
Other buildings on the campus include a Waterbank dormitory for girls, a Waterbank canteen and Waterbank latrines. These are all building prototypes developed by the nonprofit PITCHAfrica to meet essential water needs while addressing fundamental issues including sanitation, nutrition, gender equality and health. Additional structures include rain-harvesting boys’ dormitories and staff housing. PITCHAfrica founder Jane Harrison says, “Integrating harvesting, storing and filtering of rain into school community buildings supports communities in becoming increasingly self-reliant for their water needs.”
The project was completed thanks to a partnership between PITCHAfrica, the locally based Zeitz Foundation and the school community. Sponsorship was also provided by international soccer star Samuel Eto’o’s private foundation, as well as the Cameron O’Reilly family, Guernsey Overseas Aid, and Ol Pejeta Conservancy. The soccer connection (or football as it is known in Africa) is significant due to the strong local following for the sport. As Harrison states: “Bringing football into the mix brings passion, an attentive audience, bridging differences. This can make the desire to model peaceful collaboration and share knowledge about sustainable environmental practices a reality, while providing students with an environmentally engaged education, healthy food and clean water.” Jochen Zeitz, of the Zeitz Foundation adds, “This makes it a win-win proposition, good for health and good for the environment.”