A Year Later: Essumba Primary School

August, 2017

The sanitation standard has increased as water from the tank is used to wash latrines and classrooms. Time wasted when going to the spring is now used profitably in class. This has also been translated into an improvement in academic performance with the school being named among the most improved in performance in Emuhaya sub-county during this year’s education day.

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater catchment system, latrines, and hand washing stations for Essumba Primary School in Kenya. Because of these gifts and our monthly donors, partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. Because of these consistent visits, we learn vital lessons and we hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one with you from field officer Jacqueline Shigali.

“Construction of a water tank and six doors of VIP latrines was a big blessing for this community,” says Jacqueline. “Right from the gate, the school compound looks neat and trees all over the place gives it a cool breeze and fresh atmosphere. The site of a child in civilian clothes seated under one of the trees, scribbling with a pen on a piece of paper welcomes the field officers. We later learn from the head teacher that she is a new student from a neighboring school whose parent had tirelessly begged the administration to admit in class seven. Getting a chance to join Essumba Primary is now almost impossible unless one is joining baby class because of the influx of pupils since construction of the water and sanitation facilities. Every parent wants their children to go to schools with more facilities; no wonder children come here from as far as four kilometers to study, passing many other institutions on their way to Essumba. Every child looks neat and classrooms are tidy, a fact that proves how serious the knowledge learned during the CTC (child to child) training was taken.”

“We will continue sending staff members to do monitoring and evaluation of the rainwater tank,” she says. “This time will be utilized to inquire about any issues concerning the tank, sharing its successes and challenges and working together to find solutions. The staffs will also continue treating water in the tank and giving advice on how best to care for the WASH facilities. It is also important for the community members to continually understand that the reason for having that tank is to help children save time and stay healthy.”

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Jacqueline had a chance to speak with Samuel Etole Astwa, compound master and the teacher in charge of WASH projects. He shared, “the sanitation standard has increased as water from the tank is used to wash latrines and classrooms. Time wasted when going to the spring is now used profitably in class. Diarrheal diseases are no longer an issue, thanks to the WASH training that came as part of the project package. This has also been translated into an improvement in academic performance with the school being named among the most improved in performance in Emuhaya sub-county during this year’s education day. The CTC School club has helped the school to discover young leaders they believe will be great leaders in this nation. The club members have been able to come up with very good projects for maintenance and sustainability of the WASH facilities within the institution. Some of their projects are a nursery bed for trees and planting bananas for sale. Such confidence and responsibility of such magnitude had never been anticipated from those children, especially the girls until we had proper facilities. It really gives teachers courage and hope that the future is secure with such promising young lives.”
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“Hellen Oneya, a 13-year-old student, says she feels proud and has developed more love for her school since the new water tank and latrines were constructed,” Jacqueline reports. “She is so happy the stress of carrying drinking water in a bottle every day is now over. They now have enough water and one can drink as much as he/she wants. Their classrooms can now be mopped every evening unlike the former days when they used to mop them once a week. This has even led to reduction of whooping cough that initially used to be caused by too much dust.”

“Pupils have now been relieved of the stress of climbing the sloppy hill from the spring, which could make it very hard to concentrate in class after fetching water. Performance has improved and many new children have joined the school because of the new WASH facilities. The tree seedling and flower planting project was also initiated by the CTC club which brags and feels on top of the game when it comes to WASH matters. Finally, the club is also thrilled by the fact that their voices are being heard in the school, for instance, they came up with a suggestion that each class needed a dust bin and the head teacher reacted by buying that important facility for every class,” says Hellen.

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Everyone that was met and spoken to is grateful for the project,” says Jacqueline. “We will continue to visit this school regularly and are happy to report findings with you.”

The Water Project and our partners are committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by monthly donors, allows us to visit communities up to 4 times a year. Read more about our program and how you can help.



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