The Halcrow Foundation is funding a commercial bottled water enterprise by the Rise and Shine Academy. The project will enable the school to become self-reliant, sustainable and cover its shortfall in running costs while providing cheap clean water to the surrounding slums and local schools.

The Rise and Shine Academy is located in the Kawangware Slums, Nairobi, Kenya. It was established in 1998 with the aim of educating slum children and giving them the chance of a better, self-sufficient future. Many of the pupil’s parents are unable to pay the low school fees, and as a result the school is constantly short of funds.

The school teaches around 170 primary school-aged pupils from the surrounding slums. Since around 2005, the school has been supported by the Eva Reckitt Trust fund, which bought land for the school and has since provided an annual grant to cover part of the shortfall in running costs. The school also received a grant from the Halcrow Foundation in 2007 to cover part of the building costs.

Profits from the sale of the water will help with the day-to-day running costs of the school, including staff wages, buying teaching materials, building renovations and future school expansion.

The school has undertaken significant market research to ascertain the size of the local bottled water market and the prices that the market will bear. Around half the water will be sold on a commercial basis to local kiosks, small shops, clinics, wealthy schools, churches, and to supermarkets. Whilst there are already plenty of bottled water suppliers, the market is growing significantly and the Rise and Shine Water will be clearly labelled as being sold for a charitable purpose. Moreover, there is scope to undercut many of the commercial suppliers. The other half of the water will be sold at a greatly reduced price in large jerry cans to the local slum population, and also to local schools as a community service.

The project includes the purchase and installation of the plant equipment, the construction of a building to house the plant, along with employing and training staff to operate the plant and market and sell the water.