The Final Preparation

West students prepare for Kenya Trip


Makenna Burt

“I am most excited to see the project actually in use and see our hard work pay off,” Shaffer said.

Makenna Burt, Reporter

You turn on the sink and what comes out? Purified water and that’s normal in the US but it’s not always the case around the world. In Kenya almost 40% of the country does not have access to purified water. Students from West High School have been working for the past six years to create a filtration system for a village in Kenya. Four students are headed to Kenya on January 10th to watch the project finally get completely finished.

“I am excited to see the project to the end and see it finished and functioning,“ senior Lily Shaffer said. 

Shaffer is one of the students who has been working on the project recently. She has been working on this project since the beginning of this school year.  

“I really wanted to help people and I thought the project was a good way to do that for people all across the world,” Shaffer said. 

The project has been a way for students to be involved in real life scenarios of building something to benefit others. This project will help 22,000 people in a village in Kenya. 

“The project was started in the fall of 2017 with the Inspire Capstone students.  After hearing from a community partner, the team ultimately decided to work on the clean water project.  In January 2020, myself and a student traveled to Kenya to gather data to help us better understand the problem the team was trying to solve. […]  COVID happened and the project continued, but at a much slower pace.[…],” teacher Greg Smith said. 

Mr. Smith and four other students will be going on a sixteen day long trip to Kenya to finish the project out in its last stages of production. They will be finishing the building process of a water filtration system in the Kenya village of Muamba.

“I am excited to finally get to the implementation stage of this project.  It has been a long time coming.  Many students have worked on this project over the past six years.  I am excited to be able to take my students and show them a different part of the world, giving them exposure to spark an interest or passion for helping others within their future career,” Smith said. 

Throughout the years students have been working on various sub-projects relating to the stage of the project they are in. Students recently have worked in teams to accomplish numerous tasks like filter maintenance, water testing, water filtration building team, and also fundraising.

“We have worked in small groups and each group worked on a different part of the project and then we learned a little of what each of the other groups did. It was very intriguing to learn,” senior Camden Kilker said. 

Learning and applying what each group did has made a successful real life project possible. Thanks to all the work these students did, now many people have access to fresh water. These students are currently in Kenya working to complete the last phase of this project.