What do you get when you combine sports, community, education, and resource reclamation?
If you’re PITCHAfrica, you get a combination soccer (football) field, school, and community center that also functions as a water harvesting and storage facility, otherwise known as a Waterbank school building.
“Our design includes four classrooms with protected gardens for food cultivation, teachers rooms, community spaces, a community courtyard theater, a 350,000 liter / year harvesting capacity, a 150,000 liter reservoir under the courtyard and integral water-filtration using Ceramic Water Filters. The Uasonyiro WATERBANK School building has a harvesting area of 600 sq meters and can collect enough water in this semi-arid region for 300 children to have 4 liters of water a day, all year round.” – Waterbanks
Waterbank school buildings are the brainchild of PITCHAfrica, a social enterprise organization and non-profit focusing on using sport as a catalyst for high yield community-integrated rainwater harvesting programs. The first of the Waterbank school buildings is located in Laikipia, Kenya, and was completed in December of 2012. The design for the school is now being extended to two new Waterbank buildings, which began construction in July 2013 at a secondary school in Laikipia, a dormitory and canteen, in partnership with the Zeitz Foundation.
The Waterbank School Building was designated as one of the two schools named as the 2013 Greenest Schools on Earth:
“The Uaso Nyiro Primary School’s unique Waterbank School Building, conceived and designed by PITCHAfrica and built in partnership with the Zeitz Foundation, is an alternative low cost school designed for poor regions in need of water. The school, built from local materials with local labor for the same cost as a conventional linear school, stores and filters clean water for the children year round, provides protected gardens for growing fresh vegetables and includes a community workshop and courtyard theater for school community gatherings and environmental theater. The school serves a disadvantaged community with 25 percent living on less than $1.25/day. Since opening, school attendance has risen from 70 to 90 percent and instances of waterborne disease have dropped to zero.”
In addition, Waterbanks Schools were chosen for a special award of support at the 2013 Buckminster Fuller Challenge by one of the sponsors, Interface, Inc., and will be honored at the awards ceremony at Cooper Union on November 18th.